Friday, 30 August 2019

The Other Side of Swindon

Playing on what has become the rubber crumb at Church Road Whyteleafe might not be the best experience and certainly wouldn't have been helped by a temperature well into the thirties. The home side was well organised and, not for the first time, better than us virtually everywhere on the pitch so it didn't take long to realise the afternoon was going to feel longer than usual.

On a day when the goals really didn't need gift wrapping that's just what we did, for three of them anyway but, oh, how different might it have been if that flag hadn't been raised for on/offside? A 4-2 defeat probably.

Phoenix Sports tomorrow. Try not to dwell on our record there for too long and don't get your hopes up by looking at their current form and you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised. With Gus Mackay returning to the squad from the other side of Swindon  there's a chance of winning a few quid in the 'first card sweepstake', just remember to choose a low number. It's been a while since we last saw Gus so, in case you're forgotten what he looks like, here's a handy before and after photograph.

If you're going by train the nearest station is Barnehurst but Crayford is a useful alternative. Trains run from Cannon Street, Charing Cross and Victoria. Could be a few more than usual around Charing Cross due to a demonstration against a lying charlatan and his vulture capitalist chums (you know, the ones that already profit hugely from selling the country short).

Whilst I accept you may have a slightly different view all of us should just spare a moment to think how different it could have been if Stanley had done the decent thing and spaffed up that Manhattan wall in the Autumn of '63.

See you tomorrow....

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Where There's a Will.....

The trip to East Grinstead was almost as expected. No matter your angle of approach by road or rail the pace was pitifully slow. You'd be forgiven for thinking whoever pulls the transport strings is trying not to spook the locals who, as we all know, are still struggling to come to terms with the recent arrival of the twentieth century.

An encouraging start to refreshments at the Open Arms, courtesy of Stowford Press, came to a sudden end through ale warmer than Betty Swollocks in a heatwave. So warm in fact that even young Gazois was keen to get to a normal pub for some Euro fizz before we made our way through near empty streets to East Court.

Suspicions that many of the town's inhabitants were safely behind locked doors, wary of strangers arriving on a metal bird, were hardly discouraged by fewer than 100 of them turning out on a lovely evening in what is actually quite a nice setting for a football match.

Service in the bar and refreshment kiosk were not the quickest, but thoroughly charming none the less, and club officials and management displayed a good level of awareness of the visiting supporters' sensitivities. Blazers were left in the boardroom where they belong, Ps and Qs were minded by the coaching team and we were angelic as usual.

And so to matters on the pitch.

Last season many of us were critical of aspects of Will Fazackerley's play, namely the seeming lack of willingness to move along the most appropriate horizontal or vertical plane during key passages of play. After a very good showing against Faversham he stole the show on Tuesday night with two exquisite finishes. For his first, Will faced a dilemma. Eager to answer his critics but faced with a long run he went for a worldie and it was a very good decision. I actually preferred his second which came scorching through the gloom and left us virtually speechless behind the goal.

Between them a sublime finish from Ross Allen and a couple of goals for the hosts which I think underline the team's 'pre-season',  in so far as you'd like to think 8 or 9 friendlies would help the understanding and connection between midfield and defence. Too far away to see what the fracas at the end was all about but obviously all down to the home side.

Guernsey FC TV has spliced together Faz's four goals so far and you've probably already seen this via the club's social media. Here it is with the commentary replaced by something that will resonate with about 2 of you. Apologies to Ollie for the blatant thievery, you can subscribe to GFCTV via the club's website.

On Monday we're to Whyteleafe where our visit last year saw us storm (briefly) to the top of the league before setting the tone for much of the season to come. It's a ground that holds more than a few memories for us, usually a good day out and, if you know where to go beforehand, free brunch is available up the road.

See you there.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Language Timothy

The trip to Faversham was, by and large, a good one. Weather was a step up from what we've seen so far this month, plenty going on in the town and the trains were on time. 

Off the field Nic Legg owned up to being responsible for the club's social media posts but couldn't explain what the Harry Tobin announcement was supposed to be about. Fair play to him for undertaking to bring us some of whatever he was on at the time the next time he's over.

On the field some good football was played in spells but the lack of a pre-season schedule was apparent for all to see and it will take a few games before anyone can think about predictions for the season. To come back from 3-1 down showed character though and Robbie Legg put the penalty away with some aplomb.

The elbow at the end was courtesy of Nutty by the way.

A good level of camaraderie was evident on and off the pitch and players took our numerous comments about their weight, inability to jump and inability to hit a cow's arse with a banjo in the spirit they were intended. I think.

Tomorrow we're to East Grinstead and, unlike Faversham, this is a town with little to commend it. There is however a micropub, a proper pub and a chippy between the station and the football ground which, between them, may provide some relief from the otherwise pervading torper that will be your lingering memory of the place.

When you get to East Court be aware that the blazered club officials have previously appeared keen to  kick people out for uttering words and phrases that may possibly have caused mild offence in a Victorian nunnery but have been commence parlance for decades. All whilst being seemingly oblivious to the impressive  torrent of expletives coming from their players and coaches. The other thing to be aware of is the walkway from the pitch to the dressing rooms, if you're in a hurry to get away don't be behind the goal when the final whistle goes.

Finally, someone requested a photo of some senior citizens enjoying a cup of tea. No idea why but I hope this will do Neale, its all I have and at least it's a step up from trying to sneak in to the Small Field in disguise to watch Crapauds.


Friday, 16 August 2019

You Fill Up My Senses.....

With less than 24 hours or, as some of the more disturbing among us would say, one more sleep until our latest joint creaking journey through the fleshpots of Kent and Sussex begins what have we got to look forward to?

Tony Vance's ever present happy demeanour, referees turning a blind eye to blatant cheating and an end of season trip to Hastings are a few things that spring to mind. Add to that an opportunity for skinny dipping in Ramsgate and the admittedly slim chance of pissed up Septuagenarians (aka the Garenne Baby Squad) smashing up Le Lion Vert following a mid week thrashing at East Grinstead, the season is unlikely to be dull.

Ross Allen's return was undoubtedly the biggest news of the Summer. Although he's been playing his football in a part of the world where Centrals would be regular contenders there's a reasonable expectation that he'll pick up where he left off. The reaction of some his team mates could be interesting - more jumping anyone?

Today's news of Tobin and Strawbridge probably hasn't had the same showbiz impact on some but a defence comprised of, er, defenders in front of Stanton could be the key to a change in our fortunes, particularly if it means Dodds can sit in front of them, pulling a few strings and occasionally but gracefully booting the opposition.

Faversham tomorrow, one of the best trips and certainly a good one to start with.  Lovely little town with a bit of a Dickensian feel to it and worth getting down there early as they say there are one or two hostelries to enjoy.

Come on my Green Lions, come thrill me again.

A sausage, a wrap and a mild mannered janitor.

With the trials and tribulations of last season fast receding and o the back of three impressive displays, unbeaten against teams expected ...