GMWFL Spring 2022 – Good day for the Relics 65’s

As usual we start with a weather report, feels like this is the Met Office not a walking football report! Heywood was set at perfect playing conditions for Match Day 3 for the over 65’s, chilly but dry and bright. The Relics started the day in second spot in the league, four points adrift of Corinthians but with eight games still to play, four of which were today …

The fixture schedule is very tough for the Relics with league champions Corinthians always first game each month.
The Relics started brightly with some good passing possession which resulted in a shot from John W on the right just going wide. Corinthians came back with a shot from Stewart that was also wide. On the next attack Graham W forced a good save from the Corinthians keeper as he cut in from the left hand side and got off a fine shot. Then controversy, in a tussle on the edge of the Relics box a Relics player was judged to have entered the box, penalty to Corinthians. Groans from the Relics side lines because the Relics had been the better team so far. The penalty was hit with confidence but Gaz made a fantastic save diving low down to his right to keep the ball out. Justice was done, great save Gaz. The game was fast paced with both teams exchanging spells of good possession, Tex and Gerry L were linking up well from the back, both getting forward and creating chances. JoMo had a shot saved and Corinthians had a shot over the bar. The Relics had a nervous moment towards the end when they were punished for a back pass, but the play from the free kick was eventually save by Gaz.
An excellent game played at a fast pace. Well played both teams. Final score 0 – 0

The tough games continue with Manchester Senior Citizens. The Relics continued from where they left off against Corinthians with some great passing and movement the first chance followed one such move, Gerry L > JoMo > Gerry L > John W who shot just wide. Relics went ahead when a bad throw out from the Citizens keeper to his left back put the left back under pressure because JoMo was onto him in a flash. The full back’s attempted pass out to midfield was half blocked by JoMo and the ball fell into the path of John W, and with his, red boots still producing the magic, hit a fabulous hard and low strike past the keeper.
The Relics continued to dominate with Gaz in the Relics goal not having much to do. The Citizens keeper on the other hand was kept on his toes by shots from Pete Shev, Graham W, Gerry L, and JoMo all keeping him busy.
Final Score Relics 1 Citizens 0

Next up were Rochdale who started the day at the foot of the table but it would still be a tough game. Rochdale had the opening salvo with a couple of shots that were both wide, one across the front of Gaz’s goal. This was followed by a lot of pressure from the Relics. A shot from John W that went wide. Then Gerry who was linking up well from the back had another shot wide. This was just target practice because his next shot was on target but well saved. A flowing interchange from Gerry > JoMo > John W was finished superbly by John W with a hard low shot from distance, but was too fast for the keeper to close his legs. Relics 1 – 0 up.
Rochdale hit back quickly after a speculative shot from the half way line squirmed under Gaz as he went down. Relics 1 – Rochdale 1
Relics were now on 3 fouls so had to tread carefully but kept pressing with a shot from John W that was wide. And a final effort from Gerry put through by an excellent ball from Graham but Gerry’s shot was just wide. Full time 1 – 1

The final game of the day was against Preston who are always difficult to play against and dangerous going forward. The Relics defence played well and stopped Preston from having any clear cut chances, Pete doing a good job at marking their main striker.
At the other end Graham manoeuvred himself into a great chance with some close control on the edge of the Preston area, his dummy shot brought the Preston keeper to her knees but Graham’s chip was too strong and sailed over the bar.
Preston were living dangerously and soon clocked up four fouls resulting in a penalty for the Relics which Graham made no mistake with to put te Relics 1 – 0 up.
Tex doubled the lead wit a thunderous low hard shot from distance that gave the keeper no chance 2 – 0 to the Relics.
Final score Relics 2 – 0 Preston.
Later it was revealed that Tex was actually wearing John W’s old black boots, so was it the magic boots Mk 1 that did the trick for Tex? Watch this space.

So, eight points for the Relics from the day, four great performances, and more magic boots, things are looking up.
Well done to all the players Gaz (Gk), Gerry L, Tex, Pete Shev, JoMo, Graham W, John W. and Manager Ken. Thanks too for all the support on the side lines.

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

GMWFL Spring 2022 – Over 60’s Stripes unbeaten

The Relics over 60’s stripes welcomed new signing Carl H to a sunny but chilly Heywood Sports Village for Match day 3 of the GMWFL over 60’s Spring 2022 season. As usual Heywood had its own micro climate with the rest of north Manchester having a sunnier and warmer day than Heywood.

The Relics started slowly in the first game against Ribble Valley with Ribble keeping possession for the first few minutes and the Relics not getting a look in. After a bit of possession from both sides the Relics nearly got a chance when Andy Rich nearly intercepted a Ribble move but the “oohhh” from the Relics fans on the side lines meant that he had just missed it.
Ribble carved out a chance with a good passing move and powerful shot from the left hand side that thundered off the inside of the far post, across the front of the Relics goal and out for a throw in on the left, a let of for the Relics. The Relics looked dis-jointed and couldn’t really get going. Half time 0 – 0
The Relics found it difficult to get into their rhythm in the second half and a few stray passes presented Ribble with good chances that were squandered with off target shots. Relics rookie Carl finished off a good move with a shot that was saved by the Ribble keeper.
Full time Relics 0 Ribble Valley 0

