Archive for March 24th, 2014
High Five And Hands On A Play Off Spot For CD Tenerife

Someone was going to get a spanking, and Ponferradina were the lucky recipients as CD Tenerife blitzed them 5-0 with Ayoze grabbing a glittering hat trick. It has to be said that the visitors were poor but the power, speed, and lethal finishing of the Tenerife attack would have carved up anyone on this form.

With a near full squad to pick from, Carlos Ruiz edged out Alberto from the heart of defence, Ayoze Diaz held off Raul Camara at left back, and Ricardo and Aitor Sanz returned to fire up the midfield. Tenerife were a little slow out of the blocks but soon found their rhythm. Suso had borrowed Usain Bolts trainers again and streaked down the right to pick out Ayoze after 11 minutes, the youngster flicked the ball to the side of his marker and tucked it in the net. It was going to be a tough afternoon for Ponferradina, especially Pio born Yuri who got plenty of crowd stick. Lara tried to be flash with a couple of practice strokes at a free kick before connecting and wasting their first chance of the half. Tenerife carried on pummeling them, a ball in from Suso passed across their goalmouth as their goalie made a despairing dive.

The second goal arrived from a Cristo corner, Ayoze showed his skills are not just ground based as he scored from a sharp header. It was one way traffic, even some wild tackles and harsh referee calls couldn’t stem the flow. Moyano and Suso linked up well and set up Aridane to add the third. The big man doesn’t always get credit for his contributions, when the ball came to him he had two defenders breathing down his neck but his strength allowed him to hold them off, drag the ball aside and flick it past the keeper – just call him twinkle toes.

Tenerife dozed off a little towards the end of the half, Juande had loads of space as the defence stood still but his shot was feeble. Dare we hope for more in the second half, we certainly did, Aitor Sanz missed a chance to make it 4-0 with a soaring shot, Ayoze was hungry for his triple, two defenders squeezed him and he stumbled but instead of taking a dive he used his momentum to turn and fire the ball in the net. It was richly deserved and he rushed to share the moment with a surge of fans, that’s 16 goals now.

Juanjo replaced Aridane and Edgar swapped with Ayoze Perez and had an impressive 10 minute cameo, he put a pass onto Juanjo’s head, and his nod was a close effort. Then in injury time Edgar cut into the edge of the box, picked his spot and stroked the ball into the top corner to make it 5-0. All five markers would have graced any game, next stop second placed Deportivo. Aitor Sanz will be out after completing another group of five bookings but Diego Rivas will return as back up goalie, a big sigh of relief as we got through his suspension without untried Carlos being exposed to senior action.


Oxford, Change Here For Rabbits, Chimney Cakes, and Traveling Cats

Wednesday is a good day in Oxford as the outdoor market is on at Gloucester Green. It has evolved out of the old cattle market further out at Oxpens but the sheep, pigs, and hens of my youth are long gone and it’s more of a food, bric a brac, and general tat market but always produces some interesting sights, sounds, and smells.


In between meeting a few old work friends I had a wander around the stalls  and noticed how international the flavour is these days. I could have feasted on Japanese Gyoza dumplings or Hungarian Chimney Cakes and there are still plenty of old school traders with their cries and banter. Back in Cornmarket Street the entertainers were serving up a range of diversions from the ever popular cycling white rabbit churning out bubbles to a pretty good rock guitarist doing a cracking version of Gary Moore’s Still Got The Blues For You. I also met a traveling gentleman with his bundle of possessions and his white and ginger traveling cat Mr Pinky. This guy gets around the country and showed me an album of photos of Mr Pinky at various stops – there was a nice one taken in The Mall with the Queen playing a distant supporting role to the Michael Palin of the feline world.


I was good and kept off the beer until the evenings, otherwise I wouldn’t have got any of my ongoing paper chase done. Wednesday I popped down to the Rose and Crown in North Parade to see landlord and owner Andrew Hall, a good friend from the ice hockey days. Mine host was in good form and the beer and memories flowed. Thursday evening I met some former work friends at The Evenlode in Eynsham, a posh food place, we weren’t eating, the food prices were quite high but the drinks were amazingly low and they had a couple of decent ales. Friday was my last night and brought the richest harvest of strolling players. Starting at the Far From The Madding Crowd, the side alley pub was invaded by Morris dancers complete with face make up and woodland outfits – they looked like they might even have a badger or two hidden about their persons.  This group of around 15 dancers were the Armaleggan Border mob, lured out by the previous days arrival of spring or the vernal equinox as it’s called. Sadly there wasn’t room for them to do their full routine but they downed a few pints before moving on to their next pub stop.

It was a difficult night weather wise to parade the streets, some pubs were doing Sport Relief fund raisers, and then there are always the weekend nutters milling around, bouncers were on the doors and shouting up a beer was a long process at the main bars. I adjourned to Headington, as the bus passed Bonn Square the morris dancers were performing in the teaming rain to a small crowd of half interested tourists. The Britannia Inn in London Road was re-opening after a weeks intense makeover and as they were boasting 8 cask ales I had to give it a go. The slightly intimidating attitude of town was missing, instead it was a warm bright pub with some great ales, the food menu looked good too, I will test that on another visit. At some stage a free round was bought for most of the people in the main bar, I never did find out who the benefactor was but it was a nice bonus.


Saturday morning arrived too quickly, my train to Birmingham airport wasn’t as full as I feared, Reading away to the Blues but either their fans went up early or not at all. Fairwell Oxford, hello Tenerife, back just in time for a CD Tenerife Sunday game.