Monday, 3 January 2022

BURSCOUGH BOMB

28th December 2021 - Burscough FC 0 v 2 Squires Gate - The final game of the year and after a few chores myself and the missus set off and had a scan around several fields near to todays ground. We only saw a few Pink Footed Geese, a flock of Fieldfare and a distant Egret that had all the hallmarks of a Great White.  A pop into Tesco for a drink and snacks was had before we parked up at the ground and devoured a large pack of crisps between us.  STP Stu arrived soon after and all 3 of us entered and purchased a brew.  Fatty me also had some crinkle chips which were ruddy excellent.  A walk around the ground followed and seating eventually chosen with the sun dazzling and the chill slowly growing.  

We people watched for a while, it was entertaining to say the least with a few hoppers twitching for details, some gas-baggers spouting untold depths of soccer knowledge and some perished buggers not really prepared for a chilly day.  'Tis comforting to know the world is full of harmless nutters.

And to the game!

From the start Burscough won an almost instantaneous free-kick.  No 2 (Luke Denson) stepped up and put foot on globe, the effort was both weak and without troubling direction.  The action levels remained high, this was a game laden with early fizz and feistiness.  A Burscough attack soon followed with a low cross ending with the ball resting on the line before being launched clear - now that was close. The Gate Gang worked hard but couldn't gain enough of an early foothold to make any defining impression.  The Burscough bunch came on again, a cross-ball finding No 7 (Conor Christiansen) who fed No 11 (Thomas McNamara) who produced a neat turn and quality strike.  The keeper stretched and saved well and from the corner a defensive header nearly resulted in an own goal.  The follow-on angled kick produced bugger all.

A splat of middling action came with both units working hard but ultimately just negating each other's chances of posing any threat.  The Gate came on, No 7 (Ryan Riley) posted a firm cross, the curly mop of Burscough's No 5 (Mitchell Kinsella) nutted behind for a corner which came and gave rise to a penalty shout - the gent in jet was having none of it. Moments later the same team came again with No 2 (Jacob Ridings) putting in a fine cross that was met by an eager nut.  The ball however pinged off the belfry and went wide of the strike zone.

The Squires from the Gate now were on a roll, No 10 (Joel Mills) surged next with great feet exposed and a free-kick won. Riley took the gratis hoof with a good delivery had but some solid defending easing any peril.  The Burscough Bandits dug deep, cultivated a free-kick from a seemingly innocuous position.  No 9 (Declan Daniels) let fly a sumptuous strike, it was a shame the crossbar wasn't a couple of inches higher as this would have been a decent goal.

The half wound down, the visitors gained the upper hand and turned possession into profit when a corner was won, duly knocked into the penalty box with a nod on ending on the crown of No 6 (Joshua Westwood) who merely pushed on into the onion bag.  0 -1 it was and after a final long range shot from The Gate that failed to double the lead we arrived at the break.

I had a quick piddle during the interval, it was the last vestige of warmth within my body, I expelled the golden fluid with numerous cusses and begrudged muscle squirts.  Back in the seat and a cookie was snaffled and the teams were out and ready to roll.

Half-two began, the home team tried to build some immediate impetus and also made a couple of substitutions.  Squires Gate seemed happy to bide their time and try and grab the odd bonus.  A further goal nearly came when a choice cross caressed the bar and bounced off a striker's face.  That would have been a wicked turn of events.

Despite Burscough gaining territory, the opposing force looked unflustered and destined to bag the next strike.  In fact the next goal nearly came when the hosts pissed about with the ball at the back, the keeper received and tried to hoof clear only to clatter the globe into the SG No 10 (Joel Mills) - fortunately for the trailing team the ball pinged behind for a goal kick.

No 10 (George Lomax) for Burscough went on a sound run next and made space, fed McNamara who made room, let fly but could only find the keeper's midriff. Squires Gate, in return, prodded and poked like a sexed up prostate doctor, the only thing lacking was any notable penetration.  As several passes came and the away team advanced into the box Ridings was tumbled and a penalty was awarded.  No 4 (Daniel Gray) stepped up and the ball was sent into the awaiting netted orifice - 0 - 2 - from here, I couldn't see any way back for the hosts.

Time trickled away, flurries came at each end but no further hair-raising moments arose (especially for balding gits like me) and before we knew it, Squires Gate had thoroughly deserved their two-goal win with Man of The Match going to their No 7 (Ryan Riley) who I thought was subtly effective and a grafting element in the midst of a well-drilled and highly determined team.

We pissed off perished after the match, it had been a chiller but far from a thriller, not as though any Squires Gate fan would be complaining.

FINAL THOUGHT - Burscough FC have a great facility here and must be surely looking to push on in many ways during the forthcoming season.  The game today displayed a team out of sorts with no real cohesion and just a little lacking in the creativity department.  This could be just one of those days or the start of shitty things to come - I reckon matters will be addressed over the next few games this loss can be well and truly forgotten.  The team has many tried and tested players - some days though, even that can't help bag the points.  Squires Gate were remarkably resilient today and exhibited a strong discipline and organisational threat.  The lowly position in no way reflects what transpired on the pitch today and if they can quickly follow-up this away win escapade the season may end on a bright and shiny note.  We haven't visited this lot for a few years, hopefully if the twat known as Boris Johnson doesn't stop meddling with society and pissing people about we may get up there before the end of the campaign.  Even if we do, I will still regard Bojo as a twat anyway.



