As some of you my have read in a previous post, that I used to be in the all dominating 7-a-side team, Gravel Cows.
Now as the team strutted its stuff in the Teesside University Intermural 7-a-side football league in their trademark black shirts (or fluorescent bibs). A young wide eyed player/journalist decided to cover the matches, and place the match reports on Facebook.
I felt that these were put to waste on the social network site and felt that it should be tucked away in the safety of my blog.
So take them in and enjoy the real life (and occasionally made up) exploits of everyone's (and by that I mean about 9 people's) favourite 7-a-side dynasty.
00 James 'Tim Flowers' Johnson: Johnson is arguably the most versatile man on the team, playing everywhere from in goal to up front! In goal he aspires to be Tim Flowers, even though when he is in he looks more like Sander Westerweld.
1 David 'Clean Sheet' Rookes: Rooksie is the Gravel Cows No.1 Keeper, even though he has never played there in his life. Famously quoted as saying he should have brought a book to the first game of the season!
2 Michael 'Captain Fantastic Mr Fox' Waller: Skipper Waller is the emotional centre of the Cows, a man who leads by example not vocally. An ever present in the line up.
5 Richard 'Beef' Stringer: Stringer literally brings the beef to the Gravel Cows line up. Strong no nonsense defender who can play a bit when the ball is on the floor. Famous for his strong challenges and rugged persona.
7 Daniel 'Superstar' Fowler: Fowler is the only player in the squad with any professional experience, following spells with Boro and York. Most of the play goes through him. He also has as a good a scoring record with ladies aswell as his goals tally.
9 Ryan 'Fox in the Box' Crawford: The second of the Fishburn Fox Brothers (other being skipper Waller). Even though he has dodgy knees, he is a lethal striker who knows where the net is.
11 Peter 'Dummy Shot' Clark: Clark is a relative newcomer to the team, but provides firepower up front from the left wing area, especially with his coverted 'dummy shot'
13 Chris 'Last Minute' Johnson: Brother of James Johnson, Chris earnt his name by being able to get in, get changed, and make a game with just a few minutes to spare, hence the name 'Last Minute'.
14 Ste 'Sergeant' Rookes: Rookes is a workmanlike midfielder with a powerful shot given the opportunity. His ability to arrest people, gives the Cows a safety net to express themselves without the fear of getting punched too much!
20 Daniel 'Gaffer' Jeffries: Gaffer Jeffries is as famous for his rousing inspirational team talks as he is for his abilities on the pitch. quotes such as 'Come on guys!' and 'Were playing well!' hold strong in the hearts of his players.
45 Jonathan 'Tim Sherwood' Allen: Newcomer Allen is a tough tackling midfielder who has taken his fair share of knocks for the Gravel Cows. Aspires to be like Tim Sherwood on the field, but often is compared to David Batty.
52 Sam 'Impenetrable' Holdsworth: Mr consistent, possibly the only team member with no Goal scoring aspirations and happy enough to do the dirty jobs which gain no recognition and no limelight, (although I’m sure he has many brilliant goal celebrations choreographed just in case of a blue moon). All of which makes him a vital member of the team when we’re short numbered at the back, making mine and Mr Rookes life much easier.
We Make You Look Good: W 11-0
Fraser Thompson's Elite School of Soccer Stars: L 1-6
Interlink FC: L 1-6
Rebel Scum: W 3-0
President Pickles XII: L 0-2
Bad Boyz: W 3-0
Cola Cubes FC: L 2-5
Dembare FC: W 3-0
Ash FC: L 1-9
Fake Madrid: L 0-3 (Real Game 6-6)
Qatar: L 0-something ridiculous like 10 or 11
Rebel Scum Game
After a miserable patch of 2 games without a win. The Gravel Cows pulled out a blinding 3-0 victory in tempestuous weather conditions. The cheating 'rebel scum' tried to claim an early goal in the opening minutes, when Michael Jordan dribbled it into the back of Jimmy Johnsons net. With cries of 'Here.. you not having that, like.. nil nil. PLAY FAIR", the game continued.
