Thursday, 21 February 2019

REDS REVENGE

20th February 2019 - Bacup Borough 0 v 2 AFC Liverpool - Wednesday - one of those midweek day's that just come, go and barely leave a stain on the underpants of old Father Time.  Today however was different,  work was dealt with in good spirit and the call of a trip to Bacup Borough was obeyed.  Yesterdays footballing fix was cancelled due to the Mother-in-Law having an operation on her peeper that went a little awry.  She will be right though - a re-booking, a quick ocular fiddle and kaboom, eye's like a shit-house rat - well, that's the idea!  The journey to Bacup was steady and we arrived in good time, we acquired those golden fried oblongs, I duly baptised mine with that reliable  sanguine enhancement known as Ketchup whereas my wife opted for things 'au naturel'.  We chatted with a few folks, scoffed our scram and then picked our viewing spot for the night's entertainment.  The match was pondered as mastication took place, we made our predictions - I think no one would be shocked by the fact that we went for a draw but there was a reason for hesitancy - this is the mad world of Non-league Football and basically anything can happen.  So, the punters arrived, the players finished their warm-ups, I was hankering after more chips - I decided to be good and crack on with the report - here is the outcome.

The opening exchanges of the match bore no excitement, the hosts were just holding the greater territorial advantage but there was really nothing in it!  A free-kick came for the resident pack, No 10 (Michael Gervin) knocked in a precise ball which No 4 (Adrian Bellamy) nutted just over.  Little else in the way of thrills came as the claggy substrate was trampled beneath players looking to squeeze out a genuine chance.  The Reds hustled away, a half chance fell to No 3 (Bradley Owens) but the shot lacked chomp and caused no great concern.  Again the visitors came, a penalty shout was ambitious to say the least, the referee waved play on, the attack duly fizzled.  At the other end of the pitch another holler came for a spot-kick, again the man in black disagreed but then Bacup applied themselves, No 7 (Anthony Hall) had the ball around the edge of the box.  He dillied, he dallied, he eventually laid one off to Gervin who sent forth a rasper.  Another penalty claim fractured the night air, the outcome however was a corner kick.   The ball was hoofed in, a quick scuffling period was finalised by a shot from Hall – it was tame to say the least. 

The game dripped on, out of a dreary patch the Reds looked to add a splash of invigorating colour via a corner.   The delivery was quality laden, the ball knocked out and then re-posted with equal accuracy and pace.  No 10 (Jordan Foster) was in the right place at the right time, knocked the ball into the mesh and brought up a strike the game was screaming out for.  The travelling team now exuded a higher level of confidence but the game remained unliberated and without much give and take.  A few handbags were brandished here and there, Bacup were awarded a couple of free-kicks on the bounce, the second, taken by Gervin, was knocked to the back post, nutted back in and was there for the taking – the referee had spotted a foul – goal kick!  The game now became a messy affair, from a Liverpool free-kick a Bacup breakaway was the result.  No 12 (Louis Holding) travelled with high gusto, played a pearling pass that needed efficient defensive work to only give away a corner.  The corner came, now it was the guests turn to break, No 9 (Anthony Lyons) galloped into No Man’s Land and duly lost the ball – it had been one of those halves.  Before the break a gratis boot for the hosts needed mitted attention and that was that – 0 – 1 – in a very stodgy first 45 minutes of closely contested football.

The break was spent wandering to the opposite side of the ground and partaking of a warm drink. The wind was rather chilled and so, with tails and other bits between our legs we returned to where we had come from albeit this time standing and at the opposite side of the dug outs.  The game, in the main, was constipated, a laxative was needed or what is known as a 'Internal Earthquake' - this procedure uses hot spoons, 4 litres of Castrol GTX and a 50 watt light bulb - I think a laxative will suffice.

The second period started with Bacup shining brightest, a low drive was well saved and then Bellamy crept in and should have bagged an equaliser but was denied by the efficient keeper who saved well.  Another ball soon came into the Red's box, the defending No 6 (Lee McConchie) put head on ball and the No 1 (Lee Carr) did well to stretch and save.  Bacup used this moment as a catalyst to get their act together, a blazing 3 piece move was directed and dazzling, it was a shame that it was punctuated by a weak shot from Gervin.  The game was now open, something akin to footballing bowel movement was there for the fans to ponder.  Bacup came again, some fine link up play was executed, No 2 (Joshua Walne) appeared at the brunt end of matters and boomed high.  From here AFC Liverpool broke, No 11 (Louis Hayes) was at the apex of events, he was thwarted at the last by a quickly advancing keeper.  

Bacup continued to battle with pride, they were duly getting rattled by their opponents 'go-slow' antics, the language from the bench bordered on the Satanic, the referee was referred to as a 'fuckin' bastard', 'useless' and told to 'piss off' - and here's me thinking he was a lovely chap.  The hosts came next, flashed away from a Liverpool attack.  No 3 (Davison Banda) let fly a screamer, the save that came was top quality indeed.  The ball went loose, the danger was still at status 'shit the bed', alas the ball would not drop kindly for the home team and AFC Liverpool, continued to do what they had done all night, defending in good numbers.  Once again The Reds tried to build but were caught on the hop, this time No 11 (Matthew Dell) was at the end of events and sent in a low shot that was neatly saved.  2 throw-ins, 3 corners for Liverpool followed, The Borough Boys were now scrambling to stay in this one and when the final angled kick came and No 3 (Bradley Owens) touched goalward it was with great relief their keeper did just enough.  The away team now exerted a stranglehold, a ball came from nothing and was pushed wide, a cross flashed in and missed all potential assassins and wannabe defenders but a brief moment of hesitancy saw No 5 (Jonathan Croasdale) react and slap home to double his side's lead.  It was coming, it was a killer and as the game wound down and Bacup harried and hurried and asked many defensive questions their opponents always had the answers and saw this one out to the final blow of the whistle.  The Man of the Match tonight goes to AFC Liverpool's No 1 (Lee Carr) for keeping his side in matters, putting in some decent blocks and making sure his defense had a last man to rely on - it was a good contribution to a hard fought win.