Monday, 27 December 2021

THE LEGENDS

26th December 2021 - Wythenshawe Amateurs 3 v 0 Wythenshawe Town - A Boxing Day game and this one designed with good will and fine generosity as two teams of Legends graced the verdant turf in the hope of raising a good wealth of conkers for Paces, a specialist centre, charity and school for children and adults with cerebral palsy and motor disorders - how ruddy nice is that?  The charity is based in South Yorkshire but does its outstanding work all across the country - I suggest all should take note and at least give them a follow on Twitter (@wearepaces) and share the word - every little helps tha' knows.  If you can make a small donation, then wham, bam and have a dollop of appreciative jam - it is mighty sweet to be kind don't ya know.

And so, after a festive day that involved a birding walk with a few fungi thrown in, a quiz with my fine lasses, the usual excellent fare cooked by my good lady and some escapist TV (a ghost story, Morecambe and Wise and Doctor in Love) we arose next morn slightly fagged but in the mood to shake off the slack.  Tidying, a clean, a few exercises and a nibble and then sorting the intro to this match report, arses were shifted and out we went to Hollyhedge Park to be greeted by some fine faces and a devilish nip in the air that was determined to wither my wotsits (and believe me they don't need much help these days).

Despite getting a quill and ink for Christmas I thought it best to use just pen and paper for my notes today, one doesn't want to seem pompous as one scribes the script of what transpired on the awaiting turf.  My mate STP Stu has no fear of exhibiting puffed-up grandiosity and today was attired in a royal cape, a pair of crushed velvet plus fours, some Harris Tweed socks and a pair of crocodile skin winkle pickers, the monocle was a mere trifle to accentuate the countenance. For some reason he was only speaking in Latin too - my response to his ramblings was terse  - 'magnus morus ridiculus' - one has to be honest at all times.

NB. Due to having no teamsheets and a DIY scribble of names from one team this report may be a little sketchy - I refuse to apologise and shall make up names at my leisure..

And so, after wags of the mandible and some victuals the chosen spot of viewing for myself, STP Stu, Andy Gray and my lasses was taken and this my dear readers is how the game unfolded.

The spheroid sac was hoofed, the start was fairly well balanced with The Town having a couple of early punts, but posing no threat to the mittman due to the poor accuracy levels. The Ammie Army eventually had a surge, No 11 (Edwin Satsuma) produced some hardy battling, gained the ball from his grafting and laid off a pass to No 8 (Clovis Chestnut) who eyed goal, swung the shank and... found the far end of the car park with his effort.

It seemed as though it might be one of those days when a blind homosexual had more chance of finding  a midget's member than any of these two teams had of finding the back of the net.  Soon after though I stood corrected as an Ammie free-kick was earned and taken and the ball forced a defensive attempt at a clearance which ended up as an own goal - well, I suppose they all count.  

The Town looked now to respond, No 10 (Mee Mee McGoo) exposed good strength behind the admirable belly and won a free-kick for his troubles.  The ball was knocked on, several shots came but numerous carcasses were lunged and the ball was kept from hassling the keeper, by heck some of these blokes are going to be aching tomorrow.

For a period the Ammies applied rising pressure with a few shots attempted but nothing in the way of threat arose.  Town's No 8 (Marfleet Muldoon) helped keep things as they were with some measured control and beefy work, the man was certainly burning off the Turkey.  In fact, it was the visiting team who had the next push with No 2 (Snapper O' Crapper) weaving out wide, cutting in and having a pop that wasn't too far off the mark. Soon after a Ammies break, the guests came again, McGoo held the ball up, had a little weave, laid the ball off for his colleague to sweetly strike.  The man between the sticks however was up to the task and saved with relative ease.

The Ammies were provoked into a swift response.  Satsuma dashed onto a neat thru-ball, a dink over the keeper was cheeky but did the trick, 2 - 0 it was with more shots following but failing to match the precision of this net rippling effort.

Some lovely football followed with the WA No 16 (Bilbo Boggins) driving down the line like a reindeer chasing a dangling scrotum (they are rather fond of them don't ya know).  The cross was perfect, Chestnut applied a firm header but once more the mittman did his bit and contributed a quite choice save.  The half ended with decent action at either end, once again the Ammies had the best chance with a two pass move denied by the ever-ready keeper - this had been a decent spectacle to say the least.

We stayed put for the break and were overjoyed when my missus and young un' brought myself, Andy and Stu some warm beverages - how kind.  We duly swilled, chatted nonsense and tried to comfort Mr Gray who was still fretting about the bald dwarf he had recently run over during his haste to get to the game.  I simply explained that the local circus had a renowned dwarf breeding programme and the short arsed shit will easily be replaced.  Mr Gray seemed relieved, wiped away an unnecessary tear and got back to watching the game.

Half two and many changes had been made throwing the accuracy of this report into wonderful chaos.  Town now looked hungrier but the Ammies were the better organised unit.  After much hustle and bustle it was the home team who had the first crack at goal, this time via a free-kick that was struck firmly but again halted from any net penetration by the agile No 1 (Bruno DaBung).  To be honest though, the visiting team were digging in well now and really working up a lather to try and get a goal back.  Several sorties came, no breakthrough was had, one goal now could really put the vicar amongst the choirboys.

More attempts to gather triumph came, the closest was when the Ammies keeper went walk-about and lost the ball leaving his meshed orifice gaping (I am just glad the aforementioned vicar wasn't lurking).  which went unmolested.  Seconds later though No 19 (Benny Mugwump) gained ownership of the globe, had a crack with the scrambling defender failing to clear off the line - 3 - 0 it was - game done.