Moments later, a beautiful 'dummy' shot by Peter Clark put the Cows into a well deserved lead. Confidence was pouring out of manager Danny Jeffy's pours, screaming: 'good work guys, we playing well". Mid way through the first half there was a scary injury worry where debutee Jonny Allen got a knee to face from defensive hero Michael Waller (who apologised).
Sam Holdsworth was sterling throughout, claiming quite a reputation as one of the cows most consistent rocks. The half time whistle went with the Cows leaving the field at 1-0.
The second half was just as fantastic as the first. Jimmy 'Tim Flowers' Johnson was hardly tested as the ball was played around in a manner which can only be described as 'sexual'. After 2 weeks out with two dodgey knees, 'fox in the box' Ryan Crawford netted two fine goals which sent erections flying throughout the whole squad. The game ended in jublation the Gravel Cows notched up their second win of the early season, making the aim of European football next season one step closer.
Written by Michael Waller
Gravel Cows bid for extra World Cup place turned down for being "too mint"
Modern Football's finest team, Gravel Cows, have had their World Cup bid dramatically turned down for being better than all of the teams in it.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said: "We did consider a World Cup bid from the Gravel Cows aswell as the FAI, but unlike Ireland, we found that the Gravel Cows play too high a class of football that they would easily win it. Basically they are too mint. We like to make the World Cup fair, which means we can't involve the Gravel Cows."
There is still hope for the Gravel Cow squad as England Gaffer, Fabio Capello, is considering swapping his multi millionaire team for the Gravel Cows squad to enter this summers tournament
Capello said: "Since we have been drawn against three very talented teams in USA, Algeria, and Slovenia, and FIFA turning down the Cows, who I am a very big fan of, I see no reason not to drop stars such as Terry and Gerrard, for top quality players such as Fowler and Waller. Actually I might employ Gaffer Jeffries to lead England to World Cup victory."
'God is not a Gravel Cow!'
Gravels Cows slump to 2-0 defeat from President Pickles XII.
The Cows fought a long and hard battle but were not rewarded for their efforts.
They worked like a well oiled machine, with everyone winning plaudits for their efforts. Skipper Michael Waller and Richard 'Beef' Stringer were exceptional at the back and James 'Tim Flowers' Johnson was like a man possessed in between the pipes.
Ste Rookes was his usual workmanlike self, chasing everything, and that almost paid dividends with a shot going just wide of the post.One of the few chances the Cows had to take it to the Pickles XII
Danny Fowler was cruelly cut down after a superb game in the Cows engine room, when a snap in his knee prevented even the god like presence of Fowler from continuing.
After this the Cows had to absorb 10 minutes of enough pressure to have Spongebob Squarepants gasping for air to finish the game, and were almost over the finish line (3 mins to go) when a shot deflected off Waller and onto the bar, and into the back of Johnson's net.
There was a bizarre moment, after the complaints from the over-energetic Johnson, defensive stalwart Sam Holdsworth made his goalkeeping debut, and the second goal was conceded shortly after.
Michael 'Captain Fantastic Mr Fox' Waller commented: "We deserved a draw. We didn't create enough chances to ever win the game, but a defeat in that manner was heartbreaking. That ball deflecting off my arse has haunted me.
He added: "As a team we were good, I don't feel anyone had a shitter. As a team we are all concerned for Danny, but the fact he wanted us to play on just sums him up. The general mood was to play for Danny, which resulted in us leaking two poor goals."
Overall, an immense perfromance from the Gravel Cows, but unfortunately lady luck, or even God, wasnt on their side, but surely one that can bring confidence going into the Winter break.
Gravel Cows 3-0 Bad Boyz
The Gravel Cows played what will undoubtedly be named the best match in football history in a more than comfortable win against league bad boys, Bad Boyz.
The Cows turned up with a slightly depleted squad going into the game, missing key components Jonny Allen, Ryan Crawford, Danny Fowler and Skipper Michael Waller. The rest of the squad, including deadline day loan signing Chris 'Last Minute' Johnson from Spell Close FC, rose to the challenge.
The Cows set out their intentions from the off, Richard 'Beef' Stringer literally breaking the necks of two Bad Boyz to show that they would not be bullied.
