Thursday, 28 April 2011

Groundhoppers of the world unite and take over.

Keynsham Town v Hengrove Athletic
Friday 22nd April 2011
Toolstation Western Football League, First Division
The Crown Fields, Keynsham
Attendance: 71

Todays Toolstation fixtures and bank holiday combo brought some significant mental anguish on my part. There were multiple opportunities to fit in two (two) tinpot games on the one day. Ill admit it was tempting. I've done two games in one day before on the EFW big boys beano, that's ok though, that's in foreign and therefore ok. To do two (two) Toolstation games in one (one) day just seems a little bit wrong, a little bit groundhopperish, am I prepared to cross this milestone and admit I have groundhopper tendencies?

Keynsham have obviously had a very succesful season, as this was the trophy cabinet contents when I came here in August. So succesful infact that they appear to have won the World Cup (top left)

Thankfully a few trustafarian scamps decided to have a little rock throwing competition with the local constabulary and the chance to have look at a smashed up Tesco was more alluring than Bradford Town v Westbury United. A decision vindicated by the presence of a few, easily spottable, ground hoppers at the big (ironic winky face) Keynsham v Hengrove Athletic clash.

Keynsham FC Megastore.

My first visit provided a chocolate bar based puntastic report and today's match provided another golden opportunity when the tannoy announcer mumbled the magical words "and today's referee is Mr Jack Daniels" WOOO there sir. Sorry? Jack Daniels? Surely this is some sort of wind up? What kind of parents do this? Jack is barely old enough to purchase his beverage namesake and if parental cruelty is not evident in his name the fact that Mr and Mrs Daniels allowed their son to become a referee surely warrants a call to Childline?

Please play football responsibly.

Commencing alcohol puns.

Keynsham have the first opportunity to put the ball into the net after a WKD bounce deceives the Hengrove keeper, however the striker was unable take advantage and put the ball in the Skol net.

They do manage to get the thirst goal after (J)20 minutes. Keynsham's number ten ran down the line like White Lightning and managed to bobble the ball home, however with some Budweiser defending Hengrove could have stopped him at sourz.

Its clear that there a few people taking advantage of the two games in a day opportunity. One groundhopper is easily identifiable by his lank hair and bum bag, some say fanny pack, combo. Seriously, its 2011, there is no excuse for a bum bag.

Behind me sits one groundhopper, let's call him Dennis. (Dennis Hopper? Ah, forget it), reads the print off the programme through his massive square glasses - think Elton John circa 1976.

Dennis Hopper

Its the second groundhopper though who really catches the eye. An old boy, dressed resplendently in a suit accessorised with an antiquated pair of well eyed binoculars. Quite why binoculars were required when you're practically sat on the touchline and not much was happening anyway I'm unsure. Maybe he was indulging in a spot of planet spotting whilst the game went on, or maybe that was just a weak set up so I could bestow him the name Space Hopper. (I thank you)

There was also a man who looked a lot like 1999 TVs Beppe Di Marco.

Jack Daniels had little to do in the first half. He keeps the game flowing like Guinness at an Irish wedding and Fosters good relationships with both sides by communicating his decisions, although a heated discussion with the Keynsham manager at half time suggested things could turn (whisky) sour in the second half.

Todays officials; Jack Daniels, S. Comfort, B.Ells

At half time the gravitational pull of Space Hopper drags Dennis into its orbit and the pair sit together and discuss the merits of A4 polypockets over cardboard envelopes for keeping programmes pristine. Probably.

Dennis and Space together in perfect harmony.

A second goal for Hengrove arrives after some gin-orous defending allows the attacker to get a Schnapps shot away and into the corner of the net.

Like a cheap alcohol fuelled punch at a student party, combined with a dodgy kebab, an unwanted mix up has disastrous consequences at the back for Hengrove shortly after. A miscued backpass allows Keynsham parity (Mad Dog) 20 (20) seconds after the resulting kick off. This lead to some angry mutterings from Dennis and Space who were busy making notes of the Hengrove goal and missed the Keynsham Aftershock.

