Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Weymouth V Thurrock.

Weymouth FC v Thurrock FC
Saturday 27th March, 2010
Conference South
Wessex Stadium, Weymouth
Attendance: 364

I wasn't at this game. I wish I was. Our first game since the CVA was granted and the latest stay of execution, or the latest in the slashes as part of our death by a thousand cuts, occurred the day before. Weymouth drew 0-0, a fantastic result for the team. A 0-0 on the back of a 7-1 defeat is an amazing performance, especially when the team is essentially our reserve team. It also makes it even better when you see the reaction of the Thurrock manager Hakan Hayrettin, who wasn't so happy with the result, as this video would seem to suggest.

Hopefully its embedded here and works, if not click the text above.

It's a fantastic feeling that my team can provoke such a reaction from a manager, that a squad of players got an almighty bollocking in the dressing room because they couldn't beat the players representing my club and the fact it provoked an rant of epic proportions makes it all the more satisfying.

In the words of Kevin Keegan "I would love it" if every managerial post match interview was like this rather than the anodyne media trained say nothing crap we get most of the time. Hats off to Hakan for his rant, he uses his rant to call the whole team useless, slate no less than 5 individual players ("I cant depend on Rob Swain, he keeps coming off Rob Swain, whats all that about? Every week he wants to come off. I don't understand it") , dock the wages of 4 who didn't play (struck down with "Weymouthitis") and transfer list the whole team! Good work fella.

Although, if I was the Thurrock chairman - which, thankfully and somewhat obviously, I am not - I would question the judgement and sanity of a man who wears a scarf on the outside of this coat and is also able to slip in a little bit of Del Boy style French (4m:20).

Up The Terras!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Teams

To carry on the narrative from last time and give some semblance of professionalism to this blog I'm going to introduce this blog by continuing the text from the last photo blog. Check it out.

You've made your way to the ground, had a couple of beers and now the match is only a matter of minutes away. No matter how piss poor you're team are there's always a sense of excitement and anticipation before the teams come out onto the pitch and the match starts (well almost).

This anticipation reaches its peak, some say zenith, when the teams finally step out onto the pitch for the match. They were there 10 minutes ago warming up but the sight of them again in full kit is always greeted with a warm reception by the crowd, or in the case of the Forest v Weymouth game a noise I've not heard since Mark Goodier introduced Let Loose on the Radio 1 Roadshow on Weymouth beach in 1994.

As the teams come out this is often the cue for a united round of beautifully harmonised chanting by the fans, often something mumbled to the tune of Guantanamera about the fans of the local rivals and their genetic fondness for cousin licking. However if you have the misfortune to be a Weymouth fan you use the time to see if it's a) the first team, b) the reserves, or c) the youth team playing today.

If you've missed the previous two thrilling instalments of this series (part one comes complete with free ring binder) you can send away for the ones you missed by sending a SAE to AiTinpot Towers, 1 Fake Street, Faketown, Fakesville, or click the links below.

Part One - Sneaking in the ground.
Part Two - It's five minutes 'til kick off.

Crawley v Weymouth. 6th March 2004. Sadly Super Jason Matthews' beautiful Westcountry face is perfectly obscured by a piece of paper. Paper - small, Jason - far away.

Hertha Berlin II v Rot Weiss Erfurt, 15 April 2007.

Union Berlin v Vfb Luebeck. 16 April 2007.

Real Madrid v Lyon. 21 November 2006.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v 1. FC Kaiserslautern. 19th March 2005

Nottingham Forest v Weymouth, FA Cup 1st Round. 5th November 2005.

Vasalunds IF v Mjallby AIF. 11 October 2009.

Celtic v Heart of Midlothian. 20 Sept 2009. As seen from space.

Union Berlin v Dynamo Dresden. 8th March 2009.

Hertha II v VfB Luebeck. 7 March 2009.

Royal Union Saint Gilloise v VCE Aalst.

Cockfosters v Kings Langley.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Weymouth v Welling

Weymouth FC v Welling FC
Saturday 13th March, 2010
Conference South
Wessex Stadium, Weymouth
Attendance: 405
First off an update from the Bath game our 3rd permanent manager has resigned to spend more time with his managerial clichés handbook and hair gel, 7 (seven) players have left and the clubs and this is farce. This is undoubtedly the worst season of football seen in the towns history, unless you count the abysmal 1993 Weymouth Eagles Under 12 season. (P16 W0 D0 L16 F7 A207). Relegation is a certainty now, however we face a much more important fixture in 2 weeks, away to Malcolm Curtis and HMRC on neutral territory in Chingford. A defeat here and the club could be liquidated, making this potentially the last ever game at the Wessex Stadium.