FINAL THOUGHT - A real hefty bout of grinding soccer this, one that saw little between the competing packs and one that was decided by 2 goals out of much mither.  After being recently dumped out of a cup competition by Bacup the AFC Liverpool lads were up for revenge and maybe, that little bit of extra spite and desire, is what got them through tonight.  They are having a good season indeed, now sitting 4th in the division and no doubt looking to push on and finish in realms where nosebleeds and dizzy spells may be encountered.  They battle hard, defend as a pack and have a sprinkling of pace - it will be interesting to see what the final months of the season bring.   Bacup Borough are a decent outfit, they will finish in the top half of the season and may yet end up with some silverware.  They are a well drilled unit, strong throughout and with a resilience, tonight they just lacked a finishing edge and when faced with the prospect of a breakthrough just seemed to lack ideas.  To get the best out of the back end of the campaign they need to play with width, dash forth with passion when an attack is underway and defend as one solid unit with all players working back when necessary.  They will do OK though, a top half finish must be a certainty and if they do win the First Division Cup I think the season can be put down as a success - good luck lads.   We drove home a trifle fagged but happy with our visit to The Brian Boys West View Stadium - here's to the next time!

Saturday, 16 February 2019

FRIDAY FOOTBALLING FIX

15th February 2019 - 1874 Northwich 3 v 2 Barnoldswick Town - Pay day, a time to celebrate and indulge (if only).   The day was sunny and bright, spring was in the air and may I add, a spring was in the step.  Alas I got carried away springing about and trapped a testicle in my 1874 Northwich underpants - I didn't hold it against the team and hoped they would do themselves proud tonight.  After the day's work was done, the said clattered conker plastered up and the underpants changed for a Barlicks Thong (with silk sensation addition) me and the good lady got our acts together and prepared to head out when I dropped the household keys and bent down to recover them rather too quickly.  The thong I was wearing went up my buttock cleavage and duly tore me a new anus, of the elongated and quite painful kind don't you know.   A delay was had, I nipped upstairs and changed once more - this time I opted for some North West Counties League snug-o-rama support rubbers - I shall remain a neutral as ever.  Arriving at the ground I had a hankering for some scram and warm liquid - I suppose if I was told to piss off that would, in some warped way, cover both targets (are you with me).  We duly purchased victuals cum refreshments, took up a viewing point and prepared for some Friday night football.  Saturday is out of the question for ball hoofing entertainment, I have the Blackpool Bastards coming to town - 9 bands plucking and puking and making a racket to admire - it must be done.   And so, with no further deviations and digressions I am ready to reveal what transpired on this February evening during this Macron Cup Tie - I thank you for your patience.

The start was a fizzed up scrapyard affair - bits and boots flying everywhere, very little room for anyone to create a fluent and worthy attack.  From the clanking and grinding No 7 (Zack Dale) had a snap shot from nothing but couldn't stop the ball from rising over the horizontal.  The same team began to hit many high balls, trying to confound their opponents with an aerial bombing, all to no avail.  The first corner of the match went against the grain, 1874 earned the angled kick, the ball came in, went up and was walloped by the firm boot of No 9 (Scott McGowan) who tried an audacious overhead kick.  The contact and execution were spot on, the carcass that got in the way was crucial - onwards we went.  A long ball from the hosts quickly ensued, the Barlick No 1 (Ryan Livesey) came and dropped under pressure.  The loose globe fell to McGowan who struck first time, Livesey recovered and put in a good honest save.  The hosts now had their peckers up (I hope those shorts can take the strain) and produced a laserbeam attack that added further illumination to an eye-catching game.  McGowan was involved in a great link up, knocked the ball out to No 7 (Mike Koral) who spurted, slapped in a cross and watched No 11 (Taylor Kennedy) pounce like a panther on a puppy, and touched home with a certain ease.  The perfect ending to a dazzling, frazzling move!

From here the lads of 1874 chased everything, displayed a desire not seen since Christopher Biggins was left in charge of a chip shop, they worked with extreme ardour - the fans became aroused.  A push came, pressure rose, the visiting keeper went on walkabout (what's new, what a nomadic madman), the ball was punted goalward, it was just too high.   Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, Barnoldswick hammered forth, 2 passes were played in double quick time and No 4 (James Crorken) thumped home in determined and decisive style - now where did that come from?  The game now grew in stature, the pace electric, both teams intent on playing one touch football.  Barnoldswick displayed a style that highlighted why they are in a lofted league position - very focused and direct, always looking to go forth with high impetus.  The Northwich pack though are no mugs, they read the game well, soaked up and after a break earned a free-kick.   The ball was delivered into the box, was knocked up, obeyed the gravitational pull and wham, No 6 (Jack Irlam) slammed home from all of 5 feet.  Soon after another gratis hoof saw Kennerley drive a low sizzler just shy of the vertical and then a corner was granted to the same advancing team.   The ball was struck like the conkers of a sex-staved rubber man (low and firm) and was met by the swinging shank of McGowan who connected with purity and gave his side a 3 - 1 lead.  