The Relics were more awake for the second game against Wakefield, but Wakefield started with the first period of possession which resulted in a shot that was over head height and over the bar. Relics replied with a good move from John H to Carl whose shot was saved. Wakefield where getting players free and creating chances. A good shot from distance from a Wakefield player rattled the same post that had been hit in the first game and came out back into play. Shortly before the break that post frustrated Wakefield once again when a powerful shot hit it and rebounded back into play, but stayed out of the net much to the Relics relief and at half time it was still 0 – 0
The Relics went ahead early in the second half when Carl threaded a pass in between two Wakefield players to Andy who strode forward a couple of paces and put a powerful left food shot into the net. Some good blocks from Pete Shev kept Wakefield out.
Full Time Relics 1 – Wakefield 0

Boosted by the victory the Relics where full of confidence going into the last game of the day was against Winstanley Walkers who had beaten the Relics in the previous two months games. Winstanley had the first couple of chances with a shot saved by Eddy then a neat turn and shot that Eddy also saved.
The Relics than carved out a chance which Carl managed to get on the end of, his left foot shot beat the keeper but the same post that had been busy all day got into the limelight once again as it was struck by Carls shot. Both sides had more chances but the half ended 0 – 0
Winstanley had a good chance with a man free down the right hand side but his shot, would you believe it, hit the post. Winstanley committed a few fouls in quick succession which resulted in a four offence penalty for the Relics. Andy Rich stepped up and hit his shot firmly and confidently down to the keeper’s bottom right hand corner, but the keeper had guessed correctly and pulled off a good save. A moral victory for the Relics but the Final score ended up Relics 0 Winstanley 0

So the Relics were unbeaten on the day. After a shaky start they got better every game. Newcomer Carl H made a good impression in his first league games, but the overall winner was the post that was kept busy all morning.

Well done to all the players Eddie (GK), Pete Shev, Mark T, Watford Mark, John H, Alan B, Carl H, Andy Rich and Manager Ken. Thanks for all the support on the sidelines.

Thanks to Nikon Nev for the photos who is now challenging Kodak Keith. ‘

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

A fabulous and well-deserved win for the over 65’s in the National Cup

Bury Relics v Wigan Winstanley Walkers in the 2nd round of the National Cup.

For me it was a straightforward drive to Wigan via 2 motorways, without any particular hazard to impair my progress. Compare that to the team, they had to endure roadworks and diversions around Wigan. However, the sun was shining and all the team had arrived on time despite their difficulties getting here. The warm up was interesting, Gaz came with double gloves, as if he was expecting to be handling hot pizzas from an oven, but he assured me that it was because Wigan had one or two hot strikers. The Wizard of Oz midfielder had turned up complete with his magic red slippers and all the team zipped passes around the pitch and warmed up Gaz in goal. Some preliminaries took place, that included Ken giving the team a battle plan team talk, and then a small tutorial ensued by the referee on what is and what is not allowed. The team was now plugged in, switched on, and ready to go.

First half
The Relics got the game under way and got immediately on the attack. John W (Red slippers) passed the ball centrally up to Graham, who controlled while under pressure, then played the ball back to Jomo in midfield. His return pass back to Graham was partially intercepted, but this did the Relics a favour as that presented a chance for John W to side foot a hard shot just wide of the Winstanley right hand post. A good start. Then, it was the turn of Winstanley to show they can play football too. From a Relics free-kick and subsequent passes, Winstanley intercepted and then cleverly passed the ball around the team, keeping possession, pretty much like the Relics do in training, with the 3 touches rule. The Relics do well to mark them and close down the Winstanley players, and eventually, a tackle from behind gives Winstanley a free-kick. When the Relics regain possession, the adjectives and superlatives to describe the next passage of play include: delicious, sumptuous, sensational and terrific. The Relics pass the ball in between their opponents, whilst simultaneously finding space. Passing interchanges between Jomo, John W, Stewart and finally to Graham up-front. All of a sudden, a spotlight appears on Graham, like at a Rock concert, he uses his guile and skill, first to trick the defender by looking to pass it back into midfield but instead turning his defender, so that he is now one on one with the keeper. He then dummies the keeper by feigning a shot, and then moves the ball to his left as the keeper makes a dive down, then Graham nonchalantly aims a delicate shot to the other side of the goal. Lots of Oohs from the supporters; It was almost a sensational goal, but the ball ends up kissing the right-hand post, and it remained 0 – 0. However, the relics were now passing well and talking to each other. Gaz plays the ball out to Jomo, who passes to Stewart via John W and then to Tex, who spots a gap and drives forward into the space. He spots Jomo further forward and feeds him the ball. Jomo decides he hasn’t enough space to shoot, so plays the ball back into midfield, to John W, who is advancing towards goal. He then plays an accurate pass to Graham, who plays it back to him. John W then “twinkle toes” it, in his red slippers, past a static Winstanley defence, to score a good goal. John W controls it with his left, and then right side foots a shot under the dive of the Winstanley keeper, to give a well-deserved 1 – 0 lead for the Relics.

