Thursday, 13 March 2008

Press statement from Birch!!

Press Statement from Matthew Birch 12 March 2008

"Due to forces outside of my control my position on the board as Financial Director has become untenable and I have submitted my immediate resignation to the Chairman. Over the last few weeks decisions have been made without my consultation affect the solid financial position of the club. I cannot continue to serve the club and deliver financial stability under these circumstances. Since I took the position some two years ago the club has been transformed from near bankruptcy to a solid financial base with good prospects for long-term profitability. At the time of my resignation I was in advanced talks with a middle eastern investment agency about providing unrivalled investment into the club.

Until a new Financial Director is appointed the team manager 'Dodgy' Dave will be in charge of the books. Please note that I will continue to play for the team as their star performer although a serious injury will limit my availability for the rest of the season."

Basically, Birch the tight arse, is devoting more time to finding a tight arse...

Friday, 15 February 2008

New Year's Eve - The Wheatsheaf Zammo

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Just say no!!!

New Year's Eve - The Wheatsheaf (3)

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New Years Eve - The Wheatsheaf (1)

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Here is the first video of New Year's Eve at the Wheatsheaf. So it's taken so long! Keep an eye out for Tucker in the video's. These should be shown to kids in school. Just say no!!!!

Monday, 4 February 2008

The Sheaf really are The Jeykkyl and Hyde of the sunday league as this 90 minute performance showed. The old cliche "its a game of 2 halves" sums it up perfectly. Having already lost once to the same opposition a testing game was expected. With regular Number 1, Eddie Whiffin, unavailable the energy of Russ Chandler was sacrificed for his ability between the sticks. This move saw Lee Baldwin switch to partner Richie Sherwell up front and Shacks coming back on the right hand side of midfield.With some rather bizarre pitch markings in place (thank you Villa and Birch) the game kicked off. A scrappy opening saw The Hope break at pace once or twice only to be thwarted by a swarm of orange shirts. The games first chance fell to The Sheaf from a corner when a shot was blocked in the 6 yard box. Having conceded 3 times from their own corners in the corresponding fixture the ever reliable Shane Sutton was left to organise the defence to stop the breakaways. The best chance of the first half was created by Shacks minutes later as his ball in from the right found Sherwell who connected well with a volley which flew over the bar. With the chances missed The Sheaf became more and more nervy resulting in misplaced passes and poor ball retention. The Hope created a good chance when the fleet footed stiker played a neat 1-2 with a team mate and lifted the ball over the onrushing Russ but luckily for The Sheaf the ball clipped the top of the bar and went over. Another good chance for The Hope saw Russ stranded but Bill having taken up a good position was back to clear the ball off the line.The half finished with The Hope on top but The Sheaf are resilient these days and that doggedness meant it remained 0-0 at half time.With the team knowing they had underperformed not much needed saying by the gaffer. A few points were raised and taken on board as the teams re-took the field for the 2nd half.I don't know what it is with The Sheaf but they always seem to perform better after the break. As poor as they were in the 1st half they were equally as good in the 2nd as the game was completely transformed.The impressive Lee Baldwin opened the scoring after an intricate passage of play with a superb curling shot which left the keeper with no chance. It could have been 2 moments later as a great ball in from Villa found Sherwell whose 1st time effort went agonisingly wide of the goal. Villa again was heavily involved moments later bursting forward from his own half with the ball he just ran and ran (bit like Forrest Gump), he used Sherwell by not using him (bit like Lineker) and parted the defence like the Red Sea (bit like Moses). The comparisons were not finished there because having found himself on the edge of the area, having run fully 60 yards he produced a sublime chip (bit like Phillipe Albert) only to be denied what would have been a serious goal of the season contender as the ball was just inches too high clipping the bar and going over. The Hope had a chance to equalise from a free kick the strike beating the wall and the keeper but coming back off the bar.Soon it was to be 2-0 this time Sherwell connecting well with another volley saw the ball squirm under the body of the keeper and in to the back of the net.2 soon became 3 and I have to admit getting carried away with emotion to forgetting the order of the goals - I think it was Bill who got the next from a corner - a good finish - he is becoming prolific.At this point Scott Adams was brought in to the fray to man mark the tricky striker as the formation changed to 5-4-1. Scott Taylor introduced shortly afterwards as the gaffer freshened things up.This didn't stop the flow of goals as from another corner the ball fell to Shane Sutton (Bill having stayed back for once) on the edge of area and his shot went over the defender on the line in to the top corner - another good goal.As The Hope pushed for a consolation The Sheaf caught them on the break and a ball from Baldwin saw Sherwell latch onto it knock it round the keeper and produce a good finish just inside the post - the placement good enough to beat the defenders last ditch attempt to clear.What a 2nd half performance - 5 goals, chance after chance created another 3 points and the long unbeaten run extended. The orange kit once again proving a lucky omen as The Sheaf yet to taste defeat wearing it.
Russ 7 (not much to do - saved by the bar on 2 occassions)
Birch 7 (solid - didn't give much away)
Gav 7.5 (defended well - couple more assists)
Raggy 7.5 (kept going against the tricky striker)
Bill 8 (reliable and keeps chipping in with important goals)
Shacks 7 (worked hard for the team closing down)
Shane 7.5 (forming a good partnership with Benny)
Benny 7.5 (never gave in - another hardworking performance)
Villa 8.5 (Brilliant crosses and through balls. Unlucky with mazy run and chip)
Lee 8.5 (started it all off with his wonder goal) MOM
Sherwell 7.5 (seems to score the more difficult chances!!)
Scott A 6.5 (solid but not on for long enough to make an impression)
Scott T 6.5 (as above)Thanks to Russ for going in goal and Vinny Donavan for running the line.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

