Tuesday, 14 September 2021

SLIM MARGINS

11th September 2021 - Denton Town 3 v 2 Windle Labour - Up, sorted, out with the good lady to do some nature work at Ye Olde Denton Town.  Dave, Jimmy and Rob kept us kindly watered as we pootled away and made sure the areas cleared away so far were free from invasive plants and unwanted debris.  A Raven flew by as we dabbled, no doubt on the look out for a spare eyeball or some poor blokes lost testicles.  The Raspberry Bush was now producing fruit and we duly nibbled, they are now at their scrummy best.  I suggested the club should start making their own jams - Denton Dribblings - the finest footy spread in the land.  After the teams started to warm up my good lady beetled off to do more chores and I gas-bagged with numerous faces before taking up the usual perch to watch the afternoons match-up.  I predicted a close one, even I didn't expect it to go right to the wire though.

The opening spectacle of soccerised competition saw both units work up a lather and get to grips with the pace of the ball and their opponents set-up.  Denton put in a decent attack that was dealt with and duly led to a counter.  As the home lads backtracked an easy cross came, a forward bod rose to nut home without fuss albeit whilst being in a probable offside position. The Taker was No 11 (Ryan Cook), the goal stood, the hosts were given a shocker - note to be made, once you leave the traps you have no time to sniff your own arse.

Questions were now posed of the resident ranks with Windle more than holding their own.  The hosts advanced, No 2 (Liam McDowell) forced a good save from the travelling mitter, a follow-up shot was blocked by an outstretched shank and No 6 (Phil Yuille) sent forth a delightful curler (non-rectal of course) that quivered the crossbar - he deserved better although I suspect the pre-match massage was still on his mind (the dirty bleeder).  

The Town now put together several sound passing sequences, a screw seemed to be being turned.  Windle stood firm, cultivated a breakaway that saw No 6 (Kyle Ross) finish with a skewed shot. This could have been a real nail in the coffin of hope for the home chaps.  The zombies of Denton have the chance to rise again - ooh err!

We now had a quite absorbing match, perfectly poised like the sexed up nipples of Frank Carson when the Guinness salesman was in town.  Denton were probing, a long ball saw No 7 (Joe Knight) touch on and No 9 (Leon Grandison) fire first time - the keeper (Dave Eden) produced a ruddy good save to protect the onion bag and only concede a corner.  The angled hoof was utter shit!

Denton had their peckers up (well, it was a clammy day), they came on again with a ball that saw the guest keeper punch with a certain degree of uncertainty.  The ball was helped on its way but Grandison was in the right spot to gain possession and fire home a quite sumptuous equaliser - it had been coming - well taken that man.  

The hosts now started to dictate but just needed to add a little more purpose to their threat.  Again, some exquisite passing was carried out with No 3 (Josh Stachini) having a first time pop fly just shy of the vertical.  No 8 (Aaron Clayton) fed No 7 (Joe Knight) next, a low shot saw the mittman push away, the incoming striker was just a shade too late to pick up on the scraps - he needs to pay more attention to the seaside gulls - now they wouldn't miss that!

The half now pressed on, Windle were working well and hanging in there.  Ross eventually garnered ownership of the sphere after the resident rear ranks pissed about with no general idea of what to do next.  A short pass came, No 11 (Ryan Cook) received and walloped home without a second thought - 1 - 2 - wow!

From here to the break little in the way of red hot action came, I knew I should have kept that old copy of Ruptured Ringpieces handy.  The whistle blew - we were all left pondering the end outcome, the opening throes had been more than a little eventful with the home-grown liner being sent off due to an overspill of verbals and the referee getting his silk-patched crotchless knickers in a right old twist.  My advice would be for the banished flag waver to save the energy for when he is next in a game and for the man in black to opt for a more forgiving gusset with perhaps a cotton-based under-string.

I stayed put for the break, slurped another brew kindly delivered by Rob Nicholson the Denton doofer and local Prostate Gland Checker.  The warm drink was greatly received, it was just a shame Rob had not washed his hands after a busy morn Bot-Holing.

Half two, Denton had a gamut of corners and free-kicks in the space of 15 minutes - all bore no fruit and maybe indicated a side who need to work on their set-piece creativity and their aerial threat.  I counted four free-kicks and eight corners during this spell with the guest keeper not questioned once - not good methinks.

The closest to a breakthrough was had when Town's No 5 (Cole McGrath) connected with one corner kick but whose header was cleared at the last by an alert defender.  To be fair, Windle Labour were now similar to a pair of Tena Underpants and absorbing well.  They had their own threat too with the Cook always an option when hoofing clear.  

Again Denton poured forth, McDowell latched onto a cross and sent in a rasper that was pushed behind.  The corner was wasted.  A gratis boot saw Stachini plonk the ball off the crossbar and soon after Windle broke and seemed surprised to see the home keeper off his line.  The gloved guardian looked in danger of being caught with his trousers down but recovered his position just in time to deal with a header that was heading for the netting.  Oh ye lucky git!

Things looked settled until the home team advanced with zoned in focus.  The guests were stretched, No 10 (Marcello Arhin) sprayed the ball wide, McDowell lasered in a cutting cross that left the defence standing and No 11 (Caleb Affleck) strode up to tap home and get this game back to all square.  Moments later Grandison found the net after a sweet move and great resident joy was had only to be neutered by the man in black who hailed the move offside.

The minutes now ticked by, Grandison had another chance, but was denied on the line.  Windle pounced next, mayhem ensued in the Denton box with several shots needing last minute blockages.  It was a heart-stopping period with Denton scrambling around like a flock of headless pheasants.  The survival mode kicked in, they got away with the scare and then continued to press.  Again the hard-working Grandison had a poke towards goal that was wide of the mark.  This was now getting too close for comfort for both squads.


