GMWFL Spring 2022 – Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes’ valiant efforts

The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hooray! I drive up and am welcomed into Heywood by the sun wearing Ray-ban sun glasses and 2 trees in full pink blossom glory. These were good conditions for the Bury Relics stripes to produce high quality walking football, to build on their solid start they made last time out. More importantly, hopefully there was to be no injuries this time.

Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes versus Ribble Valley WFC.
The Bury stripes started well, with good passing and moving, just like in training. A chance was constructed for John M to have a shot at the Ribble goal but it was too high. The subsequent Ribble free-kick did not produce a meaningful attack, and in the following Relics attack, big Andy “van” R up-front, received the ball and was challenged by a Ribble defender. You could audibly hear the crunch of the tackle, but Andy’s feet were quick enough to glide the ball into a goal scoring position whilst remaining on his feet, with only the keeper to beat. Now, it was like the clock had stopped, as when Andy was about to shoot, the Ref belatedly decided to blow his whistle for a free-kick. In truth, the advantage should have been played as it was a goal scoring chance. Now, all the Ribble defence could get back into position to deal with the free-kick. From the following Relics move, Ribble quickly intercepted and passed promptly to their striker up-front, who let fly with a ferocious shot; Eddy was equal to it, to make a terrific save, and soon after Eddy had to make another save. Relics were playing reasonably well but had now given the ball away twice, to present chances to the Ribble. Eddy was keeping the sheet clean. Before half time, there was an improvement by Relics, where they built a chance for John M, who had a decent shot but was just too high. Half time, and Marshal Mont Ken decided to give Keith H a rest as he had worked his socks off up-front, trying to support the Relics midfield. Watford Mark was on in his place. The first shot on goal in the second period went to Ribble, who hit a hard one, low but wide of the goal; Eddy still had to make a dive to be sure. Tony G and Andy were battling well in the middle, trying to wrestle the ball away from the Ribble. From the resulting play, came the moment of the game for the Relics; they had battled hard to release Andy through the middle, with support from John M to his right. Andy “van” R was through on goal, about 6 yards out, and closing in on goal. I could imagine Andy’s brain minions making calculations on the best course of action. Should I shoot high? Low? Pass to John? The minions had their rulers, protractors and theodolites out, and precisely measured the final shot, that was a low and powerful side-foot, to the left of the diving goal-keeper. Goal! It was a great goal by Andy, and a good decoy by John, who had put the defence in 2 minds. The Relics continued to make good chances and John M made a good shot that was saved by their keeper. Then, in the dying moments of the game, one of the Ribble players almost produced a bit of magic, where he received the ball with his back to goal, span, and then hit a good shot that was saved by Eddy. Relief, as that was close. A great first game for the Relics, in terms of the result, but the Ribble had several chances of their own. 1 – 0 to the Stripes.
Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes 1 – 0 Ribble Valley WFC.

Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes versus Wakefield Wanderers Whites.
Wakefield began the game on the front foot, attacking the Relics goal, and only good defending by Wayne prevented a clear shot by the Wakefield attacker. The counter attack by the Relics, involved Andy getting a pass off to John M, who’s shot was blocked. Then, again, possession was regained by the Relics, which led to an Andy dribble and shot, which was also blocked. Wakefield then went down the other end, and produced an “Av It!” shot, to give Relics a free-kick. Then it was the Relics turn for an attack, where Tony G made a nice pass to John M, who made a quick turn and shot, but was unlucky as the keeper got to it. Keith H, not to be outdone by the earlier “Av It”, decided to try one himself, and his reached higher altitude. Then came a great multiple passing move by the Relics, involving Wayne, Keith, Andy and finally to John M, who was clean through on goal, only to be thwarted by the referees whistle for running. Watford Mark was now back on, and he was creating a lot of space for himself on the right, waiting to get a pass. Once he got the ball, he made good use of the possession to find John M in space, who shot was just wide. A good move. Then, after a Wakefield move and shot, Eddy got the ball to Tony G, who made a foray forward down the right side, and had a shot blocked and out for a corner to the Relics. The corner came to nothing but the subsequent Relics attack saw Jomo fire a pass to Mark, who shot wide. Then Wayne turned creator to find Keith H up-front, who fired a decent shot but just whistled wide, grazing the post on the way. Bury looked the better passing team but the foul count had accumulated to 3, and John M was on 2 himself. So, the team played cautiously until the final whistle went, for a 0-0 draw result.
Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes 0 – 0 Wakefield Wanderers Whites.

Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes versus Winstanley Walkers.
The first half was absolutely terrific for the Relics, with the theme of, all hands on deck. Winstanley are a very fit and mobile team and the Relics were marking them well defensively, which was a lot. The Winstanley striker had good ability, with a sharp turn that he employed often, and Eddy was called into action twice from his turn and shots. Great saves by Eddy, and the striker will be disappointed not to have scored at least one of them. Then Eddy was called into action a third time, as Winstanley fashioned another chance, but again Eddy made a good save. Big Andy R was battling away, and he won a free-kick, when their defender put his turbos on, and came from behind to get in front of him to intercept Wayne’s pass. However, the Ref spotted the dragster like pace and awarded the Relics a free-kick for running. The subsequent move came to nothing but what was now evident in the game, Andy was battling hard in midfield and was getting upset by some of the Winstanley tackles. Unfortunately, this led to a brain minion blowing a fuse, and quickly instructing Andy to commit a professional foul on one of their midfielders, who was getting away from him with the ball. The Ref was not happy and it was a free-kick to Winstanley. Then, half time came; The Relics had worked very hard in the first half and did well to come in at 0 – 0. For the second half, Ken re-shuffled the team and early on came the moment that may haunt Wayne and Eddy for a while, as it was severe top-spin that produced the only goal of the game. Winstanley attacked the Relics goal, and a ball was played up to their striker, hard along the turf, but the ball was not precisely passed and Wayne could see the opportunity to intercept by making a challenge. However, at the same time, their striker pictured in his mind, being carried around like a hero, if he could get there first and score to give the win for his team. Well, that did not exactly transpire, but it did lead to the goal. Two feet, one from Wayne and one from their attacker, reached the ball at the same time, but the attacker had more chalk on his toe-caps as the impact put a lot of top-spin on the ball, that Ronnie O’Sullivan will be proud of, and that enabled the ball to bounce like a bouncing bomb, and crucially, bounce over the despairing arms of Eddy the keeper and into the net. It was 1 – 0 to Winstanley. The last 5 minutes of the game showed that Winstanley know how to manage out a game, by not going all out attacking but just keeping possession. This was aided by their fitness as they were able to move around the pitch freely and find space to receive the passes. It should be noted though, one player was a reader of the Beano, and his favourite character must have been Billy Whizz, enough said. Winstanley were the stronger team but Relics were unlucky as Eddy had made several great saves in this game, only to end up being beaten by a top-spin ricochet. Result, 1 – 0 to Winstanley.
Bury Relics over 60’s Stripes 0 – 1 Winstanley Walkers.

The labour and efforts put in by all the team were appreciated. Ken and Keith S did a good job of guiding and organizing the team. Today’s squad consisted: Andy “van” R, John M “jomo”, Keith H, Watford Mark, Tony G, Wayne and Eddie the keeper. Thanks to Keith B for the photos, and a massive thank you to the injured Nev who turned up in his storm trooper boot to cheer on the Relics. Match report by Dr. John.

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