West Dean 0 - Wheatsheaf 3

The Sheaf faced a tricky looking fixture on the infamous sloping pitch against 1 of only 2 teams to have beaten them in the league. With the team in good form it was hoped they could gain revenge and keep pressure on Angmering at the top of the league.The absence of Scott Adams saw Gavin Sutton return to the starting line up with Birch switching to right back and Raggy partnering Bill at centre half. Vinny Donavan took his place on the bench after his midweek signing. The manager in his pre match team talk emphasised the need for Shane and Benny to win the midfield battle "keep Borat quiet and we have a chance" he said.Predictably West Dean dominated possession early in the game, The Sheaf struggling to adapt to the playing surface. The home team constantly playing the ball up the slope and attacking Birch at right full back. For all their possession they struggled to create any clear cut chances with Bill and Raggy resolute at the heart of the defence and Shane and Benny working hard. Indeed as Lee Baldwin started to drop deep helping Birch West Dean's supply became stiffled. The Sheaf began to win the 50/50 tackles in the centre of the park - Benny in particular putting himself about. A good burst forward frome Shane almost resulted in the opening goal. As half time approached The Sheaf forced a corner. Gav Sutton once more put over a great ball and Bill timing his run perfectly met it with a thumping header to put them 1 up. The Sheaf had held firm and managed to get in front at half time. The manager keen to keep everyone on their guard told the team to expect an early onslaught at the start of the 2nd half.As it turned out it was The Sheaf doing the attacking in the early stages. The ball found its way to Villa about 30 yards from goal - his well struck shot was parried by the keeper and the ball fell kindly to Sherwell following up to rifle into the unguarded net. 2-0 - dream start to the half.The 2nd goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of West Dean and The Sheaf were now well on top. They had chances to add to the tally but a combination of poor finishing, wrong pass choice or penalty appeals turned down meant that the score remained 2-0.By this point Benny and Shane were dominant against an unuasually quiet Borat. With 20 minutes to go the manager brought on Shacks for the tiring Shane who had been unwell all week - a great performance from him considering.As the game drew to a close Vinny was also given his debut replacing Sherwell up front.Indeed Vinny got himself involved as The Sheaf rounded off the scoring - getting up well at the back post only to see his header well saved by the keeper. There was Bill on hand to score his 2nd - comparisons with "Legohead" Lescott for his goalscoring exploits from centre half.Final score 3-0 to The Sheaf - a very good team performance with everyone working hard for each other. The manager was well chuffed and pointed out that team spirit is high as the unbeaten run goes on. Another difficult game faced The Sheaf next week against the other team to beat them, The Hope but on this perfomance who would back against them??
Eddie 7 (generous as I don't remember him saving a shot)
Birch 7 (tricky opening - performance got better as the game went on)
Gav 7.5 (solid in defence linked with Villa well overlapping)
Raggy 7.5 (didn't put a foot wrong in 1st game at centre half for a while)
Bill 8 (what can you say? solid at the back AND scores goals)
Lee 8.5 (tracked back well - good on the ball going forward) MOM
Shane 8 (every team needs a Shane - integral part of the team)
Benny 8.5 (best game of the season - pipped to MOM)
Villa 8 (good outlet - rarely gives the ball away cheaply)
Russ 8 (worked hard without the reward of a goal)
Sherwell 7.5 (right place right time - livelier than in previos weeks)
Shacks 7 (got forward well should have had a penalty)
Vinny 7 (not on for long but got involved)

