They Only Need 10 Men


Att: 1548

STEVENAGE BOROUGH – 1   [Pearson 86]


Another game, another defeat. Well, you didn’t expect anything else did you?? We certainly didn’t.

With folorn hearts we met at the Friar & Firkin for a pre-travel pint and a bit of a shufty at the Man Utd-Chelsea game on Sky. Here Chalmers completes his match report from Thursdays game against Scarboro. Nothing like prompt reporting eh Paul? A guzzle of London Pride later and we’re Stevenage bound. 25 minutes later and we’re deposited in the wonderfully ‘new’ part of the town. (For ‘New’, read ‘No Pubs=Shite’).

After wandering around and allowing Chalmers a quick Maccy D’s stop we stumble groundwards. This turns out to be fun as Bob and myself are forced to watch Judith stick a large fries, cheeseburger and Big Mac into his gob. It’s something you really have to see for yourself to understand the pure majesty of a gutsy bastard stuffing his face.

Upon arrival at Broadhall Way we head for the bar. Upon arrival at the bar, we find both hand pumps to be inoperative, declare the bar a ‘Fuck That’ zone and adjourn to the away terrace. Here we discover that the proggie seller for the aforementioned ‘away’ terrace had buggered off to the aforementioned ‘Fuck That’ zone and won’t reappear until around 2.30. Under beered and proggie-less we park our unhappy arses on the terrace. The ground has changed considerably since ourt last visit. In fact, the whole place is brand new. Shows what having a bit of ambition does for a club (Little bit of politics there ladies and gentlemen).

Eventually, proggies are secured and we discover that both Dacky and Newhouse are ‘unavailable’ for selection. The reason? They’d reacted badly to dressing room critism and fucked off. We’re not exactly gutted by the news. If they won’t give 100%, then ‘Fuck off’ is the only way for them to go as far as I’m concerned.

This means that Hutchinson partners Harlow in midfield and Watson reappears up front with Sammy. The game starts and we’re soon showing the pure class that sees us propping up the division. Twice our back line is breached with ease and only desperate last ditch defending saves us. Gwynne Berry natrually turns and abuses the lino on both occasions. Nice one. Obviously the fact you’re a carthorse is down to the officals Gwynne.

Boro’s grand a week man, Carl Alford is continuing his recent crap form by hitting everything BUT our goal, despite the numerous gifts presented to him by bollocks Sutton defending. His strike partner is faring no better. We manage a snap shot from Sammy before we get our first bit of officiating in our favour this season. Nko goes on a barrelling 40 yard run, before being hacked down on the edge of the box by last man Trott. The ref produces a red card for the Stevenage defender and we know from that moment on we’re buggered. The free kick is wonderfully fired into the wall by the inept as usual Harlow.

The loss of a defender does nothing to dent the home sides attacks as they continue to look by far the most likely to snatch a goal. More poor marking is recovered by frantic last ditch tackles/clearances. The ref by now is overwhelmed with remorse for the dismissal of the home defender and is natrually giving every bloody poxy little foul the home sides way. Wanker. Nko comes in for some stick from the home crowd after a rather theatrical dive by the No4. The booing lasts the rest of the match.

So half time, 0-0, they’re down to 10 men and we’ve yet to launch a serious attack on their goal. Er, anyone wanna run by me the reasons we’re going straight back to the Ryman??

Half time produces a strangely amusing moment. A certain, pissed up female member of the away support proceeds to spectacularly throw up over a fellow U’s fan. We stifle our giggles, then start gagging as the smell of fresh spew reaches our nostrils. The spewer in question is led away by another pissed up female supporter and the ‘vomit’ jokes and puns begin. It amuses thoroughly before 22 tossers show up and start kicking a ball around. This diverts our attention and the jokes stop.

Naturally, the home side continue to threaten most, despite being a man down. But most of their efforts on goal are way off target. Sammy is natrually having the shit kicked out of him by the home defence. One particularly nasty foul by the No4 warrants not even a talking to by the soft arsed ref, despite the award of a free kick in our favour. This is a rare occurance as any sort of challenge around the home 18 yard box by a U’s player concedes a free kick, whilst kicking and elbow type offences by the home side go unpunished. Typical.

Subs then appear and both Alford and his partner are withdrawn for the home side. They’re replaced by a normal looking bloke and a tiny 4ft 2in midget. The midget makes Rowlands look like a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. “He’ll score” I say. Sagely nods abound amongst the U’s following.

Natrually it is Mr 3ft 9in Midget that does the damage just 4 minutes from time. A long hump down the left is collected by the 5ft 1in forward and he races towards the box. Gwynne ambles to meet him and is naturally left for dead. Skelly tries to cover but is also turned inside out before the 3ft 11in striker fires low inside Howells near post. Bollocks.

We then huff and puff but never really look like snatching an equaliser. And when the final whistle blows, we’re all certain that relegaion is now a formality. This is confirmed by Welling defeating FGR 2-1 and Woking’s 1-0 win at home to Telford. Ooooh goody, we could travel 200-odd miles to Northwich on saturday and be relegated! WooooHoooooo! Can’t wait!

We trudge back to the station and head back to Kings Cross. Once back in the Capital, we set about beer hunting. This proves harder than originally thought as we go for the 3 Firkin pubs in the Islington/Angel part of London. 2 have closed, but one is still around and produces a reasonable pint of Adnams. An unscheduled stop in a Hogshead with a beer festival yields a pint of some scrunge or other. Much walking later and a fruitless hunt round the Blackfriars area, we hop on a bus and decide to head for the west end. A drink in the Leicester Square Firkin is followed by another just up from Piccadilly Circus. (Fucking £2.80 for a pint of 6X!!! What???) There the follows a rather mad dash for Piccadilly Circus tube station, a ride on the Bakerloo and a brisk ‘stroll’ to the Carnaby Street Firkin for a final beer. We leave Picc with 45 minutes to go. We arrive with 30 minutes to spare!!!

Beer is drunk and then Chalmers and I procure pizza slices to scoff on our way home. Moments later, pizza slices hanging from our gobs, we sprint for a tube back to Victoria. Who said we were giving the club a bad name??

So, a trip to Cheshire beckons on Saturday. Us relegated?? Oh all right then…

MAN OF THE MATCH : Nko Ekoku. Pissed off the home fans

ENTERTAINMENT : 5. 0-0 until one of Snow White’s mates intervened…..

TEAM : Howells, Berry, Skelly, Brooker, Harford, Harlow, Hutchinson, Rowlands, Ekoku, Winston, Watson SUBS : Forrester, Barclay, Sears, Brodrick

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