Token match shot.

Hengrove scored again, a shot that nestled in the corona (sorry, that's shit) of the goal net and set about protecting their lead from a Keynsham onslaught. A dangerous free kick leads to a shout of "who's picking up this cunt here" but the ball, like the hair from a vomiting girls face, is cleared from the danger area. Hengrove had a couple of chances near the end tequila Keynsham off but in the end hung on to their 3-2 lead.

Dennis and Space make a few final notes, Jack Daniels. picks his ball up and I wander off to plan tomorrows trip to Zamaretto (an actual alcohol) league action.

Any more puns?

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

So tonight I'm gonna party like it's Swindon Supermarine.

Truro City 3-2 Weymouth
Monday 25th April 2011
Zamaretto Premier League
Treyew Road, Truro
Attendance: 1696

Weymouth v Truro report.

Better pics to follow - hopefully.

You've had a great year at school. You and your friends are the most popular group, you've all got straight A's and can't wait to go to college. Today's the big end of term party, everything's in place and looks great. The venue's packed, the suns out, the DJs promised some chooons and the burgers and ice cream are all plentiful.

But what's this? The Church Hall has been double booked. The goth kids from just up the road have also booked it and are planning a séance to try and summon up the ghost of Robert Smith's empty hairspray cans. They've had a tough year though. Their Dad's abusing them, he's tried to kick them out, pinched their pocket money and dobbed them in for cheating when they didn't.

Champions Truro are all set for a promotion party and grumpy old Weymouth are in town looking to spoil the celebrations by getting a result, any result better than that of relegation rivals Didcot.

Well, that's nice and clear then.

No one wants to go to a party where the DJ is shite. I don't know who booked the DJ but a mighty doff of the AiT cap to you, he was channelling the majesty of Radio Norwich's finest, Alan Partridge. Indulge me a little here reader, here are some of his pre match finest moments:

" You get a great view from the grass bank's probably the best view of a pitch anywhere.... Cornwall actually."

"Please sit anywhere you like......except in one of the designated areas for officials....Feel free to change ends...(forlornly) not sure if well be able to do that next season."

"Please drink alcohol only in the fenced off patio area. We have uniformed stewards to keep an eye on you........and a big welcome to them."

"Can you hear me behind the goal?? Can someone give me a wave? Thank you sir. I've got to check my audibility. I apologise for my voice........laryngitis

"Where are we with the music... Eh....(Puts on M People again).....ah, we've had cds are all over the place."

The absolute peak of his Partridgism comes with; "The Conference South could be a jungle couldn't it.... and here's Guns and Roses with 'Welcome to the Jungle'." Hat off to you sir. Can you follow me around and soundtrack my life?

My heroes

Football anyone?

This was a very popular party for Truro, Cornwall hadn't seen a turnout this big since a ship last run aground and as a result kick off was delayed but fifteen minutes. *fires party popper*. This means we have the advantage of knowing how Didcot are doing and by kick off they're already one down.

Which is good, as it only takes two minutes for Truro to score. However its the Weymouth fans that continue to make the noise. Doff of the cap to the 100 or so Weymouth fans dotted around the outskirts of the party today, especially the yoof, who have been a noisy credit to the club this season. Some great chants today, my favourite being in a vocal salute to the tasty and nutritious Dorset Knob (its a biscuit-calm down) when compared to the Cornish pasty. Also, "town full of smugglers, you're just a town full of smugglers". Brilliant.

Token match shot

I missed our equaliser due to too many pre party Panda pops and, like a fair few Weymouth fans missed the fact Truro has been given a penalty, which they scored from. There you go two goals and all it gets is 2 lines.

Sadly half time didn't bring more from Partridge, possibly trying to calm some angry farmers, it do however see a sudden outbreak of Winston Churchill impressions amongst Weymouth fans, with the V salute used to communicate the news that Didcot had fallen further behind. Fantastic news! Add to this a Weymouth equaliser from a miscued clearance from a Truro defender and its looking like the cool kids and the miserable bastards are going to get along just fine!