The half closed with great effort from both teams, a few late tackles and a yellow card - this had been a good contest, the clash of styles made for a game with many moments to ponder and we duly pondered whilst sat on our arses and staying put.  

Half two began with the guests making the early running with a shot by Dale blocked and one by No 9 (Jack Coop) rattled over.  2 corners followed, the second of which was played to the near post that forced the home keeper (Tony Agheyere) to block well from a quite cheeky flick on.  At the other end of the pitch Kennerley was nearly released but the Barlick keeper was roaming as per and duly did his worthwhile bit.  The match was laden with fine ingredients, I wondered what would be dished up next - I didn't have long to wait.  A frenzied moment saw the ball enter the Barlick box, 3 close-in shots came, 1 blocked, 2 solidly saved by Livesey who kept his side very much in the game.  The hosts were keen to keep pressing, Livesey still continued to leave his net area, an attack came, panic ensued,  a yellow card came and 1874 were given a free-kick.  The visitors survived, a settled period came and then a mistimed tackle by Barnoldswick's No 8 (Andrew Hill) ended with him taking an early bath.  There was nothing malicious in it, just a mistimed moment I thought - unlucky mate!

The game now looked to be only going one way, but the trailing side were far from done.  Dale went on a stunning run, he slipped through the attention of several defenders and shot with force.  The keeper parried, a clearance came, but Barlick were seen marauding again and duly earned a bonus boot on the periphery of the perilous zone.  Crorken was in command, he put in a sweet dig and quivered the sticks, another shot followed, deflection and corner.  The resultant ball in produced nothing, a few subs were duly had and from a 74 advance The Town counterpunched, No 15 (Teal Amos) was out wide and worked in with only one thing on his mind.  He weaved a spell, eyed the meshing and placed his shot with precision and gave this game one last gasp of life.  The interest levels rose, 7 minutes were on the clock, Barnoldswick huffed and puffed but couldn't blow the 74 house down, and after Irlam for the hosts drilled one at the keeper and some manic action the whistle for the end of play came and we, as punters, were left to chew on the fascinating soccerised cud.  A well competed game, many hard working performances and my Man of the match tonight goes to Barnoldswick's No 7 (Zack Dale) who provided much excitement, some fine quality and many options - he was unlucky to be on the losing side but these things happen and in truth 1874 Northwich did deserve it - just!

FINAL THOUGHT - Well, what can one say - what great value again.  We came, we paid our conkers and we saw 5 goals in a good cup game that was still undecided up until the shrill of the pea laden device.  Barnoldswick have nothing to be ashamed of with their performance tonight and, in some ways the loss could help them push on in the league and really make an impression in the upper echelons.  It would be gratifying to see and one must take time out to applaud them on the pace-riddled play, perspired effort and contribution to a Friday night clash.  1874 Northwich are always worthy of a Non_league nut's time, they play some attractive football, have many talented players and show a unity to admire.  I think tonight they earned their place in the next round and who is to say they won't lift the cup and bring great joy to the ever-enthusiastic faithful.  I shall keep an eye on matters, I may even find time to see the next round, it is a busy life being a supporter of this glorious DIY game.  To end - the chips went down well tonight, the tea warmed the cockles, the ambience was friendly and the game fair - the only gripe is that the aforementioned Mr Biggins has threatened me with a court case - good job I didn't mention the rubber cucumber!

Monday, 11 February 2019

SAVED AT THE DEATH

10th February 2019 - AFC Liverpool 1 v 1 Bacup Borough (Bacup won 3 - 2 on penalties) - A good old mixed day today with a fine wander at Crosby Marina turning up 39 bird species and then a walk at Rimrose Valley being our 768th wildlife destination and keeping the legs moving.  We turned up at the ground early, had a local wander then returned and had a brew and some nosh before taking up our positions outside after chatting with a few decent folk.  I was kindly supplied with the teamsheets and as we stood and watched the teams warm up we did wonder who would come out on top.  The butt cheeks of Albert Steptoe were said to be rather close (tight-arsed git), the obscene mammary glands of that useless social lump Kim Kardashian are said to be in close proximity too but I reckoned this game would be much closer with the nipples of success only leaking for those that clamp on, suck with ardour and make sure they drain every last drop of promise right up until the final whistle.  My good lady predicted a draw, I fancied a Bacup win, in truth, we both were right come the end of the match, tis a strange old game!

The opening stages of this First Division Cup Quarter Final were keenly contested with little space available for any player from any team, to shine.  The home Reds had the first sizzling surge with a cross put in that was laden with pace and too hot to handle for the incoming No 11 (Harry Avis) who collected the ball with the crack of his arse rather than his feet.  The hosts continued to shade matters and display the greatest prong of promise.   They won 3 corners on the bounce, the Bacup Boys smothered all danger and on the third attempt broke with No 7 (Anthony Hall) leading the way, losing the ball and eventually regaining possession after a sharp pass from his comrade No 4 (Adrian Bellamy).  Hall got the noggin down, dashed at the angle and wham, banged the ball against the keeper who could only remove half the sting and watch it continue into his net.  The home pack looked mighty shocked by this rear end penetration (it can be painful), responded and won a free-kick that No 7 (Rhys Hardacre) thumped over the bar - disappointing.  

