Monday 3 May 2010

All of a flap at Twerton

Bath City FC v Chelmsford City FC
Tuesday 27th April 2010
Conference South Play Off Semi Final First Leg
Twerton Park, Bath
Attendance: 1425

Post work tinpot? Tinpot in the Spring? The chance of a few post work beers with the promise of some tinpottery? Yes please.

With Weymouth's season having finished early last October and the majority of the rest of the leagues now coming to close the chance for some non league football is now at a premium, which made the all important (hmm) Conference South Play Off Semi Final First Leg too good an opportunity to miss.

Young Le(e) and myself made the familiar journey to Twerton Park, a particular favourite of mine for the way it looks like it was built on the cheap, in a hurry and with the builders only instructions being that they shun the use of a spirit level are make sure the part of the ground they are building should look like no other part of the ground. The importance of the nights game brought a good crowd and created for a vibrant atmosphere, generating much more than the usual polite Bath clap. A possible reason for the excitement in the crowd being that tonight was the night that Bath had chosen to launch the long anticipate Bath City FC fridge magnets, just in time for what was potentially the last game of the season. A double AiT thumbs up must go to the 80 or so Chelmsford fans who made the long trip across the country from Essex at such short notice to support their team, more of them later.

My excitement levels were first raised by the provision of not one, not two, but a bonus 3 (three) sausages with my chips and then his astronomical levels with the sight of Weymouth FC legend Super Jason Matthews in the crowd. The Jason Matthews. No really.

Not Jason Matthews

The Great Man. Even the woman in front of him knows she is in the presence of greatness. Just look at her face, just look at her face!!

What a man, possibly my favourite ever Weymouth player, a player who was there when we were really rubbish, still there when we were a bit worse, there when we were a bit better but didn't get much of a look in and still there when we got worse again before finally going to the Weymouth FC retirement home, Eastleigh FC. Also scorer of this goal.

Weymouth Keeper Goal

Tim Lovejoy | MySpace Video

And also a man who spoke to us for about 30 minutes on the night we won promotion to the Conference. If anyone has possession of my memory of that evening, or just that conversation, I am willing to offer a substantial reward for it's safe return.

The match itself was pretty decent, with Chelmsford making the most of the running and forcing a series of corners in the first half but not being able to convert any of their chances. I can't offer much more of an insight than that because I was far too focused about how I could get a picture for this here worldwideweb blog of a Chelmsford fan dressed as a parrot.

Half time came and I managed to fuck up the best opportunity of a picture as the half man/half parrot combo managed to walk straight past me when I was looking the other way, I blame young Le(e) for this missed opportunity as he was far too embarrassed to be seen with someone who's now sole reason for being at the match was to take a photo of a grown man in fancy dress.

In the second half Bath started to take control of the match, thanks to the midfield play of Lewis Hogg. A player who's claim to fame is that he once scored in a penalty shoot out to give Brizzle Rovers a victory over Everton in the League Cup, something he was probably to go onto regret after Ed(d) reminded him of this incident in the toilets of Bristol premier godawful student nightclub, The Works, in 2001(ish) mentioning this penalty and breaking all numbers of toilet behaviour etiquette rules in the process. To be honest I don't know if Hogg played well or not, the parrot was still in the ground and mentioning him was just a cheap way of shoehorning a rather boring anecdote in this here text box.

Bath took the lead on 60 minutes, so the Bath City website tells me, penalty by all accounts, leaving parrot man in a flap. A flap. Woeful punnage. I'd managed to slowly persuade young Le(e) to edge round the ground towards the Chelmsford fans in the cage in the away end. The execution of the photo itself was a beauty, two shots from the left and one from the right all captured the parrot/Chelmsford kit combo brilliantly. To be honest I don't know why I was worried, the guy was dressed as a parrot for fucks sake, he's clearly not shy.

Right wing parrot.

Left wing parrot

After about 80 minutes a mass handbag erupts, shoving and finger pointing aplenty and the ref brandishing the red card a couple of times, it's what we all like to see and it leads to a very niggly end to the match. Being a neutral at these tinpot matches you get to realise just how mental football fans can be after the parrot, and the other Chelmsford, fans go mental after a penalty appeal is turned down. It was never a penalty, a shocking dive but this didn't stop around 30 grown men embarking on a magnificent torrent of brutal swearing at the referee and I've not seen such swearing from a parrot since an episode of 'Thats Life' in 1989.

Bath then double there lead on 86 minutes with Weymouth reject Hector Mackie scoring, leaving the Chelmsford fans nauseous as a middle aged man dressed as a parrot. Yes! Sick as a parrot - had to be done.

Some match highlights here from the glorious Non League TV Services, with a soundtrack from an episode of 'Wish You Were Here'

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