From the kick-off, Winstanley are straight on the attack and Tex does well at centre back to take the ball away from the attacker who attempted to take him on. He then had the presence of mind to play a quick ball to Jomo, who had multiple defenders chasing him, like stewards chasing an on-pitch streaker. However, Jomo manages to make space for himself to take a shot, but the Ref adjudged it as running. In the subsequent play, Relics managed to get the ball back to Gaz in goal, who played a sublime pass down the middle to Graham, who hit a first time pass to Stewart. Then the Winstanley defence decided to admire Stewarts movement forward and not to challenge or meet him; that was a risky move, as Stewart can be deadly with his shots, and so he let fly, for the ball just to go wide. Winstanley now have a small period of possession that is broken up by a good challenge by Graham, who is fighting hard. The ball breaks to Tex, who plays the ball to Graham, who looks to shoot with his right, to put the defender off, and then cutting inside and shooting with his left. A good effort but not enough power to beat the keeper. Then a similar situation occurs, when the Relics manage to intercept the ball from Winstanley, who have just made several passes, for the Relics to then pass around the whole team, patiently trying to find an opening. On this occasion, Winstanley regain possession but still, it was great passing by the Relics. Then there was good fortune on two counts for Winstanley; the first was when a Winstanley defender tries to dribble the ball out of defence, using his skill and also pace. He gets passed one Relics player but his touch is too strong and Stewart nips in to intercept. The Winstanley player looked like he was running to me, but the Ref adjudged that it was Stewart running, a free-kick to Winstanley. Winstanley then played several passes, and the formation meant that the defender of Winstanley had moved forward and spotted he may be able to get goal side of Stewart. But Stewart was aware of this and started to move back to mark him. However, it was an unlucky trip by Stewart that meant the player was free to hit a first-time shot past Gaz to equalize for Winstanley. Very unlucky for the Relics and against the run of play but a good finish from their player. The score was now 1 each.

From the kick-off, another chance to the Relics when John W finds Graham up-front, who takes his time to assess all his options. He decides on turning and shooting, and nearly a goal, but for a deflection and good save by their keeper. Then, yet another chance for the Relics, this time John W plays a one-two with Jomo, and hits a powerful drive just wide. The subsequent move for the Relics ends with a Jomo powerful shot, but into the keeper’s hands. Their keeper spots a Winstanley attacker on the right side, in a bit of space, and bowls the ball to his feet. Tex is about a yard away, when the attacker moves forward and knocks the ball past one side of Tex, and runs around the other side of Tex, trying to catch the ball. As the attacker is moving at pace to get to his own ball (speed up Benny Hill style), many of the Relics players and supporters are already claiming running, but the Ref is unmoved. The attacker gets to the ball and finishes passed a stunned Gaz in goal. That was a controversial goal with Relics players/supporters unhappy but nevertheless, Winstanley are now with a 2 -1 lead.

Things quickly calm down and the Relics concentrate on their play but at the same time, Winstanley seem energized by their second goal. Play becomes a bit scrappy, with possession quickly changing hands, with Winstanley getting on the attack. Two decent blocks by Tex prevent Gaz from getting his oven gloves dirty and then a free-kick to Relics for a Winstanley run. On the subsequent Relics move, there is some juicy and silky skill by Jomo, who uses sublime control to move the ball around a defender and hits a hard shot on target, only for a good save from the Winstanley keeper to preserve their lead. That’s the last interesting action of the half, and the score at half time was 2 – 1 to Winstanley.

Second half
The beginning of the second half shows the best Winstanley move of the game, where they intercept the ball from the Relics, and quickly pass it down the line on the Winstanley right wing. The Winstanley player receives the ball almost on the byline and plays a great and low cross, right across the area, for an advanced Winstanley player to hit a first time shot, hard and onto to the crossbar. If that was on target, it will have been a tremendous save by Gaz to keep that out. As it was, a let off for the Relics. Winstanley must have had their Lucozade as they were keeping possession well in the first part of this half. However, Relics were pressing them well, with good vocal instruction and support from Ken, Keiren and Keith on the side. Winstanley again tried to create chances only for the Relics to intercept and play a ball to Jomo in midfield, who took a touch to steady himself, and then let fly with a long range shot that had their keeper sprawling to his left; it was just wide but very close. In the subsequent play, the Relics were marking up perfectly, that meant their keeper panicked a little, and put the ball straight out of play. A battle was brewing in midfield, where both teams were trying to gain possession and create openings. Good passing between Stewart and Pete, and then a pass up-front, led to a kick-in to the Relics. More good passing, culminating in a pass up to Graham, who spotted that Jomo was free of his marker and had now moved to the edge of the box. Jomo received the ball from Graham, and tried to place a shot, low to the right-hand side of goal. So close, as the ball pings off the post and goes wide. Interchanges in possession now occurs and serves as a prelude to some nice play by Pete, who, with his razor-sharp reflexes, manages to intercept a pass from their defender and hit a first-time zipper shot into the keeper’s arms. Either side of the keeper and that was a goal, unlucky Peter. And again, an interception by Pete leads to a free-kick to the Relics. This was a clever free-kick. Graham waits for movement, with eventually John W making a move, close to the ball. Graham cleverly taps the ball with his foot, and John W takes over and moves the ball with the defence static, gets free to shoot at goal. As is familiar in this game by now, the shot is good but hits the post and doesn’t go in, and it seems the luck is not with the Relics. However, what transpires next is probably one the best ever walking football corners and goal I’ve seen. There was once recently, where Stewart scored a beauty of a half volley from a corner in another game. But this was just as good. John W used his magic red slippers to provide a perfectly weighted cross that was about a foot off the ground. Graham was in a perfect position on the edge of the area to receive the ball, who side-foot volleyed the ball passed the keeper, who had no chance at all. A roar of appreciation from the Relics players and supporters; that was an excellent equalizer for 2 -2.

