All change, but nothing changes
Good win against a sociable bunch
Wednesday evening saw the Sils Veterans take to the field, aiming to put the disappointment of the weekend behind them, but with some noticeable team changes - some enforced, some elected. Captain Perkins, super-stopper Jim, and Duracell bunny Scott all unavailable; IPP Gray out injured, and based on previous performances against Sutton, elected "resting" of players Andre Tchakhotine, Nol Mortimer and Chris Thompson, meant that Dave Higgins and John Harrison were drafted in, though with Steve "stand-in" Aylin also being drafted into goal, the team took a decidedly non-defensive looking shape.
A defensive trio of the indestructible McGuirk, guest Captain Dovey, and Clubman of the Year Higgins provided the base to a midfield of Tabb, Russell, Oppenheimer and Stephen, and the forward line of Thurman, Danks and Rice, with John Harrison starting on the bench, making the most of his brand new Club Tracksuit ensemble.
Sils put on a composed performance, with Dovey pulling the strings, McGuirk proving to be an immovable force at the back, Higgins providing regular outlets down the right, and leaving Oppenheimer, Tabb and Russell to create chances for the front line.
With this changed line-up, would the usual Vets "sights" still be evident?
Of course they were!
- Aylin in goal went from the sublime to the ridiculous - at one point, under no pressure at all, passing the ball with his stick to the opposition centre-forward; then minutes later, saving a penalty stroke with a diving save to maintain his clean sheet and earn some MoM votes
- Danks worked hard, got annoyed at the lack of service, and even, at one point, took his frustrations with his team-mates lack of passing to him out on the completely innocent GK in a case of mistaken identity!
- Tabb got told off by an umpire
- Thurman shot lots (and scored a few times)
- "The engine" Simon Russell, ran everywhere, earning him a well deserved MoM victory
- Harrison chopped down a few trees
- Oppenheimer was sublime when he had enough breath to run - less sublime when he was unable to
- Dovey organised and distributed like a fine general
What actually happened in the match then?
3 goals in each half, equally split between Thurman and Stephen - with Thurman's first coming from a stroke, and the other two from a PC and a thunderbolt of a strike into the roof of the net; Stephen's three, all finishes from close range, one reacting to his own rebound, the other two set up by passes from Tabb and Danks. It must be noted that the Sutton GK, who was apparently only a stand-in, was mightily impressive and saved multiple shots - perhaps helped by the fact that he was huge and took up most of the goal.
Onto the bar - much frivolity as always. A close MoM vote, with several individuals nominated, a range of rouge trousers, and (disappointingly) only a spattering of roll-necks, and two jugs bought by the two hat-trick "heroes". Sam Stephen tried to distract from the ridiculous fluorescent pink items on his feet by sporting his brand new club hoody (which by the way, looks excellent, and comes highly recommended - check out the Buy Kit link to get your own); Nobby laid down the rules of the new 3rd team regime, and discussed the 10+2 selection policy; a mountain of sausage casserole was presented to the teams; and the Chairman saved the club's blushes by staying on to ensure that the seven members of the visiting team did not have to drink in the Sils bar by themselves!
And so there ends another Sils Vets outing - remember that as well as playing matches, there are two excellent socials planned over the next few weeks that it would be great to see everyone at - the Quiz on Friday night (17th November) and then a couple of weeks later the Sils Christmas party with music, food and drinking (on the 2nd December). Tickets for both are £10.