We live in strange and troubled times ladies and gentlemen. Our nation’s leaders are a set of bumbling fuckwits & liars, the country is being battered by a succession of increasingly oddly monikered storms, Dukey has abandoned his mission to save the planet and has instead taken to educating our youth, that Coronavirus bollocks is going to kill us all to death, fucking Love Island is STILL on the telly and, worst of all, we’ve not got anyone available for the Halifax away blog. What we need is a hero. A white knight on his firey steed, fresh from the fight to race to our rescue. Or at least to fuck off up to Yorkshire and do a blog for us if nowt else.
The game’s fairly rapid rearrangement following the early morning postponement the other week has meant that we’re struggling for numbers heading North. I was stuck in work an unable to get the time off, Dukey is now the Department of Education’s greatest hope for literacy so can’t go anywhere before 3pm and Totts apparently had some ‘important PROWS govenment business’ to attend to. We understand this involves his shed, a bottle of red, some cigars and a copy of Razzle from February 1975. Sadly our security clearance doesn’t allow us to pry any further on the matter. Robbo? Well, as for Robbo, he can’t be trusted to show up for games he’s said he’ll definitely, 100%, over his dead body, come hell or high water be at and has paid up front for, so there’s no chance he’ll be going to Halifax midweek. We’re fucked basically.
|“How’s the farm mate?”|
Sadly there’s also the fact that white knights in shining armour and their firey steeds don’t come cheap. So we were looking for someone a bit more reasonably priced. Preferably free, but certainly no more than a pints worth at best who could step in for us and keep our lengthy run of Non-League bloggage going. Regardless of our budgetary constraints however, after
crying about it on twitter a brief and desperate search we found our man. Up stepped Frakey, the U’s erstwhile historian, refereeing expert and someone who’s as sad as we are when it comes to not missing games. Ghosting in like Mo Salah at the back stick to bundle one over the line and to rescue the run from nowhere at the very death. Actually, that reminds me, how is Liverpool’s run going? Arsenal must be shitting themselves at losing their ‘invincibles’ tag by….oh. Oh that’s unfortunate. Wait, did you say fucking Watford? Christ on a bike. Like I said people, strange & troubled times….
So with our Sutton United historian shaped white knight (firey steed not included) located and our unbroken 8 year run of broadcasting this shit to the world once more secure, we issued the new man with the standard PROWS Government issue awayday survival kit of a 4 pack of Red Stripe, 20 Regal, 2 Tesco’s mini pork pies and a fuckload of Gandermonium stickers and packed him off to the frozen wastes of the North on his crucial mission. I’m sure he had a lovely time, I mean, who wouldn’t?
After the rush of points around Crimbo, things have settled down somewhat since and we’ve gone back to the sort of form that wouldn’t see us out of place in Serie A in the mid-80’s. So that’s mainly draws and plenty of ’em. Still, it’s kept the points total ticking over and we’re edging ever closer to safety. It’s not to be sniffed at that’s for sure, mainly as in the current climate that’s likely to get you two weeks inside watching people panic buying toilet roll on daytime telly. Fuck that.
After a lot of travelling lately, we’re now back at GGL for a while for a run of home games that should we take full advantage of, should see us home and hosed in the ‘staying up’ stakes. First up are Torquay, who we visited before Xmas and where a huge win really kickstarted our season. Last year’s Conf South champs were nicely placed in the Play off spots back then but have since been on a proper shitter of a run and now find themselves in the place above us in the standings. Ah, there’s nothing like a late season lower mid-table clash to get the old ticker racing I can tell you!
Waking up feeling a bit grotty after some post work pints the evening before, it takes me a while to warm up. Still, no rest for the wicked, so bus into town, folding obtained, some nibbleage from Les Greggs Patisserie and the walk down to the Republic is partaken in strangely dry conditions. Which given the recent weather we’ve been having, makes a pleasant change. A quick exchange of pleasantries with Johnnie and Ryan on car park duties and I’m in the bar to catch up with all the other herberts. As I walk through, I encounter Mr X coming the other way with a pint in his hand and a big smile on his face. I find out why moments later when the others inform me I’ve just missed out on his round. Bastard. No wonder the Scots git was looking so pleased with himself! I beer up and get nattering in the busy bar, which it seems because we’re no segregating today has a fair few away fans in situ, including a couple of lads wearing Hi-De-Hi style blazers. They’re both fairly stocky sorts, so we’re not sure which one’s Ted Bovis and which one’s Gladys though.
Another talking point is Greek’s latest pair of lairy trainers, obtained on a recent US business trip. All I’ll say on the matter is that they’re not something you want to look at for too long for the sake of both your sight and your sanity. We also find out about Mr X’s continuing plumbing issues since he turned 40. It seems that this has resulted in him laying out two bags on a new bathroom suite to resolve the problem, which probably explains why he was so happy to swerve me a pint earlier. Every penny counts after all! Robbo is a late appearance and it seems he’s following recent Home Office directives to the letter and refuses to shake hands with anyone lest he contractpass on the deadly Coronavirus. People mainly just laugh and just touch him anyway. We’re not big on government interference down here in the Republic.
Tzanev, Barde, John, Rowe, Wyatt, Beautyman, Ajiboye, Randall, Milsom, Bugiel, Olaofe SUBS: Bolawinra, Dundas, Eastmond, Kealy, Reid.
The first half from the U’s is good stuff. Shooting towards the Rec End containing us and the away fans wrong enders, the boys get on the front foot from the off and put the visitors under pressure. There’s a couple of sniffs early on and Dave is looking like he’s going to give their big trundling number 6 at full back a bit of a tough afternoon. We really should be ahead early after Issac gets in behind, but his low shot is well saved by the keeps and Randall’s daydreaming a bit and rather than snaffle a tap in, he hesitates and gets blocked out. The breakthrough comes about 20 mins in when Omar’s felled on the 18 yard line slightly off centre. Milsom steps up and with 2 iffy set pieces to his name already today, it’s third time lucky for him as he whips it into the top far corner.