Play continued with Winstanley winning a kick-in at a defensive position. However, once they passed forward, they lost possession and the Relics team quickly moved the ball up-front, which was passed back to John W in midfield. He looked up and saw that he had time to shoot, so he loaded up his right foot and hit a powerful shot that the keeper got a hand to. Then, in another Relics attack, a free-kick was won. Graham and John W were again the architects, and a vicious shot by John W shuddered against the right-hand post. Great power and very close to a goal for the Relics. Again, it was another free-kick to the Relics for a Winstanley hand ball. This time, an interchange between Graham and Stewart gave the latter a chance of a shot, and Stewart made no mistake, hitting an arrow of a shot high and over the keeper into the net. A sensational strike and now the Relics leading at 3 – 2.

Then, on the next attack, it was time for a bit of luck for the Relics. Most of the move was not down to luck but good play, which started with Pete winning the ball from a Winstanley player, and quickly playing an accurate pass to Graham up-front. He looked up and could see the dazzling red of John W’s slippers in space. Graham played a quick ball, that enabled John to hit a powerful shot first time at the Winstanley goal. Usually, the ball would spin wide, hit the post or the keeper would save, but not this time. The shot was into the midriff area of the keeper, who got both hands on it. However, the power on the shot took the ball vertically up with spin, and as gravity pulled the ball down, the ball bounced and span promptly into the net, just as the keeper was looking to see where it had gone. Despair for Winstanley but ecstasy for the Relics, who were now 4 – 2 in front.

Winstanley did try and press forward to get a goal back, but the Relics kept intercepting and getting the ball forward. The last action of the game was exactly this; Relics winning the ball back and playing it up to Graham, who had a shot that was defected and into the keeper’s arms. The final whistle went soon after and the result was a 4 – 2 win for Bury Relics.
Final Score; Bury Relics 4, Wigan Winstanley Walkers 2.

The Relics were the dominant side in this game and played some excellent football, while Winstanley gave a good account of themselves, with a couple of well worked chances themselves. That said, Bury were mostly on top in this, and had around 20 shots to Winstanley’s 5, so it was a well-deserved win. Recently, the Relics had had some bad luck with decisions and at one point, it looked like something similar could happen here. However, the Relics did not let it affect them, and it was a credit to everyone that they got on with the game and concentrated hard to produce a good team performance.

Thank you for all the efforts by today’s squad, which consisted: John M “Jomo”, Graham W, Stewart W, Pete S, Tex, John W (red slippers) and oven-glove Gaz the keeper. Also, thanks to Ken the manager who did a good job, providing a good game plan and encouraging the team from the side. Additional support and assistance were given by Keiren and Keith S on the side-lines. A big thank you to Winstanley, who provided a ref, changing facilities, nice brews and tasty biscuits afterward; they made the Relics feel welcome. Match report by Dr. John.

Video highlights, first half, click here
Video highlights, second half, click here

A brave effort by Bury Relics over 60’s in round 2 of the National Cup

Match report from Bury Relics v Fleetwood Town Flyers in the 2nd round of the National Cup.

When turning into the carpark today for this match, I had to check I was not dreaming, as the carpark was full of cars and there were lots of people milling about; I had to check that I had not turned up to a Premier league game by mistake, there were so many people. All was good, and it was the case of multiple games being played at the same time. In the sunshine, nearly all the Relics players and staff, who regularly train and play together, turned up to the support the over 60’s Relics team in the second round of the cup.  