From here a few tasty tackles clobbered some aging flesh, a couple of free-kicks were immediately consigned to the memory banks labelled 'wank' and many jaded legs, puffed out arses and wheezing lungs took us to the final whistle.  No 4 (Kenny Clitoris) for the Town had a couple of efforts that lacked a smattering of welly and luck and at the last a one on one situation should have full-stopped matters with a goal, but the end effort was shy of the mark.

We were done, the Men of the Match were all who had taken part for such a deserved cause, and a big round of applause must good to the officials, the backroom staff and all who turned up to support the effort.  Boxing Day for many, is about laying idle or chasing pseudo-bargains, this is the better option and here's to the next one, perhaps with a report that actually contains some real names... then again!

FINAL THOUGHT - Same again next year please!

Sunday, 19 December 2021

PADDY POWER

17th December 2021 - Irlam FC 0 v 1 Padiham FC - Due to an incessant spillage of soul destroying shittery, unforeseen circumstances and having a busy personal life, my good lady and I have been rather neglectful in our attendances at the fine old ground of Irlam FC - a club run by fine welcoming folk, a ground it is always a pleasure to visit and where, more often than not, some good footballing action is witnessed.  After both putting in our usual stints at work and sorting out the various necessities of daily living we headed out to Silver Street with a chill pervading the night air and the roads not as busy as usual due to a certain virus-induced panic - beware, beware - 'tis Giant Ants and Invaders from Mars next folks, this is 21st Century suffering, most of which is self-inflicted - what a ruddy mess.  Anyway, Non-League Football is pure escapism and escape we shall with 90 minutes of DIY hoofing.  After a catch up with a few heart-warming faces, a tray of gut filling chips and a cup of thermally aiding cha this my dear readers, is what went on.

The globe of inflated air was first given a kick up the valves on the stroke of 7.45pm with both colour-clad units chasing the darn thing this way and that.  The first squadron to garner any form of success from the rolling reprobate were the visitors with a free-kick eventually earned after being on the wrong end on a clumsy tackle. The globe was posted, a nut rose from the mist and helped it on, No 4 (Tom Walker) keenly swung a shank but in his zeal put the ball way over the horizontal.  Irlam responded to this minor morsel of panic by retaining possession and passing with something close to purpose. Two corners were the meagre results, the first being utterly wasted, the second leading to a shot by No 2 (Morgan Kinsella) that was efficiently blocked.

As the mist settled a shot came from a Padiham player who went unidentified (visibility was rather troublesome at this juncture).  The effort wasn't far off and led to an immediate counter that saw the blue No 10 (John Main) gallop, place a pass to his colleague who rounded the keeper but, from a sharpened angle, could only fire and see the No 1 (Matthew Hamnett) recovered and there to push the ball behind for an angled kick.  The corner produced bugger all before we entered a period of sustained midfield battling.  A penalty shout from the Irlam pack was ignored and a few surges by the guests led to aggravating zilch but the first goal didn't seem to be that far away. As Padiham started to just gain the greater hold on matters an advancement came and a cross into the box gave rise to some semi-concerns.  An Irlam defender nutted away, the ball fell at the tootsies of Paddy's No 9 (Joel Brownhill) who wasted no time in firing home - 0 - 1 it was, one could almost feel a shock was on the cards.

Padiham now exuded greater belief and began to take charge of matters.  Their No 7 (Marcus Perry), an ex-Silver Street boy, went on a dazzling surge and needed tumbling at the last to avoid further penetration. Soon after the same player was the marauder once more as his blazing feet carried him forth, this time with a shot coming but lacking direction and so allowing the keeper to duly save.  No 8 (David Sherlock) had a follow-up but once again the mitter was there to defy a molestation of his onion bag (and who can blame him, it can be a painful experience).

To the half time break it was seen that Irlam were lacking in creativity and just out of sync.  A shot did come from range via No 7 (Millen Brown) with the ball nudged on by No 9 (Ethan Beckford) that nearly resulted in a lucky leveller - alas it was not to be and half-time it was.

For the break my good lady called her mum to get her shopping list for the morrow (she is 92 and someone has to keep up her weekly supplies of rum, fags, caviar and ecstasy tablets) whilst I chatted to the ever amiable Cheadle Heath Nomads manager Jake Davies.  For all trivia fans I can now add that Jake's attempt at keeping living terrapins in his jacksie for a 6 month period ended in failure after one of the said shelled bastards choked on a chip-laden turd - Jake though showed true grit and said another attempt is on the cards - ooh me carapace.

And back to the game... 

...Padiham flew from the traps and displayed an attitude that reeked of 'being up for it'.  Irlam strove to get back into the contest but for all their territorial profit Padiham stood firm and remained the impenetrable force.  Padiham seemed happy to play at their own pace and soak up matters before striving to pounce.  It was a good tactic against a team who were too predictable and lacking in ideas.  The Silver Street army ploughed on with earnest endeavour but each and every time promise rose, it was sent packing by some stout defensive work.  Padiham's Brownhill came close with a punt that just wouldn't stay on target but the game fell into the realms of all bluster with no boom.  