My good lady turned up at this point, was she the bringer of good luck to one of the teams?  It seemed so as during the latter lumpings Denton caused chaos in the opposing box, a low shot came from the heap and the ball was back-heeled home by No 16 (Richard Farrington) - 3 - 2 - what a turn-up.  It was all too much for the Denton bench with one substituted player running on with chest bared and joining in the on-pitch celebrations.  This was all well-and good but enjoying the triumph whilst sporting an obvious boner is just not on.  The guests were incensed (was it the goal or the protruding pork piece) - a bit of argy bargy ensued, silly times indeed with a push, a shove, a chase and a smattering of threats all thrown into the melting pot.  Eventually matters settled and the final throes were upon us.

The last attack of the game was had by Denton with Grandison feeding No 5 McGrath who let fly and brought out a solid save from the mitter,  Soon after we were done and my Man of the Match went to Denton Town's No 9 (Leon Grandison) for bringing untold effort and enthusiasm, being a constant option and for keeping the opposition defence honest and on their toes - the goal was a well taken bonus.

FINAL THOUGHTS - Windle Labour seemed to come with a plan for this one and it nearly paid off.  They got their noses in front a couple of times and with a bit more belief could have snatched this.  They played things tight and battled well with off the ball work notably eye-catching.  The main aspect to work upon is when grabbing the lead do not sit back and think the job is done - push on, get more goals, believe wallopings can be dished out and the final three points can be bagged.  Denton Town are making hard work of matters this time around, but are getting by and holding their own at the top of the league.  They really do need to get their rears in gear from the off and when pushing forward do so as a hunting pack with those swarming forth showing a fiery desire to get into the danger zone.  The team has all the components, now they have to get them working as one.  They are currently a bit like a robot who just needs to get wired up right - there's nowt worse than a spark-plug in the wrong place or a transistorised todge left hanging spare - cripes.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

CHEADLE-ISATION

30th August 2021 - Cheadle Heath Nomads 3 v 2 Cheadle Town - Up at the crack and with an anxiety riddled carcass - it doesn't help having nightmares about multi-nobbed men, anally active amputees and being chased by lesbians on pogo-sticks - yes, the mind was damaged young, I am still not right.  I crack on nonetheless and after the usual ablutions, a quick brekkie and a sort out I cycled to the local ground and arrived at 10.15am prompt.  A couple of banners were hung with local super doofer Mark Torbitt and then I had a potter, a natter and indulged in some pre-match strimming.  Many bags of gas were deflated via the verbals, many fine folk conversed with, despite feeling jittery the day was doing just fine.  STP Stu arrived an hour before kick-off and a brew was had (with a hot-dog for me as I was getting quite peckish) and the usual tooting spots were taken.  A healthy attendance came, the players set up for the off and after using the bone-trembling strimming machine I scribbled my observations and deciphered them as thus:- 

From the first rattle of the pea, Cheadle Town swarmed over the Nomadic rear like a gathering of Gonad Wasps over a sugar-dipped scrotum.  No 7 (Enock Amankwaa) was the first to streak away and cross the ball for No 11 (Joseph Collins) to hit first time.  The keeper was called upon to do his duty and did just that with a regulation block.  Amankwaa soon had a pop at goal himself and again, the resident No 1 (Alexander Fowell) did what was required of him.

The Town tide kept flowing, Collins found space, was denied by the stickman and then No 9 (Patrick Davin) was also thwarted by the keeper before having another punt wide of the mark.  Eventually the Nomads woke up, contributed to a more balanced affair but with the guests still appearing to be the most likely to bulge meshing.  In fact Town's No 4 (Adam Jones) danced a merry path forth and let loose a ball that looked to be sneaking on the inside of the post - alas a little bit too much drag saw it roll inches off line.

The hosts were galloping like diarrhoea riddled stallions and all the while doing well to keep matters at zero/zero.  Town strove to plunder a goal, Amankwaa and No 10 (Christian Soda) linked up well with the former player only managing to ripple the side netting.  

As time progressed the home lads eventually summoned their first worthwhile attack.  No 2 (Kieren Alley) was the apical component but the first touch was just lacking a certain delicacy and the keeper came to clear the danger.  Only 10 minutes remained of the first half, chances became rarer than pubes on Duncan Goodhew's arse crack.  No 3 (Max Lewens) for the Nomads had a spurt and earned a corner.  The ball was delivered, all heads were missed but Foley sent in a shot with solid gumption only to see the ball deflect wide.  Another angled kick came, as did a touch that sent the sphere mere centimetres shy of the vertical timber.

Things looked to be headed for a goal free half when a Nomadic throw led to Foley collecting and turning with great haste before letting fly and burying the first, all-important strike.  It was a delectable goal missed by the Nomads chairman who said he was in the bushes (make of that what you will).  For me the goal is best graded as a 'stunner' and believe me, Cheadle Town certainly looked stunned.

As half time loomed Town looked to level matters, but a crap corner and a header over the bar was all they could offer.  The hosts won one final corner which was easily posted and headed home by the awaiting No 9 (Daniel McLaughlin) - 2 -0 well who would have thought it?

The break arrived not long after, many were surprised at the score line, but such is football.  The game is not an easy one to read unless one is either:- A - sleeping with the devil, B - using dark forces to contact the ghost of Brian Moore or C - bribing officials and players with nude snapshots that are best left unmentioned.  Maybe the latter is why the Nomad chairman was recently in the undergrowth - is there a secret horde of candid photographs buried somewhere that are not as secret as one may imagine?  The mind shudders at the thought?