Earlier this week a Yeovil fan on our forum compared the club to a gruesome motorway crash and it is with more than a little morbid curiosity that I travelled to Weymouth. Having said that this isn't any old car crash. This is a car crash instigated by a man who is an even worse driver than Brian Harvey, a man who somehow who jumped in your beloved car when you weren't looking, gave you a £1 for it, give it a pointless re-spray, sold the wheels, crashed it on purpose
(taking out many innocent bystanders), blocked any emergency vehicles from the scene and continues to drive a monster truck of shit through the crash scene every single day until there's nothing left.

Arriving early I take a wander round the empty ground, the ground I've been coming to since I was 6. There's the gate I sat on as a young 'un, the wall where young Lee and me carved our names in in the mid 90's, the refreshment hut where I have purchased enough Panda Pops and Refresher bars over the years to comfortably write off our debts and the frankly disgusting
toilets, home of a family of nesting birds around the turn of the century. They saw sense and got out, I'm still here. (In the ground, not in the toilets-thats just fucking weird and the wireless signal is awful).

My gate since 1987 when I turned up with a bootbag full of pop and crisps. Now property of Malcolm Cu*tis. Just to the left stand The Book'em's, to the right Farmer John and just behind Young Le(e)'s Dad.

What soup have you got? I'll have a hot chocolate then thanks.

A medicinal beverage is required and make my way to the ridiculous shaped bar, the only bar I'm aware of where the patrons form an orderly queue rather than huddle at the bar whilst waiting to be served. This bar was home to one of the most memorable moments supporting the Terras, when what seemed like thousands of us crammed into the tiny bar to watch us take our place in the FA Cup First round for the first time in 18 years and draw (twice European Cup Winners) Nottingham Forest 2005, we'd go on to draw 1-1 at the City Ground in front of 1800 travelling Terras. Those days are long gone, those fans are long gone and today the bar is eerily empty, the Sky TV long since cut off, the bar largely empty of drinks and an atmosphere like some sort of pre funeral gathering. Looking around the bar its fair to say I recognise about 75% of the people in their, the other 25% are expectant

Welling fans, and not only that I know all their names, well some real names, some aliases from the internet forum and some who have been bestowed a less than flattering nickname over the years. There are so many memories tied up in this pile of breeze blocks, in this group of people and the events that have taken place here that for this club to end would mean so much more to me than just finding a new way to pass the time on a Saturday afternoon and why I have reservations about the formation of a new AFC Weymouth, however it looks increasingly likely I won't have an option.

The home end, once upon a time full of fans proclaiming singing "Weymouth 'Til I Die" Now presumed dead.

Today is 'Kids Day' at the Wessex. The now bi-annual event where the club self destructs, the first team leave en masse and the reserve/youth team are sent out for an ass kicking by very grateful opposition and we make a mockery of the element of competition in the league. I'll admit to having tears in my eyes at the last 'Kids Day', as we lost 0-9 at home to Rushden and Diamonds two years ago, as much out of pride for the players who wore the shirt as the terrible situation the club was in and since that day there's been a general numbness in my support. The sense pervades the majority of the fans, gradually they drift in and maintain the resigned look of Zombies programmed to turn up for the inevitable defeat.

As usual 'The Final Countdown' by Europe is boomed out around the ramshackle PA system and (cliche alert) this week really could be the final countdown for Weymouth. ***Continue of cliche alert*** Somehow the lyrics seem a little apt (a little apt once Ive googled them to find out what they are and shoehorned them in this blog)

We're leaving together

But still it's farewell

And maybe we'll come back

To earth, who can tell?

I guess there is no one to blame (There is, it's Malcolm fucking Cu*tis)

We're leaving ground

Will things ever be the same again? (Probably not, we're screwed.)

Thankyou Europe for those vaguely relevant words, may you never defile this blog again.

The match itself is much better than expected, the players battle against the mid table opposition and have a couple of half chances, making this one of the better performances I've seen this season. Welling have the vast majority of possession and territory, but a combination of poor finishing, goal line scrambles and some good saves mean that there is no score at half time. The young Terras are applauded off enthusiastically at the break by the fans, apart from those looking nervously at their betting slips after putting money on a Welling victory - we've got previous in betting against our own team.

