Congratulations to Balotellitubbies and Jason and the Lagernauts for their back to back successes.
Gents. I need help. This help should be egalitarian. The pitch needs to be marked out at the beginning of the night. And the cones need to be collected at the end of the night. I need people from the teams who play in the first game to lay out the pitch. And I need people in the last game to help collect the cones at the end of the night. Please let me know if this request is unreasonable.
I must say the feelgood factor on the opening night of season four of Eastbourne Man v Fat Football lasted until way after Stewart Courtney blew the final whistle to end the action in the last game.
On week one of season four, the weight losses were spectacular. And if anyone doesn’t sustain those remarkable statistics, I’ll assume they wore diving belts weighted with gold on the night of registration.
It felt like the beginning of a new year. We are back at the point we were when we began our relationship at Man v Fat Football. It was good to see the return of familiar faces. Shaun Kevern of OB City, Ashley Hart and Matthew Nye of Dynamo Kebab have returned to the teams they were in before in season one. Steve Bacon is now a member of Balotellitubbies.
After eventful seasons of winter, spring, and summer, we’re going to enter a colourful autumn before the challenging task of losing weight through a second winter begins.
Let’s kick off on the scales where the action really matters. Darren Hollobone of Balotellitubbies, new dad Dave Briggs of Dynamo Kebab, Michael Astridge and Sean Lunn of Fatletico Madrid, Jason Gates of Jason and the Lagernauts, Richard Turner of Man Titty, Craig Taylor of Maradonna Kebab, and Non-Athletic Madras’s Andy Grice were the biggest losers on week one. Jason Gates was the biggest loser overall with a massive effort.
My focus next week will be on every shoelace lost. I believe this will give me more of an indication to how this season’s weight losses will unfurl.
Anyway, well done on the weight losses guys. We should have taken photos of registration night and week one to show the difference a week can make.
The first game of the new season was between Man Titty and Dynamo Kebab. I was told the first goal of the new season was scored by Oscar Jimenez. Oscar gave Dynamo Kebab the lead with a shot from a tight angle. For a long while it was a lead that looked as if it would be enough to take the points. From the little I viewed, I liked what I saw of Chris Bliss, Martin Pearce and Sean Cullen for Dynamo Kebab. Your commitment is spot on guys. Once you get Jamie George back into your ranks, watch how your team steps up a gear and everything locks into place.
Jon Franklyn in goal for Man Titty saved well from Matthew Nye who was on the end of a rapid Dynamo Kebab move. Ashley Hart began the move with a throw out from goal to Oscar Jimenez. Oscar threaded a neat ball through the defence to put Matthew Nye in with a chance. Matt shot at a height that was comfortable for Jon to deal with.
I must admit I feared for Chris Bliss when he bravely stole the ball from Richard Turner. Chris didn’t think about Richard once he had the ball. Because he laid off a quick pass to Matthew Nye. Matt returned the ball just as quickly and I think the speed of the one two took Chris by surprise. Before Chris could get the ball out from between his feet, the chance of a shot went away once Richard Turner got back into position. Richard Turner still looked comfortable bringing the ball out of defence into midfield. Oscar Jimenez was the calming mind over the Dynamo Kebab build ups from the back.
Oscar always looked cool under pressure. He once had the ball at his feet going away from the Man Titty goal. Oscar was being shepherded out to the wing. He shielded the ball until a burst of speed allowed him to get a shot away. The shot was blocked and went out for a corner.
In the second half, Matthew Nye tried to extend the lead by rushing down the right wing and beating two players before he cut inside to shoot. Sam Grisdale replaced Jon Franklyn in goal for Man Titty. Sam dealt with the shot and pushed it over the bar for a corner.
Chances in this game were few and far between. But that was until a Dan Fairway thunderbolt from distance managed to hit the inside of Ashley Hart’s left-hand post to sneak past the keeper and into the net for the equaliser for Man Titty.
The score on the pitch was 1-1 and once the scales were added the final score was 4-4.