News of a third goal for Didcot means we're safe! Truro score a third, but its irrelevant. We've both got what we wanted; Truro can get excited about a trip to Weston Super Mare next year, while we can be grateful about going back to Swindon Supermarine.

I don't care if you have won the League there is no place for fez's in football. Anyone wearing a fez at football should be shot. Just like that.

The party ends beautifully with the goths and cool kids metaphorically getting off with each other. As the Truro fans gather around to see them pick up the Southern League shield, we sung 'Championes' and were applauded by the Truro fans. Beautiful.

Meanwhile somewhere in Cambridge one social misfit, isn't so happy. He'd planned his own little party, got his missus to lay on another extensive buffet but, for the second time recently, he's found himself alone with the pineapple chunks. Once he finds out that every one's had a great time, especially the miserable kids, at the party he wasn't welcome at he's probably going to cause more trouble than a disgruntled American Marilyn Manson fan with access to Daddy's firearms on prom night. Therefore there's no guarantees we'll be at Swindon Supermarine, or anywhere else in the Zamaretto next season and who knows what the summer will bring for Weymouth FC and it's, for today at least, happy fans.

Up the Terras!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Nortei, Nortei, Very Nortei.

Weymouth 3-0 Chesham United
Saturday 23rd April 2011
Zamaretto Premier League
Bob Lucas Stadium, Weymouth
Attendance: 643

Last weeks match against Hednesford was a match decided by two keepers; there's was amazing, ours not so. So when the I found myself answering a confused James Nortei's question of; "is this the train to Weymouth?" at Bristol Temple Meads early on Saturday morning the opportunity to send him to platform 7 and get on the 9:52 to Llanelli did cross my mind. I'm glad I didn't.

George. This is your Sat Nav. Please leave the Wessex Stadium and take either of the two marked exits. The road to Southill and Radipole is closed to you.

Saturday was the last home game of the season, who knows, maybe the last ever game at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

As with every last home game of the season that means Player of the Year awards! Previously, when we were a proper club, this meant a fifteen minute (sort of) professionally done pre kick off ceremony in which Alex Browne would win everything. Player of the Year, Players Player of The Year, Away Player of the Year, Top Goalscorer and, bizarrely one year, also Fan of the Year. Anther end of season highlight for me being the year plastic footballs were kicked into the crowd, and to this day I still sometimes sleep next to my football signed by such Weymouth greats as Steve Clifford, Jorge Diaz and eh...Will Flint.

This year, the solitary trophy for Player of the Year is announced over the tannoy and Warren Byerley was presented with the trophy. In my opinion thoroughly deserved, he's now scored 20 goals and contributes greatly to the team by his love of chasing a lost cause. Byerley is such a fan of lost causes that he was last seen campaigning for the Colonel Gaddafi to be re-elected and mounting a one man crusade for Weymouth's traffic system to be made a little more complex.

Another pre match announcement stated that the fans group, Wessex Fantasy Football, had managed to raise over £10,000 to contribute towards the players wages this season. A massive doff of the AiT cap to all involved in that scheme.

Our 'Advisor', and in no way connected to the club, George Rolls was in attendance and wandering round like his wife sort of, kind of owns the place. How about George if you are going to play the big football man and be the (fat) face of the club and get to meet all the nice Chesham people and sort of, kind of, represent my club how about you tuck your shirt in your pie filled trousers and whack a tie on you scruffy oik?

George, I hope you are not drinking Coke again, you know I told you to only drink Diet Coke. Have u seen the last tub of cheese & pineapple? Did u eat them all u fat git. LOL. Amanda, x

In the blazing sunshine the match started well for Weymouth, however Chesham had the first real chances and some great saves by, young person's railcard holder, Nortei kept us in this must win game. As is expected from him now he doesn't prefer to make the orthodox save and after 27 minutes decided the best way to clear a Chesham attack was to punch the ball on to the advancing strikers bonce, safe in the knowledge it will ping off the top of the bar and to safety. Nervy.