Half two and the initial spasms were regular and decently balanced.  The home pack then burst forth, a ball was sent across the goal-face, No 7 (William Shawcross) delivered from the other side and McLaughlin rose at the back post and obligingly nutted home.  By crikey, were some home fans having their first sexual occurrence of the season? Surely some of the nether-region bulges would testify to this.  I remained sober and unswollen (it is an age thing), but this was some surprise.  Cheadle Town needed a quick reaction, preferably dipped in a good dollop of lucky sauce.  They battled away, won a gratis boot - No 15 (Andrew Lunt) decided he would duly hoof and did so with mid-elevation and adequate swerve.  Bonces rose, bonces made no contact and neither did the keeper - the ball flew straight into the onion bag untouched - now consider that a gift dear visitors.

A similar free-kick came next, but was booted too long and then Foley had another punt for the resident team and came mighty close to regaining the 3 goal cushion.

This was a good, entertaining game, still plenty to play for and both units looking up for the fight. Corners aplenty came, all bearing no fruit although Davin for the Town had a header that he really should have put on target.  The Town rode their luck on a couple of occasions with a crossball from the home No 8 (Yussuf Addualahi) needing a scrappy scramble behind.  The corner brought no joy and we looked set to stay as we were.

Back and forth the ball went when No 3 (Miles Vare) for the visitors was in possession in the far corner.  A quick spurt, a chance to pass lost, another dink and dribble and then the ball was played back to Jones who thumped from decent range and somehow found the back of the net.  Now this was a real cliffhanger for sure - one perhaps destined to rival the end of a Flash Gordon episode after Ming The Merciless was just about to blow Dr Zarkoff's balls off.

I expected fireworks, in truth what I got was a few sputters and the odd spark (this was a moment for a Buster Crabbe wannabe to save the day).  Alas we came closer to getting a Buster Bloodvessel blow-off instead with neither goal seriously threatened.  Town looked to create, Nomads looked to deflate, Foley had a chance to further celebrate - but the keeper stood firm.  Soon after the referee called a halt to the game, for me the best team won and Man of the Match goes to Cheadle Heath Nomad's No 6 (Jack Taylor) for a concrete kick about at the back, some applaudable aerial effectiveness and for some rock solid sanguinity when under pressure - good stuff indeed.

FINAL THOUGHT - Cheadle Town came as favourites today, they returned back down the road humbled.  I still think they will more than hold their own this campaign and be in the top 10 without a doubt.  They started well, didn't take their chances and paid the ultimate price, but on another day... who knows?  They have a bit of depth in the squad and this should maintain a good stability in the season and bring decent reward.  To push on for promotion though is a big ask and this time, they will surely be just found wanting.   The Nomads have turned around a fearfully horrid start to the season and really got things rolling in the right direction.  They work as a pack, play for the full 90 minutes and never get on each others cases when things are rolling against them.  These are all aspects that may see them outdo their expectations.  The aims this season are sober and not far-fetched, if this current run of form continues they will be in the top 10 for sure.  I am just wondering what odds a betting man would give on which Cheadle team will finish highest - on today's evidence it is anyone's guess.  The next meet-up in the league down at Park Road could be very interesting indeed.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

VERTIGO, VULGARITY AND...VESTACARE ACTION

21st August 2021 - Avro FC 1 v 1 Runcorn Linnets - I awoke early and did some gardening today.  I felt fine until catching up on a few computer chores and the head went for a trip down 'Wanky Lane'.  As I typed and the vertigo molested the mind I looked out of the window and saw the skies turn to dishrag grey and let loose a filthy overspill.  I am a stress head, an anxiety riddled git who runs on hard worked batteries, thankfully today's football had enough temptation value to keep me moving 'forward'.

Some scran, a few more books sold, a quick swill (especially the testicles, by heck they were clammy) and out me and the good lady went.  I was dropped off at the Vestacare Stadium whilst my wife went to see her mum - I think the fact that I had my freshly scrubbed conkers on show made up her mind.  I met my good comrade STP Stu soon after and it goes without saying chips and a brew were acquired from the Macies Diner (always excellent).  I gave the old belfry several shakes and supplied the hooter with a good squirt of Olbas Oil after the scran - my tubes are tightening, my scrotal sac loosening - ah if only it were the other way round.

Seats were chosen today so as to avoid the liquid javelins and good natter was partaken of with many subjects arising.  Predictions were made and to find out if we were 'Mystic Meg Wannabes' or 'David Icke Definites' you will have to read on and see what unfolds.

The FA Cup Tie kicked off at 3pm on the dot, the opening swathes of soccer action revealed two teams determined to play football on the deck and at their own pace.  No major opportunities to bulge meshing arose until a swift Linnet attack saw the nimble-toed No 10 (Iwan Murray) charge and obligingly feed the eager No 11 (Dapa Olawaju).  The man in possession gained a few feet on his marker, hammered in a low cross that duly struck the feet of the rear bod No 6 (Lewis Lacey) who could only watch on as the ball trickled over the line.  An own goal - what a shabby start for the hosts.

After this nerve-inducing shocker the home lads settled back in but The Linnets conjured up the next assault with No 7 (MJ Monaghan) at the apex and sending in a low shot from middling distance that the keeper pushed away with slightly unsure hands.  Runcorn continued from here with greater ownership of the ball and much impetus.

A little smattering of spice was added to the game with touchline verbals and on-field moaning making for a troubled brew liable to overflow.  Avro won a gratis boot next with the ball delivered and some in-box mayhem ensuing.  From the maelstrom of hectic action No 9 (Liam Ellis) rose, put noggin on ball and projected the said sphere... wide.  Another free-kick was awarded for the hosts, No 11 (Kane Wallwork) propelled a bender that billowed the side-netting - by heck, that was closer than I thought possible.  In response the Runcorn pack darted with Olawaju holding the ball at his feet, entering the box and then diving like a gannet with a belly full of kippers - cripes.  The referee was having none of it and waved play on.

The game bore down on the half-time break, Avro were gaining a real foothold and a 4 pass move of nippy standards was finalised by a pop from No 10 (Louis Potts) who just couldn't keep the ball below the timber.  Avro continued to press, a few balls were posted that were just denied the all important killer kiss and several other passes just lacked that the crucial composure factor.  

