Dear Santa - for Christmas I want...
By Jim Goldstraw
Sils get into the Festive spirit
As we approach the season of Jesus, Mince Pies and the dreaded Christmas TV line-up, it was an attacking Sils XI who attended a damp and drizzly night at the Stratford Arena. Captain Gary Perkins (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like a positive team talk) had decided that an attacking line up was the future in this game which saw defenders thin on the ground. We were blessed with the Chairman's presence in the umpiring role (we're not worthy, we're not worthy - Ed), and the game began with an end to end approach which suggested that the midfield was an irrelevance. Sils went ahead with a reverse stick shot from Simon Russell (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like a credible reverse stick shot) which deceived the Stratford keeper. However, Stratford are a redoubtable opposition and they came back with a short corner deflection.
The game was opening up. Richard Thurman (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like to mention myself less in match reports) was a handful down the left, and both Adam Kent (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like dinner with Jeremy Corbyn) and Mark Dovey (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like to actually wear my new shirt that I have paid for) were causing problems. As the rain relented, Thurman picked the pocket of the right back and squared to Kent for a tap-in. It was 2-1 at half time, and views were expressed in a positive and enlightened way in the goal. Actually, most people just had a moan - but Capn Gary was inspiring in getting us up for the challenge.
You know what comes next - 5 minutes in and it was 2-2. Stratford were pressing well, and the defence was under siege. Andrew Scott (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like you to rebuild Hadrian's Wall) held the line well, and the defence sagged the bag effectively (What??? - Ed). However it was good news when Sam Stephen (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like to put more effort into my game as I have been advised that I don't) slammed home the third. Back came Stratford again with a low drag flick. 3-3, and the game was as unpredictable as Russell Brand in front of a camera. Sils put Nick Oppenheimer (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like to have my toes at the end) up front and he was effective. The defence was under pressure a lot, but Steve Aylin (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like to control my beard) and John Scott (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like to get narrow more) tackled well, and Jim Goldstraw (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like to be able to see Nobby in the game) made some great saves. There was pressure, and Richard Thurman attempted an argument with the All Seeing Eye. That is like arguing with God and should not be attempted - especially when you haven't had a Top 20 hit in nearly two decades.
As the game approached it's denouement, it was Sils who finished stronger. Mark Dovey slammed home an excellent goal, and then Stephen bagged his second (Goody - Fantasy League points - Ed). The hard-working Kent took himself to the dugout and gave a reasonable impersonation of either Waldorf or Statler from the Muppet Show. Stratford worked hard throughout the game, and there was pressure right up to the full time whistle.
It was an excellent game, and it was good to see a full house (almost) attend the post-match refreshments. The chat was good, and although we have not played brilliantly the last month it was nice to get a win. Highlights were Sam running 4.6 miles, great efforts from the defence, John Rice (Dear Santa - for Xmas I would like to pass) passing and Nobby causing problems in the opposition D. Man of the Match was Jim Goldstraw, and next week we have a run out against Olton. It's live on More 4. Have a nice day all.