When I read Nancy’s excellent Killing Time Post it reminded me of a period in our lives where we moved to the rythms of the medical profession whilst being amazed by what they were able to do for us as a couple struggling to find that missing thing in our lives – a child. The image of the old magazine left lying on the table is especially poignant for me.

Lets cut to the chase… No child after 7 yrs of a normal marital relationship leads to a chat with the GP and a referral to an IVF consultant. So we go though the initial test and he says.. NP we’ll harvest some eggs and when we’ve done that we’ll need some sperm… But not right now… Eggs first.

Meanwhile we’re watching all the others going through the process – so many sad and distressed faces. So many dreams dashed because it doesn’t always work and it costs money. We had already visited the Corem Foundation with a view of adopting but were now following their advice – don’t adopt unless you have already exhausted all options of a natural child of your own.

So how does Nancy’s post fit with this?…

My good lady has her eggs harvested and a week later I have to come in with sperm for the necessary meeting with the eggs in the petrie dish. So we both turn up with the plastic jar full of what I understand is sometimes referred to a Ball Batter. Sorry – says the technician… sperm’s died on the way in – you need to produce fresh… And I get pointed to the Male Sperm Room where there a couple of beds and (this is where it ties in with Nancy’s post) a pile of magazines that a soldier from the first world war would probably have recognised and from which us men are expected to produce the necessary fluids… By the way, assistance from your partner is not allowed 😦 We often hear about affronts to a Lady’s dignity… You will appreciate that this is an affront to male dignity…

Heyy.. But the result was worth all the effort and embarrassment – at least for us. There were many other couples who were really struggling to get that joy that perhaps all of us married people need? A child? I also wonder what child lost a potential family the day that Corem sent us out to explore all avenues. We are lucky enough to have found the holy grail of a child at the end of all the difficulties…

But I will never forget the embarrassment of the room where I was expected to produce in the absense of my wife with ancient literature that was supposed to encourage me… though that pales when I consider all those for who the hopes of parenthood didn’t happen despite the best efforts of the IVF team…

…so a successful outcome for us nearly 10 years after we married and now, 10 yrs down the road I give you the Hellion…

Alasdair
Alasdair

On an evening that saw the return of another two players that would normally be part of our first team, injuries permitting, Wingate and Finchley faced Chelmsford City in a friendly match.   The returning players, Lairdy and Gaz, came home with sun tans that tell of the mediterranean, feta and olives.   It won’t last – Lairdy will be white as a sheet (or should that be sheep) within a few weeks whilst Gaz will probably retain his extra shade a bit longer.   Putting that aside, we again fielded a mix of first team regulars and youngsters on a pitch that was slippery as the evening saw periods of drizzle and occasional heavy rain.

Normally when we have a ‘quick’ pitch it allows our players to express their natural passing abilities so I would have expected to see an open passing game against Chelmsford who are a level above us in the football heirarchy.   That wasn’t what we got.    Let me start with the final score line – 6-0 to the visitors 😦   I don’t mind losing, sometimes it’s a positive thing in drawing attention to issues that need addressing but 6-0 is a drubbing and is way beyond the difference of stature between the sides.

Bobby Intercepts
Bobby Intercepts a swooping cross intended for the Chelmsford forward on the right as Keiron demonstrates his hurdling skills

Bobby, in goal, made a number of good saves and made a lot of use of his vocal chords during the game.  His language would often have earnt a 15 certificate at the local Vue Cinema!   Whilst I joked with his young lady after the match about sending him on an anger management course with Saint Gavin, I and she fully understood his rage and reaction to what was going on in the outfield.   The keeper is hostage to what happens in front of him – he is the last line of defence and can only do his job effectively if those in front have made it difficult for the attackers.

So what were the defence doing?   Well, in the first half of the game they seemed to do quite well and overall were probably the best unit of the team as a whole though they did get caught out more and more as the game wore on.   The issue, you see, was that in front of the defence everything was going to pot.   There was a fear of getting up close and personal with the opposition and a total lack of ideas.   Chelmsford closed everyone down very quickly whilst the W & F players gave them room to maneouvre and pick their passes.  Being closed down so quickly, the W & F midfield all too often resorted to the simple lofted ball forward in the hope of finding Leon or Murat up front – (actually, so did the defence).   The Chelmsford players read that route one tactic and it quickly became a waste of effort as they either allowed the off-side trap to work or intercepted the ball and went straight onto the attack themselves.  Yet we persisted in that failed tactic 😦   With Chelmsford consistently on the attack and no respite, our defence were stretched and often overwhelmed.

At one quiet period just before halftime, while an injury was being dealt with, I overheard the Chelmsford players talking on the field about our defensive tactics – apparently the holding tactic being used by our number 6 (that’ll be Keiron) whilst stopping their number 9 was allowing the rest of the team their space to get in behind – playing into their hands was how they put it – would have loved to pass that info to Dave but I’m not allowed in the dressing room.   Ironically, it was one period in the match when we did string some attacking moves together!

So, to sum up – devoid of ideas, no pressure on the opposition, too slow, not enough passing to feet.   The team’s performance in this match doesn’t bode well for the season ahead.   The one not-so-negative thing is that Chelmsford City have played three other Ryman League Premier sides – Carshalton, East Thurrock and Canvey Island – and beaten them too.   Lets hope that Uxbridge and Ware will see a better effort all round because I hate having to write such negative match reports 😦   Come on guys, give me something to really enthuse about!!!

Goal 6
Goal 6 – Bobby is beaten at close range from yet another corner for Chelmsford City.