AFC Liverpool now worked harder, Bacup absorbed, Hardacre for the hosts had another dig but could only find the keepers awaiting arms.  The guests reacted, No 10 (Michael Gervin) won the ball from absolutely nothing, battled with zeal and let go a quite weak shot without any wallop - needless to say it was easily gathered up.  The AFC Liverpool lads hit back, Avis down the wing would not give up possession, he escaped a tricky situation and crossed to No 9 (Anthony Lyons) who cracked off a firm dig.  The travelling No 1 (Harry Turner) was asked a question and provided the right answer - a tidy save.  The balanced tussle saw time tick and chances remain an uncommon commodity.  Eventually
Lyons for The Reds burst forward, entered the box and was duly sandwiched between two defending bods - the referee was in no doubt - penalty.  Lyons decided to take the bonus kick himself, he hit the ball with good pace and good direction, the save that Turner produced was absolutely first class - applause rang out from all around the ground.  The ball came back in, the pressure briefly remained and then Bacup burst a bollock, broke with great impetus that saw a rattling cross fly across the goal mouth with No 11 (Matthew Dell) millimetres away from doubling his sides lead.  At the death we expected the scoreline to be settled for the break but AFC Liverpool summoned one last attack, a ball was flung into the box, No 10 (Callum Schorah) lived up to the sound of his name and touched the ball over the line - just.  The half ended soon after - it was edge of the seat stuff even though we were stood up.

We stayed put for half-time and cuddled and chatted to ignore the frisky wind who had a yearning to chill the privates - tis a rotten git that wind, and a pervert don't ya know.
 

Off we went again, the hosts displayed a hunger, one that was nearly sated by a snap shot from Schorah.  The ball was saved, came back soon after, this time with Lyons cracking over.  AFC Liverpool continued to press and play the ball around the box before Hardacre placed a sweet shot that the gloved Turner did well to read and save.  All Bacup could offer in return was a hopeful punt from halfway that was dealt with and a long range free-kick that went way too high.  Liverpool looked to have the major chance to get the next goal, Hardacre put in some dinky work, crossed and saw the ball get turned over.  The penalty claim was borne from overexuberance and a touch of madness I thought.  The match remained on a knife edge and the midfield was where most of the combat took place.  A few corners and shots came each way - bite and direction were lacking on all deliveries until Hardacre release a stunning curler to the top corner with ample pace.  The guest keeper sprang, stuck out a mitt and produced yet another quality soaked save - a marvellous effort indeed.  Soon after a free-kick came the same way, No 5 (Jonathon Croasdale) tried one close in but the keeper was on hand once more, he was having a great game.

A lengthy period of bustling came with both teams digging away but finding no light at the end of their prospective tunnels.  The effort put in was 100%, sometimes even that is not enough to break the netting.  Into the arse end we went, No 12 (Matthew Corke) for AFCL went on a crafty, powerful run, he was halted at the last, the ball was released and Hall at the other end had a shot just wide of the sticks.  Bacup had a free-kick slammed into the wall and on the death a corner saw the ball enter, get knocked out, put back in, headed and saved on the line - man that was close.  There wasn't much in this, it was too tough to call, the referee was of the same frame of mind and decided penalties would be the answer.   The whistle blew, the folks flocked to the goal of destiny - we had a great view where we were - this is how the shoot-out went.

First up was Lyons of AFC Liverpool and a solid kick rippled mesh.  Gervin for the opposition knocked in a comfortable spot kick next and levelled matters and then Hardacre followed and blasted over.  Bacup now had the upperhand, Hall cemented this fact with a cool strike and then
Liverpool's No 4 (Marc Stephens) kept his team in with a squeak with a cool execution.  No 5 (Laquan Esdaille-Biney) responded with an equally chilled hoof and made sure this one was going to the wire.  No 16 (Jordan Foster) was burdened with pressure, he struck on target but the save was solid and then Darcey O'Connor for the visiting tribe followed up and got the same result as the keeper did what was asked of him.  The ball was now placed on the spot, AFC Liverpools' No 10 (Callum Schorah) had to nail this to keep his team in it.   He approached the globe, struck well, Turner in the nets sprang and saved with solid reliance.   It looked all over, the Bacup players dashed forth in a celebrating wave - the referee saw a keeping infringement, 'please take again' was the order.  The tension was tactile, Schorah had a chance to redeem himself and save his sides ass.  The striker came forth, put toe on ball, the crowd held their breath - bang, bar struck, game over - Bacup Borough were on their way to the next round.  We had paid our money, took our chance and witnessed a thriller with a great contributer to this scenario and my choice of Man of the Match being Bacup Borough's No 1 (Harry Turner).  A series of great saves made sure his side got to the shoot out and when the time came he did enough to tip the scales and help the game go the way of the travellers.  A fine stint, a pleasure to behold - thank you mate.  We went home both chilled and warmed - anyone in attendance will understand this physical paradox!

FINAL THOUGHT - You can't beat variety - hence my passion for noise, nature and non-league football.   All areas are dealt with at ground level and for me, as proven today, it is always where greatest joy will be found.  The day to day shit gets on my tits, putting back for all three areas will hopefully enthuse others to have a nosey and if it does then they are in for a treat and will have less time to indulge in nonsense.  The teams today were difficult to separate and put in their all in a contest that was a clash of styles and one intriguing encounter.   AFC Liverpool were mightily unlucky and if, like a boxing match, the game would have been decided on points after the end of play, they would have surely won it by a split decision.  There were many positives to take from today, some good pace, quick thinking and a few narrow squeaks that could have finished this one early in the game.  Bacup are no mugs though and are something of a solid team that give little away in any area.   There is a strong nucleus of players and a variety of style that, with a little tweak here and there, could catapult them onto bigger and better things.  I hope both teams do well, they are always worthy of my time and play some decent football and I shall be at both grounds again at some point in the not too distant future - real football for real people and even old punk bastards like me (and the missus) - oh aye!