Token match shot.

After 41 minutes Jamie Beesley picked up the ball and set off on another of his scuttling runs down the wing, he scuttled past the defender, cut inside the box and shot a fairly comfortable shot into the keeper arms. But no. The keeper fumbled it and with the ball, probably, over the line, pushed it out into the path of Jamie Mudge who knocked it in!! Nortei 1-0 Dodgy Keeper.



After 46 minutes Jamie Mudge picked up the ball and set off on a run down the wing, he passed the defender and lobbed a fairly comfortable shot into the keeper arms. But no. The keeper fumbled it and with the ball, probably, over the line, pushed it out into the path of Warren Byerley who knocked it in!! Nortei 2-0 Dodgy Keeper.

Top: Celebrating Weymouth players
Bottom: Fillies.

After this the sun put his hat on, I set about my beer on the sun drenched terraces and watched a fairly comfortable second half. Nortei made a few more great saves and redeemed himself for last weeks horror show. A 3rd goal shortly before the end, by ex Terras nemesis Matt Groves, meant this represented one of the most memorable end of season games since I got Will Flint's autograph. We left the ground to the sound of the Chesham players getting an on pitch bollocking, mixed with 'Happy Birthday' being sung to Warren Byerley, who was probably then off home to spend the night trying furiously to blow out self reigniting birthday cake candles.

Straight out of the 'How to be a great manager handbook', by Phil Brown.

This was a fantastic performance by everyone, even more so considering they probably hadn't been paid. If any players read this then thank you for playing yesterday and for playing with commitment, professionalism and pride that's long been lacking from our off field activities.

Tomorrow is now a massive game, away to Champions Truro, where a win will guarantee that we stay up. I won't get carried away and say Zamaretto Premier football as who knows what Rolls has in mind for us.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Che(e)s(e)ham, Rolls to go, get me Che(e)s(e)ham, Rolls to go

Two weeks ago more idiotic actions from George Rolls led me to write ' Abysmal preparation for this vitally important game and, once again, Terras fans will travel to a game not knowing what kind of team we will see in the Weymouth FC shirt."

Two weeks on, with a massive game against Chesham United on Saturday, more idiotic actions from Rolls mean this sentence is as valid today as it's always been.


Because the players are talking of striking after not being paid their wages, that's why. Nothing too trivial then.

Last week I was in the bar, post the defeat to Hednesford, and with no sign of majority shareholder Amanda Rolls, or her famous pineapple chunks for the fans forum buffet in sight the players started to drift into the bar. It was soon apparent things weren't right. Shocked faces, urgent discussions and angered comments about not being able to pay rent led into more serious comments that “this is a nightmare” and “he's a fucker”. There is only one man this could be about.

What's George been up to since last Saturday?

Innnn one!! Rolls had apparently promised to pay the non-contracted players after the game. However, it's hard to fulfil this promise when Rolls' had left the ground, with the bar and turnstile takings, and switched his phone off. This is the actions of a man, who holds no official position at the club and said he was acting in the “best interest of Weymouth Football Club” on the Non League Show recently. Quite how causing the players to consider a strike with two vitally important games is in the best interest of the club is any ones guess.

Innnn two!! George had said there would be a fans forum after the Hednesford match. In a complete shock to no one it was called off, with no notice given. Quotes from Rolls made my blood boil; "One or two of them (our mysterious Lithuanian directors – who definitely do exist) had flown in from Lithuania where they had been on business all week so it was very disappointing. It is also a bit of a blow that more people do not want to come out and talk about the future of the club. The reason it cost £5 to get in was to help get some coffers in the bank”. Bullshit.

Innnnn three! It was rumoured that George “best interest of the Weymouth Football club” Rolls reported the club to the FA about alleged direct and illegal payments to players, which led to rumours of a five point deduction.