The score was opened by Peter 'Dummy Shot' Clark, he tracked back and robbed the ball from a Bad Boyz frontman, took on the entire team, and struck his now patented dummy shot which came off two posts n the crossbar before nestling into the Bad Boyz net.
There was drama before the end of the half when the over-energetic James Johnson, who played stirling throughout, coughed up the ball to send Bad Boyz through one on one, but an amazing backflip save by goalkeeper David Rookes kept the Boyz at bay. Tears welled in Johnson's eyes, Gazza-esque, but the Gaffer stepped up gave him a pat on the back and said the inspirational words, 'Don't Worry', and Johnson was fine and continued with a fiery display in the Cows engine room.
The Cows opened the second half brightly, Ste Rookes, who past a late fitness test following drinking 4 pints before the game, was rampent up front for The Cows, including a close chance that actually snapped the cross bar in half.
After the bar was fixed, the Gravel Cows grabbed a second, Daniel Jeffries picked up the ball at his own goal line trotted 2 paces and struck a thunderbolt from within his own half, which rocketed in to the top corner of the Bad Boyz net.
Acting skipper for the game, Sam Holdsworth, had a distinctly average game at the back for the Cows, I think he made a tackle once, not sure, wasn't really watching him.
Shortly before the end, the game was sealed, David 'Clean Sheet' Rookes rolled the ball out, and following a move in which 87 passes were completed, he arrived in to smash in an audacious over head kick to seal the Gravel Cows 3-0 win.
Skipper Michael Waller said: "I'm very glad the boys got the victory. In that they actually turned up to the game, I heard the game of 'headers and volleys' was tremendous.
He added: "After the winter break I hear the gaffer has some big changes to our game which I am getting a little chubby over. The target of european football is our main ambition this season."
It was a great win for the Cows, and they would take great confidence from this performance if it had actually happened. The result though sits them nicely in their push for mid-table obscurity.
Too much Turkey for Christmas Cows
The Cows played their first tie after the Christmas break against Cola Cubes, the tie which had been called for bad weather the week before. A match which was the definition of a game of 2 halves.
Early doors the Cows struggled, they were soft in challenges, poorly organised, and just generally shit. Got caught by 2 long range efforts early doors. Then went on to have a nice passing move that cut them open, but failed to reap the rewards. They grabbed two scrappy goals before the end of the half to go in 4-0 at half time.
The second was very different, the Cows had a fire in their belly, a bee in their bonnet and were taking no prisoners! Ste Rookes and James Johnson stepped up to lead the charge. Unfortunately another setback, as a wayward cross by their big frontman, who caused problems most of the game, struck Johnson on the arse and whistled past his brother Chris in goal. After this the Cows had nothing to lose and battled. This finnally paid off, the ball was sent out wide to Skipper Mike Waller who drilled one towards goal, and after bumping off the defender and keeper it found its way home. At the death defensive stalwart Sam Holdsworth hit 2 tackles in quick succession, chested the ball down and laid off Ste Rookes who fired a thunderbolt with the last kick of the game which nestled in the top corner.
A damaging blow to the Gravel Cows European aspirations, but as the second half went to prove they can take on anybody if they get the balance right.
European Quest Back On!
The Cows did their quest for European football a huge amount of good with a solid 3-0 win over Dembare.
Especially as the team were without Waller, Crawford, Fowler and the Johnsons.
The Cows were aggressive out of the traps early with Peter Clark breaking the goalkeepers legs with a rash but quality tackle. As the keeper was left screaming in agony and blood oozing from his legs, it was deemed a fair challenge and the game carried on.
It wasn't long before the deadlock was broken, Jonny Allen picked up the ball with his back to goal, with a delicate touch he tee-ed it up, swivelled, and struck it on the volley, and the ball nestled into the bottom left corner.
Shortly before the end of the half, Dembare broke and sent a man through on goal, but goalkeeper David Rookes was there with an outrageous flip save to send the ball wide.
The second half started the same as the first with the Cows on the offensive. Acting captain for the day Richard Stringer was menacing at the back, on one occasion he simply looked at a Dembare attacker and the man booted the ball out for a throw and started to cry.
The second goal was a joy to behold, Ste Rookes picked up the ball from the edge of his own box, took it past 4 men and then struck one from just short of the halfway line which rattled the bar and dropped in majestically.
