Meh or Men?

Good day to you dear reader, yes, I have returned. My sabbatical from churning out this nonsense endlessly has come to a close and I return refreshed and ready to retake the reins and astound you with wondrous tales of drunkenness, stupidity and shit League Two football. You lucky lucky devils! Wait, where are you going? Get back here!! Jesus, there really is no pleasing some people is there?

Yep, having tossed it off for 2 games, you’re once more stuck with me talking bollocks about all sorts and occasionally Sutton United’s matches. Sadly, a change in work circumstances this year has meant the odd Saturday is being sacrificed and Saturday’s win over Hartlepool was the first of these. However I made sure that all my rota’d dates coincide with home matches so that I am still able to enjoy watching us on the road, which I am extremely glad of given just how brilliant we’ve been away from GGL this campaign so far! Fuck my life. As for the Pizza Cup game on Tuesday? Yeah, bollocks to that. I’m firmly in the “Fuck it off until the final” camp there I’m afraid and I make no apologies for it.

Friday pints, just because!

Despite having none of the Association Football to take up my time, it’s still been a busy week all in, mostly for dull work related reasons. However there was one bright shining beacon of amusement provided on Thursday when one of the lads walked into a far busier than usual office, thanks to our Quarterly Business review meaning a lot of bods were in town for the chin wagging and EBIDTA-ing this involves. As he wandered to locate a desk to make his own for the day, he spotted a lady he didn’t recognise and being a nice friendly chap, he decided to introduce himself. “Are you with the Sales team?” he enquired. “No, I’m the CEO” said the lady who definitely is indeed our CEO. What made this moment even better for me was that at this precise moment I was subtly warning other members of my team to watch the effs and jeffs today as the CEO was sat right across the aisle from them. My reaction to all this? Same as that Roman soldier in ‘Life of Brian’ when the geezer reveals his mate is called ‘Biggus Dickus’.

But I digress and also now have an adequate amount of filler to be going on with and I appreciate your indulgence at this point. Now, if you’re a regular round here, you’ll be only too familiar with my Saturday home game routine and I’ll try not to bore you once more by repeating it. If you are new here however, you can basically check out the first couple of paras of any of my recent entries to inform yourselves. Or if you’re too fucking lazy to make the effort, here’s a TL/DR version: Lie in, shit shower shave, bus to Sutton, Greggs, walk to ground, hello Frakey, Bar. Got that? Marvellous. I will however interject briefly into this a minor complaint about the Greggs portion of this section about the state of their Sausage rolls. With no sarnies on offer that took my fancy or that wouldn’t decorate the front of my trackie top with mayo or other substances, I went for the old faithful of two sausage rolls. Sadly, these were quite a disappointment with the pasty so bland I thought I’d been given the vegan ones by mistake. Sadly this was not the case. A major disappointment and a rather lacklustre start to my day and no mistake.

Some absolute genius designed that no doubt…

I scope out the Fan Zone but can’t see any ugly boats that I recognise, so I skip an al fresco pint and instead go old school and head into the bar. First however, a quick stop at the megastore to see Mr X and if he’s got a players shirt I ordered during the week. He has, there’s a queue and fuck that. I’ll be back once I’ve had a bevvy. In the bar, the pre-match lunch is in full swing and again, I can’t see any faces in the swim. Where the fuck is everyone? Then Indy appears with an old work mate from the players bar, so pints are soon on the go and the cobblers is soon being discussed. Soon 4Days, fresh from his 37th trip to Belgium in the last couple of years to watch Wales and Lil’ Chris are in too and joining the party. Steve, equally as fresh from England’s miserable showing in Milan this week is next in before we’re all graced with the presence of a lesser spotted Wardy! He is risen! Is it Easter or summat?

Last to appear is Greek, wearing a black t-shirt with ‘Meh’ on it. “Is that Meh or Men?” I ask. He firmly states it is the former before then going on to admit he decided not to wear said shirt to Doncaster away earlier in the season as they had Pride on that day and he didn’t want to go disappointing anyone. “So it is men then?” I ask, pressing the point. And before he can counter further, he too spots Wardy. “Fuck me! Wardy!” he exclaims. Yeah, it definitely says ‘men’ doesn’t it mate? Still, this isn’t all he’s useful for as he’s returned from a holiday in Cyprus bearing snouts for the smokers and more importantly, Bacon flavoured Tuc biscuits for me. I bloody love Bacon Tuc I do. SLO Loffers soon appears doing the rounds and after a short chat declares she’s off to the club office. So I enquire if my baseball cap I’d left in the bar after the last home game is in there. She confirms she’s actually seen it and will go recover it for me. Lovely stuff, top SLO-ing and no mistake!

