|A posh knife and fork affair|
In what has been the quietest week at work for quite some time, must be something do with an upcoming General Election – the rest of the week following victory in East London drags on somewhat leading towards Saturday’s home game against Harrogate Town. I turned down the opportunity to go out for a carvery on the Friday night with my sister, her other half and my niece as I wanted to keep myself “fresh” for the next day and the pre-match lunch. Talk about saving yourself, and thus can only mean ending up in disaster.
I am woken up on the Saturday morning by Dave Barrett (he owns the seat next to me at Chelsea) calling me to buy the ticket for today’s game against West Ham. As loyal readers will know I would much rather come to GGL then watch Chelsea these days – keeping it in the community. Mr Barrett knocks on my door at 11:30 and the ticket is passed on– where I now need to get my skates on to head for the pre-match lunch. However, I simply have to finish watching the late Gary Rhodes’ Christmas lunch cook which only salivates the palate for the lunch. Uber arranged and I am heading towards GGL, driven by a QPHaha fan who compliments me turning down Chelsea for Sutton United.
Walking into the bar I am greeted by the words “You're late” from members of the COCs who keep begging me to join them. Sorry fellas, I will forever remain loyal to Gandermonium! I take my place though as “head of the table” in which we are served with steak pie and all the trimmings followed by raspberry roulade. Half of the table, which includes me, wins Joycey’s quiz, the only question we get wrong being which football CLUB introduced the world to “Total Football” in the 1970s; seems we read the question wrong and put the Netherlands but the correct answer of course being Ajax. The money won is put towards an Amber 500 ticket – so if mathematics stands correct £7,000 split between seven is a grand each. My winnings surely would have go towards bringing the great Sir Chesney Hawkes to GGL.
|The gaffer tells all...|
This next paragraph is solely dedicated to a one JR! Firstly, my constant reminder to you is and I will shout this out SEND OFF FOR YOUR WORLD CUP 2018 STICKERS – blimey the Euro 2020 sticker book will be out soon at this rate you’re going. The next I am informed by various members of Gandermonium is regarding gout and eating spinach, and I have also been reminded to ask what size coat you need to buy? Hey, don't shoot the messenger!
Whilst at the lunch MattHEW Gray comes in to talk through the performance on Tuesday night and discusses that (my man) Harry Beautyman is giving him a selection headache. I told you Matthew, you cannot drop Harry! He announces the team to the lunchers as being:
13. Tzanev, 4. Barden, 2. LJ, 5. Goodliffe Ben, 22. The ever impressive Ben Wyatt, 15. Eastie, 8. Davis, 10. Harry, 28. Reid, 9. Bugiel and 20. Tommy Wright Wright Wright
Once lunch has been finished, I am feeling ever so bloated that I literally could fall asleep. As I walk into the players bar Kevin De Bruyne re-gives Manchester City the lead at Newcastle United with one of those goals Taz refers to as "a Yeboah" and also "porn" – you know the one ball shot from far out bouncing down from the bar over into the line – this will not be the first time today that Taz makes a pornographic reference in relation to football either. Strange man.
I head to the Vice President’s Lounge and find a nice comfy seat, so comfy that thanks to that big lunch, I actually start to nod off until I am woken up by Malcolm Pearce who looks at the odds for today’s game – the highlighted one being 11-0 to Sutton at 100/1. Hey, stranger things have happened. None of us takes a chance on it however!
Now what becomes a trending theme today is that inside is far too hot – they have the radiators on full blast, so I decide to head out and walk a perimeter of the ground to cool down and to try burn off some of the lunch and I end up at The Shoebox where Ozzie is standing. As we talk about the upcoming Nottingham and Stockport trips, it is a returning Natalie (from Costa Rica) who arrives next. Going by previous home matches we have always shot down to the GGL end in first halves but today it backfires as we end up shooting towards the Collingwood end and we leave Pete (aka Gareth Southgate) on the Shoebox.