The next game saw Fatletico Madrid versus Non-Athletic Madras. At times in this game Anthony Magalhaes took to defending his goal with a boot burdened with heavy industry. I’ve never seen a ball kicked so high by a man clearing his lines. But that was in complete contrast to Anthony when he gave Fatletico the lead. Anthony Magalhaes started the move in his own half by the left-hand corner flag. He took the ball off a Non-Athletic Madras attacker then passed the ball to Anthony Taylor. Anthony Taylor brought the ball forcefully forward and no one checked the run of Anthony Magalhaes on the overlap. Taylor found Magalhaes who finished smartly past Carl Smith for 1-0 Fatletico Madrid. There was good football in flashes from both teams. Carl Smith saved well from a Brian McMullen shot from distance. Fatletico had another chance when James Streeter ran all the way towards the Non-Athletic Madras penalty area. Brian McMullen kept pace and screamed for the pass, but James took the shot and had the attempt blocked. I like the look of this Non-Athletic Madras team. Off the pitch I know they will do wonders on the scales and could give the Lagernauts a run for their money.
Gary Plummer continues to impress me with his close control and distribution. I’m watching with a renewed keenness this season.
I was told the second goal was a shot off the crossbar and in by Anthony Magalhaes for 2-0. That’s how it ended on the pitch. Once the scales were added, Fatletico Madrid won 6-4.
As was my luck, I missed the Maradonna Kebab goals in this game. By the time I came around to watch, Maradonna Kebab took their shooting boots off. While they had them on, I was told Andrew Ori scored from a volley after Craig Taylor floated over a ball from a corner kick. For Andrew’s second goal, I was told that Joe Walton played Andrew in. Jason Gates takes up the story and said Andrew’s second goal was a stunner. “Keeping the ball in play, then curling a shot in from the goal line beating Tony Harris at his near post.”
Olie Marchant also chipped in with a goal. Maradonna Kebab have a team where everyone can be creative or dangerous at either end of the pitch. Damo Thomas played a pass out of defence that bypassed the midfield. The ball went down the line to Dan Bennett who shot quickly but wide of the target. Aaron Trott played a ball out of goal to Olie Marchant. Olie and Damo played a couple of nice one twos between them before Olie got his shot away. John Scoufarides made the save in goal for the Lagernauts. Olie Marchant once again got hold of the ball and rode two tackles. After he did the arduous work, Olie sliced the ball wide. People were scared to approach the tremendously skilful Andrew Ori when he had the ball at his feet. As Andrew took the ball through the middle of the pitch, everyone backed off him. No tackle came in, so Andrew belted the ball. It was like he had too much time to think. Andrew had even more time to think as the well struck ball sailed high over the crossbar.
It looked like Jason and the Lagernauts were being pegged back for sizable portions of the game. Even when they tried to clear their lines, fortune favoured Maradonna Kebab.
Tom Sowry went up for a header to clear a situation before it became dangerous. Tom’s misdirected header put Joe Walton in on goal. Joe snatched at the chance and put the ball wide. Andrew Ori showed a range of his skills tonight. There were a couple of chest traps to his teammates that were as good as any passes from feet. His willingness to get stuck in when the ball needed dragging out was admirable. Lots of skilful players don’t fancy the more physical aspects of play, but it didn’t bother Andrew.
On his Man v Fat Football debut, Mark Howard performed for the Lagernauts. Mark shouted encouragement to his new teammates like he was a seasoned campaigner. He was put through on goal by Greg Holden and Mark gave the keeper no chance to bring the score back to 3-1.
Mark Howard wasn’t finished there. Not long after he scored, he played a lovely ball through to Jason Gates who produced a sumptuous finish over Aaron Trott to bring the score to 3-2. From early viewing, I’d say this season is going to be interesting and entertaining.
In the play that I saw, there was some scintillating football played. Don’t worry or let your heads drop when moves don’t come off. But keep trying to bring them to life. It’s not all about goals and great saves. Sometimes a piece of skill in no man’s land is more memorable than a rocket into the roof of the net. It depends on who performs the skill. And the degree of difficulty surrounding the player when the move was performed. The game between Jason and the Lagernauts and Maradonna Kebab was won 3-2 on the pitch by Maradonna Kebab. Once the scales were added, the final score was 6-6.
The last game of the night was OB City (formerly BenteKFC) versus Balotellitubbies.