Meh or Men? You decide…

Other pre-match highlights are Kev Sutton advising me there are Forres Mechanics in for today’s game having done the pre-match knife and forker, so I resolve to catch up with them at some point in the day. Also Indy’s mate confesses to probably having killed our late Queen, Elizabeth II. Fortunately for him, we’re not grasses here in the PROWS so his somewhat treasonous error of judgement remains safe with us. Team news soon reveals that Jack Rose is out injured, so new man Lewis Ward gets his first taste of action in a U’s shirt for this one and as we’re polishing off pints ready to head in, Dr Bell wanders in with a couple of Swedish lads from the Crown in tow. It seems that with us being the only men’s FL game in London today, we’ve attracted a fair few groundhopping types in. It also seems Belly’s new mates have been thoroughly enjoying the Crown’s sub-4 quid pints, which when you consider you’d need to find a ‘Happy Hour’ to get beers at twice that rate in Stockholm, you can probably understand why.

Ward, Barden, John, Rowe, Kizzi, Beautyman, Eastmond, Randall, Neufville, Wilson, Bugiel SUBS: House, Kendall, Lovatt, Pierre, Boldewijn, Kouassi, Gambin.

Once through the turnstiles, it’s clear our offer of half price tickets for PL & Champ season Ticket holders has had an effect as the old girl is looking a bit fuller than in recent weeks. Certainly a 3000+ crowd in today. On the pitch, the game is a bit of a slow burner to be honest, with the first 15 being really nothing to write home about at all. Will Randall drifting in from the far side and shooting from a central area just wide being about all that is mustered. However, this does seem to trigger the game into life a bit and they respond soon after with a ball over Barden being then zipped into the centre but their lad in the middle can only just bobble it to Ward. Kizzi nuts a deep free kick back across goal that Harry drags high and wide with a volley into the turf and the pick of the bunch before the break from another set piece, Louis unmarked beyond the back post powering a header right across goal and just wide of the far stick. It’s another promising half, but again we’ve not quite taken our chances. Still, they’ve been anonymous at best and offered zero threat for all their possession and side to side tippy tap.

Tardis Panoramamama!

We decide for a swap of ends again at the break and head for the Tardis, here I pop into the new khazis to christen them for the first time and soon wish I hadn’t as the overpowering stench of a proper tip out fills the air. Its like someone’s dumped the content of a dozen babies nappies down a pan during the week and not flushed. Fucks sake, someone open a window!! Back in the fresh air, quite a few today decide to make the most of the newest bit of GGL and the Tardis is pretty busy when we’re back underway although without Randall who fails to re-appear and Enzio is subbed on. The U’s continue to turn the screw on the visitors from the off and to be honest, I really cannot see how they’re as high as they are. Sure, they play some nice stuff, but fuck me, I’ve seen more threat from sleeping toddlers. They just don’t look that interested. Elsewhere, the ref’s fussy approach wins him no friends and their iffy looking keeper gets away with a couple of dodgy moments thanks to the old ‘anyone near him must be fouling him’ approach officials take these days. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no “they should still allow charging” luddite, but quite frankly if you can’t get a sheet of paper between the grass and studs of a professional goalkeeper when they are ‘jumping’ then tough. They’re not good enough.

The visitors only real moment comes from a sliced clearance by Louis, but he makes amends by getting back in to make a crucial block in the box. Then just past the hour mark, we make the breakthrough we’ve been grafting for. Omar has a surge, feeds it wide to Enzio and he manages to work enough space to whip one to the back post where the defender misses his header and Neufville gambling behind can’t miss from inside the six yard box. Get in sunshine!! Right, let’s fucking sort this lot out now eh lads? Our optimism lasts about 6 minutes. We’re putting them under pressure from a throw, they half clear and as we get the ball back, the lino in front of us starts flagging away. We’ve seen nowt as we’d followed the ball but their #42 (who’s been a twat all day) and Wilson squaring up indicates something’s happened off the ball. It seems there’s been a tussle and our man’s kicked out apparently and the lino’s spotted it. Red card for Donovan and suddenly we’re looking at 20+ minutes of a man less. Fucks sake, we really do make things hard for ourselves sometimes.