The last 15 came leaving me with little to scribble.  This was a 45 minute session for the midfield connoisseur with some serious mid-pitch intensity had.  Only a couple of half chances came before the final whistle peeped. Irlam had a free-kick that was delivered in a tempting way so as to force several incoming bods to lunge with desperation - the killer touch however was not made.  A substitute for Padiham (darn the mist) had the last dig of the game but couldn't negotiate the keeper and that, as it transpired, was that.  For Man of the Match I opted for Padiham's No 4 (Tom Walker) who stuck to his guns, looked utterly buggered at some stages yet kept on battling and remained solid and who was, a cornerstone to the away teams 3 point win.

Farewells were had and a short chat was enjoyed with that fine friendly Irlam chap Matty Kay - always a joy.  We plan to be back on the touchline next Tuesday - here's to better things for the Blues.

FINAL THOUGHTS - Padiham were desperate for points and tonight this was highly evident as well as a great disciplined and battling effort from all areas that made life mighty difficult for the home squad.  Given the display witnessed I can only envisage the guests surviving the drop and building from here to move up the table and put the wind up a few higher placed teams.   Here's hoping!  Irlam, as proven by the recent results, are on a rough roll but, over the years I have learned to never underestimate this lot and I am sure things will be rectified mighty soon.  The team are just lacking one or two ingredients, the most obvious one being the options available when in an advanced position.  Work off the ball and an injection of pace may help this, it seems only minor tweaks are needed to get things back on track. Again, my hopes are sincere.

So the season rolls on and here we have two teams hoping to gain some semblance of consistency - as said, I shall return to Silver Street next week and as a friend who lives near Padiham has requested a visit I shall be up their end mighty soon - get the chip pan on peeps.

A final mention must go to the two young chaps who were working the food hatch tonight - it is good to see young 'erberts doing their bit and being polite and welcoming in the process - ruddy excellent methinks.

Monday, 13 December 2021

NOMADS NOBBED

11th December 2021 - Cheadle Heath Nomads 1 v 4 Wythenshawe Amateurs - Football attendance as been a struggle of late due to fungal duties, a trip to Scotland and the weather.  Thankfully I am getting back in the groove and ready to roll out a few observations on several games here and there.  Today I rose with a prickly pecker as I suspect there may be a kidney stone on the brink of hitting the porcelain.  I have passed many of these gits and cracked many a karsi, they are pain-inducing little bastards that set prostatitis off and make one's John Thomas feel rather sorry for itself.  The morn was spent sorting wildlife pictures, doing the dishes and contemplating the latest book I am reading regarding Oscar Wilde - something else that isn't good for one's lower parts I can tell ya.  Eventually the posterior was put into gear and some semblance of movement was had - it was all a bit sketchy with the back twanging like an elastic twat - ooh crumbs.

Stretching and doofing done my good lady dropped me at the ground before pootling off to her mum's. I was soon in position alongside my good mate STP Stu, with a brew in the gut helping keep afloat a couple of sausage rolls that certainly kept any chill at bay.  The game began in vile murk and finished in the same way - in between one team shone, the other stuttered and all and sundry got a soaking.

The start was brisk with the pace a little too much for the Nomadic ranks who seemed to be struggling to get up to speed.  Wythenshawe settled in, a ball soon came that found No 9 (Saul Henderson).  The lofty player gathered and placed a pinpoint pass to No 11 (William Shawcross) who took his time, picked a spot and placed the ball in the awaiting net.  No sooner had the home ranks recovered than the Whammies were at it again, this time with Henderson the apical component but firing straight at the mitter.

The hosts were just out of sync, they failed to get much further than the middle of the park which contributed to a short period of midfield mither.  With just over 10 minutes on the clock a quick Wythy thru-ball saw Henderson collect in way too much space.  The player in possession kept his head and fired home with composure to double the lead - now, then, now then, there was a shock on the cards and a real nasty shock at that.

It seemed as though the home team were just lacking any initial zip and creativity when a ball opened up the Wythenshawe defence, a shot came and was saved by the guest keeper with the follow-up slotted home by the awaiting No 7 (Charlie Mulgrew).  Now if ever a moment was destined to turn the tide this was it.  Alas the comeback was not to be as the away side pushed on, won a couple of corners and then put together a simply divine move of liquid fluidity with several short passes disembowelling the Nomadic rear and No 7 (Kieran Curtis) slipping in to deliver the final coup de grace - a work of artistry worthy of the end result.

From here to the break another goal was lacking although Curtis for Wythy went on a strong surge but just overcooked his final touch and then Mulgrew for Cheadle burst along the flanks and delivered a choice ball that was left unmolested at the most crucial moment. Cheadle's No 10 (Kyle Foley) should have cut the deficit when he was threaded through and had only the keeper to beat but fired right at the awaiting mesh protector and then No 4 (Charles Duke) at the other end had an honest punt that just wouldn't drop below the horizontal.  Henderson had one more shot before the break, with the home No 1 (Mason Davies) doing well to get down quick and turn the ball behind for a corner which bore no fruit.

We stayed put for the break, a soaking for a cup of cha was not an option so we whiled away the time chatting bollocks and Mark Torbitts (Cheadle Photographer and all round doofer) hashish addiction and astounding knowledge of 1970's top shelf porn.  He has applied to go on Mastermind answering question on the 1974 Golden Shower Rodox Special featuring Bladder O' Rourke and Splasher Gnasher Glenda - I think he may do rather well.

The start to the second period was scrapyard battling with little in the way of adhesion on show.  A Wythy corner came and No 5 (Soloman Wickstead) rose at the back post and buried with his bonce - the goal was disallowed though as the player was overdoing his Chris Bonnington impression and climbing with unruly abandon.  The travelling team would not be denied though and soon after a shot was blazed from a congested pack, the keeper saved but the loose ball was stroked home by Shawcross and it looked as though the 3 point end prize was assured.

