The Walking footballers at the Grimsby Ancient Mariners accepted a challenge from our local Mayor, Hazel Chase, to play a full size, 11-a-side match against her Council Select XI.
Always open to be involved in a local community initiative, the GAM took up the challenge to be played at the Bradley Football Development Centre on Saturday.
On a brisk afternoon, the two teams took to the field and it was obvious that the GAM players, who play their game twice a week had the edge on fitness and experience.
After the formal introduction to our host, the Mayor, the game, which was to be played in three 30 minute sessions got underway.
The starting GAM team played some very open football with Pete Harris, John Molloy and Paul May running the middle of the field.
Their dominance soon paid off when Paul May opened the scoring with a well worked goal. The first session was totally dominated by the GAM and Carl Reeve in their goal hardly touched the ball.
After a few missed chances, the impressive Dean Oglesby made the score 2-0 towards the end of the first session.
Changes afoot, with Mick Gibson, Alan Rodgers, Dave Brookes and Kev Loveday entering the fray with Paul May, Pete Jenkinson, Pete Harris and Wally Kirwin making way.
A double from Andy Shaw saw the score rise to 4-0 before Kev Loveday broke free and earned a penalty from which Colin Akhurst made it five.
Still waiting for any involvement from Carl Reeve although he was as usual very vocal, but determined to keep a clean sheet.
With the third session underway saw the return of the four left out and they continued to dominate when Colin Akhurst from range made it 6-0 before Neil Troth pounced to get on the scoresheet to round off a resounding 7-0 scoreline. Neil Holcombe, who had marshalled the GAM defence all afternoon swapped with Carl to give him a bit of a run out.
All credit to the Mayor’s team who suffered a couple of injuries that depleted their squad and once their overworked keeper had to go off with a shoulder injury, Danny Barker, from GAM, went in goal for them and he managed to keep a clean sheet for the remainder of the gamed.
After the match all players and spectators were invited by the Mayor to an excellent buffet lunch from the catering staff at Bradley.
Although played in good spirits, enjoyed by all those who took part the main point of the game was to raise funds for the Mayor’s Charity.