A Jamie Wright ball into the onrushing path of Shaun Kevern resulted in Shaun putting the ball high into the Balotellitubbies net with Darren Ware in goal left helpless. A much changed Balotellitubbies line up had three players in the side from last time out. The new guys had a good run out and should be feeling muscles that haven’t been used for a while. I thought Darren Ware in goal for Balotellitubbies was exceptional. He made telling save after save and kept a well organised OB City team restricted to four goals. At the other end when it looked like Ryan Meechan was going to make a fist of it, Jon Wootton cemented his place as one of Man v Fat Football Eastbourne’s premier goalkeepers. Ryan bolted down the wing breezing past people as if they weren’t there. His shot arrowed unerringly towards the far-left corner and had goal written all over it. Jon Wootton had other ideas and dived to his right and fingertipped the ball out for a corner. I was surprised Jon didn’t give the credit away by shouting out that he didn’t touch it how he’d done earlier in the match. He claimed the touch because it was a great save. No doubt throughout the season we should be witnessing many more such occasions. Darren Ware saved from a determined Jamie Wright. Soon after, Shaun Kevern played a great ball through to Callum Crowhurst. A powerful shot from Callum made the score 2-0 OB City.
The best passage of team play all night came when with blinding speed and accuracy, OB City put five passes together that left Callum Crowhurst with the goal gaping after the keeper had already committed himself. Even though Darren Ware was on the ground, when Callum shot, Darren made the save. Balotellitubbies best chances of scoring always looked to come from Ryan Meechan and Alex Horton. Alex was so unlucky with his last touch on a couple of occasions. The heaviness of his crucial touches took the ball out of his spell when he needed to weave a piece of magic. Alex’s cries of frustration were evident, but class will always tell over this fourteen-week season. Jon Wootton dived low and saved another Ryan Meechan shot.
I was well impressed how Josh Blakebrough got in the way of a marauding Ryan Meechan as Ryan bore down on goal. I’ve seen many a man move out of Ryan’s way with a precise determination.
Luke Lind also got in the way with a last-ditch block tackle as Ryan went through and was about to pull the trigger.
Leigh Taylor played well for OB City. He set up Jamie Wright for a strike on goal that Jamie put well wide. Shaun Kevern came close again for OB City. Phil Byrne was another debutant that shone for Balotellitubbies. Ryan Meechan had the ball and moved down the middle of the pitch. Phil Byrne motored outside Ryan at full pace onto a precise ball from Ryan. Phil hit the ball and it cannoned off the post and away from the goal. Ryan Meechan again ran down the wing before releasing a shot that went into the side netting. At the other end, Shaun Kevern came close once more, but Darren Ware again made a save. Steve Bacon played in defence for Balotellitubbies and early signs says he will be a valued addition to the team.
The next goal when it came, had various parts before it was scored that needed to be applauded. Shaun Kevern looked as if he chased an impossible cause. A wayward through ball sped across the greasy surface harmlessly towards the goal line. Shaun’s determination as he went for the ball was admirable. I thought he was going to get a round of applause for his effort. But Shaun not only slid and reached the ball, he hooked it back perfectly into the path of Jamie Wright. Jamie shuffled the ball from one foot to the other before making a choice of which foot to score with. Jamie chose his right foot and blasted a shot that gave Darren Ware in the Balotellitubbies goal no chance for 3-0.
Leigh Taylor was unlucky to see a fine effort from a Jamie Wright pass come back off the underside of the crossbar from a delightful stab with the outside of his right foot. Balotellitubbies never threw in the towel. Alex Horton forced Jon Wootton into making another save. Paul Hawes put a chance into the side netting for Balotellitubbies. OB City’s Connor Sams took a ball out of the air and played it first time up to Jamie Wright. Jamie ploughed forward and brought another save out of Darren Ware. But for all their huffing and puffing, Balotellitubbies couldn’t get on the scoresheet. The scoring ended with another well taken goal by Shaun Kevern. Shaun shot from distance and the power and accuracy of the shot beat Darren Ware all ends up.
There were quite a few performances that caught my eye even though I didn’t see all the games. But man of the night for week one of season four is Shaun Kevern of OB City for his two goals, two assists, and all round positive industry from start to finish.
Guys. The following names are the people who have qualified to have a health check. There will be a date when my colleagues will be in attendance to perform the checks. (Unless you want me to take your blood in my mouse infested shed!)
Darren Hollobone (Balotellitubies)
Darren Ware (Balotellitubies)
Mark Williams (Balotellitubies)
Mark Howard (Jason and the Largernauts)
Martin Hattersley-Mitchell (Dynamo Kebab)
Oscar Jimenez (Dynamo Kebab) are the guys who have qualified. I’ll keep you updated on the time.
Last of all guys. I had a chat with the captains. I told them that the most important aspect of health is never spoken about. I said I believed it’s time this status quo shifted. Would anyone mind if I reported on what I see of what cannot be seen with the eyes?
Put it to a vote and let’s have a bit of fun.