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Seagulls v HAWKS Match Report

Many Shades shade Weston goalfest

The Many Shades braved a chocker M5 to play their #Seagull counterparts in the pre-match match when the Hawks travelled to Weston-super-Mare for their league game. Not only were we playing the “normal” game, but the Seagulls had arranged for us to play an exhibition match on the pitch at half-time. And, not only, but also… Henry Deacon Media, who commentates on the Hawks games, had agreed to provide what was believed to be the first ever live radio commentary on a walking football match anywhere!

The main match was held in a sports hall adjacent to the stadium, and the Many Shades were able to use the first team changing room to prepare. With the Seagulls having 10 players available, they did the same as we had against Hendon last season, and played two teams of five, alternating them to play in the 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 4th quarters of the match; meanwhile our 9 players would be rested by use of rolling substitutes.
The first quarter went well, with Pete Dolamore opening the scoring (or should that be “opening the floodgates”?), followed by a James McIlwaine goal to put us 2-0 up. Although we seemed comfortable, John Kennett in goal was still needed to demonstrate his shot-stopping ability several times.

The second quarter was a different matter, as the Seagull’s other five included one player who had a deadly accurate thunderbolt shot that we failed miserably to close down, meaning that the hosts soon overhauled us and only a second of the day from James kept us in touch by half time, when we went in 3-5 down.

We knew that the next phase was vital, that we had to keep in touch with Weston’s lead, so when Stew Russell slotted home early in the quarter it gave us a boost. The ding-dong game continued, and although Barry Ingram added a second to bring us level, inevitably Weston kept up the pressure and it took another from Stew to close out the quarter with the Many Shades just 6-7 down.

We knew from our game against Hendon last year that the final quarter favoured the team with two squads, and we also knew that we were facing the squad that had hammered us 5-1 in the second quarter. But we also knew that keeping the big No. 11 quiet would help our cause no end, so we focused hard on making sure he couldn’t threaten John’s goal. The tactic worked, and with hard graft and with an excellent hat-trick from James and another clinical Barry Ingram finish backed up by resolute defence, the Many Shades were able to turn the match on its head and emerge as 10-8 winners.

Clearly we all needed to recover from such a tumultuous experience – never since the jumpers for goalposts days of the school playground or a kickabout in the park had we experienced an 18-goal thriller! That recovery was provided by a pie and a pint for just £4.00 in the clubhouse.

Then we watched the Hawks race into a 3-0 half-time lead before we marched out onto the lush sward on the Woodspring Stadium to play our 10-minute exhibition game. We had no-one available to referee, so self-reffed the game, and it worked well, although the ban on defenders entering the penalty area was completely ignored by Barry Ingram (again – see previous match reports), and James had a nearly-goal nearly-disallowed when the keeper parried it and it rolled agonisingly onto the goal-line and stopped dead to allow the keeper to pick it up. From his pass out, the Seagulls broke forward and scored the only goal of the match to a great cheer from the home crowd. This match was played in front of what was a record crowd for the Many Shades – 467.

The Many Shades squad was: John Kennett, Stew Russell, Pete Dolamore, Dave Hall, Colin Jeffery, John Hicks, Barry Carter, Barry Ingram, and James McIlwaine. Many thanks to manager and part-time referee Dave Rowbrey for his efforts as well!

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