GMWFL Spring 2022 – a good start for the new Over 60’s Stripes team

Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes versus Ribble Valley WFC.
What a glorious and sun-shining day that greeted the inaugural over 60’s Stripes first ever set of fixtures. In the bright light, the team looked like it had walked out of a Persil advert, with their new brilliant white and blue striped gleaming kits. The Relics tigers roared as the starting whistle blew; the first game was against the Ribble. Relics started brightly, with a couple of passes and then a shot from Andy, that whistled just past the right-hand post. Then, from a subsequent interception by John H, it was Keith H’s turn to have a shot, that was low to the left but the keeper got down to save it. Then there was an exquisite piece of skill by Andy who managed to push the ball to the side, and with the other foot, push the ball beyond the defender, simultaneously gliding past him. Unfortunately, the subsequent pass was intercepted. The Relics were now doing the better, executing some good passing and moving, with Alan being the hub of a lot of the play. This led to a nice turn and shot from Nev, but the shot was not powerful enough to beat their keeper. Both John H and Alan were playing well at the back, starting off moves following Ribble attacks. There was one good attack, when their number seven did a nice dribble from the Ribble, and had a good shot but the accuracy was lacking as it went wide. A foray forward by the Relics led to an Alan shot, which was heading straight into the top corner but alas, the keeper managed to get to it. Beep! Half time. At the break, John H had to come off as he was without his bobble hat, like Samson; to be fair, he had been working so hard, he needed a well-earned breather. Mark came on and this led to a team restructuring, which moved Nev to the back and Mark on the left. Despite the hasty changes, the Relics were still playing well, and Nev had a shot that went high. However, on the subsequent Ribble attack, Nev, while making a good challenge, mistakenly pressed his hyperspace button (does anyone remember the arcade game Defender?) and transported himself into the penalty area. Obviously, he was so concentrated on getting a good challenge in, that he forgot where he was and it was a penalty to the Ribble. The penalty was well taken, low to the keepers left; Eddie had little chance of saving it. 1 – 0 to the Ribble. The deficit made the Relics press the Ribble, and gave the Relics lots of possession, which led to repeated fouls by Ribble. Soon enough, it was 4 fouls and a penalty to the Relics. Andy stepped up and hit a good penalty, high to the keepers right to make it a 1 – 1 score line. Two more events of note in this game were: Watford Mark made a good interception and took a quick shot but was wide, and then was a great tracking back and tackle by Keith H, who made an important interception, probably saving a goal. This was a tough game that ended in a draw but the Stripy Relics had played well.
Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes 1 – 1 Ribble Valley WFC.

Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes versus Wakefield Wanderers Whites.
This game started with a bit of trench warfare, where both teams were pushing forward but without making any incisive or clear-cut chances. However, Wakefield began finding little pockets of space and started to test Eddie in goal. However, he was equal to it on three occasions. Then, the Relics burst into life, and a good one two between Andy and John H, produced a good shot, but the defender just managed to get a block in. Then came the first moment of tragedy; Nev was working hard to find space, and found it four yards outside the box. As the ball was crossed to him, he took a shot and kind of turned at the same time. He missed the ball but Bang, it was like a sniper had taken a shot at him, as he immediately went down in pain; it looked a worrying injury as it could be the Achilles. The Ref sportingly immediately stopped the game and everyone went to Nev’s aid. The organizers, with the help from others including Chris, organized a wheel chair, an ice pack and advice on what Nev should do. It was a downer for everyone as Nev was having a great game, and the Relics were benefiting from his movement. We all wish him a swift and full recovery. The game restarted and then, not too long afterwards, a second moment of tragedy happened, Alan pulled a hamstring and also had to come off. A tough blow for Alan and the team, as like Nev, he was also playing a blinder of a game. For a moment, there was despair among the Relics management and supporters, as there were no more subs. But, drum roll please, Brbrbrbrbrrbbrrbrbrbrbr, super Keith B, stepped out of his reporter outfit, like Clark Kent, and put on Nev’s shirt. Keith B was on for the injured Alan, and that helped save the game for the Relics. Eddie was in form today, and he had to be, as Wakefield were getting shots in but he was saving all of them. In contrast, interchanges between Keith B, Andy and John at the other end, led to a shot that was just wide. In response, Wakefield went on the attack and hit a cracking shot, a daisy cutter, which had to be saved by quick improvisation from Eddie, a save with his legs. A magnificent save to keep it goalless, and that’s how it finished.
Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes 0 – 0 Wakefield Wanderers Whites.

Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes versus Winstanley Walkers.
Right from the kick off, Winstanley were the more alert and made a quick attack that startled the Relics defence; the attacker ran between two defenders and let fly with a shot. On its way towards the goal, the ball managed to take a deflection off a Relics defenders’ foot, hit Eddies foot, which projected the ball upwards onto Eddies hand, and then onto the post and over the head of Eddie and into the net. An unlucky and very Pinball like goal, and a sucker punch to the Relics, but in truth they were not ready at the KO. Winstanley were the sprightlier team and were putting the Relics goal under pressure, and this led to a corner. This culminated in a good shot but Eddie was equal to it and saved. Then there was a spell of 5 minutes or so, where the Relics were under constant pressure, with Eddie making 3 good saves. The problem was, the Relics team were tired and could not make space for any fluent passing to happen. So, it would often end up with Winstanley regaining possession and fashioning more chances but Eddie was playing superb in goal; without his good goal-keeping, on another day it could have been 5 – 0 by now. However, after half time, the Relics started to make good moves again, while the Keiths and John were defending well. This created a good chance for Watford Mark, who hit the shot sweetly but it just went wide of the far post. Another Relics move led to an Andy shot, but this time the shot did not beat their keeper. In between these Relics chances, Eddie made a further 3 saves, one which was superb, with his feet. To sum up, there was little difference in skill factors between the teams but the Winstanley side was fitter, having more energy for the final fixture of the day. Final score was 1 – 0 to Winstanley.
Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes 0 – 1 Winstanley Walkers.

A big thank you for a hard-working effort by the team, they went all in, which was shown by the loss of 2 personnel due to injury. And to Keith S who did a great job of organizing everything and leading the team. Today’s squad consisted: Andy R, John “the bobble hat” H, Alan, Nev, Keith H, Watford Mark, Keith B (who was called into duty after 2 players were injured) and Eddie the keeper. Thanks to Keith B and Dr. John for the photos. Also thank you to Chris, Iain and others who turned up to cheer on the Relics. Everyone wishes Nev and Alan a quick and full recovery. Match report by Dr. John.

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