“My day out with the Bees” (or “How that bd Chris Gawne stitched me up”)
Confidence was high in the Braithwaite camp. The start of another hockey season, and following his meteoric rise through the teams, Braithwaite was looking forward to another great performance. The magician even condescended to join the little people and turn out for the Bees.
The trip to Lytham started well, the traditional random wander around the Fylde coast was sadly absent and the Bees arrived with only one minor detour. It couldn’t last….
Having arrived the Bees finally ended up in the world smallest changing room and the traditional who’s playing in goal debate started. Now, you would have thought that Braithwaite would be given an exemption, after all seeing him in action gives a thrill to hockey lovers everywhere. Step forward Mr Gawne, who given the choice of 8 players, chose the one person who had no business going in goal… ( Gawne)
The heroic Braithwaite donned the keepers kit, and even though it left a lot a flesh exposed, stepped in to the breach and the Bees took to the pitch. Now, normally the keeper gets a bit of a knock up to get his eye in, but this week was a little different! Rather than help their unlucky colleague in goal, the Bees proceeded to arse around practicing (what a was lead to believe were) short corners. I’m sure the push to the half way routine has a place, but I have to admit that I’ve never seen it work….
I think the first half can be best described by paraphrasing the great Gordon Strachan:
“In which areas did Lytham dominate the game?”
“The f**king big green one for a start…”
The Bees decided to try the little seen “star burst” formation, everyone running away from the ball leaving ball carrier stranded. Braithwaite in goal was used for target practice by the Lytham forwards and despite his valiant efforts they finished the half a mere 8 ahead.
At this point the Bee’s fearless leader, the newly pregnant Hawkins, made a number of changes. Braithwaite’s skill was finally recognised and he was allowed out of goal being replaced by Trigger. Also, Lytham gave us their star winger as they felt sorry for the Bees. Newly invigorated the Bees started the second half.
The words “Hockey Legend” are bandied around all to often, but in this case they are entirely justified. Braithwaite was quite simply superb. He dominated the defence, bossed the midfield and provided the sort of quality ball that even Yokker couldn’t miss. The Bees attempted the biggest come back since Lazarus, but ultimately the gap was too big and the Bees went down 9-7.
The second half of the game was pretty enjoyable with the Bees playing some good hockey and everyone playing well. I say everyone, Gawne was rubbish, but I may be biased by his earlier stitching up.
Andrew “Hockey God” Braithwaite
An inauspicious start to the season, as was apparent from the generally atrocious individual skills on display from the Bees in the first half. Quoting Strachan seems appropriate somehow, as we kicked the ball more often than we hit it, and the numerical advantage that Lytham had wreaked havoc. After a very generous gesture on their part (ie giving us their best player!) our game picked up as well and the second half allowed a little self-repect to return (not that Braithwaite lost any in the first half you’ll have noticed – it takes more than letting in eight goals to let that happen, eh?). A nice hatrick from Yokker (jug noted…) Sandwiches afterwards which we polished off as if we were a full side…