This was a result of payments by the Wessex Fantasy Football organisation, which has raised over £9,000 to pay players wages this season, which are made through the club. The WFF have since distanced themselves from this rumour, although the subsequent statement released by Associate Director, Nigel Biddlecombe, stating that "at this moment in time - I have not received any communication from the Football Association that infers, charges or concludes that the club are to be involved in any action that might lead to such a deduction.”...that's “at this moment in time”, a phrase that doesn't exactly end those rumours.

Innnnnn four!! Wednesday saw the Echo report that Amanda Rolls, with advice from her doting husband George, had decided not to sell the club to local businessman Iain Ferguson. The Echo reporting that Ferguson had “been unable to agree terms that would tempt the ex-chairman to convince his wife Amanda to part with her majority shareholding.” If it wasn't heart breaking it would almost be laughable.

Now, why is Amanda so mute? She is the major shareholder? She must have finished preparing the imaginary buffet by now? Or is it perhaps, as this post speculates, that George is seeking to distance himself from the club to avoid any complications should the club accidentally become insolvent and George want his money back, to treat Amanda to that new cooker her promised. Obviously this is hypothetical because George is acting in the “best interest of the Weymouth Football Club”

Innnnnn five!!! On Thursday the threat of a strike edged a step nearer, with the local paper reporting that after speaking to “ex-chairman George Rolls, who remains firmly in control of events... Weymouth’s non-contracted players will not be paid for the remaining two games of the season” How can a man with no shareholding in the club, nor a Director remain “in control of events” and refuse to pay players? Questions for a higher authority than this here blog.

Once again there is talk of a fans protest against Rolls at Saturday's game. Again Amanda was busy in the kitchen so it's Biddlecombe to the rescue with the statement urging fans not to do anything to jeopardise our points tally....that's strictly George's job.

And George's speccccccial prize; “We are hopeful of naming a successor (as Chairman) shortly. It’s just a matter of that person agreeing to become chairman”. No doubt this will continue George's legacy of “acting in the best interest of the club” and probably build a life size bronze statue of Rolls and Malcolm Curtis heavy petting outside the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Lets hope Saturday's team news brings news of a committed, belligerent bunch, proud in the Weymouth shirt and venting their anger at the Rolls treatment and that the fans represent a committed, belligerent bunch, proud to be Weymouth fans and venting their anger at the Rolls treatment. Will Rolls show. No chance (probably). Lets hope the team do.

Up the Terras!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Sneaking in at Djurgårdens IF

You're at a work conference in Stockholm, it's been three days of PowerPoint hell, you and your Danish colleague Kaspar (the friendly Danish football fan) are bored shitless and hatch a plan to escape and have only one destination in mind; "driver, the nearest football ground please".

Ladies and Gentlemen AiT is proud to present to you Stockholms Olympiastadion, home of Djurgårdens IF, through the medium of piss poor photography. You can read about the club and the stadium by clicking the links, saves me copying and pasting wikipedia and passing it off as my own words. For more shabby photos of other grounds have a peek in the new 'Sneaking In' section. Tune in again soon as I attempt to pad out this blog with more poor photography.

Kaspar the friendly Danish football fan, sporting a Millwall scarf. "Korrekt uartig" as Danny Dyer might say. If he spoke Danish, which he almost certainly doesn't.


What's that sign on the back pillar? It's an ancient indian symbol if anyone asks, right?

Yeah, why aren't you at this work conference
Eh.....sorry, you're breaking up. There is no Kenny here, this is Thomas Brolin Svindal Larsen speaking....ok, bye!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Could go your way, could go mine, Either way one of us is (hopefully not) going down.

Weymouth 2-4 Hednesford Town
Saturday 16th April 2011
Zamaretto Premier League
Bob Lucas Stadium, Weymouth
Attendance: 489

In life three things are certain. Death, taxes and that you are never more than 10 feet away from someone who knows that Weymouth FC are in "financial trouble" and/or that Steve Claridge use to be manager.