With 5 minutes on the clock Avro won a corner that was delivered with good pedigree but could only shave the rising bonces.  Before the break a final corner the same way was hit long, the ball then went out to No 8 (Jake Cottrell) who pinged one right at the awaiting keeper - 0-1 the game remained.

The break saw Stu and myself stay put, rain on balding heads can cause flashbacks and a certain purpling of the pate - I was in no mood to revisit the time when Fred Truman visited my home town and got his nob stuck in a bar billiards hole and I certainly didn't want my head turning violet and encouraging those who think it funny to refer to folk as 'bell-ends'.

The game restarted, The Linnets treated themselves to an utterly shit free-kick, good on em' (please add own sarcasm).  Avro pounced, a cross ball, a header nutted goalward and a quality save made.  Another surge followed, Potts posted a low pile-driver, the keeper tried to hold on but the ball spilled free and up popped Ellis to bury the scraps - a worthy equaliser that brought great joy to many home fans.

Next action and Avro won a corner that caused havoc in the Linnet's box.  Eventually Ellis chanced his shank, the ball just had a shade to much elevation - similar in fact to the titties of Tessie O'Shea after she had discovered the wonders of wearing a Bust-O-Booster Scaffold Bra.  The Avro pressure continued, a pressure that was also similar to that found in the aforementioned tit-sling.  A corner came, the Runcorn keeper rose, missed the punch and saw his teammates somehow scramble the sphere clear.  

Eventually the guests girded their loins and came on.  A deflected effort saw an angled hoof come that merely led to a counter attack.  No 7 (Daniel Byrnes) for the home lads knocked forth an absolute polished peach of a pass, that saw Ellis gather.  The striker was in the zone, kept his head and neatly buried - the fans roared appreciation and then abuse as an offside flag was waved.  

The game now had a true FA Cup feel, tension was mounting, the next goal would be utterly decisive it seemed.  The fast paced action saw chances come, the closest being an Avro effort that needed blocking on the line.  Substitutions were made, 10 minutes remained and both units tried to up the ante and get the all important glory goal.  Another shot for Avro was had and was deflected over, the corner came and found the barnet of No 3 (Bailey Sloane) - the outcome - over the bar.

More pops at goal went shy of the strike zone and then... in the final seconds the Linnets swooped.  One of their subs spied goal and took a pop, a deflection was had and the ball seemed to be going just inside of the post - darn these glasses, somehow the globe just missed the strike zone.  Moments later, and we were done.  A replay it must be, what a shame but such is cup football.  This had been a good game and for me Avro's No 9 (Liam Ellis) deserves the Man of the Match award simply for being an utter menace, always an option and for galloping his legs off.  Well done that man and good luck to all in the replay.

FINAL THOUGHT - a tidy little encounter this with two teams perfectly matched.  The replay looks a tough one to call but and I wouldn't be surprised if penalties loom.  Avro are looking to have a very strong season and may just surprise one or two folk along the way.  Could they have a cup run, could they gain promotion?  Looking at the evidence today it is possible but rest assured, it will not be easy.  The key today was the grit and determination shown, if this is a factor in each and every 90 minute encounter Avro may just shake things up.  The Linnets, since flying free of the NWCFL are doing Ok - nothing more, nothing less and seem to have some very decent players in their midst.  Murray has mercurial feet, Olawaju is a real darting dynamo and there are several cool customers at the back.  They are in a league with some tough teams and some who have dosh to spare - I think they should more than hold their own though and hopefully will catch them again at some point.

After the game I tried to chill out and pondered why I have used with words beginning with 'V' to name this report.  I had no idea but then tried to outdo myself and come up with a sentence with 4 'V' word - I came up with 'Vera Duckworths Vagina is Very Volatile' - now I know why my head is spinning!

Thursday, 19 August 2021

CONSTIPATION STREET

14th August 2021 - Eagle Sports 0 v 0 Knutsford FC - Arising with the lark and out to Airlift Hill we went where we were set to lead a wildlife walk at an area under threat and in need of some protection.  The weather was average and hardly helpful when looking for bugs but, with many eyes I was required to tally up a good count and with blooms, mini-beasts, a few birds and some added extras the end total was 87 species.  After the walk we noted that it was only 7 mins to the nearest football ground, a bit of Cheshire League action it was then.  Upon arrival it was aggravating that no warm drinks were available as well as no grub. Add to this the fact that there was no cover and the drizzle started to fall - thank goodness I am sporting the Percy Sugden barnet look these days. 

I am picking when and where I do my reports of late as I am stretched all ways and need to offer quality rather than quantity.  When I put pen to paper today little did I know that I was ready to witness a bunged-up ball booting affair with a greater chance of Stan Ogden rising from the grave than any teams scoring a goal.  Hey ho.

The game began is a good battling fashion with the hosts winning an early corner kick that was met by the ascending bonce of No 3 (Ben White) who couldn't keep the ball below the horizontal.  The Knutty Boys paid back this early scare with some high investment on the ball with No 9 (Aaron Burgess) and No 10 (Jay Phillips) each delivering noticeable crosses with the ball just lacking the final killer contact. A gratis hoof came the other way, the header was won by the leaping No 10 (Danny Hutchins) but the projection of the sphere was straight at the keeper and had as much 'oomph' as one of Mavis Riley's naked photo shoots.

A corner came next, it went to the Eagles and was delivered with good loft.  The keeper came and punched and was duly clattered in the process.  Two more angled kicks ensued, both ended with disappointment - it seemed like the game was going stale, akin to the Corned Beef Alf Roberts had been trying to sell for a quarter of a century (ooh the nasty twisting bastard).