A long battle ahead was now facing the trailing unit but no matter how hard they tried they failed to ruffle a WA side that was very much in control and highly disciplined at the back. The closest we came to another goal was when Henderson for the guests surged and let fly, forcing the keeper to save and concede a corner.  The kick from the angle came, this time the gloved one missed it and the ball needed a last minute hoofing off the line.  The Nomads forced a few corners the other way but the deliveries were nothing short of abysmal.  Like the weather, the game collapsed into a deflating mess and after a few semi-assaults and some wayward passing matters were duly called to a halt.  A Man of the Match was chosen and No 6 (Arthur Okonkwo) was the choice due to a highly regimented, steady and reliable session at the back and making sure, for the hosts, there was little in the way of space and time.

Under heavy skies we all pootled home, anyone claiming to have predicted this scoreline was certainly in league with the devil, they won't be laughing when their balls turn black.

FINAL THOUGHT - I name this one an upset, perhaps not a world changing event but still a bit of a shocker for those who have seen the Nomads have a good season so far.  Wythenshawe Amateurs came and put in the best performance I have seen from them this year and despite reservations about them lasting the course, I was put in my place and and am happy to stand corrected.  From defence, through the middle ranks to the attackers this was a well worked stint laden with good effort and effective off the ball labour.  If they carry on putting in work-rates like this then the play-offs will be a certainty.  The Nomads, coming into this game, promised so much more but with a couple of players missing, the crappy conditions and a tough 'up for it team' to beat, today was just never going to be.  I expected more and despite this turning over I don't think the squad should be too unhappy with their campaign so far.  Now however is the time to dig into the trenches, call upon great resolve and get a good run going up to and after the Turkey-stuffing period.  Get the wishbones ready, think about what you want and tug like buggery.  Take note - when I say 'tug like buggery' I am sure the aforementioned Mr Torbitt will presume I mean something sexual - this is not my intention however, if the need is great, then why not!

Friday, 26 November 2021

THE VOYAGE OF THE VASE

20th November 2021 - AFC Liverpool 2 v 0 Redcar Town - The 2nd round of the FA Vase and so far we have watched the home team win two games to progress to this stage.  I was hoping further advancements could be made with another home tie awaiting our attention, but as ever, I remain neutral and hope the best team wins in a fair and good footballing manner.  The morn was spent leading the last fungus walk of the season, 60 species, a good turn-out and 7 Nettle Books sold - oh aye.  The trip down to the Marine ground was easy and after arriving we had time to purchase a few pasties and cakes from a local bakers who really knew how to sell their wares (so much for the Jane Fonda diet).  Throwing my slimming leotard in the nearest bin I filled the belly, entered the ground with my good lady and met up with our friend STP Stu.  Brews were had, the usual viewing points taken and the jaws wagged in time-honoured fashion.

A watertight start was had by both teams with the first noteworthy moment coming when the guests won a free-kick which No 4 (Nic Weathered) delivered with splendid pace and curve.  As the ball entered the panic zone No 6 (Joe Bennett) dashed in and sent a header... wide - in truth, the first goal of the game should have been bagged. The guests continued to work up a good lather and press with unbound passion. The home lads did win a free-kick after No 11 (Kyle Schorah) was clattered but the creativity value was a maximum of bugger all and so Redcar continued where they left off.  A break came, a solid ball found the cranium of Bennett once more, this time contact was minimal and the ball flew way off target.  A corner for the Reds was the response, No 5 (Luke Stephens) put bonce on ball but the effort was weak and without direction.

From here the hosts warmed to the task at hand, a surge came with a blazing wing run culminating in a delivery No 10 (Callum Schorah) gently pushed on, only to watch the ball just miss the inside of the post.  This should have been a moment when the game moved up a notch but fluidity was lost for a goodly while and the referee was called upon to rattle his pea a little too often (the dirty blighter).  During this unappealing period though Redcar did hold some good possession and only lacked a killer touch in the final third.  Eventually, from the growing murk, the AFCL pack came with K. Schorah at the apex and drilling forth a wonderfully struck shot that the Redcar No 1 (Michael Algie) did well to block with one raised hand.  

The time ticked, the home lads advanced, a choice delivery to C. Schorah saw the ball get stuck in the striker's feet and the chance to bury disappearing quicker than George Michael's todge during a public toilet police raid (and that's quick).  K. Schorah had a punt at goal soon after but the projected effort went straight into the keeper's waiting mitts.  Things looked to be going the home teams way and when No 8 (James Howell) had a shot deflected upwards and No 7 (Jesse Dowling) looked certain to open the scoring it was with a 'WTF' gasp that I watched the ball get walloped over the horizontal.

A bit of spiciness entered the game before half-time, a few half-chances bore no fruit and that was that.  We refused to move into the grot for the break and just stood around and nattered.  A bit of scran fell down the grub tunnels and the growing chill was partly fended off - we needed a goal in this one and all were agreed it looked like the home team were going to get it.

The second period began with both teams playing like cagey poker players and giving nothing away.  A Redcar free-kick promised to give rise to the first real action but the delivery was truly awful.  As the two midfield packs battled, the red clad K. Schorah sprang from the melee and sent forth a low cross.  Dowling appeared and gathered, took control, touched and buried - and about time too.

