Melissa “I hope my critics are looking at the table”
It was a fabulous day for Rawmarsh St. Joseph’s Social Eyes at Goals Sheffield on Sunday as they won all four of their tough games in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League Division One to head the table after Gameday Two of the season.
The club had been left devastated by the theft of their minibus during the downpour of last week but have received fantastic support from their Crowd Funding appeal and from local businesses, so arrived at Goals Sheffield in upbeat mood and aboard an on-loan minibus from Ross Fletcher & team at Robins & Day Sheffield, without who the games would have had to be cancelled.
It was Pitch Eight – the Amsterdam Arena – for the Social Eyes squad for all four of Sunday’s fixtures. Early worries about the red-light district and recreational substances proved to be totally unfounded, although some of the supporters looked bleary eyed after their late ferry docking from Rotterdam.
Coach Melissa had the guys fired up from the get-go as they took on a talented Bradford FC Emeralds Disability side in the first game of the afternoon. The rain poured down on Goals Sheffield, but the determination of the squad was clear to see as they secured a convincing win, with Josh and Tom on the scoresheet as the squad confirmed the perfect start to the afternoon, cheered on by Jack, a fabulous coach for the squad.
The rain didn’t dampen spirits on the side-lines, as the Social Eyes supporters roared on their team.
Next up for the Social Eyes heroes was a tough-looking clash with Sheffield City Knights White, with a lethal striker in their own Josh. Melissa picked Kenny up front and was rewarded when the striker fired a wonderful half volley home early on to give Social Eyes an early advantage. Sharp-shooter Josh went close with skipper Claire urging the team on, then followed up on the rebound to double Social Eyes advantage, City Knights are always tough opponents, and levelled the game up thanks to an own goal and a great finish from their own Josh, but Tom clinched a vital 3-2 win thanks to a brilliant assist from Martin.
Trudie, in her trademark pink knitted hat – shortly to be marketed as club leisurewear at the Social Eyes Club Megastore – ran the midfield to see the game out in her own stylish manner. Look out for the designer headwear at:
The relief on the touchline was palpable as Director of Football Claire Hobson and Media Manager Margaret celebrated a crucial win. Hobson admitted that stepping back from the front line had been a major issue for her, but that she had adjusted well to her new executive role.
Social Eyes have submitted an Expression of Interest in their current home at the Harding Avenue Drop-In Centre, and Claire has committed to an upgrade to the heating system, so these are important days for Social Eyes and their brilliant staff. Local MP John Healey and Councillor Robert Bird have provided amazing support, and the submission covers a Keep-Fit Club, Slimming World, a Personal Trainer and a local Community Group. Fantastic credentials for an historic site committed to community engagement and education.
Skipper Claire Sykes had borrowed a beanie from a supporter and seemed reluctant to return it as she prepared for the next match. She’s tough, our Claire.
On then to Game Three, and another cracking clash with Club Doncaster Titans Yellow. Melissa rang the changes for the fixture, with Luke, the Arsenal fan, and Adie, the Leeds United supporter starting alongside Joseph: Luke and Adie had been bigging up their teams before kick-off, but both had tremendous games to put their side on the way to victory .
The Manager showed no fear in rotating her talented squad, and was rewarded with a convincing win, with Kenny again in brilliant form. Claire – a brilliant sport – lined up for the opposition as they were short of players, and despite some abuse from her usual team mates – “You’re a traitor, Claire” – her terrific defending couldn’t prevent another Social Eyes win.
The rain teemed down, and the floodlights came on ahead of Social Eyes final match of the afternoon against Derek Dooley Academy FC Blue, and of all the matches this was the toughest as the two Dooley girls were outstanding. From Social Eyes, though, it was shots galore, and Josh scored twice, and Tom rifled in a wonderful goal to clinch the three points and the lead in the table after two matchdays.
Social Eyes headed home in brilliant spirits, heading the table but taking nothing for granted. As Melissa and Claire agreed, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
The guys are back in action December 15th this time at Goals Doncaster.
The team are also guests at Swallownest’s home NCEL game with Nostell Miners Welfare on December 21st, kick off 3pm.
You can follow the team on Twitter @ socialeyes_ds and at their partner team @swallownestfc
South Yorkshire Ability Counts League Division One
POS TEAM PLD W D L GF GA GD PTS
1 Raw St Joseph’s JFC Social Eyes 7 6 1 0 7 1 6 19
2 City Knights Whites 8 5 2 1 7 3 4 17
3 Derek Dooley Academy FC Blue 6 3 1 2 4 3 1 10
4 Bradford City Emeralds 7 1 0 6 1 6 -5 3
5 Club Doncaster Titans Yellow 8 1 0 7 1 7 -6 3