Little action arose, a shot did pop out of the murk and the mitter spilled with a sigh of relief blown forth after the loose ball was wellied wide.  The tightness of the contest reminded me of Ena Sharples' knicker elastic after she had gained 20 pounds following a hot-pot eating contest - there was no give at all.  Suddenly the resident unit indulged in a great passing display that culminated in an effort on target that was halted by a quality laden save - from here though, bugger all else of note was had.


During the break Gill wandered to the car for a choccy bar and rejoined me at the opposite side of the pitch.  This was looking destined to be a bare-bollocked bullet - we were not pleased by this and the fact that no hot drinks were available only added to our disgruntlement.  I did call Gail Tilsley to see if she had a cafe nearby but the silly bint was in Bognor with a Ken Barlow look-a-like.

Half two was viewed, Knutsford sped from the traps quicker than one of Jack Duckworth's pigeons from the arse crack of a thrutching Minnie Caldwell - cripes, what an episode that was.  Burgess turned his marker and won a corner for his leg-whirring efforts.  The ball entered the box, a header cleared the lines and a return cross was wasted - bring on Albert Tatlock I say - surely he can do better than this.

Knutsford pushed again, a cross came and the home keeper yelled his lungs out so as to claim.  The ball was dropped. No 12 (Juan Vilches-Narro) pounced - for a second I thought the deadlock was going to be broken...meanwhile back on Planet Reality!

The game staggered on, similar in fact to a drunken Don Brennan after he had lost his leg.  Composure was lacking as both teams tried to up the ante.  After much ado about nothing Eagle Sports won a corner - can you imagine my disappointment when I had to refer to it as 'shite'.  The huffing and puffing continued, No 14 (Ben Geary) for Knutsford made a late spurt but was denied at the death by an alert mitter and at the other end No 15 (Harry Preidt) belted one into the heavens as if to full-stop the misery.  With mere minutes on the clock Knutsford called upon the last dregs of patience.  A ball was punted, Phillips flicked on, Geary collected, rounded the keeper and took aim from an acute angle.  The ball headed goalward only to quiver the timber and eventually get cleared.  A couple of half-chances followed before I put the final full stop on my notes - thank buggery that one was over.

From the stalemate a few good stints were seen with my personal Man of the Match going to Knutsford's No 6 (James Manson) for a measured and effective stint and some honest galloping here, there and everywhere.  A free ale in the Rovers Return, a quick tour of Mike Baldwins factory and a night on the nest with Fred Gee is the prize - go forth dear fellow and enjoy.

We beetled off homeward wondering if goals were merely an imaginary thing or do they actually exist.  Ah yes, the sound of ball bulging onion bag - I remember it so well.

FINAL THOUGHTS - It goes without saying that this was not a classic and left us uncertain as to the positives and negatives of both teams.  The game was laden with endeavour but alas, what we had today was a mere clash of styles.  Think of the time when Ray Langton and Eddie Booth both went to the Vegetable Based Fancy Dress Party at Emily Bishop's house and both turned up as podded peas - a distinct clash for sure with very little rewarding style.  In sport and in life, these situations arise - two units pushing hard striving to make an impression and all the while creating a stagnant and static stand-off.   Eagle Sports need to work on their heading game methinks and on another day, with some good crust behind the ball, could have gone a couple of goals up.  Knutsford just need to be a little more relaxed up front and race forth with earnest passion (no not Earnest Bishop) and make sure support arrives in abundance.  In my hectic schedule I will try and give a better overview of the teams later in the season and hopefully will be relating tales of astounding 30 yard sizzlers and physically defying scissor kicks rather than comparing all to second rate wankers in a shitty TV drama liable to turn cranial quality to useless soup - I do apologise.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

NOMADIC NIGGLES

7th August 2021 - Cheadle Heath Nomads 2 v Abbey Hey 3 - With the ears ringing, the head spinning and anxiety nipping at my nadgers I woke early doors, led a small party of folk on a walk in the rain and arrived home fagged and flaky.  I still summoned enough energy to arrive at the local ground where I hoped to witness a good pick-me-up encounter.  The mandible was put to good use exchanging words with many fine folk one of whom was Roy 'Public Plumbing' Welsh - a man who likes to pass water on a professional basis and who is taking bookings as I type - 'slash-tastic'.  After acquiring brews and a hot dog myself and Roy wandered to my personal executive box where the said Pissing Pirate related tales of epic squirts he had indulged in and the famed 'Golden Shower of Gretna Green' incident that really brought our splash-man to the fore of public attention.  Eventually we were joined by a few other fine folk including Abbey Hey Pete who, may I add, purchased a copy of Reprobate Road along with local Snap-O-Matic man Mark Torbitt, who also provided the match piccie below.  Fine stuff indeed.  The game began at the special witching hour of 3pm, I expected an away win, but hoped the Nomads could knacker my inklings - here is what went on.

The initial moments of today's 90 minute escapade were akin to an unfinished jigsaw with no real pattern made and many unconnected aspects to be seen.  Both units looked a trifle ring rusty but Abbey Hey looked keen to shake off any action-hindering oxidisation with several advances holding a certain promise.  A surge came with No 2 (Jake Dunford) receiving out wide and wasting no time in making haste and posting a pin-point accurate cross for No 9 (Ben Halfacre) to tap home - the offside decision was quite disappointing to say the least, but brought great delight to a local wag who insisted this one had 0-0 written all over it.

The Hey makers came once more, prodding and poking like a Prostate Doctor on whizz.  Another cross was posted. No 11 (Dylan Fitzgerald) rose and put belfry on ball but the contact was as weak as a stickleback's water.  The Nomads hurried and harried and eventually got some purchase on the globe with No 11 (Max Lewen) having a pop only to see the side netting bulge.  Abbey Hey continued to be on top however and sent in several more balls into the box. On more than one occasion the guests were thwarted by the offside rule and when No 10 (Jordan Lazenbury) did sneak in and looked set to bury, the hosts' keeper did his duty and quelled the danger with a firm set of hands.

