GMWFL Spring 2022 – A good and steady start for the Over 70’s Blues

A new season starts with a difference, Europe is closer to war than it has ever been in the recent past; I think I speak for most/all Relics, especially those who have pro-actively contributed to the humanitarian effort by donations to the Polish club in Bury, we wish Peace to Ukraine.

Bury Relics over 70’s versus Blackpool.
The brightest thing about this day was Blackpool’s tangerine kit, as cold and wet inclement weather welcomed the Relics to the stadium in Heywood. Blackpool started the brightest with 2 quick fire shots, the second of which was sent into orbit, and gave a head height free-kick to the Relics. Play continued with quick changes in possession, where Field marshal John W was playing the role of lion tamer in a midfield battle, to try and domesticate the Blackpool midfield. However, this was not consistent with the non-contact rules. John had quickly clocked up two fouls, the second of which was when he completely cleared out their tricky number 11, just a like a bullet of a 10-pin bowling ball, blowing all the pins away for a strike. That put the Relics on a total of 3 fouls, and they were now playing the rest of the game on a knife edge. But this did not dampen the combative attitude of the Relics, with Tex, Pete and Tony all making some good and well-timed tackles, intercepting the ball and quelling any momentum of Blackpool. The Relics were now more composed and making some good passes where Tex came close with a shot, that was saved, and then in a subsequent attack saw John W hit a post. So close but no cigar. It was not all one-way traffic though, as Blackpool had opportunities and it took a good save from Eddie to turn the ball around for a corner. A nice move was then executed by the Relics, which started with Tex collecting a ball at speed, then dragging the ball back to behind his standing leg, and then Cruyff turn like, passing the ball to John W, who laid it off to Jerry who shot but was just wide, but a good chance nonetheless. Now it was Tex’s turn to have a shot, who hit it powerfully but the keeper was right behind it to make the save, to give the Relics a corner. From this, a nice and first time shot from John W but this just whistled wide. The Relics were now on top and their pinpoint passing was making opportunities to shoot: John W had a good shot saved, and then Jerry hit a pile driver but this bullet banged against the post, which was so hard the post started shaking like a tuning fork. Then, as the game was starting to get more interesting with Relics dominating, the final whistle went, and the result was a goalless draw.
Bury Relics over 70’s 0 – 0 Blackpool.

Bury Relics over 70’s versus Rochdale Strollers.
Under the great guidance of Keith S and Ken, the team was re-shuffled to now include an outfield Pat the Cat (without his gloves) and Keith B. I hope there were ready as this was a game against last seasons champions. The answer was that they were ready and started the game the better team, with Tex having a shot blocked, following accurate passing between all Relics players. There was a precise interception by Pat the Cat at the back, and the ball played to Keith B, who via a John W pass, managed to get the ball to Jerry in a bit of space, who hit an enormously powerful shot that shook the cross-bar. That was close for Relics taking the lead. John W, Tex and Jerry had further shots blocked but Rochdale were countering with chances of their own, one of which had to be saved by a good, Olympic gold medal worthy, dive by Eddy. While Relics pressed down the other end, the ball was lost and the Rochdale striker was left on a one on one with Eddie. It was like the final gun fight of good, the bad and the ugly western, both striker and keeper were waiting for the other to make the first move. Eddie held his nerve, which put the Rochdale striker off and he shot wide. Relief as that was a really good chance for them. Down the other end, Jerry had a shot saved, and almost immediately, at the Relics end, there was a free-kick to Rochdale. Their move was intricate, which bamboozled the Relics defence, and made a good shooting chance that was saved by Eddie. It was end to end stuff, with further shots from both sides; John W and Keith B both had good shots, which were saved, and Rochdale had a shot just wide right at the other end. This was a good result for the Relics, against the reigning champions, a 0 – 0 draw.
Bury Relics over 70’s 0 – 0 Rochdale Strollers.

Bury Relics over 70’s versus Manchester Senior Citizens.
This match was physical and competitive from the off, with lots of tackles going in from both sides, trying to gain some dominance in the game. Both John W and Tex were making tackles against the City team who were having more of the possession. This led to a City corner and shot, that Eddie did well to get down to and save. The Relics were now putting some multiple passing moves together, which led to a lay off by Jerry to John W, who hit a good shot but which was saved. Then after another regain in possession by the Relics, John W produced a nice turn and shot but again this was saved by the City keeper. The tide had turned and the Relics were putting pressure on City’s goal. One nice moment was when John W on the right-hand side of the area, hit a hard shot/cross across the area to Jerry, who hit a nice first time shot but which was saved. It was a good chance and the crowd were saying, wow, great move and that was close. The Relics were defending well and a few niggles were creeping into the game; nothing explosive but the tackles were firm, to let them know they were there. Jerry got the ball in an advanced position, and did a stepover/shuffle, and then hit a good shot that was wide. A final chance was created by John W, who, when receiving the ball with his back to goal, span and shot first time. Unfortunately, it was not on target. A good battle of a game, that was very close but with the Relics shading it on chances.
Bury Relics over 70’s 0 – 0 Manchester Senior Citizens

Bury Relics over 70’s versus Preston
The game started tit for tat, where each team was stringing a few passes together but both sides were not testing the goalies. But then John W found Jerry in a modicum of space, who turned quickly and put a low and powerful shot just wide. Then it was the turn of John W himself to have a shot, this time it was on target but the keeper made the save. The fastest thing seen all day was a yellow hatted player, who had the ability to move at speed around the pitch, while been undetected for running by the officials; luckily for the Relics, this did not lead to a goal. Following a failed Preston attack, Eddie, from the pre-goal division (similar to Tom Cruise in the pre-crime division- Minority Report), envisaged the goal that was about to happen. He visualized that Tex was in a bit of space at the back and quickly threw the ball to his feet. Tex then simultaneously looked up and played a first-time ball to the feet of Jerry, who was in an advanced position in space. The pass from Tex was like a laser guided cruise missile, that just had enough pace on the ball for Jerry to caress the ball with his instep, to bring it under sublime control, then to move it just ahead of him, which was in a perfect position to be hit. Jerry pulled his shooting leg back, like cocking a Magnum 44 hand gun, and let the hammer go, which catapulted the bullet ball into the roof of Preston’s goal. A magnificent move and tremendous finish into the roof of the net. This jolted Preston into life and they started pro-actively making chances and shots against the Relics goal. This led to an outstanding save by Eddie, who had to react quickly, to scoop the ball over his own cross-bar. A great save to keep it at one nil to the Relics. More Preston pressure ensued from the corner and some good last ditch defending by the Relics kept the score at 1 – 0. A tremendous result and well deserved from all the hard work the team had done today.
Bury Relics over 70’s 1 – 0 Preston

A big thank you and well done for a great team effort; the squad consisted: Pat the cat, John W, Keith B, Tony P, Jerry S, Tex, Peter A and Eddie the keeper. Also thanks to Keith S, Ken and Kodak Keith for supplying expert football coaching and the fabulous photos. And thanks to all the supporters who turned up despite the rain. Match report by Dr. John.

For all the GMWFL Spring 2022 fixtures and results see the Match Centre page here