Sunday, 20 April 2014

You Lose Some, You Win Some

Easter is the time where we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and foundation of the Christian faith passed on the principals that have been laid down by God to his chosen people. More importantly its a couple of games over a weekend that can make or break a season for a team at either end of the table. That is because unlike our professional brothers in the premier league everyone else has to squeeze in a home & away match.

Eastleigh managed to clinch the title on Good Friday with some of the gayest celebrations ever seen by this intrepid reporter. Where was the pitch invasion? Was there really 1,500 people at the game? Do they realise that they could possible be the most unpopular team to win the title since last year? It beggars belief, but more importantly we are still one point in front of Bromley with three games to go. And still times are hard and some of us have had to start a sideline to keep the club going....

We thought he was an accountant!

Today's opponents are Bishop's Stortford (DICK Count: 12, but possibly another one on Wednesday) who've spent most of the season in the middle of the table. Its been a long time since they beat us back down the Lane on bank holiday weekend. Since then we've seen them reach the first round of the FA Cup and the final of their county cup. Woodside Park has never been a good hunting ground for us and I don't think I've ever seen us win there.

After a bad night I was up early doors and with time to spare I arrived at the station at least fifteen minutes before the train was due. The Editor was slowly seen walking up towards the platform and my first thought was that had all of us shit the bed this morning? The train arrived at 0911hrs and here we were joined by Mr X, the Welsh Wizard and a part-time in Crockett and his 80's double denim wearing mate little Sam.

This train was due to hit Farringdon, so in the meantime we managed to have some very enlightened conversations regarding various topics. I won't go into the detail of these conversations, but some of the minds of our travelling support can really at times be very worrying yet fascinating at the same time. There was also news that one of our Firm members had a little accident after the last outing on the booze cruise and may have broken a bone, so best wishes Sean Connery!

Posh 'Spoons kazhi's....

Arriving at Farringdon we crossed the platform on the underground and headed east toward Liverpool Street. Here we had a quarter of an hour to get out tickets, so we sent the Editor to get four tickets while me and Mr X snuck out for a cheeky snout. After our lungs had been filled with tar we went to find everyone else. The Editor was still in the queue and with no chance of getting tickets before the train left we decided on a different course of action.

It was waiting for the longest ticket machine in the world to print our tickets that we realised that several members had disappeared into the mist. Needless to say we never leave a man behind, especially since we had his train tickets. So instead we had to debate about what train to get next, and with every cloud there is a silver lining because this gave us time to pick up a couple of cheeky beers for the journey up north.

The train journey was to last less than an hour, and we got to sail past some of the lovely parts of England that never get mentioned like Tottenham Hale and Harlow Mill. To be honest if I see these places again it will be too soon. We arrived at Bishop's Stortford after eleven o'clock and at least half an hour behind schedule. The first port of call was going to be the pub and where else would we go but the Spoons that had only been open within the last week.

The décor of this place was something to be said of a new place. There was no sick on the floor and no piss up the walls and the toilets, fuck me were clean. The CEO of CES might've had a heart attack with the numbers of lights around the place. Once again there did seem to be a queueing system in order with most people ordering breakfast than drink, I do suppose it was still am. Most of the conversation fleeted with the old idea of taking barge to game one day and after several pints we decided to hit another joint as we were starting to get a little boisterous.

Shouldn't that be plural?

I will have to say that Stortford is a little lacking in boozers of any kind but all through this time our Editor had one thing on his "Cock" and there is where we were going "The Cock Inn" to be precise and here was a boozer that nearly ticked all the boxes:
  1. Juke Box
  2. Pool Table
  3. Dart Board
  4. Quiz Machine
  5. Footy on the Telly
The only things missing was a busty bird behind the jump and the fact that there selection of ciders was somewhat lacking. Ordering a BBC Bulmer's is not the same thing as a mixed berry Magners. Still a couple of drinks later and we were discussing the idea that if the club were ever to get a juke box I doubt we would ever leave. Thinking about the juke box and considering the game on the box was at 0-0, we decided to stick some coinage into the machine and get the place jumping. Some of the classics that were unleashed were Plastic Bertrand, Guru Josh and the Technoheads.

At this point several other members arrived at the pub. Aleman, Red oxide & son and lets not forget another fellow writer in Totts who had taken a later train up than us. We were also joined by a Stortford fan, who goes by the nick name of "Ladders". Lucky for us he was able to organise some transport for us to the ground. Unfortunately we were dumped half a mile away from the ground, bloody council dump queues! £12 later we were in the ground and into the bar as quick as our little legs could take us.

'Bob' needs to work on his tagging technique. That's shite....