The opening goal look destined to be going the Hey way until an innocuous throw in for the hosts came, ended up at the feet of No 7 (William Shawcross) who, from a tidy distance, duly let fly and opened up the day's strike account with an absolute pearler.  Where the utter buggery did that come from?  Seconds later and the always hard-working Nomadic No 3 (Jake Wright) took a clattering that left him a trifle dazed.  A free-kick was awarded, the ball was moved around, Shawcross was on it again and dared chance a most ridiculous lob over the keeper.  The ball rose, the keeper back-tracked, the ball fell, the keeper looked bewildered - 2 - 0 - what a absolute peach and what a capricious few minutes of soccerised sensations.  Suddenly a roar was heard from the main stand, the excitement had all become too much for Roy Welch who had dropped his pants, took aim with his porker and was propelling forth a fountain of celebratory urine right into the nearby gardens - a snippet in time showcasing how this glorious game can easily unhinge those with a dodgy prostate gland.

From here the half hurtled by with Abbey Hey striving to half the deficit (at least).  Two corners came and went, a Nomads' free-kick was like a constipated elephant's anus and bore fuck all and then the visitors advanced, time and space were a rare commodity but Fitzgerald used extra nifty feet too cultivate a couple of inches and garner a peek at goal. The shot came, the ball raced into the net unhindered and completed a decent and much needed goal.  The half ended soon after, were the Nomads in danger of blowing this one?

I stayed put for the break with good old Pete wandering for the brews.  The local predictor who had opted for a goalless draw now claimed he meant 2-2 and even convinced several eavesdroppers of his faux pas - some people hey, comics incarnate and worth the attendance fee alone.

The second half began, Nomads were out and at it with No 9 (Daniel McLaughlin) in, but thwarted by an alert mitter.  A corner followed but was delivered with too much uplift.  A moment of suicidal tendencies came next when a home back pass saw the Hey's Lazenbury nip in and look to level matters, thank goodness the resident No 1 (Alexander Fowell) was on his toes.


The game now donned an untidy countenance with one team desperate to get back in it and the other eager to protect the lead.  The pressure eventually rose on the home netting, a free kick came, wasn't dealt with. The ball was redelivered and Halfacre had time to collect, pick his spot and bury with relative ease. The ball nestled in the bottom corner as the Hey pack celebrated, now the home lads had a real fight on their hands.

Abbey Hey now imposed themselves on the match, the lead should have been grabbed when a cross found Lazenbury who from mere feet out was denied by a quality save.  The Cheadle chaps summoned an attack, a ball fed McLaughlin who was halted by the rear rank Dunford who produced a tackle of high standard that surely stopped a shot on goal. 

Time advanced, a Hey corner was played short, a pass followed and Fitzgerald walloped over.  No 4 (Thomas Murray) posted a rasper next, this time the shot was just shy of the vertical.  The hosts were now like a flock of clemmed Jackdaws, - flapping about looking for scraps.  The Hey Brigade were akin to a gathering of hunting Sparrowhawks, eyeing up every opportunity to sate their hunger.  

Two chances came at either end, two point blank saves kept the scoresheet unaltered until... Abbey Hey broke, earned a free-kick which was played, touched on and collected by Murray who took his chance well and brought unbridled joy to his teammates, the bench and the onlooking supporters.  The game looked destined to be only going one way now as the guests continued to push.  During the latter stages the home team did well to recharge their batteries and create one or two half chances, the best being a header over the bar by their willing No 16 (Wilf Riley).  Alas the sands of time ran out, Abbey Hey had not been at their best, but had pinched this one, the opposing ranks looked utterly forlorn.  Man of the Match for me was Abbey Hey's No 5 (Aaron Fleming) a cultured and calm player who remained collected and in control throughout and who will be having a very good season indeed if he continues with the same attitude and approach.

I set off home at a slow waltz and was overtaken by a galloping Mr Welch - he seemed to be walking with a certain clenching of the nether-regions - I wonder where he was off to.

FINAL THOUGHTS - In truth (there is no other way), I thought both teams were not charging on all cylinders today and lacked a certain fluency.  Sometimes certain match-ups can have this effect and a clash of styles can hinder the flow.  Abbey Hey though have started the season and bagged some foundation points and can only kick on from here and do the business.  Prior to the start of the campaign I expected this lot to be in the top six and have no reason to change my opinion.  There are some good players in the mix, but they do need to start working as a complete well-oiled unit soon or a few upsets may be on the cards.  The Nomads are in a spot of bother at the moment and it isn't pleasant to witness.  3 games, no points, 11 goals conceded and with a hat-trick of real tough fixtures ahead.  The crux of the problem is not easy to lay one's finger on, but more chances need to be made up front and the back needs tightening up for sure.  The work ethos is decent, the energy and camaraderie there to be applauded, maybe a little luck is needed to turn things around, but one thing is for sure, come the end of August, if the fat bint known as Lady Luck doesn't play fair, some serious shittery may be hitting the fan - I for one hope this doesn't happen.

Thursday, 5 August 2021

OF SUMMERS EVE AND NON LEAGUE NICHES

3rd August 2021 - Denton Town 1 v 0 Styal FC - The second of three matches in quick succession, this time to the fine regular stomping ground of Whittles Park.  The day had been a long one, lots of office work and catching up before I take the Young Carers to Talacre tomorrow for a pootle in the dunes and on the beach, hopefully catching a few rays and enjoying some fine natural spectacles.  It has gotta be done, these are tomorrows saviours and are in need of a break.