Saturday, 9 February 2019

NOMADS BACHED AGAINST THE WALL

9th February 2019 - Cheadle Heath Nomads 1 v 3 Sandbach Utd - Today's game looked like a stunner, a real tight tussle between two strengthened teams looking to finish the season with a flourish - I was intrigued.  The day started with a roam at Fletcher Moss, enjoying the bracing breeze and of course, the wildlife.  I am offside at the mo but that is no reason to sit still - I saw many birds and a few other bits and pieces - work on the new book is incessant, one has to keep up.  Half a chicken was consumed for dinner whilst watching 'Rising Damp' - the pains in the privates may not be prostatitis or kidneys stones after all and maybe my 'Damp' is 'Rising' - ooh Rigsby!  After catching up with the wildlife notes I got my act together and wandered out.  The missus was off having here eyes checked (I am sure my nob isn't that small) and doing a spot of shopping - I hope I get a treat!  I walked down to the ground with my neighbour Sue who was taking her dog for a walk.  She had recently dyed her hair and looked like a female Jimmy Saville, her dog also had a hard on - I think she needs to check the hormone levels in her water supply - quite shocking!  Arriving at the ground and salutations to many fine folk were had, STP Stu was in attendance and after chits and chats we took up our positions for the days entertainment.  It was mighty grand to catch up again with John McClure - the guy is a keen footballing supporter, runs 'Your Football Page' on Facebook and is a gent - a nice bonus!  Today I was expectant, my prediction was made - some things I must keep secretive to spare any blushes (I made sure my trousers were done up tight too).



The fresh air blew, the game began, the team to gain the first foothold was the hosts who passed with care and looked to get some feel of the ball.  Both teams though looked fairly unsettled and were guilty of rushing matters - a crime all too often committed.  The first real chance came when the home No 10 (Kieran Herbert) hurtled down the flank, sent in a low fizzing cross that no doubt scorched the arses of a few unsuspecting slugs.  The ball was met by No 9 (Richard Tindall) who failed to get close to the target - disappointing.  The promise was there though but Sandbach eventually acclimatised to the task and came on with No 10 (Harry Cain) a repetitive menace and nearly having several chances to shoot but remaining a little trigger shy.  As Cheadle looked to build the ball was given away, No 8 (William Buckley) was the beneficiary and raced forth and let fly.  The home No 1 (Aaron Tyrer) did enough and conceded a corner rather than a goal.  The angle hoof came, the ball went out, Herbert for the hosts bust a bollock to help kill the peril - good work that man.  From here a lot of hustling and hollering came but alas no end product.  A stunning move from the hosts brought high hopes, No 8 (Isaac Graham) was the integral playmaker and made a sound pass, received, knocked out a tidy ball for No 2 (Craig Coates) to duly cross.  The defending pack held firm and the resultant corner was cleared without fuss.  


The game progressed, Cheadle kept rushing matters and played with fire at the back with Sandbach keen but just lacking a sharpness at the killer end.  A bout of Nomadic pressure saw Tindall nip in between two rear bods but the touch that came could only find the awaiting mitter.  From here half-chances came at each end with both benches becoming increasingly frustrated.  The Nomad football coach, David Potter (complete with new boot boy haircut) was looking stressed, the cheap wine I saw him slurping before the match wasn't working - stay calm lad, stay calm and remember - QC Sherry, £5.99 a bottle from most corrupt retailers or back-street porn shops!  The last 5 minutes of the half were hectic, but composure and control were rare commodities and the goal mouths, like the rear end of Pope John Paul the 3rd, remained unpenetrated (see you in court).  Sandbach did come on strong but the hosts showed that their survival manual had been well thumbed and they hung on to the break to go in all square. 

Half-time and a brew and Mars Bar and shock, horror, news had come through that Neville Pearson (Cheadle Heath Club Secretary) had escaped from his wooden cage and was on the prowl with a reason to waffle.  Thankfully one quick-thinking bloke had attended the match with a butterfly net and after a brief Benny-Hill style chase Mr Pearson was bagged and put back in his timber prison - and serve him right, he called out the wrong number for the Raffle and left me prizeless - ooh the corrupt rotter!

Half-two, long ball by Sandbach, No 9 (Josh Lane) on it - the shot was not even close. The Nomads came back with 2 corners that brought no return and then, as a train went by that was the length of Sammy Davis' todger, Sandbach advanced with No 11 (Kieran Garner-Knapper) at the apex.  The ball was blasted wide but I was so intrigued that as I looked on and finished my Mars Bar I ended up ingesting a piece of the wrapper and nearly choked to death - cripes.  As Sandbach thrust again, they were caught on the hop by a fleet-footed counter.  Herbert was involved and executed a lovely touch with Tindall bungled to the floor and a free-kick earned.  Graham took the kick, a strike came, the near post was just missed.  As the game continued one observer classed matters as 'shite', I tried to remain more upbeat and as another free-kick for the home lads went over the bar I did wonder if we were headed for a goalless draw!