This opening goal was maybe against the grain but AFC Liverpool are a stubborn side and soak up pressure with practiced patience.  The pack with their todgers in front came again soon after with Dowling the apical component and sending a shot that was a hairs breadth wide of the mark.  Once again the home lads came, Dowling was in, Howell was waiting for the ball but when the cross came the keeper was there with a reliable fisting (just like the ones given by Rectal Roger down Lovelob Lane at the back of the local greengrocers - so I hear).

Still the Reds advanced, a dink pass ensued and up stepped Dowling again, this time to rattle home and double his sides lead - a choice moment that had been coming. The weather was now abhorrent, with the skies bleak and the floodlights illuminating the wintry feel.  AFC Liverpool were still rampant, a well whipped corner saw Redcar panic and somehow survive and strive to build something of quality.  Alas the final ball was missing, much to the chagrin of their No 2 (Connor Prest) who hogged the line in free space and got very little in the way of service.  The guests stuttered to the final whistle and, in truth, gave their opponents too much of an easy ride and looked a trifle miffed with themselves come the end.  Man of the Match was pondered, No 6 (Lee McConchie) I thought put in a stint that kept things secure at the back and threatening in midfield.  The performance was controlled and steady and done in an unassuming style - I like that.

Thankfully the rain eased off as we walked back to the car wondering if the next round would produce another home tie - if so, we may just well be in attendance.

FINAL THOUGHT - A clash of two teams was witnessed today in testing conditions with the hosts squeaking through primarily due to a hard work input.  Redcar Town came and should have offered more, it was a frustrating display with space not fully maximised, control of the ball not at its best and options when moving forth either lacking or not truly grasped.  It is a long way to travel and not play to the best of your ability but these things happen and football is just a right old awkward git at times.  AFC Liverpool put in a hard fought stint without doing anything spectacular - winning ugly is an artform, just ask Fuck Face O Flynn after he recently won the Yorkshire Tiddlywanks Championship - it ain't easy being a fiendish looking blighter trying to throw one off the wrist in public whilst pissed as a fart.  What the home team did tonight was not get on each other's cases, play with a head down focus and stick to their strengths - it may get them further than they think. Before finalising this belated report I found out that the winners are at home again in the next round, this time to Pilkington FC - a note has been made in the diary - I just hope it doesn't clash with the next Tiddlywanks Championship - I have a £50 bet on Tug 'O' Tool and would love to witness him lift the sought after Foreskin Trophy - my knackers are crossed.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

CONVINCINGLY 'VIC'TORIOUS

6th November 2021 - Northwich Victoria 7 v 1 Ashton Athletic - Up and out and a quick walk around Victoria Park in Latchford and then to the tattooists to get the belfry inked.  90 minutes later I had 'Fungalised' daubed along the side of the nut and me and my missus were sat in a lovely local cafe having a warm drink and some toasted treats. The rain began to fall and a last minute change of plan sent us to the ground of Northwich Victoria where we could have a sit down out of the falling moisture.  We were welcomed by several fine local supporters and were well and truly settled in by the time 3.00pm came.  I refuse to reveal our predictions as they weren't even close but, I reckon come full time, very few others were near the mark either.

The game began after a 2 minutes silence for fallen heroes.  A poppy wreath was laid by a veteran who proudly saluted and marched off - thank you sir.  

The first advances came from a frisky Ashton pack with a long ball nutted wide.  Another shot followed soon after, but was weaker than the wrist of Paul Merson after a heavy session on the one-armed bandits.  Again the guest pack came, No 11 (Joshua Nicholson) was out wide with the home mitter spied off his line  A shot was launched from distance, the ball rose, fell and bulged meshings - what a way to get the scoresheet blemished.

Now, the dozing Vic-Men had to push and push they did only to come up against a rock solid defensive wall.  Ashton progressed, won a corner that the wind helped to waste and then, the home lads broke like a rampant fart from a fat-man's overstuffed anus.  No 10 (Bradley Lynch) went on the chase, the visiting No 1 (James Aspinall), came forth and then pedalled back.  A shot came and was struck with sugar sweet accuracy.  The keeper was beat, the ball kissed the inside of the upright (ooh sexy) and flew into the netting - back to all square we were.

Now the Vics were on it.  A long cross ensued which was nutted down to No 9 (Carl Grimshaw) who used good muscle to hold the ball, turn and propel towards goal.  The keeper sprawled and saved well, with Ashton taking a deep breath and scurrying away.  No 7 (Ethan Brough) was out wide, a low placement pass found No 9 (Gabriel Ellis) who released a punt towards the bottom corner - by crikey lad that were close.

The game continued. Northwich Victoria sprung the traps with No 11 (Matthew Birchall) darting, cutting in and putting in a shot that quivered the timber.  Grimshaw followed up, the mittman saved, Grimshaw regained possession and this time thumped home - Ashton looked mighty stunned to say the least.  Within mere moments the Vics were marauding forth again with No 7 (Ryan Winder) galloping like a man with the shits on his way to a targeted karsi.  The basin of success looked ready to be filled but the possessor of the ball unselfishly laid off and allowed Bradley to make for the third splash of success.  Cracking stuff or should that be, cacking stuff?

A free-kick was awarded next to the rampant home 'erberts.  A good ball was posted with the keeper doing well to tip behind.  The ball was placed at the angle, Lynch gave it a good hoof with plenty of bend, a mystery wind got up at the last and the ball went straight into the onion bag - talk about a bonus.  Two questions immediately arose  - was the ball fitted with a remote control device or was the scorer in league with nefarious dark forces - either way, they all count.