First half
Fleetwood (FW) kicked off the game but Bury Relics quickly gained possession. However, their first move led to a missed placed pass and out for a kick-in to FW. A fast kick-in by Fleetwood catches the Relics off guard, and in the melee that ensued in the Relics defence, one player falls over when trying to get into defensive position, and that left an overload for Fleetwood. The tall Orange boots attacker laid it off to their fast right winger, in acres of space, who hit a hard shot across the goal, very accurately, to score; 1 – 0 to Fleetwood. It was a tremendous strike but with some good fortune for Fleetwood, as an unlucky fall of a Relics defender meant the fast winger was completely free and had time to shoot. This gave Relics a shock and impetus to find an equalizer. This included a move of several passes around the team, involving all outfield players, leading to Graham having a ferocious shot that will have definitely warmed the goalkeeper’s hands, but unfortunately not a goal. The Relics were now looking comfortable in possession, with passes finding their teams mates; this led to a good move with Jomo setting up Graham, but was saved by the keeper. A tackle from behind on Graham gave a free-kick to the Relics. Jomo was thinking fast, and he quickly set up the ball to Terry, who hit a powerful shot that was just blocked by a defender, but a brilliant effort nonetheless. Subsequently, Fleetwood got the ball down the Relics end, which gave centre stage to Keith S, to make a superb tackle on Orange boots, and to stop a possible goal scoring chance. Both teams were playing good passes and finding team mates but both teams were also making tackles, leading to many exchanges in possession. An interception by Terry found Stewart, who then made a good pass inside to Keith but the move broke down, where Fleetwood retreated the ball back to their own keeper. But then, it was superb play by Keith S, who anticipates a Fleetwood pass and intercepts it. But not only does he gain valuable possession for the Relics, he is alert enough to make a prompt goal-scoring chance for graham, by giving him a precise and crisp pass to his feet. Graham takes an expert touch, and then smashes the ball passed a shell-shocked Fleetwood keeper, low to the keepers left, and it bulges into the net; 1 goal each now. All the Relics supporters and ball boys appreciated that, and were clapping and applauding the good play and equalizing goal. Play resumes, and another great move by the Relics; Jomo passes the ball up to graham, who turns and takes the defender away from the onrushing Jomo, who gets a return pass, and he smashed the ball across the goal but just wide. A great move and very close to another goal. And what a move! Terry sets Graham free down the right-hand side, and he looks up, and sees that Stewart has intelligently found space across the other side of the Fleetwood box. So, Graham passes the ball across, for Stewart to make a first and well-timed volley shot, that was just inches over the bar. Very close and a great move. Then, within a minute, Stewart is clean through on goal, and makes a good and powerful shot, but the keeper manages to save it. Now it’s FW on the attack, and Orange boots finds space up-front and tries to turn Terry, but he stands firm and gets a foot in and prevents a goal with a great tackle. Then it’s Orange boots again, as he does some great skill to take on 2 Relics defenders on the edge of the box, and somehow gets free to have a shot. Lucky for the Relics, the shot goes wide but it was very good skill to manufacture that chance. Then disaster strikes, as on the next Fleetwood attack, the fast winger on the right takes on a Relics player at pace on the outside, with a Lee Sharpe like run, moving the ball passed the defender and then striding past to strike the ball hard and accurate across the goal to score. Maybe a hint of running while getting passed the defender but the Ref did not think so. A good goal for them but demoralizing for the Relics, who had been playing fabulous stuff since they conceded early on. Nevertheless, the Relics had a chance to reply in the dying moments of the first half. Keith is set free with a ball down the middle, from about half way, and well ahead of any defender, he does well to make sure he does not break into a run, while approaching the ball. When he reaches it, he steadies himself and shoots hard to the left of the keeper, but the keeper gets a touch on it. The ball ricochets out to Keith, who hits it again, first time, but the shot does not have the pace to reach the goal. Unlucky and a good effort by Keith. A toot on the whistle means it’s half time and 2 – 1 to Fleetwood Flyers.

Second half
Another toot on the Whistle meant it was the second half, with the Relics kicking off and straight on the attack; resulting in a corner to the Relics. Jomo played a short corner to Stewart who, with the knowledge that a defender was close and goal side of him, intelligently played it back. Jomo was incisive with his decision, and took a first-time snap shot at goal, that went across goal and wide. Although it missed, it was superb quick thinking worked effort, with good improvisation for a shot, in a difficult and congested situation. Then Fleetwood attacked, which culminated with their fast winger having a shot, after tussling with Graham. As the shot was saved well by Gary, with an agile and quick dive, there was the obligatory complaint of a foul by the Fleetwood winger but nothing was given, “play on” the Ref said. In the subsequent play, Fleetwood create a chance, but this is blocked by Jomo and out for a corner. From the corner, good Relics play intercepts and releases Stewart down the middle. However, on this occasion, because the ball was running away, Stewart had to run to catch up to it, and that was called Running by the Ref. Unlucky, it was a half chance. Two chances for the Relics in quick succession see both Jomo and Graham shoot just wide. And again, the Relics gain possession, feed the ball to Graham, who makes a good pass to Stewart, who shoots just wide. Then disaster strikes again, when a pass on the left-hand side of the Relics box is played up to the Orange boot player, who turns and bamboozles the defence, to be in space. But the ball is running away from him towards the box. He lunges and gets a toe-poke to take it past Gaz in goal to score. The ball, when it was struck, was right on the edge of the area, and it was hard to see if it was definitely in or outside when struck. The only person to make that decision was the Ref, and he said Goal; 3 – 1 to Fleetwood. A sucker punch as the Relics had been piling on the attacks and been playing well. The subsequent play led to a Fleetwood free-kick, and they passed well around several players, to make space for a player coming up from the back, who shot but was wide. Then it was the Relics turn to attack, and Stewart gets very roughly tackled and takes a tumble. In the Heywood league that will probably be a Blue card for the perpetrator, and the tackle reminded me of something from 11-aside Sunday morning football. Anyway, it was a free-kick and that fired up the Relics. Terry makes a great pass up to Stewart, who turns and is now ahead of his marker. He smashes a shot against the post, which shuddered like a tuning fork. That was an awesome effort and very close. Almost immediately after that chance, the Relics regain possession and feed the ball to Stewart again, he shoots about shoulder height and over the diving keeper, but narrowly wide of the post. The Relics are really pressing to get back into the game. And again, Graham finds some space down the left-hand side, and hits a shot right across the goal, but alas, not on target this time. Fleetwood respond by supplying their #20 with a ball just outside the box; he spins and hits a low and hard shot to Gaz’s right, but Gaz is having none of it, and makes a good save. The Relics reply, with a sublime pass from Jomo to Stewart, who is now one on one with their keeper. He hits a powerful and low shot, but the keeper makes probably one of the best saves of his life. A good chance and a great save. Then, Controversy strikes. Orange boots up front for Fleetwood, gets the ball and takes on a Relics defender and gets past him, using guile but also speed. In response, the Relics defender makes an awesome last-ditch tackle, by poking the ball away, through the attacker’s legs. However, the Ref saw the incident completely differently and awarded Fleetwood a penalty for denying them a goal-scoring chance. I thought it was a great tackle. Fleetwood score the penalty to make it 4 – 1. From the kick-off, the Relics work the ball to Terry, who shoots across their goal and wide; close. Fleetwood attack again, but Pete makes a great challenge against Orange boots; he does not cleanly win the ball, but the challenge is robust enough to put their striker off, and no danger for the Relics. However, orange boots was not satisfied after that and on Fleetwoods subsequent attack, he beat the Relics defence on the left hand side of the box, and scored with a low shot across the goal to the right, to make it 5 -1 to Fleetwood. Relics again toil to get the ball forward and score, but loss of possession gives the ball back to Fleetwood. Then, the Orange boots player holds the ball up well and lays it off to an attacking full back on the left, which leads to another goal. The full-back shoots high above Gary and into the net to make it 6 – 1. And that was that, the final whistle went soon after.