Line-up today is: Brown, John, King, Spillane, Downer, Sinclair, Sawyer, Scannell, Haysman, Taylor, McCallum
Bench: Williams, Dundas, Shitta, Philpott, Lovelock

The first half will no doubt be forgotten as quickly as possible by those that were in attendance. On a very dry pitch that had just be sprayed with a thin film of water, the conditions were never ideal. You could see the reasons for why they have been playing catch up since Christmas with a certain place on the pitch resembling a 1930s dustbowl. The first real incident of the game saw King take an elbow to face that required him to get the old tampax treatment up the hooter. Surprisingly he didn't need a blood replacement shirt, but we couldn't see any claret. The only issues were how the ref took ages to let Kingy back on the pitch, and how the fella got away with it. This was rectified later in the half when the same fella was booked.

Towards the end of the half we got to see the best chance when after a terrible back pass was interrupted by Taylor, all he had to do was take around the little man in goal. Unfortunately he didn't make contact with the ball and the keeper was able to collect the ball. Apparently there was a slight disagreements in the tunnel, but I couldn't see anything. I do think this may have been caused by the way that Kane had been poleaxed to the ground. Which was then missed somehow by the ref. Initially forgoing a drink at half time which had me in the bar at half time trying to find out some of the other scores. Hearing that the Scum were 4-0 down at home to Margate and Tonbridge were holding Bromley helped to raise our spirits.

The second half took us towards the Essex end of the ground and finally into some bright sunshine. Shitta had replaced the injured John and with one recognised defender we started the second half like the first. This all changed when a Taylor lob went tantalisingly just over the bar onto the top of the goal. This was all to change when after a little trip by Sinclair, Stortford into the lead with the resulting penalty. This lead only lasted five minutes when after a little possible control with the arm, McCallum turned and spun the ball into the net off the right hand post. 1-1!

After this there was only one real team that looked like winning. Still Shitta had to be booked for a foul but King was unlucky to be shown a yellow for a dive in the dustbowl. With ten minutes left we saw Taylor and McCallum leave the battlefield to be replaced by Dundo and the stranger Williams for his first game in ages. The last minute saw the game changer, when a Spillane cross shot came of Dundo's shin into the roof of the net. 2-1! With time fast running out we decided for the second match in a row to give the home fans a chorus of "Wembley '81" that we were so used a mere few years back.

Like a bowling green innit......

After shuffling into the bar we stuck back a few brewskies and waited for the results to come in. The Scum had succumbed to a six nil home defeat and Bromley had drawn at the Angels. This now means that we are three points clear of them with two games to go. We also had time to speak to the big fella himself  (Macca) and sort out some of the finer details of our charity match at the end of the season.

Leaving the ground we headed back to "The Cock Inn" and several more beers. Most of the people inside seemed to be more interested in the Chelsea game on the box. I still can't believe that Sunderland actually won at Stamford Bridge. After much debate we decided to head back south towards London. The only snag was when we arrived at the station the train we were due to go on had been cancelled. What were we to do? Get more drink obviously!

With the Editor on alcohol purchases, it was down to me to get some tucker. Unfortunately the KFC that was identified on my phone was not where it said it was and I had to make do with some second rate outfit near the station. On the train the chicken, wings and chip was consumed with fervour not seen since the French Revolution. Its a shame that most of the bones ended up being thrown around the carriage by one of our more drunker members.

Sending the Editor to get the booze for the half hour train trip present us with its own issues. First we only just made it onto the train, with some people holding the doors open. The second issue was that on his own he had decided to experiment with his purchases. This was shown whilst on the train he displayed not only a bottle of Cherry B but also a bottle of something called "Magnum". This tonic wine tasted like some childhood medicine mixed with turps.

Made with VIGORTON! That's good right?

Arriving at Liverpool Street we were faced with two distinct possible options. The first was go to Stratford and meet with some of the Dover boys after their victory at Concord. The second option was to head to Victoria and meet up with our Firm Leader as he had been up Camden way drinking with Tottenham fans. Of course our loyalty towards the Firm Leader knows no bounds so off to Victoria and the Spoons in the station we went.

Donning a rather nice hat the Firm Leader was seen propping up the bar upstairs and it was here that we made other plans. It was decided that as the place had been infested with drunk Nigel's returning from East London, we would once again head off towards Clapham and the famous world cup. As many of you would know that our famous Firm motto is "Never leave a man behind, unless mutually inconvenient to the rest of the group." Well once again this happened as Mr X and Little Sam were left behind. I still think that Little Sam is still MIA.

After getting our mugshots with the World Cup and several double vodkas later we all decided that it might be best if we leave for home as the next couple of weeks might be a bit taxing on the old wallet. Arriving home just after midnight and the fact that we have a game on Monday dawned on me. Its a shame that I have to work Monday, but never fear, the Duke is here and he will be there. There is even a rumour that Juan might make an appearance but seeing is definitely believe in that case!


They lied about the hooks....

Duke
Att. 478

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