Match of the Day
On a windswept plateau a ragbag collection of players battled the elements to produce football of variable quality but undeniable enthusiasm.
It did not bode well when after three minutes, a red faced Trevor Hutchinson, enquired when half time was. He did manage, however to carve out a few opportunities.
There were two father and son combinations playing for High Street. Jason Sargent, wearing a shirt with Fowler, appropriately printed on the back, proved a snug fit in a dynamic midfield, which also included Jinky Will Mowatt and Alun Nixon. Alun's energetic contribution was underlined by the fact he had the dirtiest knees at the end.
Will, who organised the game and with legs reminiscent of pre war vitamin shortages, combined brilliantly with his son Calum on the right. Calum proved that, in a match where heading the ball was generally a humorous sideshow, he could rise above the rest when he directed a stunning header in the top corner for, perhaps, the goal of the game.
On the other wing, Tarran, (oops, Taz) Williams with Josh Sargent defied the myth that the bigger you are, the better you are, and consistently threatened Low Streets defences.
In a game of great endeavour and surprising levels of skill, Gavin Watt was MOTM. He was outstanding and, in a game dominated by fair play, responded well to the referee's suggestion that he play for Low Street to equalise the sides. Harry Wise, for different reasons made the reverse exchange. He had all the attributes of a footballer, looks, kit, abundant and obvious skills but seemed to lack the facility to absorb oxygen in what must have been rather small lungs. Probably a lifestyle issue...
High Street's keeper, Mark Kingston dominated the area and was one of the key reasons for Low Street struggling to make any sort of breakthrough.
As to Low Street, well, they suffered from several disadvantages the major one being that the referee was from High Street. They were well led by Jeremy Walker who surprisingly covered the turf well, but left behind the usual number of divots. His son Joe held the midfield together. Both had to leave the game for reasons explained later.
Jamie Taylor, a loan made during the January transfer window, prodded and prompted and generally kept the score down to manageable levels.
Like the famous Alf Tupper, Cameron Smith, having just got into bed after drinking all the Hill's booze, responded to the call and went between the posts for Low Street. He weathered an avalanche of high balls, plucking them from the air just like..., well, just like picking apples.
Another father and son, Rick and Alex Fenwick, played. Rick dominated the centre circle making some important interceptions despite nearly twice losing his cap with rather interesting headers. Alex worked tirelessly up front and was unlucky to not have more than a few goals to his credit
Amidst all the thud and blunder there was clear evidence that football is not primarily a man's game. Liv Gilliam, who scored for low Street, deftly avoided High Street's best and was a constant menace in her partnership with Alex. As to Martin Gallon? Well, it has to be back to the drawing board for him. All the skill and movement was there but his customary surgical finishing was absent.
The spine of the team was a Liverpudlian holidaymaker staying at Sleepy Hollow. He matched everyone from High St and was unlucky to finish on the losing side.
Last but not least was Stephen Barker whose curious outfit, comprising a red woolly hat and hooped jersey, brought to mind a Clearasil advert. Joking aside, the Matalan Marauder was only kept out by stout defending. He never misplaced a pass and was always an available outlet.
There was not a foul during the whole match. This was not due to any Corinthian spirit but rather that the referee (the author of this piece) who, rather sadly, found the pace of the overwhelming.
The efforts of all were well supported by family, friends and the regular dog.
All the good humour evaporated however, when we found the reason for Jeremy and Joe Walker's absence from the pitch. Jeremy's mother had fallen on the grassy bank and was lying in obvious discomfort. The ambulance took a disappointingly long time to arrive but Jeremy's mother was well attended by Dr Jane Maloney and Holly Beeson who is a trained paramedic. The latest news is that the patient is comfortable after breaking a collarbone and wrist.
The teams retired to the Orchard Inn and enjoyed bacon butties courtesy of Alison.
Oh, If anyone really cares... the final score was High St 5, Low Street 2
Photographs Brian Watt and Michelle Fenwick