I arrived at the ground early and was greeted by many familiar faces that keep things turning over.  Rug-making man Rob Nicholson was absent after he had been called down south due to one of his client's not being happy with a recent pubic carpet he had purchased.  Apparently the punter's claimed his wife's toenails kept getting snagged in the said hirsute ground covering and was causing her extreme discomort.  I think things would have gone well if Mr Nicholson would have used regular genital hair instead of those plucked fresh from his arse - the man just won't listen to sense.  Anyway with Rob away it was good to see Jimmy back behind the bar even though he had recently had a nipple removed after spontaneously lactating.  I don't mind men who have breast-feeding potential but when this fellow started topping up my tea with a bit of pap-milk I had to state my protestations.  To add - Denton Dave (Starkey) was as chipper as ever and even though an avid collector of sexual pogo-sticks I still deem him to be be the most sane of the Denton bunch.

And to the game...

The opening throes were subdued and rather insipid until the Styal No 7 (Dwayne Greenwood) executed a quality midfield turn and pass that a frontman could only latch on to and fire at the keeper.  Soon after the No 11 (Josh Palmer) had a pop following a Denton mistake, but the shot lacked any chomp whatsoever.  The home pack responded with a rather inadequate corner and then a dash from No 11 (Marcello Arhin) saw the player tear forth, feed the ever hungry No 9 (Caylem Bateson) who attempted an impish chip over the keeper with the ball straying inches off target.

The Town were soon avalanching forth again, No 10 (Shaquille Lewys) passed to Arhin who had plenty of space and time to slap home the first strike of the night.  A touch was taken, a pause to get the sights set and then the shot came straight at the mittman - it was a very disappointing outcome.  After many more advances and many last touch errors Arhin and Bateson linked up again with the latter bod flashing a ball across the face of goal rather than in it - I think we were in for one of those nights.

After a stretch of one way traffic Styal jumped in the road and caused a minor hold up with a determined push, but all the while, they ran into many immovable bollards.  Denton had another sortie forth which came to bugger all and in truth the team were lucky to survive a counterattack after they switched off and left a frontman unmarked.  Before the interval the guest No 2 (Kaine Martin) went on a penetrating gallop and was unlucky to see his cross deflected off a defender for a corner which was duly wasted.

I couldn't be arsed to move for the break and merely stood in the same spot and nattered with Denton's Chairman Phil Bentley and the aforementioned pogo-stick connoisseur. Mr Bentley informed me that he had recently strained his Achilles Tendon, claiming it was a general strain and nothing to do with a recent double-ended ping and pop exhibition.  I prepared for the second half disillusioned and, may it be said, disturbed.

The follow-on period began, Denton Town notched up five free-kicks with the first only gathered by the keeper at the second attempt and the third needing gloved assistance to push the globe over the bar.  3 corners were thrown into the host's lucky bag, a couple were long and were dealt with, one was nutted out and fired back at the keeper who gladly gathered.  From an octet of gratis gifts the outcome was of no breakthrough - note to Denton Town, work on yer set-pieces, not yer cod-pieces.

Another corner saw Styal break with urgency, No 16 (Jack Irlam) was the apical component and was only denied at the last by a quickly spreading goalie.  With no sign of a breakthrough The Town's Lewys went on a mission, burst forth, fired at the angle and bulged the inside of the net in utterly convincing style - 1 - 0 - by crikey the game didn't half need that.

From here I expected fireworks, all we got were a few spluttering catherine wheels, a few flaccid rockets and the odd brief sparkle that failed to create any real combustion.  Styal almost immediately struck back when a blistering cross was met by the neck-twisting bonce of Irlam who was thwarted his glory by a top notch save.  

Into the back end of the game we went, the Denton keeper produced a few more solid stops and then Styal marauded with Palmer exhibiting great feet and No 9 (Shackeel Depeiaza) being the wannabe assassin - alas for the guests the keeper was in the way once more.  Back into the opposing box we went, Denton's No 7 (Caleb Affleck) had an opportunity to double the lead after the ball escaped from some frantic in-box goings-on.  The shot came but just veered off target - now that was close.

The dying embers glowed briefly with a hectic last effort.  Styal had one last corner that was nutted towards goal and easily collected by the Town No 1 (Philip Pole) who was coincidentally chosen for man of the Match after saving his side's bacon on several occasions and producing several crucial saves.  The guy seems to be growing in sanguinity with each and every game.

I beetled off home rather tired tonight, this had not been of classical proportions to stoke the fires of interest but Denton had bagged 3 points - I suspected they would be well happy with that.

FINAL THOUGHT - A middling game this with many chances wasted and both teams forgetting to don their striking boots.  Styal seemed to come with a plan to sit back and pilfer, they nearly pulled this off but were thwarted by some last ditch defending and some solid mitt work.  The team are better than what they exhibited tonight and only a fool would back against this lot being in the end of season top 4 shake up.  Denton have not started as fluently as I expected and I suspect, as they expected.  They are facing teams who are coming prepared, who are up for the battle and who will be happy to steal points from a team who are very much one of the favourites for promotion.  The main key is keep the back austere and tight and to get the advancing players decisive and with their eyes on busting the net.  The next few games will answer many questions, I reckon 3 good wins and the season will be rolling the way it should be, any slip ups and questions will be asked.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

SUICIDE SQUAD

2nd August 2021 - Maine Road Fc 2 v 3 Wythenshawe Amateurs - And onto the second match of the season proper with my aching carcass dragged to the ground after a busy weekend.  Today I had spent 3 hours at Denton Town doing more work for the club and nature and then indulged in a 6.5 mile power-walk that left my knackers a trifle moist and the crack of my arse like a free-flowing log-flume (roll up, roll up folks, ride the rapids in a new fairground attraction - stink-o-tastic).  Upon arrival STP Stu joined me and we purchased a cuppa and a choccy bar from the happy lass in the snack booth.  Heading to our usual spot, it didn't seem like 5 minutes since our buttocks were being punished by the clubs seating area - by heck them wooden planks don't half play havoc with my aging posterior.  Joining us for the night's action was John D, a good touchline buddy we hadn't seen for 18 months due to a pesky virus and John having spent 6 months at Her Majesty's Displeasure after an incident in a Salford Pet Shop involving a Terrapin's head and a part of John's anatomy best left unnamed.  