My most memorable/worst ever version of this hypothesis being last October when I was stuck on a bus for 5 (five) hours with a coach full of football fans from across Europe in Slovakia who found it hilarious to continually announce the Weymouth result over the microphone after news of Weymouth's 9-0 spanking against today's opponents Hednesford came through. Bloody good trip though.

Why was I on a coach full of randoms in Slovakia? You do know about Danny Last's European Football Weekends site and its annual big boys beano, no? When Saturday Comes doesn't do package tours but if they did....

First of many planning applications on the site of the Bob Lucas Stadium no doubt.

Slick link to opening sentence coming up.

Weymouth are playing for the lives on the pitch, with three games left we are miraculously one point above the relegation zone, after romping to victory against Tiverton last week. However the tax issue could be more prevalent (pretty slick link there eh?! ). Rumours on the Terras Talk fans forum suggested that the good folk at HM Revenue & Customs have been at the club this week and, if true, let's hope they uncover something that can, in some small way, help to bring our club back from its George Rolls inflicted death sentence.

With the theme to Supeman (no, really) booming around the tin can PA the players wandered out on to the hallowed Bob Lucas Stadium turf. The pitch not exactly having the precise chequered design of Wembley on a sunny Saturday in May but a stripey design that suggested Charlie Sheen had taken the ride on mower for a joy ride.

Weymouth FC. Long been a circus, but now also doubling up as a Caravan Park.

The tone for the eventful match was set after only five minutes when the ref gave a penalty for a foul on Smith. Warren 'Wozza' Byerley gave the ball a good hoofing and sadly Hednesford keeper Danny Crane gave it a good saving. This initial drama served to rouse the fans, the Weyline ("supporting local football for local people". Again, no really) stand was in full disgruntled voice at the subsequent booking of Byerley, for a tackle on the keeper, and the fans behind the goal continued to urge the team on as they competed well with 4th placed Hednesford.

Woz not Woz

Shake your head.

Both teams had chances before Hednesford took the lead after 39 minutes, from a miscued defensive header. Unlike a lot of times this season, see para 2, Weymouth's heads didn't drop and we were only denied an equaliser from a goal line clearance and then another great save from that shitbox Crane, a save that drew a handshake from Weymouth captain Fowler. As the resulting corner came across there was real expectancy amongst us of a goal.

There was. To Hednesford. A rapid counter attack against an exposed defence and it was game over.

But no, this is a different Weymouth and we scored on the *cliche alert* stroke of half time. It was a special goal, a great finish by Byerley after Fowler had skillfully volleyed the ball off the nut sacks of a Hednesford defender, from point blank, into Byerleys path and who tucked it away nicely which meant that we, like the defenders testicles, were now one down.

At half time the team were rightly cheered off and I used the interval to partake in a Amanda Rolls buffet defying chicken and mushroom pie. Little did I know that this pie was to be the hottest item of food ingested by a human since Alan Patridge bit into a Bramley apple slice in a BP Petrol Station and a jet of molten chicken and mushroom lava scorched through me, stopping long enough to tear the skin from the roof of my mouth and incinerate my tongue.

How long did you put this in for Lynne? It's hotter than the sun!

In the twenty minutes it took me to fire the chicken and magma pie down me Hednesford should have scored a couple more and were also denied a penalty. After 70 minutes ,and with blisters forming on the top of my mouth, Jamie Beesley picked up the ball on our left. Beesley has a unique, running style, he scuffs along the ground, looking like he's straining to keep a particularly viscous turd. Somehow it seems to work and with the giddy abandon of an Andrex puppy he weaved his way through the Hednesford defence (thankfully with the ball) and slammed a shot into the roof of the net from an angle so acute that it left the guy behind me repeating "he was on the goal line" for thirty seconds after the ball rocketed into the top of the net. Pandemonium on the BLS terraces! I punched the air manically, jumped a bit and shouted "get in" (which, unfortunately, came out as "hetttt in" due to my pie injuries). Are you watching bus of European football fans?!! Subsequent calculations using a jewellers eye piece, GPS technology and the official AiT protractor from my Walkers Crisps pencil case marked this goal down as being scored from an improbable angle of 4 degrees. If only my pie was nearer this temperature. *sighs*

This is local football for local people.