Welling get their first goal just 4 minutes in the second half and from then are able to play within themselves to beat us comfortably 3-0. We have a couple of chances and if we'd taken won I'd have probably gone slightly mental and celebrated like we'd won the Dorset Senior Cup for the 24th time. The fans drift away quietly at the end of the game not knowing that whether they will push through the turnstiles again. For many though this will be a blessed relief and a chance to start again, I struggle to entertain the thought of an AFC Weymouth, my memories are of Weymouth FC. A Weymouth FC of David Laws, Alex Browne, Willie Gibson, 8-0 wins against Dorchester, Bob Lucas, Don Stevens, Jorge Diaz, Mark Boulton, 0-0 draws against Bashley in the Doc Martens Cup, Ludovic Cadama, Will Flint and Narada fucking Bernard. Good and bad memories but all of them of my team, my club and I find it abhorrent that one man's personal greed looks like it might destroy 120 years of history and so many people's enjoyment, memories and friendships.

I'm off to watch this and have a little cry. Up The Terras.

Lets hope its next Exit 2010 for Weymouth FC. Cliche tastic.

Monday, 8 March 2010

It's 5 minutes to kick off

You've made you're way to the ground, had a couple of beers and now the match is only a matter of minutes away. No matter how piss poor you're team are there's always a sense of excitement and anticipation before the teams come out onto the pitch and the match starts (well almost).

These photos show some of the ways in which, mostly German to be honest, fans try to build the atmosphere prior to the game and show their support for those representing their club.

Morecambe v Weymouth, Conference National 2 September 2006. 5 minutes to kick off, 220 miles from home, soaked to the skin, freezing cold and surrounded by miserable flat cap wearing northerners and about to witness a 2-0 defeat. One of the best away days ever.

Union Berlin v Dynamo Dresden, 3. Bundesliga. 8th March 2009.

Nottingham Forest v Weymouth, FA Cup 1st Round. 5th November 2005. One day Weymouth will play at grounds like this every week....

Real Madrid v Olympique Lyon, Champions League, 21 November 2006.

Partick Thistle v Dunfermline, Scottish Division One, 19th Sept 2009. The Dunfermline fans, more from this game here.

1 FC Cologne v TSG Hoffenheim. 1 Bundesliga. 21 November 2009.

Cockfosters v Kings Langley - Spartan South Midlands League. 26th Sept 2009.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v 1. FC Kaiserslautern, 1. Bundesliga. 19th March 2005
Tennis Borussia Berlin v SV Babelsberg 03, Oberliga, 13 April 2007

Worcester City v Weymouth, Conference South. 23rd January 2010.

And sometimes you just don't make it there in time for kick off.

Hornchurch v Weymouth, Conference South. 30 August 2004. The beginning of the end of 'Mr Fox' somewhere on the M4 on the outskirts of Reading.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Midsomer Murders, Dirty Dancing and Dogs in Hoodys. Tinpot football in Keynsham

Keynsham Town FC v Shepton Mallet FC
Saturday 6th March 2010
Toolstation League Division One
The Crown Fields, Keynsham, Bristol
Attendance: 50(ish)
With my own team's future very much in doubt I could very soon be on the look out for a new club to support so it's about time I assess a new tinpot option, Keynsham Town.

A sign with the wrong date.

Keynsham is a small town just to the east of Bristol and home town of comedian Bill Bailey and cricket Marcus Trescothick, who has a Close named in his honour nearby to Keynsham's Crown Fields ground. The town is also home to a Cadbury's chocolate factory, which is currently scheduled to close later this year, something that may have influenced this blog.

A new low for this blog. A picture of a street sign.

I arrive at the ground about 45 minutes before kick off and am greeted by a stunningly beautfiul young woman, this doesn't usually happen at tinpot football, normally it's a cheery old man so this is a huge plus point in Keynsham's audition. AiT tradition dictates as soon as you enter the ground you head straight for the clubhouse and todays not a day to be messing with tradition. The staples of any good tinpot clubhouse are here, unidentifiable trophies from years gone by, pennants from nondescript teams, photos from an end of season tour, a few people present with a high percentage wearing attire of nearby professional clubs, a slightly old looking elderly gentleman walking round holding a small battery powered radio closely to his ear and the Bristol favourite, a certificate from local tinpot production 'Bristol Soccer World' awarding Keynsham Town the prestigious 'Team of the Week' award. Quite how this award is decided remains a mystery to this day, so much so that even Qadbak Investments, the owners of Leeds United FC and the members of the Dubious Goals Panel have spent many fruitless hours trying to uncover the identify of the individuals that decide this award.

