End Of The Line?


Att: 397


WESTON-SUPER-MARE – 3    [Hopkins 15. 26. Wilson 57]

It was probably the game at Weston back in late August provided an early glimpse of the misery that was to follow as we stumbled from league defeat to league defeat. Comfortably beaten 3-0 thanks to a really rather lacklustre performance, which was made all the worse thanks to the time & distance travelled.

So, it’s with trepidation that we receive the return fixture early in October, our arses now firmly parked at the foot of the table. Even St Albans are above us and they lost 5-0 to bloody Thurrock. At home.

Sadly, any hope that Monday’s narrow squeaking past of Woodford might help give us a little kick start are dispelled by today’s complete non-contest, where we show as much fight as an attention starved Golden Labrador puppy and produce a nice carbon copy of that shitty end of August defeat by the coast.

If the form wasn’t bad enough, having comments attributed to the manager in your local rag questioning the commitment of the support, the same support that have spent god knows how many hours on the road to watch shit at places like Newport and Weston already this season I hasten to add, does little to improve our already foul mood.

Having the side then come out and proceed to roll over and die after said comments doesn’t exactly do you any favours when you’re a beleagured manager either.

Still, the day starts pleasantly enough and I skip the usual pre-match tea hut duties to head into Sutton before 12 to greet the travelling Weston-super-Mare hoardes. Better known to us at GGL as Sean and Simon.

So, around 12, I stroll into a relatively quiet Wetherspoons and instantly spy a Somerset based football supporter. He kindly offers to get me a pint in and only 20 lightning fast minutes later, said pint finally arrives. Which reminds me why I don’t frequent this particular establishment very often.

We catch up on our seasons to date and the adventures we’ve had slogging round the south of England watching our respective outfits. But whilst their stories are ones of promise & hope, mine are of despair & misery. We do at least seem to match up on the fact that the Eastleigh stewards are a little over-keen.

After a couple, we move on and I guide them to the classier surroundings of the Hood and we enjoy a couple more, better quality pints before it’s time to amble on down to GGL and get onto the serious pre-match beveraging. My claims that it’s “only a 5 minute walk” to the ground from the pub soon draw complaints from the Weston masses once underway as it seems they’re not fans of foot power.

Which is strange given they live in the country. You’d think they’d be used to taking a quick stroll over to the next village a paltry 6 miles away because the buses don’t run on a Wednesday after 5pm and the tractor is in the garage for it’s MOT.  Perhaps it’s our dirty, polluted city air that’s taking it’s toll on their pristine countryside lungs. Who knows?

We hit the bar and find Miller already propping it up and soon more beer is flowing along with the bollocks talk that accompanies such occasions. Shortly before 2, PC rolls in fresh from an hour or so at work. Which he no doubt got paid a fortune for.

Team news is somewhat uninspring. It seems we’re going for a 3-5-2 type approach, with a Scooby, Hudson and Lewis back 3. AJ and Pestle being the ‘wing backs’. Tony Quinton unsurprisingly returns to a midfield lacking both Paul Honey and Nick Greene. Making his debut is Jason Goodchild.

Upsettingly, news filters through as well that Malik Buari has apparently flounced off in a huff when told he was on the bench today. Which is a little puzzling, considering he’s still not 100% match fit and has hardly set the world alight in his several performances to date in a U’s shirt.

Oh well. I just hope someone picked up those toys up for him. Having one of the squad trip over a stray rattle and injure himself is the last thing we need right now.

Sadly, all to soon, the niceties must cease and we head out to watch something vaguely resembling football from our lot. “Hope you lose!” chirps one half of the Weston group on the way out up the tunnel.

Oh don’t worry mate, I’m sure we can manage that.

The opening exchanges are relatively dull and after we look like we might actually have some life about us for the first 30 seconds or so, we slip into a somewhat disorganised mess. Although Warren does get a sight of goal after something like 11 minutes when Quinton flicks on a ball forward down the right, but he drags his effort across the face of goal and well wide.

The sign that our afternoon has gone from being ‘mildly depressing’ to the ‘bag of shite’ stage arrives after 15 minutes. An attack down our left (I think. Sadly, I was being distracted by some chatter nearby that was far more interesting than what was happening on the pitch) and a Weston bloke pulls a shot across goal and inside the far post.

My, that was easy wasn’t it.

At the far end, the Weston masses go mental and for a moment, it looks like stewards and the old bill will need to step in to restore order, but thankfully things soon settle down and such intervention isn’t required.

We on the other hand barely raise a “For fucks sake” in response, such is the lack of surprise at going behind.