The referee does his usual shoddy performance which as per normal irritates Taz and Mr X, and let us not mention the Harrogate number 4 – our friend, Mr Falkingham, aka little knob! The referee fails to notice that there are two teams playing as all his decisions seem to go the way of Harrogate, which reminds me Harrogate I remember how your stewards made a song and dance about us putting a flag up and me telling your stewards how poorly you run things and how our stewards run things better – so check out the next picture showing your fans being allowed to put up their flag without much fuss.
|Flag up, no fuss!|
This leads to on the half hour mark, my man, Harry Beautyman to sneak in and divert a header into the net for the opening goal from Eastmond's cross, and his eighth goal of the season (it's nine actually! - Ed). Half Time Steve (HTS) on 35 minutes asks me what am I drinking – and as I am on blog duty so I ask for a rum and coke. I head into the bar on 41 minutes and thankfully I did not miss another goal. Second half and there is one change as Kenny Davis is taken off for David Ajiboye. This allows Kyle Reid to take his place on the left and with the increasingly impressive Ben Wyatt behind him.
We have a decent half and create opportunities, but they are not taken. However, we cannot rest on our laurels and unfortunately for us and for me it is the Harrogate number 4 (HIM) who scores their equaliser on minute 68! This leveller and our frustration does not last for long though as within four minutes Sutton are back in front and it is an absolute worldie which gives us the lead again. Tommy Wright from 25 yards out takes a shot and ends up in the back of the net, cue mad celebrations as it's the sort of strike we've not seen many of this season!
What is needed now is a third goal and we only have to wait till the 87th minute where Tommy takes on the Harrogate defence alone chasing a long ball and hammers a curling shot into the bottom left to make it 3-1 – these celebrations cause my phone to fall out of my coat pocket and leave a chip in the top right, luckily not the camera part though. I guess we can call that game over and another three points, this time thankfully at GGL rather than on the road. As for today's title, it’s like what they say about buses – you wait for one and two come along at the same time. That is our first back-to-back wins this season and Mr X says in 2019 as a whole. Blimey.
Recollect back to Taz's rude porn analogy earlier and a message to the Whats App Gandermonium VIP only group has the man himself stating how he will 'enjoying' himself to Tommy’s goals when the highlights come out – keep it indoors my friend.
In the Strikers Are Key draw, it is the ball owned by our photographer (and fellow Civil Servant!) Paul Loughlin and it is he who manages to successfully open the contents of the safe for himself and his family. £550 is his reward. I'm sure that'll make for a very Merry Xmas! If you've not seen his wonderful pictures, here's a link to his webpage.
It is now that I start to feel really ill, my head feels like it is burning up and is pounding so I decide to call it a night early on. Which reminds me MattHEW Gray in that I owe you an after match beer next time. Before I depart though, some of the Gandermonium boys mention that they are off to Baku for Wales vs Switzerland for the Euro 2020 fixture and there's also a trip to Bucharest planned for Ukraine versus Austria. No doubt all the strange goings on that both of these will entail will of course be detailed here shortly afterwards!
I say my goodbyes to all, and head towards the West Sutton bus stop for the 413 where I spy the Harrogate coach exiting the ground and heading up GGL – would have loved to have seen Josh Falkingham’s face! I am joined on the 413 by Paul Loughlin and I congratulate him on finding the correct key. He refuses to lend me a fiver however when I ask. Which is a shame.
From the Whatsapp messages I read the next morning, it looks as though a good night was had by all celebrating the win, including Tatey disappearing without trace late in the evening, JR getting home at 3am without having so much as a single alcoholic drink and others stating they feel like crap due to having had much more than a single alcoholic drink. On to Nottingham it is next weekend; how I am going to survive it, heaven knows as the night before I am at my work’s Christmas do with a three course meal at lunch followed by a visit to the Munich Cricket Club to indulge in steins larger than me and a German oompah band. Maybe my colleague Dukey will be kind enough to fill you in on my progress?
Wise men say….