The home lads were now running the show and eager to get a few more goals.  Ashton Athletic were in disarray and looking to stop the leakage - a pair of footballing Tena Pads was the best I could offer. Northwich came on, eyed the jugular with No 3 (Joel Bembo-Leta) setting off on a lusty run.  The dashing player passed to Grimshaw who walloped first time with his unfavoured foot, this time the keeper could take a breather. Seconds later a ball over the top saw Birchall sneak in again, once more the keeper was untroubled as a defensive bod produced a high class tackle to smother the danger.  Within the twitch of a Tadpole's todge Birchall was wriggling away for the second time.  A shot came, the outcome was wide as was another effort soon after with the same player receiving from Winder, but again not zoned in to the vital area.


Onwards and a Vic's corner brought panic in the AA box, survival was had, but only just.  The visitors began to push, but lost possession with No 2 (Roman Allen) collecting and then releasing a sumptuous pass that cut the opposition in half allowing Birchall to collect and bury.  I think we could say that was that.

Before the break more action came in the Ashton box with the keeper tipping the ball up, blocking a shot and then Grimshaw having a dig and winning an angled boot.  The corner came, no joy was had, a repeat kick followed with the globe finding its way onto the line and awaiting a killer touch.  The ball was hoofed away, No 5 (Rudy Misambo) returned with an attempt on goal which was way off the mark - phew - half done, thank buggery for that.

We stayed put for the break, chatted to some fine and welcoming locals and assessed what a quality bout of football we had just seen albeit aided by a travelling pack severely out of sorts.  I suspected the half time talk would include phrases such 'you useless bastard', 'what the fuck was that' and 'get your arses into gear, out there and make sure you don't concede another'.  I trembled at the thought and hoped the guests could come out re-invigorated.

The teams came out!  Guess what?  With minutes another goal was had by the coasting Vics who pressed the opposition and fed Lynch who only had the keeper to beat.  The ball was slotted home, 6 - 1 - this was a game in danger boasting a score-line of capricious leanings.

From here, for much of the second period, Northwich Victoria played it cool, passed with patience and forced their opponents to chase shadows.  The Athletic did have a rare sortie forth with Nicholson weaving in and No 10 (Lewis Boyd) having a pop that the keeper had to push behind for a corner.  The free ball in was shite, it about summed up the team's day.

Ashton, to give them credit, worked away and tried to get a consolation, but The Vics were concrete at the back with Allen and Misambo key components.  The game fell a trifle flat, a few semi-chances came and went, a couple of subs were made and the host No 8 (Luke Sephton) sent in a side-footed bender that just wouldn't stay below the crossbar.  The game coughed and spluttered and was a contrasting image of the opening 45 minutes.  During the final throes the six-goal unit pressed with patience and forced the trailing pack to chase and lunge without much success.  Eventually the substitute No 12 (Chad Whyte) received and walloped home, much to the delight of the supporting ranks.

The last gasps came and went, The Athletic had a final thrust that saw a shot easily saved and that was indeed that.  A convincing home win with the Man of the Match choice going to 4 goal star, Northwich Victoria's No 10 (Bradley Lynch),  A fine work rate, a knowledge of where to find space and of course a quartet of goals - what can one add?

Cold, a trifle tired but pleased with the day thus far, we two peeps pissed off homeward vowing that Wincham Park will be visited several times a season from now on.

FINAL THOUGHT - Ashton Athletic were abysmal today, but rest assured, this won't be the case for the rest of the season.  With a little work on holding the ball, using the full playing area and making sure all areas are disciplined they will hopefully sneak a few points here and there and get themselves moving in the right direction.  Days like this happen, the key is now dusting down as quick as possible, getting the fitness levels up to level 'max' and going forth into the next few matches determined to up the ante - watch this space, I certainly will be.  The Vics have not had things all their own way this year and have been something of a mixed bag, they seem to be getting their act together... at last.  I think they played with good earnest desire today and although being allowed to have most of their own way they remained disciplined and not overly greedy.  From here they now need to build and make sure this is a springboard to ongoing success.  This is a tough old league though so matters won't be easy therefore my final advice is 'strap up yer conkers, pull yer socks up, make sure you have yer winter vests on and go ruddy get em' - we shall sithee mighty soon.

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

THE DESIRE AND THE FIRE

27th October 2021 - Cheadle Town 2 v 1 Isle of Man - Somehow, I am am managing to juggle many tasks and keep on the right side of sanity in doing so.  My aim in life is to put back, I do this in various ways, by heck it gets one nowhere and fags one out.  The option of being an idle fart and on the take is not what I want - hey ruddy ho.  After a day of work, fungi identification and sorting out an extensive 'To Do' list I wandered down to Park Road in clement climes enjoying the autumnal air.  On arrival the fine guy on the gate greeted me and we had a good natter as usual, about the madness in the world and the current downward spiral.  We are mere minions striving to do and not fall into line for the sake of it, beyond that we have no answers.  Eventually I purchased tea and chips and pootled off to the far side of the ground on my lonesome.  I was grateful when I was joined by two footy friends, namely Gareth and Sandra Evans.  More chatting ensued and some rather pathetic predictions - we didn't hang our heads in shame come the full-time result, we are quite use to being in the wrong.

