The 6s restarted the second half of their campaign with a 3-2 win over Ashford, who comfortably beat us early in the season. This showed how much the 6s have progressed this season, with their heady mix of under 16s and old-timers, but also the fact Ashford didn’t have about four talented bell-ringers like they did first time round. Which reminds me of the time I was playing at a previous club in the leafy suburbs of Surrey and our 2s were playing Southgate 2s and then-current GB international John Shaw deigned to play for them for a casual run around, which prompted one of our more irked spectators to ring a rather large hand bell every single time he touched the ball, for the whole game, in protest. Anyhoo, back to our game, and our post-Christmas rustiness showed quite a bit as although we dominated the game for large parts, we couldn’t quite shake off our Terminal 5 guests, like an irritating piece of old gum attached to our collective boot. Ignoring our oft-stated mantra of constantly passing the ball, we resorted to dribbling down the middle of the pitch too much and not using the flanks. Going one up just before half time through a quality finish from Ash, a reward for his hard work, we allowed Ashford back in the game after not clearing our lines. Boots smashed in a short corner to retake the lead, but again, irritatingly, Ashford drew level. It was getting rather heated now and the zen-like calm of Ed Baldock was sorely tested by one of their more aggressive kevballer forwards, who got in Ed’s face and started prodding him in the chest (as he was very short), but our skipper was on a Trappist monk vow of silence for the whole game and stood his ground, saying nothing. New year, new temperament (we’ll wait and see to judge that over the next few weeks). A draw looked likely, but we pressed and pressed, and after the keeper made a series of good saves, it was the unlikely form of Hughie, who popped in on the left flank and completely ‘blunderbussed’ the ball into the net and in doing so, take the completely warranted three points. Thanks to Jim Felix for stepping in for us and making some important saves and for the 2s boys (Sam C and his mate, the lead fiddle player from Lindisfarne - look it up, pop fans) for their expert umpiring.