Final Score; Bury Relics over 60’s 1, Fleetwood Town Flyers 6

The Relics made many chances to score, and on another day, the final score could have been much closer to Fleetwood. The quick and incisive passing of the Relics was countered by the artistry and individual skill of some of the Fleetwood players. Another factor were the rules the Relics usually play to in the Heywood league. They are different to those in this cup. Effectively, you can just keep committing offences and not have to worry about 4 fouls and a penalty. In any case, a good effort by the Relics against a good quality team.

Thank you for all the efforts made by all the team. Today’s squad consisted: John M “jomo”, Graham W, Keith S, Terry H, Stewart W, Pete S and Gaz the keeper. Also, thanks to the manager who did a good job; Ken gave good advice and fired up the team. Thanks to Keith H for the great photos, and to applaud a big turnout of supporters, who gave good support, helped muck in as ball-boys and set up the pitch etc. Thanks to Pat, Mandy, Keith and John for doing brews. Match report by Dr. John.

GMWFL Spring 2022 – Great effort from the depleted over 60’s

Another weather summary to start, and what a difference a day makes, today was sunny skies and moderate temperatures, great weather for playing walking football.
The Relics over 60’s whites needed a good day having started the day at the foot of Division 1.

It was a tough start for the Relics in a top v bottom clash against a very talented, quick, and tough Kingsmaid who started the day top of the league.
Kingsmaid were on the offensive right from the start testing Gaz in the Relics goal from the kick off, forcing Gaz into a number of good saves one of which left looking round for the ball but he managed to get his bearings and stop the ball from spinning over the line.
The Relics task was a tough one and it became even tougher when Terry was hit by a hard tackle and had to come off. That was the end of Terry’s playing time for the day as he took no further part in any games.
The Relics gave as good as they got with JoMo, Dog, and Graham W combining well and testing the Kingsmaid keeper. Eventually the Kingsmaid pressure paid off when a low hard shot beat Gaz to put them 1 – 0 up.
Kingsmaid were now playing keep ball stopping the Relics from getting possession. The Relics kept the pressure on with a great sharp turn and left foot shot from Graham went just wide. Other attempts on the Kingsmaid goal from JoMo, Dog, and Graham were all close.
In the final moments the Relics committed a foul just outside the Relics box, the ref deemed it a goal scoring opportunty and therefore a penalty to Kingsmaid. The penalty was well place and hit too strong for Gaz. The final whistle went as soon as the penalty went in.
Final score Relics 0 – Kingmaid 2
It was a good performance from the Relics that wasn’t reflected in the scoreline.

A tough day continued with the next game against second in the table Corinthians.
Both teams started well. Corinthians tested Gaz who was called into action with a great couple of saves. Relics responded with some great passing moves forcing the Corinthians keeper into some good saves.
Relics went ahead from a fantastic flowing move from the back. Gaz to Graham who passed to Dog, he found JoMo with a great through ball, JoMo kept his composure and slotted a great ball past the keeper. Relics 1 – 0 up.
Relics were now on top with shots from Keith S and Graham saved by the keeper, and Dog shooting just wide. Relics where playing keep-ball themselves now but it didn’t stop Corinthians from getting forward and creating chances, one shot hit the corner of the crossbar and the post, another forced Gaz into a great save down low to his left hand side. The Relics held on to achieve a memorable win, with a great all round performance.

Next up was another tough game, this time against Rochdale.
The Relics continued where they left off against Corinthians playing fast paced, pass and move, football with new signing Gordon, (Dog) impressive in midfield.
The Relics created some great chance from flowing passing moves. Dog > JoMo > Graham, turn and shot just wide. Dog > Graham > Jo<o shot blocked.
Rochdale replied with a long range shot from the right hand side nearly caught Gaz out but he pulled off a save to tip the ball over for a corner. Then from a Rochdale breakaway Gaz made another save.
The action concluded with more Relics flowing passing moves, Graham, > JoMo > Graham whose shot was saved.
A super performance from the Relics who were a little unlucky to only finish with a 0 – 0 draw.