As the wind blew and the gasbagging continued the teams came out and got matters underway in front of a crowd of 100+ people.  The commencement was fairly balanced with the guests applying a subtle and gradual pressure.  A throw in was had, a cranial touch on and the ball was nudged forth with the home keeper somehow keeping his sheet clean with an on-line block.  From the clearance the ball was nutted back to the halfway line with the travelling No 9 (Furo Davies) collecting, noting the keeper off his line and launching a looping shot that fell just shy of the vertical - now that would have been some strike.

Cheadle eventually got their act together and came on with No 10 (Ryan Usher) providing a quality lay-off for No 4 (Andrew Lunt) to gather, touch on and wallop.  The IOM No 1 (Matthew Quirk) watched the direction of the globe and made a quality save. The follow on corner was easily nutted clear. 

The next action soon ensued and it began with a long goal kick from the home keeper.  No 9 (Patrick Davin) duly went on a chase, displayed good strength to knock the ball on to Usher who wasted no time whatsoever in sending in a low sizzling shot. The outcome, 1 - 0 and the cat was amongst the pigeons, nay the rats were amongst the disposable nappies.

Stunned and reeling the Isle of Man set-up wasted no time in counterpunching.  A throw-in was had, a cross with pace followed and up popped No 7 (Lee Gale) to head home and regain parity. Cheadle Town looked gutted, it was a case of the great footballing mistake, never throw away a lead so quickly and so easily - a lesson to be adhered to or six of the best from the footballing headmaster methinks.

From here the IOM outfit turned a screw with numerous balls peppering the Town zone of peril.  The hosts displayed stout resilience and even had a break of their own ending in a punt that was only millimetres wide of the goal. The visitors also came close when a break culminated in a lob from Davies that needed a goal line clearance and then the same player put his cranium on a choice cross with the net there to be bulged.  The contact was true but the direction of the propelled sphere off-line and over - surely another goal wasn't far away.

With very few minutes of the first half remaining the game became a ramshackle and whistle-infected affair with too many stray balls hindering the flow and the sable clad conductor getting a little too 'peep' happy and blowing his oral device with untamed abandon.  Just prior to the break a 50/50 ball saw two players collide in their earnest eagerness to get matters under control.  An Isle of Man player writhed and earned a free-kick.  The ball was played low, a shot went wide, the half was done and all was fair in this love and war battle.

I stayed put for the break and soaked in the bracing air and nattered about what had been and what shall be.  I have a new tattoo planned, a picture of Albert Tatlock on my right testicle and a picture of Ena Sharples on the other - minimal detail is needed as my aging ball bag can provide the ideal wrinkle effect.  Gareth also revealed he is having a tattoo too - apparently it is a list of Cheadle Heath Nomad players he has seen naked - by all accounts it is a long list - I remain disgusted.  His good lady is doing the ink work using nothing more than a felt-tip and a one-pronged fork - oh the art of DIY hey.

Half two and early action saw Davin for Cheadle have two minor chances that he failed to bury and, in truth, there was bugger all else to report on in a game that had become a midfield mush and lacking spark and spunk.  Eventually a few balls forth held a snippet of promise with one such advance leading to an away player getting tumbled in the box and a tad unlucky not to get a penalty.  Cheadle though were the better side now and were exhibiting a desire greater than that shown when Neville Southall was left alone in a lard factory.  As the tide pressed No 7 (Christian Soda) for The Town erupted and surged.  The end line was reached, a rapier cross was delivered and there to tap home was Usher who gave his side a well deserved lead.

Questions were now to be asked of the travelling team.  Lots of huff, puff and a few things duff followed with real defining chances a very scarce commodity.  Town had a free-kick that No 3 (Jack McConnell) posted.  The ball was flicked on, a moment of excitement seemed imminent but the keeper advanced and held with little fuss.  The opposing force still tried to get back into the mix, a sweet through ball saw Davies gallop and nearly make killer contact but the home stickman came forth and did enough to muffle the potential.  Like a constipated goose trying to give birth to a golden egg, the IOM pack strained mighty hard but produced little except a few moments of anguish.

The sands of soccerised time tumbled away, nothing to force pen to paper arose until the very last when a free-kick for the Isle of Man eventually fell to the feet of No 5 (Samuel Baines).  A low shot was sent towards goal, all players stood still and the bated breath of the visiting fans awaited victorious release - if only the ball had stayed on target!

Game done, Man of the Match for me goes to No 10 (Ryan Usher) of Cheadle Town who worked like a pit-pony on steroids and was never afraid to bust a bollock, get stuck in the mix and perspire both off and on the ball.  Keep it up fella - I am sure further rewards will come thy way.

I buggered off home looking at a swift walk, my good lady was waiting for me despite me advising her to get an early night - she is a gem and always deserves mention. I think she picked me up in case my scrotum became perished and I would have to delay my pending tattoo - then again, perhaps not. 

FINAL THOUGHTS - Despite the Isle of Man picking up their tempo of late tonight they were given a lesson in desire and how to stoke the fires in the belly and use them to good affect.  I am sure that this unit will be in the top six come the season ending whistle but a warning has been re-issued that if they treat their opponents to lightly they may come unstuck - this is a league not to be sniffed at.  Cheadle Town are the seasons creepers - sneaking in on the blind side without being overtly flamboyant and noticeably progressive.  Somehow, they have crawled into a position of promise and along the way have put in some good stints and turned over a few solid teams.  How far can they go this time around is anyone's guess but there is a certain grit and downright stubbornness here not to be underestimated.  A few more wins on the bounce and a couple of teams at the top will certainly be watching their arses - bring it on I say.