“From my Little Book of Football Clichés "It was a bad day at the office" - that sums up the general feeling in the Wanderers camp, but we will regroup and come up with a game plan for the next set of fixtures.”
John Myatt, Team Captain
Never start off with an apology, my old Senior Manager used to tell me every time I sat down to write to Regional Lending about another Customer whose account was 'going down the pan'.
Well I guess he was right (he usually was!) about this, but it's after 11pm, I'm on a train to London very early tomorrow morning and won't have any spare time over the next two days to produce the usual expansive, engaging and hilarious match report you love to read!
So please accept my apologies - the following news article will be brief, to the point and at times, given the shenanigans the 60+ team faced today in the SY League, a little painful to produce.
This was Month 4 fixtures of the 8 month league, complicated by the need to catch up on games which were postponed when the January fixtures were thwarted by the weather. Wanderers had five games scheduled, including three meetings with the Leggy M....... sorry, I mean Penistone, one game against Retro Rovers and one against Barnsley Pals.
An earlier start was needed so morning coffee consumed we arrived at the Keepmoat and had to choose between changing in the Grimsby U11s or Doncaster U14s changing rooms! Fortunately these two sides were involved in a tournament of their own, not ours.
Surprisingly these teenagers had left their rooms in a reasonable state and our pre match banter was led by Mick Wilde who mentioned that his wife is avidly collecting all of the 3G black bits he spreads around the house after each session - to do what with we're not sure but it may involve the returning of a bag full to WFC!
Mike T inspired us with his "when you're at the bottom, the only way is up" quote - he was talking about his beloved Bradford City and their recent slump, but by the end of the day we wondered if his wise words applied to us!
Traditional warm-up led by Chris Lund completed, we were first up (and second) with back to back games against Retro Rovers and Legg Penistone, after a break of 15 minutes we then played two more back to back games against Mamb Penistone and then Barnsley. Our final game was 30 minutes later against LeMa Penistone for the third time.
Retro Rovers lost 0-1
Penistone drew 3-3 (Myatt, Holbrow & Thompson)
Penistone lost 0-1
Barnsley won 3-0 (Myatt, Caven & Thompson)
Penistone lost 0-2
So after 17 games of a 30 match season we have:
Won 7, Drawn 6, Lost 4, Goals For 19, Goals Against 14, Points 27.
The table on our website Home Page will be updated once the South Yorkshire FA have published all of today's results - at the moment we don't know whether we are now top, second or third.
So you are probably wondering what went wrong today, a day when we scored our second highest monthly total of goals, but picked up our lowest monthly number of points. Well, please forgive me but the events of the day are still too raw for me to provide a rational explanation of why we failed to execute our plans - we played effectively in patches, finding space and passing the ball well, but rarely settled into a controlled pattern for any extended period of time.
I could make excuses, some of them justifiable; for example the constant physicality which we faced (ask Mike T about being pushed into the fence head first?) coupled with the lack of consistency in the refereeing (what number of offences of contact and running are needed before Blue or Red Cards are produced - there were none today?).
However, I'd prefer to accept that today was a one-off and not representative of the SYFA 60+ League, it's objectives or culture, and therefore move on. It's not the results that hurt, I'm too old to allow that, it's more the disappointment that what has always been a smiley, sociable and welcoming League, today felt more like a 'win at any cost' conflict - not the Wakefield Walking Football Club style?
.............. and I hope it never is!!
Updated 10:31 - 23 Aug 2018 by David Holbrow
NB: The views expressed in this report are those of the author solely, and not of Wakefield Walking Football Club.