Final game of the day for The Relics was Wakefield. This was another close game.
Wakefield started well with a strong shot that Gaz saved, pushing it over for a corner. Then a quick turn and shot through a Relics defenders legs was well saved by Gaz.
The Relics continued to play good flowing, passing football. Keith S had a great chance. Following an interchange of passes between Keith S > Dog > JoMo > Dog, Keith S made a good overlap down the left and got the ball from Dog his left foot shot was just wide, but what a great move.
At the back Wayne and Keith S were restricting were restricting the Wakefield chances, and when they did get through Gaz was there to make key saves. Another competitive performance from the Relics, but no goals and a final score of Relics 0 – Wakefield 0

Another tough day at Heywood for the Relics summed up very nicely by coach Ken on the WhatsApp group … “Well what a tremendous effort from the 60s today with only 6 outfield players fit and then Terry gets injured in our first game and Pat subbing for us plus a player I borrowed, we played some great stuff and won 1-nil v Corinthians drew nil nil with both Rochdale and Wakefield and lost to Kingsmaid, but give them a tough game. Really proud of the effort and some cracking we’ve found a gem in the dog.”

Well done to all the Relics: Gaz (gk), Tony G, Wayne, Keith S, Terry H, JoMo, Graham W. Gordon (Dog), Super sub Pat, Manager Ken B.

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

GMWFL Spring 2022 – 10 point day for the Relics over 70’s

Typical Heywood weather of cloudy skies, heavy rain, and freezing breeze greeted the players as they arrived at Heywood for game day three for the over 70’s. Thankfully the Relics play was in total contrast with bright football that brought a ten point haul from the day’s four games.

First game of the day for the Relics was Blackpool.
The Relics started well, keeping possession, and working the ball forward which resulted in a shot from Keiran going wide. Blackpool replied with a shot that was also wide. Another passing move from the back for the Relics resulted in a shot from Keiran well saved by the Blackpool keeper. Tex was running the play now and seemed to be everywhere, he found some space on the left, cut in and shot but was just wide. The Relics struck when a pass from defence found Keiran free in the inside right position, his shot cannoned in of the far post to put the Relics 1 – 0 up.
The Relics lost their rhythm after the goal and Blackpool took advantage with a shot wide following a free kick, then a misdirected pass from the Relics defence was intercepted but the resultant shot from Blackpool was over head height.
The Relics finally regained their composure with shots from Keiran going wide, a rare shot from Tony P went narrowly wide, Tex capped the action off with a carry from the halfway line and low grass cutter shot that was inches wide.
Final score Relics 1 – Blackpool 0

Next up was Rochdale. Last season’s champions started the day top of the league. A tough game was in prospect.
Rochdale started with a long spell of possession but it wasn’t long before the Relics started working their magic with John W and Tex working well together down the left hand side with Tex feeding John W who shot wide, then Tex shot high and wide, John W had another shot just wide. John W then pounced on a mis-control from a Rochdale defender, set himself up and blasted a shot passed the Rochdale keeper. Relics 1 – 0 up.
Jerry could have doubled the Relics lead but his shot was saved, and John W worked himself into a great position but shot just wide. A great performance from the Relics.
Final score Relics 1 Rochdale 0

Another tough game followed this time against Manchester Senior Citizens, which are always tough games. However the Relics were full of confidence after the opening two wins. The Relics started well with John W shooting wide following a free kick. The Citizens then played a period of possession with neither side really testing the others keeper.
The game was a tough midfield battle with both teams struggling to gain control. Then a pass from Dave Mo from the back found John W free on the edge of the box, who took his time and blasted his shot past the keeper. Relics 1 – 0 up
The last half-chance of the game came when a great turn and pass from John W found Jerry whose powerful shot was saved by the keeper.
Final score Relics 1 – Citizens 0

So into the last game of the day. The Relics had gone three wins from three games; could they make it a full house against Preston?
Not quite! The Relics were on top for most of this game and started with a turn and shot from Keiran that was saved. Tex ha a hard low shot that just went outside the far post before John W set him up again but the shot was well saved by the keeper.
Preston replied with a well worked shot that was saved by Eddie.
Keiran worked himself a good opening but his shot from a tight angle was saved. John W then ha a fantastic effort from the left hand side, following a free kick Johns shot was heading into the bottom right hand corner, but the keeper made a fantastic save to tip it round the post.
Preston had a couple of good chances that Eddie was equal to. Keiran then set up Tex but the shot was again brilliantly tipped round the post by the Preston keeper. John W ad the final piece of action when he worked himself a good opening on the right hand side but his powerful left foot shot was just wide. Preston had held on for a draw.
Final Score Relics 0 – Preston 0

A good day at the office for John W, and his ‘Wizard of Oz’ red boots getting two of the three Relics goals, which resulted in 10 points from a possible 12 for the Relics and saw them leapfrog from third position in the league to top of the table with one match day (4 games) left to play.

Well done to all the players Eddie (GK), Bob D, Tony P. Dave Mo, Pete A, Jerry S, John W, Tex, and Keiran, and Manager Keith S. Thanks for all the supporters that braved the weather.

Thanks as usual to Kodak Keith for the photo’s

… and finally the sun came out.

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

National Cup Round 2 – Fixture dates confirmed.

Dates have been confirmed for the Relics fixtures in Round 2 of the Pharmacy2U WFA National Cup. The dates, times, and venues are below …

Over 60’s –
Bury Relics v Fleetwood Town Flyers, Sat 7th May, kick off 11am,
Goshen Sports Centre, Tennyson Avenue, Bury BL9 9RG

Over 65’s –
Winstanley Walkers v Bury Relics, Sun 15th May, kick off 2pm
Little Lane, Goose Green, Wigan, WN3 6PZ

Spectators are welcome at both games, so come along and support The Relics.