Neufville on the poach! 1-0!

With the man advantage, the oppo finally decide they can be arsed and step up a gear, whilst we hope that still having 2 banks of four in front of them is enough to preserve the lead. For 10 minutes, we look fine and as before they play it around but offer little, then a ball down the line and the man is suddenly beyond Kizzi and clipping it back into the box from the bye line. 2 yellow shirts fail to deal with it and a late arriving man gobbles up the chance from just inside the box. It’s a really really soft goal to be honest and of the sort we’ve really been conceding a few too many of this season. Now level and bang up for it, they keep probing for a winner and in the last 5, they’re rewarded. The ref gives another soft as shit free kick in midfield, we never quite switch on from it and before you know it, they’ve played right through the middle of us and a red shirt’s in to sweep the ball beyond Ward. Fucksticks.

We lob on Charley for the last few and throw it forward looking for a way back in, but as most games this season when we get a glimpse of a chance, the fucking ball won’t drop for us and we either have to reset and go again or its wasted. With time almost up, the day is summed up perfectly when a long ball forward causes them problems and Kylian works just enough room inside the box to get a shot off and the keeper makes a worldy of a stop down low by his post. The resulting corner is then put right on Ward’s, yes, our keeper, but he misses it completely and it’s headed away for another go but before we can take this, the whistle’s gone and we’ve once more fucked ourselves squarely in the face. To make matters worse, I’ve timed my departure poorly and get trapped the wrong side of the tunnel meaning getting into the bar takes forever. Joy.

All honoured guests at GGL must do SAK duty, we don’t make the rules!

We grab a round and the general consensus is “Fucks sake” for today’s events. God we’re frustrating to watch right now. Nothing wrong with the effort and performances generally, but fuck me we’re having to graft for every goal and then pissing away some absolute rotters in response. What’s worst of all about today is that even after the card we weren’t exactly getting battered but still conceded to basically the only two chances they made. Still, I guess we can take solace from the fact that if they’re top 5, then fuck me we’re really not far off being annoying in this league again. SLO Loffers then appears and tops off my day by telling me my ‘lost’ hat was in the club office right until today, but has since been binned in an impromptu clear out today at some point. All very Sutton United that. With this latest kick in the spuds delivered, we decamp to the Allders MBA to get some drinking room. I need more pints!

In here, I spot a gent wearing a scarf that is patently ‘our’ colours but of a design I don’t recognise. On closer inspection, I can clearly see “Can Cans” on it and it appears I’ve located the travelling party from Forres. Hello chaps! Of course we introduce ourselves and have a chinwag, catching up on all things Mossett Park and lament their own recent dip in form including a 2-0 defeat at Banks O’Dee today. Still, they seem to have had a good day out regardless and are looking forward to catching the Scotland game up in O’Niells later this evening. Of course, having located them, we instantly grass them up to AB when he appears with his accordion to do Strikers Are Key. Sportingly, Colin agrees to do the deed and to the amusement of his compatriots, the absolute fucking circus of an SAK draw unfolds before them. Always good to see some of our Scottish colour cousins at GGL and we really must get back up there again soon for another game, it’s been far far too long.

Comfort food…

There’s good news after this though as SLO Loffers once more returns and hands me my hat back! It seems someone’s felt guilty about it (and probably realised I was gonna moan on here about it!) and gone and dug it out of the bin where it had been deposited earlier. I know this to be true as it definitely does have a mildly binny odour about it. That’ll be going in the wash when I get in, one hundred percent. We bid farewell to the Forres crew as they head off for an evening watching Scotland and I decide now is a good time to crack open a pack of my Bacon Tuc to enjoy with a pint and footage on the socials of some of Steve’s England mates crashing a post match press conference at Piacenza and serenading everyone with a chorus of ‘Wonderwall’. As you do. Before long though, I need to get back to HQ for dinner and not wishing to risk Thameslink, I treat my sulky home defeat arse to an Uber home instead.

It’s an entertaining ride back as the cabbie is local and of a similar age to myself as well as having played a fair bit of Sunday Football around these parts, so we reminisce about the Croydon Sunday and Morden & District days and lament that from the point when I retired 12 years ago both setups combined a total of 17-18 divisions and yet are now both completely defunct. How times change eh?

Right, how are we getting to bloody Gillingham by the way?


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