The close affair became a gamblers nightmare, Lane for the guests tried to make a breakthrough.  In a forward position he went one way, then the other, shot too late and a blockage came.  A corner next, No 12 (Aidan Houghton) close in - over.  Suddenly the Heath Army were on it, No 7 (Jack Warren) went on a storming run, released at the right time and up stepped Tindall to do what he does best and guide the ball homeward - Cheadle Heath Nomads needed it, the game needed it, the onlookers needed it - game on for sure.  Subs came, the hosts tails were up, but Sandbach were pushing with greater passion and many balls came into the box all contributing to a rising pressure.  Two shots followed, the crust of No 11 (Stephen Kirby) and No 3 (Adam Stuart) got in the way as Cheadle Heath got pulled one way and another and were in need of a calming moment.  Suddenly another free-kick came, it was a soft kick and a head went up and the ball ended up in the net - what the bloody hell went on there?  Sadly it was an own goal, No 4 (Zac Tyson) was utterly unlucky - chin up lad, shit happens.

We now entered the last 10 minutes, Herbert had the ball for the resident pack, an attempt at a crossfield ball went all awry and actually went backwards.  An opposing player collected and headed forth on goal.  Haughton was the man at the helm, he stayed cool, eyed his spot and put one past the keeper to surprisingly bag the lead.   Cruelty and quality had copulated and given birth to a spiteful bastard who had punched the home lads in the vulnerable conkers - darn the vulgarity of the footballing fanny.  From here Sandbach marauded with renewed belief, a free-kick came from an innocuous position with Buckley knocking a gorgeous ball across the park for Cain who cut in, beat his marker, fired with zeal and signed, sealed and delivered with a solid strike.  It was an unexpected turn and during the closing flickers both No 10's had further shots but the final blow of the whistle came and somehow this game had produced 4 goals and the home lads were beat.  For me the game had been 50/50 throughout but if you take your chances the cookie will always crumble your way. Man of the match goes to Sandbach United's No 5 (Kris Stockton) for a solid performance that was quiet but efficient, without flamboyance but very controlled.  It is good to have a reliable lynchpin at the back - this was a tidy do and gave little in the way of opportunity for the battling opponents.  Farewells, a quick piss and home - you can't beat these days out.

FINAL THOUGHT - Well, please explain if you can how this ended up 1 -3 besides the fact that the home team scored one and the visitors bagged a trio of strikes.  In retrospect it was a messy game with very little in it and the deciding factor was a bit of luck and the taking of the few opportunities that arose.  I always enjoy my trips to this ground, the staff are darn friendly folk, the team give 100% and there is a fine camaraderie that will, given time, pay huge dividends.  For me, the team's biggest mistake today was rushing matters when there was no need and failing to settle down and make their move with focused decisiveness - there also seemed to be less communication than usual - a facet that is always a must.  Sandbach Utd are a solid outfit, not to be taken lightly and today, even though they were held in check in the main and failed to generate a true spark, they still manged to get the win and progress further into this First Division Cup.  That is the sign of a very good team and if one cares to look at the league one can see that they are still very much in the mix there too.  These two teams meet again in a few weeks, that one will be another touch and go affair and I reckon could go either way.  There were many things to learn from today's game, the question is - who will be doing their homework?  Get your studious heads on lads or the cane will be brandished - ouch! 

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

CRUISING CURZ

5th February 2019 - Chadderton FC 0 v 8 Curzon Ashton - My arse is on fire of late as I gallop headlong trying to keep up with many areas of my life and continue to do 'too much'.  Passion is not a fashion, it is an in-built idiocy with the aim to 'put back for fuck all' the key.  Tis the punk streak, it gets on my tits but I wouldn't have it any other way - perhaps I am a pervert after all.   The day was spent at work followed by a trip to the docs to check the old plumbing system out - the wotsits are still burning, I am a kidney stone sufferer but it is always better to be safe - plus the doctor has big hands with 'cock' and 'arse' tattooed on his unwashed fingers.  To be examined 'down below' can be quite a thrill and it doesn't cost a thing - see perverse through and through.  After the missus arrived home from work I discussed my medical molestation, she seemed indifferent so we wrapped up warm and headed out to this Manchester FA Cup tie hopefully for a stunner.  STP Stu was in attendance, we had a cuppa and a chinwag - I tried to advise him that a cure for baldness is having one's rectum prodded by a man of medicine - he was also indifferent.  We took up our evenings hot-spots, I scribbled notes on what I saw - here is the outcome.

No sooner had the globe got rolling than Curzon Ashton advanced with purpose via No 11 (Luke Wall) who tried an audacious curler (sounds painful) and only just missed the target zone.  Within the shake of a vagabond's todger the same team were marauding forth again with No 7 (Oliver Crankshaw) at the helm and duly getting bungled over in the box.  The contact looked accidental but a penalty was given and Crankshaw stepped up and slammed home in comfortable style. My pen scribbled away, I full-stopped and looked up and witnessed Crankshaw dash with his arse ablaze.  Head down, focus at level 'max' - he progressed, entered the danger zone and was tumbled.   The second penalty of the night was given and as Crankshaw took a rest on the sideline Wall clouted home with ease.  The guests were 2 goals to the good after only 7 minutes and it all became too much for one fan who duly prematurely ejaculated his throbbing flare and gave off a green haze for all and sundry to get choked by - nowt wrong with getting worked up I suppose but it seemed a trifle early to billow ones clouds I thought.  As the emerald miasma dissipated Chadderton began to compete, some excellent passing allowed No 4 (Jordan Butterworth) to pass, receive and release, forcing the visiting No 1 (Cameron Mason) to produce a tidy full-length save.  In response Curzon flew the flank, a low cross ensued and missed all.  No 9 (Lewis Reilley) pounced on the loose ball quicker than a testicle-obsessed deviant, was allowed to turn by some rather lax defenders and fired home through the mush of hesitant guardians.  