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

GMWFL Spring 2022 – 65’s unbeaten after match day 2

Match Day 2 for the over 65’s started with the Relics unbeaten from Match Day 1, but still in 2nd from bottom spot in the league on a total of four points, one point from each of the Match Day one games. The Relics needed to turn the draws into wins to keep in touch with the league leaders.

The first game was against league leaders Corinthians. The game started well for the Relics with a good period of possession that fizzled out on the edge of the Corinthians area. Corinthians replied with their own period of possession which ended with a shot that went wide.
The Relics started to play some great football and created half a chance for Graham W but the ball just ran away from him. Shortly after Graham was away on a break from the Relics half, one on one with the keeper but the keeper saved Grahams effort, the rebound broke to John W who’s shot was also saved by the keeper. The Relics were really well on top now, playing really good football. Tex had another effort that went just wide, then Graham had another long carry from the half way line and with Corinthians defenders bearing down on him from all angles he shot just wide.
Corinthians had one effort from the left hand side which Gaz got down well to save, then shortly after had a weak shot that went wide.
The Corinthian foul count was mounting up now, and inevitably the four-offence penalty came to the Relics. Graham W stepped up calmly and slotted the ball into the net with power and precision. Relics 1 – 0 up, and thoroughly deserved.
The Relics were soon on 3 foul themselves and in the last couple of minutes, following a nervous spell, committed another which resulted in a penalty for Corinthians which was put away confidently giving Gaz no chance. 1 – 1. Corinthians had snatched a draw at the death and the Relics had drawn again!
Final score Relics 1 – Corinthians 1

The Relics couldn’t carry the great form from the first game into second game against Manchester Senior Citizens. The game was a tight midfield game with the Citizens having the most of the shots, the most notable hitting Gaz’s post. Following a breakaway The Citizens squandered another chance by shooting wide.
The Relics responded with a great shot from JoMo, but that was just wide. The final whistle blew and the Relics had drawn again!
Final score Relics 0 – Citizens 0

The next game was Rochdale, who started the day bottom of the table, but on the same number of points as The Relics. Could the Relics stop the run of draws and get a win?
The Relics were on top for all the game, Graham showed off his footwork skills on the edge of the box but the Rochdale defender managed to get a toe in. The Relics continued to press, and a shot from a tight angle on the right hand side from John W, was initially stopped by the keeper, but JW’s bright new red boots put so much spin on the ball that it rolled back over the keeper into the net. Relics 1 – 0 up.

It wasn’t long before the Relics doubled the lead when a through ball from JoMo found John W free and the new red boots did the trick again. Relics 2 – 0 up, surely they weren’t going to let this lead slip away?

The Relics continued to press with a shot from Pete Shev following a free kick getting blocked. The continual pressure forced an error from Rochdale when a defender running across the box was spotted by the ref, and all of Heywood, resulting in a penalty for the Relics. There were shouts of ‘give it to John’, ‘let john take it’ but John pointed out the Graham W was the penalty taker and left it to him. Graham duly slotted the ball home, but amid all the cheers from the touchline the fans initially missed that the ref had disallowed the goal saying that Graham had taken more than one step. At last the Relics had got a win.
Final score Relics 2 – Rochdale 0

Final game of the day was Preston, and it was Preston who had the first attempt when a man was free on the left, his shot was saved by Gaz. This shook the Relics into action and they started to play with the same confidence, passing and movement, as the previous game. A nice tight turn and shot from Graham went wide. There was a mix up in the Preston defence following the throw out and JoMo pounced on the ball, his shot was too good for the keeper. Relics 1 – Preston 0.
Preston replied with a shot following a free kick that was saved by Gaz. Gaz was called into action again shortly after with another fine save.
The Relics were on top and were awarded a penalty following four fouls from Preston. This time John W stepped up and produced a hat trick for the day leaving the Preston keeper mesmerised by his red boots and rooted to the spot. The Relics could have had a third goal late on when JoMo was free on the left hand side, his shot beat the keeper but thundered against the post and out.
Final score Relics 2 – Preston 0

The Relics ended up unbeaten on the day with a respectable points haul of 8 points which deserved more from the really excellent play. It was a pleasure to watch and if you missed it, well, … make sure you turn up for the next games.

Well done to all the Relics: Gaz (gk), Tex, Tony G, Pete Shev, Graham W, John W, JoMo, Manager Ken

Sorry no photo’s today.

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

National Cup – Round 2 draw

The draw has been made for the Pharmacy2u WFA National Cup second round.

In the over 60’s category, the Relics have been drawn at home against Fleetwood Town Flyers. Fleetwood currently sit second in Division 2 of the Greater Manchester Walking Football League.

The over 65’s have an away tie at Winstanley Walkers, a repeat of last years Round one tie when Winstanley knocked the Relics over 65’s out of the competition 2 – 1 after extra time.

Matches are to be played between 7th to 15th May 2022.

The full Round 2 draw is here
Round 1 Results are here …

Another year of record entries in all age groups, with a total of 246 teams entered. The sport’s only national knock-out tournament started in April and will conclude with the Grand Finals in September, this year to be held at the famous Lilleshall National Sport Centre.