Now the Cows began to play some sublime football, passing, moving and toying with the Dembare defence. Even Sam Holdsworth had a shot! It didn't go in but definately a step in the right direction.
The winner was grabbed just before the death, the gaffer, Daniel Jeffries, tucking in an easy finish from 2 yards after a move which involved 99 passes and 2 tea breaks.
A great match and a wonderful game of Heads and Volleys for the Cows. A solid 3 points which puts them right back in the mix for a European place!
'Cows fail to perform in front of bumper crowd'
The Cows slumped to a pathetic 9-1 defeat to league chasers Ash FC in front of a record attendence of 6 people.
The previous record was 1 but ,after a great adverising campaign by Assistant Manager/Pr man Sam Holdsworth, 6 people turned up on their way to the pub!
The crowd was led by regular follower and fan Dave Owens, who arrived at his first ever Gravel Cows game, after travelling all the way from his home near Southfield Road!
The Cows raced out of the traps and played some promising football in the early exchanges. Unfortunately the eary enthusiasm was punished as they counter attacked n rocketed a shot past the helpless David Rookes. The chance popped up later for the Cows, but Ryan Crawford failed to convert from close range after great work to force a chance.
The second for Ash FC came later after a crossed ball deflected off skipper Michael Waller and nestled in the net. Just before the end of the half, another thunderbolt fired in, and the Cows limped in at 3-0.
After a dressing down at half time by Gaffer Daniel Jeffries, the Cows came out fighting and got rewarded for their efforts. Peter Clark poached an Ruud Van Nistelrooy esque effort to put the Cows in with chance of taking it to Ash FC.
Unfortunately this was short lived, as The Cows got caught straight away and were 4-1 down.
Shortly after this Richard Stringer helped the Ash FC cause by deflecting one in to the Cows net, having siad that, this does not take away from the fact that he had a pure quality performance n was easily the Cows best player.
Although the Cows hustled, bumped and even grinded, the effects of the annual Gravel Cows night out that was in Leeds the day before caught up on many, such as grafter Jonny Allen, and the flood gates opened, and the Cows conceded another 3 goals, and just before the games death Gaffer Jeffries deflected one in to seal the deal.
All round a disappointing display for the Cows, but they did show flashes of brilliance, and this suggests that the push for European qualification is still on as they go into their next game.
'Delay and Controversy spoils Gravel Cow fixture'
The Cows did not get off to the best of starts against Fake Madrid. First of all, the game was delayed for 45 mins due to flood light failure.
Once the game started the Cows got caught cold, as they conceded straight after the kick off, and then another shortly afterwards. Richard Stringer perfromed admirably in goal following a goalkeeper injury crisis in the Cows squad.
They finally got themselves into the game when Ste Rookes struck a thuderbolt, which nestled in the roof of the opposition net.
The Cows began to play, but in their exuberance conceded another, but this did not hinder the Cows as they battled on, Jonathon Allen popped up with a crisp half volley to take the game at 3-2 at the end of the half.
The Cows came out again battling, and managed to catch the Fake Madrid on the break, Skipper Michael Waller getting one on one and tucking away the finish.
The Cows then took their eye off the ball and conceded 3 in quick sucession, leaving them with an uphill battle to tie the game.
A battle which the Cows chose to fight and win. Ste Rookes grabbed his second to put the Cows in with a shout, Peter Clark went through on goal and provided a deadly finish from just outside the box. Finally with a hit and hope long ball, fell to the feet of Gaffer Daniel Jeffries who stopped, stared the keeper out and stanched the equaliser.
At the end of the game, one of the Fake Madrid players claimed that Sam Holdsworth had hand balled it and that Jeffries had put in a two footed challenge, but it was deemed that he was a whining bastard who struggled to understand the rules of football, so neither were given.
Unfortunately, after a well earned point, the entire Cows team failed a drugs test, which therefore made the result an automatic 3-0 victory to Fake Madrid. An inquiry is ongoing as to why the entire team failed, but a warning that all attempts of appeal will be deemed frivilous.
A major blow to the Cows European hopes going into the last game against Qatar.Three points will be enough to seal it. Hope all rests on the next game.