The game now went into a terse quiet spell with Curzon always in 'cruise control'. Wall chanced his shank with a shot that had too much uplift and No 8 (John McAtee) sent in a daisy beheader just shy of the mark.  A moment to savour was nearly had next when Curzon's Reilley tried to hit the netting with a long range loft from the halfway line.  It was bang on target and the home keeper (Dale Latham) did well to keep his bearings and block on the line - now that would have been insulting.  Chadderton eventually cultivated something akin to a chance when a free-kick was knocked in by No 11 (Jack Ward) with No 5 (Devon Matthews) putting in a delicate crust only to find the keeper up to the task and turning the ball behind.  The corner in was blasted, the end touch home failed to arrive - we stayed as we were.  As the clock ticked Curzon reignited their drive, a pace-riddled move came, No 3 (Cameron McJannet) galloped away, put in a choice cross for McAtee to nut easily home.  A lovely goal built on simplistic desire - 0 - 4 - what next I hear you ask?  

The rain now became ghastly and fell in angled needles with much spite and a vicious chill.  The traffic remained one way - Chadderton could only manage a couple of free-kicks, both were ineffective.  The travelling team came again, McJannet scuffed a shot, Reilley gathered and attempted an impish back-heel, it went just wide.  Soon after the same pack hunted for glory once more - an angled low cross came from the watery murk, Reilley was in the right place at the right time and tapped home - it completed a fine first half display from a team 84 league places ahead of their opponents.  Crankshaw had an effort palmed away before the break, a corner was eventually dealt with and then the referee blew to save the home teams pain and give us all a chance to mull over the game thus far.

Halftime and we stayed put - the rain was evil, I didn't want to get my wonderful flowing locks wet as I had a date after the match with a local bent vicar - Father Lovelob of St Flanges - what a sexy kisser he is!  My missus would be taking photo's of course for the local parish magazine - one has to be transparent about these things.

And to the game - the teams came out - Chadderton gave a good account of themselves despite the deficit and played some good pass and move football.  A penalty shout was optimistic, a free kick by Ward resulted in a crafty shot that wasn't far off the mark and then a fluent move came that deserved a goal but the end shot was nothing short of 'shite'.  Curzon were still in the changing rooms as Ward had another dig, this time deflected wide with the corner by the same player almost sneaking straight into the net but the keeper was too alert and dealt with matters safely.  A few subs came each way, Curzon had their first real attack, Wall was at the apex of the incident and picked up the ball, cut inwards and buried with aplomb - the difference between the two sides was encapsulated - the visitors were quicker, more direct, more efficient.  Curzon Ashton now marched onward, Chadderton defending with desperation at times, and then breaking with classy liquidity but finalising matters with a rushed and wayward shot.  The guests responded with a corner, the ball was booted to the near post, No 10 (Reece Deakin) was there to head home - the lucky seven was had and then a ball came not long after with No 12 (Ryan Brooke) on hand to impudently touch home with his back heel and round off a fantastic night's work against a team very much out of their depth.  

Chadderton had one last thrust in the latter stages, No 14 (Oumar Camara) was denied by a keeper very much determined to keep his sheet unblemished and keep his defender's on their sodden and well-worked toes.  Curzon had the final punt of the night with a solid strike well saved and then we were done.  This had been a stroll in the park and the Man of the Match goes to Curzon Ashton's No 11 (Luke Wall) for two goals, an incessant running performance and a commitment to the cause lasting for the full 90 minute stint.  On a night such as this, with three quick goals in the bag, it could be so easy to take the foot off the gas - not so here.  We wandered off with many things to ponder - I don't mind the odd goal fest - a shame it couldn't have been a closer game though.

FINAL THOUGHT - Well, Curzon Ashton march on to the final of the Manchester Premier Cup and who is to say they won't lift the trophy come final day.   Tonight they played lower league opposition but did so in a ruthless manner with a fine cutting edge and an array of options always available during the one-sided game.  Pace was plentiful, quick thinking apparent and an ability to read each others movements was blatantly obvious.  I may just dabble outside the lower echelons and catch these guys at some point - a change is always a crucial thing and it would be good to see how they fair against equivalent opposition.  The job tonight was a good un' - well done chaps.   Chadderton FC came, got cobbled and left with heads down.  They put in their all, were just outclassed but they should be proud of their attitude and the fact that they stuck at matters right up until the final whistle. Sometimes the uphill struggle takes no prisoners and the game can be a cruel blighter.  The true test of a team is how they come out the other end of a beating, what they learn from the lesson and how they put the new knowledge to good use.  I always enjoy my ventures to the Andrew Stadium, there will be many more and I hope no thrashings of the kind witnessed tonight.  Talking of thrashings - I hope that Vicar doesn't brandish his purple-tipped sceptre tonight - my rear end is a little sore of late - darn religion.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

'ALT'ERNATIVE ARRANGMENTS

2nd February 2019 - FC Altrincham Reserves 2 v 0 Knutsford FC - We were going there, then going somewhere else and then had pencilled in a last resort.  Eventually, due to the clock and the climate copulating and giving birth to a runt called 'consternation' we ended up at this Cheshire League fixture.  A 2pm kick off was greeted kindly and we headed down with many layers donned to give a thermally defiant two-fingered salute to Jack Frost and his spiteful minions.  Upon arrival we sought warm liquid and for those thinking that this meant hanging around the bogs for any expellers of the gold we in fact were seeking out the joys of the perforated bag which, in truth, sounds a trifle more devious.  We slurped, prepared for a chill in the chuff and headed out to witness this tussle that, on paper looked destined to be a home win but, as per, tha' just never knows. The turn-out wasn't too bad, caused no doubt by many local matches being abandoned - here's to a treat for all.