The range of beverages on offer is also an important consideration when trying to identify a new team, Becks Vier and Thatchers on tap earn Keynsham another AiT thumbs up, as does the range of complimentary crisps on paper plates across the bar. However it soon becomes apparent that these are the sole reserve of the barman, who works his way along the bar scoffing crisps from each plate.

As to be expected there is a TV showing Soccer Saturday, however there is also one showing the FA Cup Quarter final between Portsmouth and Birmingham City. Football fans are constantly reminded of the 'magic of the FA Cup', however they'd only have to look in the Keynsham clubhouse to see this opinion isnt shared by football fans as there is one sole man sat in front of the television and he is fast asleep. After a short period of doing the head nod, look around quizzically pre sleep ritual that we're all familiar with he finally drifts off into a deep sleep and not even the erection of a table a mere few centimetres from his face can wake this man from his dreams of tinpot days gone by. In a further tinpot clubhouse tradition a series of random mugs are added to the table along with tupperware boxes crammed with cheap bread rolls stuffed with turkey ham and cheese for the players post match meal. The man wakes up just as Andy Townsend finishes dribbling on and he is fully alert and attentive just in time for a mid afternoon showing of Midsomer Murders, I suspect he had planned his awakening to coincide with the latest display of detective cunning from John Nettles.

The magic of the FA Cup.

Is it time for Midsomer Murders yet?

15 minutes to kick off and it's time to soak up the big match atmosphere and what better song to play in the build up than 'Time Of My Life by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes', the song from Dirty Dancing, probably not a film that features highly on the Top 10 movie list of the few people present. It's pretty much a scientific fact that no one will be leaving this match singing the lyric "I've had the time of my life. No I never felt this way before" with gusto to describe the match we were about to witness.

Insert caption here, I can't think of one. You can see what it is.

Ah the match, only 6 paragraphs in before it finally gets a mention. Time to krank up the pun-o-meter 1000 and unwrap the chocolate references (consider yourself warned). One of the benefits of tinpottery is you get to hear everything anyone says, every single Wispa, is heard and the afternoon is off to a great start even before kick off with the Shepton Mallet captain being heckled by his own fans, " you we're right, that new kit does make you look fat....infact any kit makes you look fat".

The first half sees both sides mostly playing one touch football, sadly the one touch is either a mammoth hoof upfield or a miscontrolled shank into touch. The monotony of the match is broken on the 22nd minute when the Keynsham number 9 breaks free of the Flake(y) Shepton defence and gets on the end of a Curl(y)ing (Wurly) free kick with a (Toffee) Crisp finish that Nestlés nicely in the back of the net to give the home side the lead.

Two minutes later and Keynsham and reduced to ten men (fun size maybe?) after the linesman draws the referee's attention to an offence that no one else in the ground saw and the referee produces a red card, much to everyone's (Kinder) surprise. The only other notable incident of the first half is when a large man with a tiny dog in a hoody decides to sit near more and obscure large parts of the pitch. Seriously, a dog.....in a hoody? The teams head in at the half time (have a) break (have a Kit-Kat) with the ref on the end of some serious grief from the Keynsham manager and I take advantage of Half Time (Out) to assess the brews on offer as part of the ongoing research into a new team. Good brews, served by stunning sister of stunning turnstyle operator. I think I'll be back.

Big man. Small dog in a hoody (a hoody!!)

The second half is largely forgettable fare and in need of a Boost. It very nearly went down in AiT legend when a ball from the adjacent rugby pitch narrowly missed hitting one of the Keynsham players in the Whole Nuts, in an incident very much like this, and as we all know that is pretty funny stuff unless your on the receiving end in which case it really smart(ie)s.

Token match action shot.

Keynsham have the ball in the net 9 minutes into the second half, sadly the net is a fishing net and the ball is being hooked out of the river/stream thing that runs just next to the ground. Shepton's number 3 spends most of the second half on the end of an unrelenting pantomime booing(I said boo-urns) from the Keynsham youth team after a Crunchie(ing) tackle on the home team's winger. Not a great deal happens in the 2nd half as Shepton lack a certain Kraft and Quality(Street) in front of goal and you get the impression that if this match was played all night they wouldn't score until After Eight. Keynsham have their own chances on the Breakaway but are unable to find a (Milky) way through and double (Decker) their lead. They signal their (m)int(Aero)ent with 10minutes remaining by taking off their solitary striker who is able to Milka the applause from the home fans for his match winning strike and Revels in the glory of his performance. The match(makers) ends 1-0 to the home side against a very poor Shepton side and even with 10 men I doubt Keynsham have had a malteas(i)er game this season.

I've had the time of my life. This wasn't it though.