Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Reserved Experience

Well, well, well, here we go again, here we go once more!

What, no game you say, no bloody game, what’s going on? How will us hardcore non league junkies get our football fix! In recent weeks as you are more than aware our F.A Cup Giant Killing came to an end at Kiddie. Still what a day out that was! Following the exit from the F.A Cup our minds turned to then, the F.A Trophy, and well those dreams were also shattered , going out of the Trophy to Havant at home. With both cup exits, and no home or away game listed for this Saturday, us mindless idiots at Gandermonium H.Q sat around scratching our heads and twiddling our thumbs. What is out there for us non- league diehard fans to do? With no Skrill south fixture on the cards, we picked our noses and scratched our arses, and shuffled our feet.

Until a lightning bolt struck! (We just looked at the ressies fixture list)  The reserves were playing just up the road at Banstead Athletic. Happy days a football fix of sorts. Not your full on class A junkie football fan fix. But hey, it will do us just nicely!

Welcome to Banstead....

So the plan was set in stone. Even the E.I.C seemed up for this one. A discussion took place, on one of those social ( stalk book ) sites, and the plan was to try and re-create this one, as an away day kind of vibe.

The Plan

A text from the E.I.C informing us that there is quite literally, bugger all drinking establishments within local proximity to Merland Rise. Hmm. Well we never doubt the man, and we take his word as the gospel truth. To be fair living just down the road from Tadworth I know the place is, how can I put this, a block of typical council houses and local hood rats!

We after all have some class, well some of us members of the firm do! Epsom was the call of the day ! Loads of decent boozers in the town centre. I for one am a fan of the Strawberry Beer, and I know there is a decent boozer in this neck of the woods, that serves this tipple. Anyway we shall come onto the pubs, bars and drinking holes later. So armed with a ‘Dukey Ton’ in my back burner, which is guaranteed to be waxed by the end of the night, off to Epsom we go....

I’ve just awoken from my pit on Sunday morning, after only finding it at 03:30 AM. So for this write up, I think I’m going to have to rewind the tape to bring you all the gritty details, so bear with me as Juan’s head is slightly tender.

A short walk up the road, I join my carriage on the train departing from Banstead to meet the other members at Sutton, for our destination of Epsom Town Centre.  I pick up the Epsom train from Sutton, and only Duke and Greek are present, a worrying sight. There was me thinking there would be more of us. However Greek informs me that other members would be joining us a little later.
Arrival into Epsom Station, and these two plonkers have tapped their Oyster Cards in at Carshalton, only to be declined entry to Epsom, as for some bizarre reason you can’t use Oyster cards at Epsom, A bit daft that. With that annoyance out of the way we headed off towards the first pub of the day, The Marquis at the other end of the High Street. First pints ordered Duke  & Greek went for a cider, and myself a Fruli, or a Strawberry Beer as it’s known on the street! Duke  & Greek, take a few sips from their pints, and decide it’s not for them, a rather odd woody taste I must say, and the pints are returned to the bar for an exchange. The exchanged cider, again offering a rather dry and woody taste, not the best pint in the world but it will do.

Used to be a gay pub once....

Dukey boy still not happy with the Oyster card fuck up, he sits in the corner with the hump on, cause he couldn’t tap out, and only topped up his card this very morning. A little time passes, and the first pint of Strawberry goodness is consumed, and Loffers rocks up at the pub, offering me another full class of this Strawberry goodness, well that’s 2 of my five a day. A few minutes later the Editor in Chief turns up, and orders himself a drink, and then the conversation turns to his recent work visit to Boston. In summary the Americans can’t drink for toffee, and to add insult to injury they drink Bud-Lite, which is the same strength as tap water. Well at least the E.I.C enjoyed himself. Mr X then rocks up, with pint in hand, and joins in the banter.  A certain twitter follower/ account comes into conversation once more, and well some of the tweets are epic in scale and typically in bad taste. I then pipe up and mention to Duke, not to sender me any more of his course work via email, with the Subject line that reads Midget Sex, as it’s slightly hard to explain my way out of that one, when someone else had access to my emails. The conversation then turns towards various midget sex porn/actresse, & S.S.B.B.W, which stands for Super Sized Big Breasted Women-care to explain this Duke. Then somehow, Dorking Deepdene is linked into this conversation. Perhaps it’s a Dukeism of sorts. Where this conversation comes from at times I have no idea, well put it this way. The happy couple that were sat in close proximity to us cleared off after 5 minutes can’t say I blame them, can you?

The conversation then in some twisted fashion turns to me trying to explain to Mr X where the switch back road in Tadworth is. Now then, for some idiotic reason I explain where this road is with various hand signals, a kind of a tipsy deaf sign language! Christ why did I just do that, I made a right tit of myself! Then follows the explosion of Mr X’s mad mile impression, everyone is in fits of laughter.  Is that the time, time to drink up and make our way up to Banstead Athletic, the local fridge. Off we trot to find our cabs to the ground, a touch of luck, given the nearest cab station is quite literally 10 paces over the road. So we all bundle into one of those people carriers, and the taxi driver takes us onto our destination. Now then, we try to offer the cabbie a life time supply of Viagra for his fine driving abilities. He declines our offer and will only accept hard currency. God knows how this came up in conversation, I can’t remember, think I may have killed a few Brain cells yesterday.

90 minutes.

Boom we’ve arrived. Casually we head off to the bar, for a pre-match pint of sauce to see us through the next 45 minutes or so. The pints are consumed, and we head out onto the terrace. A fine sum of £3 due is paid, bargain. Now first thing to point out about Barnstead’s ground is this. It’s got more elevation than Eastleigh, ha! So as per the norm, we all head over behind the attaching goal, and make ourselves right at home. I have to point out that I haven’t watched a Ressie game for a number of years, so I’m slightly out of touch with matching names to the numbers on the back of the shirts.