Monday, 28 January 2008

Wheatsheaf 5 - The Claremont 1

Another home game against a team with improved form recently left The Sheaf not really knowing what to expect as they met The Claremont for the first time this season. Would they field the county league players at their disposal or would it be a mix of the inbreds and reprobates that normally frequent the pub??The Sheaf were struggling to field a team - Shacks dropping out with a cold and Gav Sutton with an ankle injury (although Sheiks-itus seemed more likely). To add to this Villa failed to shrug off an ankle injury playing for his 12th different saturday team of the season the day before.With only 11 players this meant that Villa would have to start in goal with Eddie up front - far from ideal!! An emergency phone call was put in to the veteran Raggy who thankfully said he would come ASAP.The game kicked off and with a make shift team The Sheaf struggled to impose themselves. Chances were few and far between. The Claremont although lacking in quality looked organised at the back. Raggy turned up about 15 minutes into the game, Villa coming off - Eddie back in goal - Raggy in an unfamiliar role on the right handside of midfield as Russ Chandler pushed up front. The shape of the team looking much better The Sheaf gradually began to improve. Rich Sherwell having a couple of good chances to put them ahead. The Claremont managed to hold out and at half time there was no score.The 2nd half began with The Sheaf on top - chances came and went and it was looking like one of those days for the home team. Finally the breakthrough came - a great corner from Lee Baldwin saw Russ meeting it with his world famous "pogo" technique gliding between defenders to nod home. It looked a good header but Russ was later to admit he punched the ball in - ah well it counts!! Unbelievably The Claremont equalised pretty much straight away. A solid tackle from Shane Sutton was given as a foul on the edge of the box. As the free kick was taken Shane defending in the wall jumped with his arm covering his face - the ball struck it - penalty!!.A good firm strike beet Eddie "The Cat" - 1-1. The Sheaf knew they had to win to keep up the pressure on Angmering at the top of the table. They responded well - a free kick whipped in by the skipper Benny Whiffin caught the diving head of a defender and flew past his keeper - 2-1. It was soon 3-1 as another ball from Baldwin again found Russ who scored with a solid header. It was all The Sheaf now as the confidence flowed. The last goal was the goal of the game - a surge through midfield saw him break free of the defence the keeper rushed out to narrow the angle - everyone expected Shane to square it but he produced a great looping shot over the keeper and in to the net. The crowd went wild as Shane rushed over to celebrate with them.It could have been more but the game finished 4-1 - a pleasing win with a makeshift team and The Sheaf kept their unbeaten run going.
Eddie 7 (not much to do - clearly not a striker)
Scott T 7 (never really troubled)
Birch 7 (seen him play much better)
Scott A 7 (another solid peformance)
Bill 7 (calm and assured)
Lee 7.5 (couple of assists)
Benny 7 (led the team well)
Shane 7.5 (great work rate - great goal)
Villa 7 (just for playing through the pain)
Russ 8 (deadly in the air - good movement)
MOMSherwell 7 (low on confidence - needs a goal)
Raggy 7 (worked hard - good to see him back)
Thanks again to Steve Lewis for running the line - much appreciated.