Sutton then proceed to stumble about a bit clumsily in response to the goal, which no doubt scares the visitors witless and we manage a half effort on goal after 21 mins. A ball from left to right picks out Watkins and he tries his luck with a first time effort. But it lacks any real pace and the ‘keeper makes a bread and butter save at his near post.

Our afternoon gets that bit worse shortly after, when a typically shit second goal arrives.

The ref ignores a blatant foul in the Weston half and allows the visitors to break forwards down our right. He then elects to award a weak free-kick for a nothing challenge. The resulting set piece is floated in from almost on the touchline towards the near post. A glancing header about 12 yards or so out bounces softly down towards the near upright and somehow manages to squeeze past Gareth and trickle into the net.

Again a massive surge erupts at the covered end and the stewards once more have their work cut out controlling the crazed Somerset hoardes packed onto the terrace.  Most of us at the other end just whimper miserably and ask if we can go home to our mummies. Or at least back to the bar.

The second goal does seem to spark a semblance of life from our lacklustre troops and we create a couple of half chances before the break as the visitors break out the deckchairs and relax a bit. First a raid down the left ends witha ball inside for McBean, but his shot is well saved and a corner is our only reward after 29 minutes and then on 36 minutes Watkins scampers down the left and delivers a low ball to the near post that McBean touches towards goal, but the ‘keeper spreads himself well and makes the block.

And thats that. Bar anyone?

If you’re thinking I rushed through the first half there a bit, then you’d be right. It was shit and having watched it live the first time, I have no intention of reliving such events in minute detail through the reports! I find it a little bit depressing for some reason or other.

The second half starts with the side reverting to 4-4-2 and the removal of Hudson for new signing Hammond. Which is a tad puzzling for most of us, as we can’t quite work out why it wasn’t done fucking 20 mimnutes ago when we originally went 2-0 down.

Still, the switch around has little effect and we aimlessly stumble around, looking about as threatening as a bunch of Care Bears on ecstasy. And, it comes as no surprise when on the hour mark, we’re finally dead and buried. A cross in from the right is calmly nodded down at the far post by a somewhat unmarked Weston man for his equally unmarked colleague to backheel the ball past a stranded Williams and in off the far post to make it 3-0.

It really is a fucking embarrassingly dreadful goal and perfectly sums up the utter shambles we’ve produced this afternoon.  Naturally, the sound of the Weston masses chanting ‘Easy easy’ from the far end echoes around the ground. Er, probably.

From here on in, it’s pretty dire stuff. Naturally, the ref decides to be a complete cock as well, just to rub salt into the wound. I can’t think of a more galling thing than having some fuckwit official grin inanely back at you as call him a wanker when you’re 3-0 down at home and playing like absolute cunts.

We show brief signs of life, all too late of course, with Craig Watkins showing that at least one of our side has the bollocks for a fight. On 70 minutes he manages to battle down the left to the byeline and pull a pass back across the box at pace that the ‘keeper has to push away. Then 10 minutes later, a throw from the right is nodded away by a defender and Craig hits a fierce effort back on the half volley that the ‘keeper again has to be alert to and he pushes it out for a corner.

Er and thats it really.

Depressed, we head round to the bar to set about trying to block out yet another god awful defeat. The Weston lads honest appraisal of our performance doing little to raise the spirits. Apparently, we’d reminded them all to closely of their side last season, which is quite worrying when you consider that they were technically relegated until Hayes merged with near neighbours Yeading to reprieve them.

Sean though, ever helpful, also has the solution.

“Get rid of the manager now and you’ll at least give yourself a chance to turn it round”

Funny that, as here’s me hoping they’re doing precisely that at this moment.

Still, fuck the football, so we get stuck into the beers and at least enjoy a bit of banter with our guests. Even going so far as to present our MotM bottle of bubbly to their no 4 who’d bossed both games for ’em against us this season. Windy, today’s sponsor, has unsurprisingly decided that no one in an Amber shirt was worthy of recognition.

He seems quite happy about it though, albeit a bit disappointed he can’t enjoy it on the coach home as he’s got to drive at the other end! Ho hum. Impress the missus with it over Sunday lunch mate. Knock her bandy that will.

Soon the Weston masses have to depart to start their somewhat lengthy journey home and we miserably partake in a few more beers before wandering down to the Hood to continue being thoroughly fucked off and getting drunk. All without knowing if we still have a manager or not.

Oh well, 4 away games on the spin to follow. Joy.

MoM : Craig Watkins. If I really must choose one that is. At least he showed some bollocks……

TEAM : Williams, Hudson, Scarborough, Gonsalves, Goodchild, Alimi, Quinton, Pestle, Watkins, McBean, Bray   SUBS : Wilson, Graham, Hammond, Greene

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