2 early corners came for the Alt lads as they duly made the initial running.  Both bore little fruit as Knutsford dealt with matters an remained unruffled.  A free kick came for Knutsford, No 3 (Ben Woods) struck a woeful ball but at least it halted the early flow.  Both sides played with good care and patience and passed the ball in a slow, measured style.  The next moments of intrigue saw Alt's No 8 (Max Harrop) knock some fine angled passes, both being picked up by nippy and problematic No 11 (Dontai Gabidon) who set about weaving inward and creating a clear cut opportunity.  The Knutsford side defended well and it wasn't long before the same pesky player found space to shoot but was denied by the last man standing who produced a quite tidy save. Within the flick of a tosser's wrist Harrop emerged from an in-box mush and dug one forth only to be denied joy, once again, by a well sprawled mitter.  Althrincham were now on the up, Gabidon crossed next, the ball was deflected out, No 10 (Neal Monaghan) was the predator about to pounce and pounce he did by opening the games goal scoring account.  It was a deserved lead from a team more lively and just that bit quicker off the mark - Knutsford now needed to get to grips with the game and do it mighty soon.

From here the soccerised flow carried on the same way, a free-kick the end result of the first move and one struck by Harrop who could only find the meat of the keeper's carcass.  As Altrincham contrived to keep their opponents unsettled the visiting pack warmed to the task and worked with more purpose.  Territory was gained, a few free-kicks earned but all negated by an organised red breasted pack who gained possession and decided, for several minutes, to keep it that way.  Knutsford were being outworked in this first 45 minute session, the question was - could Altrincham maintain the effort and the impetus?  As the half wore on the AFC unit probed for a second strike.  Harrop came close with a surprise free-kick that wasn't that far off the vertical and then, right on the death No 4 (Sean Williams) cracked a gratis punt and unlike that famed pornstar Gloria Gonadgrinder, was shy of the upright!  The half-time whistle blew.

We swilled another cuppa for the break and chomped some Oreo chocolate - the refreshment of non-league Gods was greedily enjoyed by we lowly minions.  

The teams re-entered the fray, the game recommenced in a quiet fashion with several Knutsford supporters disgruntled and blatantly bent in their viewing of the game.  No 9 (Milan Thomspon) for Knutsford had the first punt, it was like the flaccid buttocks of Irene Handl and lacked any real 'oomph'.  The Alty Crew reacted, Harrop wisely won a bonus boot which he took himself.  From our  viewing angle there seemed space to hit the net and hit the net the player did with a nut-sweet strike that doubled the lead and gave the home team a welcome comfort zone.  Altrincham though seemed far from satisfied and still worked up a good lather with their efforts.  Williams found time to shoot next, it was well struck as was the post and then Harrop had a close in shot well saved with No 15 (Harry Sheridan) following in and rattling the post.  

A dry period came with no real give or take.  No 7 (Kallum Mantack) for the hosts was keen and eager and had a punt of his own following a swift move, the outcome was another good save that kept the trailing team still in this one.  Despite being 2 goals down the Knutsford pack were putting in a good stint and still within touching distance of getting something from the game.  Altrincham though were always dangerous, they came again after two mistimed tackles.  Mantack had a chance to stretch the keeper, the shot was thumped and went into the wild blue yonder - disappointing to say the least.  A bit of end to end action came, just like the sex life of a dragonfly in fact (ooh me anal appendages), shots came but all were wasteful and we stayed as per.  We entered the back stretch with Knutsford just falling short when any true opportunity arose and Altrincham were a liitle too eager to get the third and so duly pissed on their own chips of promise.   The young lass in charge of proceedings had done just fine and decided to call a halt before things dried up too much - it hadn't been a classic but it hadn't been a shit game either.  Man of the Match goes the Altrincham FC reserve No 8 (Max Harrop) who was a cut above and was an eternal menace in a game that was perhaps closer than the scoreline suggested.  Good vision, some neat touches, a fine strike and a solid work rate - the lad did well.   We pootled off soon after I had emptied the plumbing and noted 14 Fieldfares, 1 Mistle Thrush and 1 Starling in a nearby field - tis all good for the bonse and better than being mentally numb.


FINAL THOUGHT - So, in the chilled wilds of Knutsford we ended up and saw the Altrincham Reserves FC take 3 points and add another solid contribution to their season's tally that will undoubtedly see them win the league and move on to pastures new and more testing.   They are a good team, albeit today laden with a few first team players much to the aggravation of a few nearby Knutsford fans.  If the opportunity to do the same was had the other way I am sure things would be different - I stand quite bewildered.  The Alty pack will hold their own wherever they end up and obviously have strength in numbers especially at this and those nearby levels - I plan to watch their progress closely.  Knutsford may have been beaten today and may have been run ragged but if the truth be told they contributed to a good contest and, with a bit more luck and some eagle-eyed marksmanship could easily have grabbed a couple of goals themselves.  They are certainly no mugs and several players caught the eye today, especially No 4 (George Riley) and No 7 (Nathan Okome) amongst others.  The home turf isn't too far away from us and always worth a visit, we haven't been this season as of yet - we must remedy that as soon as.  This Cheshire League Match was well worth the effort, it is a good standard of football and the entrance fee for this one was sweet FA - now you can't fault that!