RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
BASINGSTOKE TOWN – 1 [Gorman 90]
SUTTON UNITED – 0
Oh goody. Just what you need after 4 weeks without a footy fix. A trip to bloody Basingstoke.
Now the place itself is pretty much as described in all the jokes you’ve heard (Librarians etc) and it’s got virtually no decent pubs. The team though, are’nt actually that bad if there performance at GGL earlier in the season is anything to go by. Playing their part in a thorughly entertaining 2-0 win for the U’s. Sadly, after this performance, we’re forced to rethink our opinion.
You just know it’s going to be a shit day when you stand around freezing your arse off waiting for a bus. Typical. Busiest time of the year and can you get a big red taxi?? Can you fuck.
I finally arrive in Croydon an hour late at 11.40 and hop on the tram to meet Bob in Wimbledon. A meet that was meant to happen 40 minutes earlier. Cheers LT, you tossers. I finally roll into the Wetherspoons and buy Bob a pint of Tanglefoot to cheer him up. By the time we’re done, it’s nearly 1. Better get a move on.
Then we both get to experience the true shitness of our public transport system. An HOUR?? To Basingstoke?? You’re having a laugh!! I can drive it in 45-50 minutes!!! I fend off the cold by imagining me giving fat-wanker-transport secretary John Prescott a fucking good kicking. Nah, not nasty enough. I know, I’ll make him use the trains for a year. With any luck he’ll top himself…….
We FINALLY roll into Basingstoke at just after 2 and decide that a swift pint is required. The Queens Arms by the station has somehow eluded our gaze on numerous previous trips here and boy are we upset when we do go in. Some locally brewed scrunge is on tap. And it’s a corker. And we’ve only got time for a single pint. Oh arse.
Pint finished we nab a taxi to the ground. The team is much the same. Boothe remains up front, but he’s partnered by Bolt. No Thompson?? Hmmmm.
The game gets underway and fairly early on it’s apparent that our hosts don’t seem too interested in constructive footy. Almost every time a U’s player gets the ball, he’s fouled. This niggly crap goes on for ages. And it’s not very interesting to watch. Needless to say, when Paul Harford clumsily catches one of their players, he’s surrounded by opposition players as their man rolls around on the ground. Natrually this earns Harford a yellow card. Where the footy is failing miserably to entertain us, some old git on the terrace is. Obviously a home fan, he spends most of the first half making snide comments at most of our abuse of his teams negative approach. Sadly for him, the majority of the travelling support has already switched into ‘sarky’ mode due to the poor game and he gets faaaaar worse then he dishes out.
On the pitch, most of the good chances are created by our lot. Chris Boothe being the main recipient. One header is saved at point blank range and soon after, a super run and cross by Ekoku is just begging to be buried at the back post, but our makeshift striker screws the shot wide.
Basingstoke manage a couple of forays forwards in the first 45, but there’s not a lot to overly trouble Gareth. What with it being freezing, in Basingstoke watching a 0-0 draw-in-the-making I’m not a happy bunny. Christmas? Bah Humbug……
My mood improves when we reach the bar and SKY sports informs us that K’s are 2-0 down at home to Dagenham. Hehehe! Nice to see the league form is still going so well boys! No news on the now TR-less Scummers though. Oh well.
The second half is underway when we leave the warmth of the bar, but the home sides niggly tactics continue. Everytime we get the ball and look like making progress, our man is impeded or fouled in some way. Not very entertaining. We continue to look the most likely to score winning a number of corners. Again Boothe is the receipient of our best chances. A cross from Ekoku finds him at the back post, but his first time shot froma rather tight angle is somehow smothered on the line the the home ‘keeper.
Basingstoke hit back with their best chance, a cross to the near post is flicked goalwards from about 5 yards. Gareth arches his back and at full stretch pushes the shot over the bar. The man is frankly awesome!
The few times we do manage to move the ball around without being fouled, we look quite good. With Danny Bolt doing most of the probing, looking for a killer pass. Our best move really should give us the lead. A nice exchange of passes in the midfield sends Sears racing in on the area. He skips round one defender, but is unable to do any more than push it accross the fac of box where Nko is steaming in. With the goal at his mercy and no defender in sight he blazes the shot a good couple of feet wide of the far post. Bollocks.
We know it’s not going to be our day when with about 10 to play, Boothe sends a looping header against an upright with the keeper stranded. He’s first to the rebound and as he’s about to pull the trigger on a fierce volley a Basingstoke defender slides in, goes under the ball and clatters our man. Penalty!!! Sadly the ref it seems is a complete twat and blatantly clattering someone in the area isn’t a bad thing in his book. Tosser.
Natrually having seemed more than happy with their 0-0 draw, we decide to gift the home side a winner they frankly don’t deserve. We fail to clear our lines and Gorman ploughs through 2 powder puff tackles before planting the ball wide of a stranded Howells. Bloody Typical………..
The only response we can muster before the end is a Paul Harford 20 yarder which clears the crossbar.
So. A 1-0 defeat when a 0-0 draw was pretty much the absolute maximum the home team deserved. Obviously their manager will be over the moon that his ‘containing’ style of play got the result. Although, I think it says a lot about football today when even Ryman league teams don’t even try to go and win a game on their own bloody ground.
Fortunately, after this, I won’t be at the carnival of football that will be the Heybridge fixture. I hear that their ‘robust’ style of play has resurfaced and watching that bunch of Essex cloggers kick seven shades of shit out of my team is not my idea of fun. I’ll be in Grimsby. Crimbo duties with the missus.
Which’ll be nice.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Er…..oh go on, Chris Boothe. The man deserved a goal.
ENTERTAINMENT : 4. Cheers for that Basingstoke. You dull negative bastards……
TEAM : Howells, Horner, Hammodns, Palmer, Brooker, Harford, Harlow, Sears, Ekoku, Bolt, Boothe. SUBS : Baker