After this, we largely boss proceedings and should add to our tally. We do notch once more before the break though, Beauts robs in midfield and breaks forwards. With options to his left and right, he slips the ball in for Randall left and his low shot takes a little nick off a defenders toe that’s enough to make it zip through the keepers legs and in. 2-0. Lovely stuff. This unfortunate moment for the keeper Macdonald and doesn’t help his cause much as he’s already getting farm related banter from the comedians behind the goal. “Old Macdonald got nutmegged. E-I-E-I-O!”. It really should be more before the break too, as Harry has a couple of good sighters blocked in the box in added time. Two’ll do though.
Heading for the Shoebox takes longer than normal today as the Rec corner of the ground has been fenced off due to the return of Lake Gander down there. If we get much more rain this year, we’ll be able to start holding regattas on that fucker soon, either that or open a trout farm. Having traipsed all the way round, I find one Mr Frake in the queue for Roses and combine my thanks with congratulations at his stand in, guest appearance for the Halifax game. It’s gone down well and he seems up for providing more content, so stay tuned pop pickers! I also take a moment to commiserate with his travelling companion and ground zero for the deadly Coronation Virus. My only surprise is that it wasn’t a kebab that had done the damage. I also add that he was lucky it was Mr F on blog duty as if it had been one of the regulars, photos of him talking to god on the big white telephone would almost certainly have featured!
The second 45’s a bit late starting thanks to the ref appearing several minutes past four. No rush mate, no rush at all. Watch stopped did it? He’s so late starting proceedings that most of the half time drinkers from the Shoebox have taken their places on the terraces by the time we kick off.
|Impromptu “Uh, lads, we’re losing” pep talk!|
Our hopes that we’d give it some second half like we did the first don’t come to frution sadly as we largely sit in and play on the break. It’s a shame really, as if we’d had a go and got an early third, this lot look like they could easily ship a couple more on top of that. Still, the half being a little less involved means we can entertain ourselves in other ways. Such as Ossie bitterly commenting “He only caught the ball!” when those around her applaud Niko taking a catch under pressure in the box. Seems someone’s still missing Mr Butler! The Torquay number 6 also comes in for some stick, which considering he’s been run ragged by Dave all afternoon is probably not helping him. A very clumsy foul on Omar lights the fuse and Greek takes up the challenge, barracking him relentlessly for a number of minutes before he finally snaps and turns our way to cup his ears and shout summat back. What this is we cannot hear as we’re all too busy laughing. Reel him in Greek, reel him in!
Despite our more laid back approach, we really should add a couple more to the goals tally. Issac and Harry bring decent saves out of the keeper and Dave has a couple of darts infield and shots on target. At the back, Rowe and Louis are steadfast and giving the visitors little change. In the end, the 2-0 win is job done, it’s more points on the board and we probably only need one more from the last 8-9 games to be safe for another season. Lovely stuff. Right, bar!
Back indoors, there’s talk of infighting amongst the away fans with one lad having got clumped for allegedly making less than enlightened comments pertaining to race. If this is true, well played the clumpee there. Top stuff. More of this please Britain. Also someone who shall remain unnamed advises me that Mr Frake’s Primary School English teacher Miss Baker would be very proud of his blogging efforts this week. As always, our sources in such matters will remain anonymous, so cheers to Malcom from the COCs for the heads up on this. Nice one. Strikers are Key sees poor Issac fitted up with the duty of donning AB’s daft sequinned jacket, the shout of “You won’t get this at Millwall mate” advising him that if he hadn’t already worked it out for himself, Non-League’s an absolute nuthouse. He pulls out Robbo’s ball and after much faffing, AB has to open the safe for him and he pockets the 250 large inside in a most gracious manner. Well, when we say gracious, we mean he flicks the V’s at all present. Every heard of a bad loser? Well, Robbo’s a bad winner. Everyone congratulates him in kind by forcing handshakes on his person with comments of “Coronavirus!”. Home office directives be damned, we didn’t get that memo.
Winnings firmly on his hip, we urge the tiny dancer to the bar for refreshments and with strict instructions not to change his winnings into 250 pound coins with which to launch a shitfest of his fucking awful music taste on the jukebox. I then take the time to check in with Chancellor Oakes about his harrowing isolation experience at Bromley last week, one which I’d assume had fuck all to do with current public health matters and more with some people still being bitter about the fact they can’t do paperwork properly. You can’t buy class lads and you’re the living embodiment of that. Congratulations. Still, Oaksey seems unperturbed by his spell in Non-League terrace chokey, so all’s good.
|“Can someone get my fucking agent on the blower?”|
With time pressing on, I catch up with Chairman Totts to talk PROWS business and also undertake a brief editorial discussion about future historical footballing nonsense on here. It seems we’re both well up for a full on, lurid tabloid style expose of the Anglo-Italian trips of the late 70’s, so we’ll be buttering up Mr Frake over the next few weeks in the hope of sealing that particular deal. Sorry Frakey! There’s also a couple of other irons in the fire as well, so keep your eyes on these hallowed pages dear reader. You won’t be disappointed.
Finally though, I’m hitting my 7pm home game deadline and it’s time to make tracks back to HQ and to whip up a storm in the kitchen for Mrs Taz. Or in this case, order a pizza as neither of us can be fucked with the effort. So it’s another cheeky pint for the road, an Uber summonsed and having said my goodbyes to all still present, I’m off home for some grub and an evening on the sofa with the missus, a belly full of beer and 3 points in the metaphorical bag.
|Yeah, about that lads….|