Wednesday 25 October 2023


21st October 2023 - Congleton Town 3 v 1 AFC Wulfrunians - I am picking and choosing what match reports I do these days, my life is rammed to the rafters with many tasks and my arse is perpetually on the go.  Today, me and the missus were in Staffordshire leading a Fungi Walk.  In these days of self-serving foraging greed it is important that someone defies the flow and tries to get the wild world and its gems respect and appreciation.  The future is precarious, the concrete is spilling, the people are detached with posing, social media and worshipping Gods - bollocks to that.  Anyway, the walk went well, 65 species were named, we ended up filthy and fagged but reckoned some good football, Congo chips and a brew would do the business and get us back on the right track.  A 40 minute drive, into the ground and a purchase of the victuals and a viewing spot was chosen where we swilled and scoffed with earnest desire.  It had been a fair while since we last visited this fine ground, the home team was in the North West Counties Football League, the Covid nonsense was still twisting minds and the crowds when the team were less successful were not as they were today - ooh those ruddy success jockeys who appear out of the woodwork.  So, for the 32nd game of the season I thought a report would be apt and after the greasy fingers had reached for the pen and initial notes were made, I watched the game unfold and came up with the following textual twattery.

The first hint at any worthwhile action came when the home 'erberts won a gratis hoofing. The ball was neatly delivered but the keeper did well with his fists and punched the globe clear.  Mere tickings of the clock later and the ball came forth again and an angled kick was earned.  Another sweet delivery found a cranium at the back post, the ball entered the main mush of belfries with No 6 (Darren Chadwick) rising without any real pressure and nutting the ball home to break the early deadlock.

From here the Congo men pushed again, a corner came and went, a follow-up attack with No 7 (George Sankey) galloping forth like a man with recently pepper-dipped testicles.  The guest No 1 (Thomas Hayward) advanced, a shot came and the save was solid.  A corner ensued but the blue-clad No 3 (Rio Sawyers) put a good amount of crust on the globe and quelled any threat.

As matters progressed the visitors grew into the game.  A free-kick was earned after No 10 (Benjamin Worthington) was crudely tumbled.  The posted ball was decent but it only led to a swift counterattack.  This breakaway gave rise to a corner that the guests dealt with (just).  

A period of equilibrium came, all that was lacking was an accuracy of passing. A rare guest corner saw No 5 (Brad Maslen-Jones) punt forth, some in-box mayhem ensue and No 11 (Jack Sane) provide the final shot that was, in truth, wank.  Maslen-Jones hit a delicious ball forward next, a penalty shout came but only a corner was given.  The travelling manager was unimpressed, let the verbals flow and was duly sent off for his troubles.  After much jeering the AFCW pack tried to turn the screw.  The Congonians looked unsettled but made a break from the blue tidal wave.  The ball was lost, a counter punch came, Congleton's vulnerable areas were exposed, Worthington was away and looked set to bust the bollocks of the hosts.  The keeper was there to beat and beat he was, the game was all level, I think it was a fair state of play.

This was now a game up for grabs, the visitors were shading matters but the hosts always held good threat. A shout for a home pen came, was ignored by the man in the middle and from here a bit of tetchy spice entered the game.  Before matters came to a head, and after a few half chances, time was called for a break, perhaps it was just as well.

With 482 in attendance we decided to stay put for the interval.  With only a couple of bogs and one hatch for brews we felt that many of the punters in attendance would be queueing either for a cuppa or a splash - we were both happy to clench the bladder muscles and soak up the diluted sunshine.

Half two began with the odd minor threat, some real scrappy play and Congleton eventually getting a grip on the gonads of the game. Respite came briefly for the guests when Maslen-Jones had a pop that the keeper gathered at his near post.  From here matters settled with a lot of rolling around and disjointed play. Out of the mush a choice ball was played for Congo, No 9 (Daniel Cocks) collected, waltzed around the keeper and slotted home like a man ingrained with striker's instincts, splendid. The striker looked 'cock-a-hoop'.

The impetus of the game now lessened, the Congo Crew were the dictators of the pace and fought hard not to have their upperhand molested.  Pressure was gently instilled on the visiting defence although the away team did cultivate a break that Maslen-Jones finalised with a quick jab at goal which saw the keeper push behind.  The corner bore no further threat.

As the game looked to settle a rob and run moment saw Congo's No 11 (Daniel Needham) get vulgarly hacked down on the edge of the box by the opposing No 4 (Curtis Cocking) who was duly shown a scarlet card and told 'piss off out of it' (well not in those words exactly).   The resultant free-kick was shabby and went straight into the wall.  

More shots came each way, I had a 3-1 prediction and was hoping the hosts could bag another when with 3 minutes left a throw for the Wulfrunians was lost, an overhit pass was recovered by Needham who cut in, shot and somehow found the back of the net.  The keeper may have made a blooper here but shit happens.  Moments later the game was done - a home win, a prediction nailed, the chips nicely digested.  Man of the Match must go to Congleton Town's No 6 (Darren Chadwick) who put in a captain's stint, was a dominant force and repeatedly put his head on the ball and saved his side undue stress - a fine stint if ever I saw one.

FINAL THOUGHTS - Well, after a morn of fungi recording it was nice to unwind at an old favoured haunt and enjoy some chips and a brew and watch a decent game that was perhaps a little closer than the score line suggested. AFC Wulfrunians could have gained something from this one but losing their manager early on and then a player really kybosched their hopes and kept them in the lower half of the table with a busy period soon to come.  I don't think they should be in any danger of relegation, they have too many good players and put together some good footballing moves but, if heads remain heated and focus is lost, the fan could be clogged with crap before they know it.  Congleton Town are flying high at the mo but there is a heap of work to do.  This looks like a competitive league and during parts of this game they were on the backfoot and look to be out of sync.  The sign of a good team however is to win when their backs are against the wall and the bollocks are dangling low.  Today Congo showed that they know how to stand up and be counted, tuck in any trailing testes and get the job done.  I think that the next time I am on Fungal duties close by, we may be popping in again.

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