A corner flag, yesterday....

With kick off underway, both teams are up for a high tempo game. Sutton under clear instruction from the manager, spreading the ball down both channels, putting together at times some great passes, opening up Boreham Woods defence. With a decent number of attacks the lads are really decent. A similar trend was noted by members of the firm, which was spotted in both the first and reserve team. We are great at the build up play, but just lack that final ball, or touch. Not a criticism, just a note to the wise.  With the half time whistle blown, we all marched off to the bar for refreshment, in fact we all went top shelf this time. Gin Gin, down it goes.

Lining up the wall....

Right then back out on the terrace this time, right down the other end behind the attacking goal once more.  We can see some potential talent in the reserves. Sutton pressing the Woods back four again, but just lacking the final ball. Taz then pipes up, and states this has got nil nil written over this one, and then boom Sutton go one up. Have some of that Mr Tazbert.  With Sutton's confidence now high, they again press, and score another some ten minutes later. Within two minutes a quickly taken free kick from the right channel is swooped in over the top, and Sutton go 3 up. Well, well Mr T looks like your Nostradamus prediction was well out fella. With the cold now setting in our arthritic bones, the ref blew the final whistle, and we headed back to the bar, for a quick pint, and ordered our return taxi back to Epsom. The plan was to head back into the Town Centre, and see where the night takes us. It took us somewhere all right, more details to come.

The return leg

Back in town, the taxi driver stopped in the middle of the road, and we all bailed out into the busy road, avoiding oncoming traffic on a blind bend. Probably not the best place to stop Guv! Now we were in a slight predicament. We had already been in the Marquis before the game, and normally we don’t return to a pub that has been ticked off the list. So the group headed off toward the local Spoons, Duke finally gave us a smile.

Regulation 'Spoons visit....

He loves a good Spoons, probably just as much as he loves the Surrey Senior Cup. We piled into the Assembly Rooms, found a table, and I headed off to the bar seeing as it was my round. Seeing as I’m a bit of a joker, I thought it funny to buy Taz a bottle of beer brewed in Brooklyn. Well you know, the man had been in Boston, so well, Brooklyn wasn’t too far away right? Until he pipes up and tells me they also serve a beer brewed in Boston. Well looks like a) my geography skills are shit, and b) the joke was on me. Time check, the clock pushing 6 pm it was time for some grub, a pile of microwaved grease on a plate. You know the Weatherspoons poor man’s burger, still it came with a free pint, so i wasn’t going to turn my nose up at it too much !
The conversation dies out a tad, and Mr X makes his call to the porcelain. In is absence, I get bored for a couple of moments, and decide to try a game of pint glass Jenga. A newly developed dangerous game, especially if you want to stay in the pub a little longer.  Still it balanced out for a couple of minutes. I was very happy with what I had constructed. Mr X returns and finds his pint in cased in other glasses and various crockery.

Juan admires his handiwork....

So with time pressing and the pints in full flow, the conversation turns back to that of describing roads using body language. We have in fact just stumbled across a newly invented game, which the firm called “Charoads” brilliant, bloody brilliant. Trying to impersonate various roads such as the A3, the M25 and Devils punch bowl can be a tad tricky when under the influence of beer, but we managed. A quick glance over my shoulder and yes people where staring at us. But this kind of behaviour was quite acceptable for a Spoons establishment. I mean you should have seen some of the sites. Jeremy Kyle could have a field day with this mob!

Us? A pub? With our reputations?

Time to leave the Spoons and head off to what used to be the Litten Tree, now called the Vestry. Mr X then duly informs us of his New Years Eve memories of getting hammered and puking off the top balcony over various patrons, this lad is a legend. A text comes through on Juan’s hot line, from my mate Gemma and she tells me shes in Epsom and will be joining us boys for a few drinks in the Vestry. Gemma and her mate Laura turn up for a glass of port, which is followed by a number of jager bombs. Cor this goes straight to my head, and start to feel a little worse for wear. Time pushing on, the sign above our heads reminds us that this establishment is open until the early hours, fantastic!

This is good news.....

More Bulmer’s are pulled and bombs consumed, as the time pushes towards midnight. The group decide we’ve had enough of the Vestry and we make our way outside and head off down the road to a Gentlemen’s club, the only one in Epsom. Well as the saying goes when in Rome! Off we trot down the cobbles, and we get stopped en route by the local polizia. I won’t go into the reason why, but it was rather funny at the time!

Arrival at the Gentlemen’s club, the door man, built like a brick shit house, tells us gents that it’s a tenner for the entry and no photographs or mobiles are allowed. We hang our coats and head in, beers follow as does the excitement, a first Gentlemen’s club visit for the Gandermonium firm. Sadly due to various restrictions I can’t divulge any further information on this venture, what goes on tour, stays on tour!

Fillies indeed.....

Time check, 2:30 am, time for us to leave this place, and get ourselves off home, so we stumble off down the high street and head towards the local cab office. A ten minute wait and our cab awaits, we jump in and the driver taps in our postcodes, and advises us of the cost in advance, and we all cough up some green for the ride. I’m first on the drop list and the driver is following his Twat Nav, I tell him to switch it off, and I’ll give him directions. Now when I say directions, it was the Juan Rally Driving Experience. Left, over crest, low 2, tight chicane to high 3. The driver loves it and gives it the full Jackie Stewart. Arrival back home at just gone 3 am. Jesus this was only a reserve game after all. Well Taz wanted to have the ‘away day’ feel today, well it certainly did. I think it may take a bit to top this one.......

This is Juan signing off.

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