After gasbagging and making predictions the teams rolled out on a glorious evening whilst the tannoy crackled out its almost nostalgic inaudible nonsense with many using home-made deciphering kits to try and work out what was being said - fine stuff indeed.

The game began with good impetus and an early corner for the Whammies saw the home keeper punch with authority and the hosts peregrinate forth with an eagerness to pass with pace.  A superb ball came from the middle of the park that was received out wide and played into the box of concern.  No 9 (Reece Lyndon) collected, had time to pick his spot and stroked the ball into the bottom corner to instantly set the game ablaze.

The guests now looked to repay this early insult to their pride and ambition.  No 3 (Richard Peters) progressed and posted a sizzling cross that required some above average defending.  Soon after Wythenshawe came again, this time via a counterattack that culminated in a stick-trembling attempt by their No 10 (Louis White).  The ball pinged back into play, No 7 (Samuel Dickov) was on it quicker than a gay gibbon on a penis-shaped banana.  The shot was instantaneous, the keeper was ready and produced a quite choice save with the follow-on corner bearing bugger all.

This was a good fast-paced contest with the WA lads probing but the MR ranks staying tightly clenched.  Suddenly the home chaps progressed and won an angled kick.  The ball was sent into the box, was punched out and then redelivered by No 10 (Jamie Roe).  Lyndon rose with the visiting keeper, a clatter of fist and face came with the striker ending up in a heap - the result, a bloody nose and a penalty.  Eventually No 11 (Sajjad Elhassan) stepped up, guided the sphere home and doubled the advantage.

From here the half galloped away.  The away team buried the ball soon after, it was a sweet move that led to the mesh-swelling finale, but an offside decision had been given.  The pressure rose on the home goal, the Amateurs were building up a fine head of steam with their No 9 (Francesco Frangillo) putting in a notable stint.  No 11 (Edward Brown) was becoming an increasing splinter the resident ranks rear, a shot came from the angle but went too high, Maine Road though needed to take heed.

The closing stages of the first period saw WA's White have a pop that saw more reliable action from the home No 1 (Bruno Da Silva).  The scoreline looked set when, out of nowhere, a cross came that saw the Maine Road mitter advance and shout for the ball only to see a rising defender make the slightest touch and propel the globe into the path of Brown who wasted no time in halving the deficit.  It was a cruel blow and left The Road hanging on for dear life and glad to get back into the changing rooms for the half-time break.

We stayed put for the interval, there were a few on tonight (over 300 was suggested, by heck I think someone needs a new abacus) and the thought of joining a queue for a brew didn't appeal.  Thankfully the time passed quickly as John D showed off his scars from the terrapin incident and some pictures of the cell he had recently been occupying (nice slop-out bucket mate).

The two teams were soon back out for period two, the home team were temporarily down to 10 men and under immediate pressure.  Dickov wheedled in, went round the keeper and saw his effort cleared off the line.  A corner followed, a shank was swung and missed the ball, but the pressure remained.  The Road were now back to a full compliment of players but were playing too deep.  No 4 (Arron Hevingham) was allowed to have a crack, albeit from a testing distance, with the ball just dropping over the bar and sending out yet more warnings to the team with a goal advantage.

Handball shouts came at either end, the referee was having none of it, much to the dismay of both benches.  All the while a certain screw was being turned and Maine Road were in danger of cutting their own throats.  Eventually a Wythy free kick was won which Hevingham duly knocked forth.  The keeper remained strong and helped ease the threat but the attacking force had their tails up.  As the defending team backed off, Brown gathered the ball, had a quick look, set the sights and popped home the expected equaliser.  Now the game was really up for grabs.

The hosts now faced a long and testing stretch and Wythy were definitely up for this. In no time at all the zested team grabbed the lead when a choice corner fell to the peg of the ubiquitous Brown who volleyed home without a second thought.  2 - 3 - a fine way to take the lead.

From here, Maine Road now decided to start advancing that made the pack in front work that little bit harder.  As a result, Wythy's grafting Frangillo committed himself to a tackle and was a millisecond too late - the outcome... a red card.  Despite going down to 10 men and the opposition exposing renewed vigour, Wythenshawe Amateurs stood mighty firm and weathered a minor storm.  The Road had a few glimpses of goal and scampered like a bunch of deviants with their arses full of ferrets.  It was all to no avail and the game ended with the travellers going home with the 3 point booty.  Man of the Match has to go to Wythenshawe Town's No 11 (Edward Brown) who dashed and darted, remained keen hearted and of course, with a hat-trick, duly departed.  I could add a further rhyming word that begins with 'f' here, but alas, I never got that close to the action.

FINAL THOUGHT - By heck you can't beat a bit of footy down at Brantingham Road on a Monday night - it is such a wonderful thing.  Tonight's contest was a strange one with Maine Road working to get a 2 goal lead and then, after a stroke of ill-fortune, going back into their shells and not playing their usual fluent way.  This step onto the back-foot allowed the hard-working opposition to get back into matters and then grab a decisive victory - lessons must be learnt here, a case of hari-kari that should not be repeated.  On the plus side for the MR mob No 8 (Ben Mooney) looked a ruddy fine player and their keeper is a solid addition and will make a really positive contribution to many games - the team should do just fine as a result.  The Whammie Warriors now have 6 points from 2 games and look a fair side.  This is a seriously difficult league though and several teams look destined to be surefire top 5 finishers.  Could this lot be a surprise package and pop up in the mix come the end of the campaign.  A couple of follow-up wins would surely get jaws wagging and teams taking note.  They are a very complete side it seems and I will be keeping an eye on the scores on the doors over the next few weeks to see what transpires.