It was clear the game had more goals in it, there was going to be a winner. Like the chicken sauce from my pie the game flowed relentlessly. Hednesford should have scored. Crane made a blinding save. And another. We hit the bar. They hit the bar. We had a shot cleared off the line. Crane saved another.

They scored.


With 87 minutes gone, my tongue redder Mark Boulton's mullet and the roof of my mouth rougher than a two footed Barry Blankley tackle, James Nortei decided to support my initial analysis that he was "dodgier than the band Dodgy eating a multipack of Jamie Dodgers on the Dodgems" and managed to slam a clearance straight into a lurking Hednesford striker, the ball broke and Nick Wellecomme had the easy task of whacking it in. Weymouth players sunk down on their white booted heels and the drama and excitement of the game evaporated. That was it. Another mistake had cost of massively and the sublime cock pass of the Hednesford defender and Beesley's physics defying goal were in vain.

Another goal by Hednesford just before the end was greeted with the sound of a forlorn air horn from a deflated Weymouth fan and a move to the exits by many more, with a few stopping to congratulate Crane on his performance at the final whistle.

This was a great performance from Weymouth today. A performance to be proud of, but it came down to the difference in keepers today. Hednesford's was superb and ours.....better luck next time.

Now, someone pass me the Bonjela.

Up the Terras!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

A romp in the sun.

Tiverton Town 0-4 Weymouth
Saturday 9th April 2011
Zamaretto Premier League
Ladysmead, Tiverton
Attendance: 472

My, sort of, match preview.

Tiverton Town is a perfect example of a non league cliche, that of a 'well run friendly family club'. Large parts of this can be credited to Martyn Rogers. Rogers was manager at Tiverton for 19 years from 1992, in which time Weymouth had over 20 managers, and led Tivvy to back to back victories in the FA Vase in 1998 and 99. Rogers is now manager of Weymouth and returned to Ladysmead for this *cliche alert* relegation 6 pointer.

Worth getting married to save £4 on membership surely Shirley?

The strong side that Rogers put out was a relief to Weymouth fans, as a previous statement on the clubs website from someone, who may or may not be George Rolls, said that Rogers would have to release players. Read more about it, and other hairbrain schemes in my exclusive pre match preview. After sneaking a look at the team sheet it appeared the only player who left is Stephen Reed, who has now officially left Weymouth more times than the Condor Ferry.

The Rolls family obviously decided to miss the game and crack on with preparing the buffet for next weeks fans forum, those bread sticks aren't going to arrange themselves. Acting Chairman Pranas Preidzuis wasn't there either, he was probably busy trying to shift a lock up full of solar panels after a deal to install them at Dorchesters ground, as part payment for a ground share, fell through this week. No really, I'm not making this up. Rumours that they weren't solar panels are were actually milk bottle tops stitched together with string are entirely non existent and made up by me.

Tiverton have been bestowed 'well run friendly family club' status for a number of reasons. All clubs should follow Tivvy's example and the Club Shop should double as a tuck shop, with an impressive array of sherbet based sweets on offer. The bar is stocked with a range of videos are for sale, if you are in the Tiverton area and need a Jethro video, or are missing Police Camera Action 4 on video then do call into Ladysmead. Videos are 50p each or a bargain 3 for a £1.

Ill take a pin badge and a 100g of fizzy cola bottles please.

Move over Blockbuster

One more reason? Go on then. When you're old and your grandkids ask you where you watched the wedding of King William and Kate Middleton imagine how good it would be to tell them you watched it in the palatial surroundings of Tiverton Town Football Club and then went home and watched Danny Baker's Own Goals & Gaffs 2 on video. Well wonder no more, because this scene can be created thanks to the good folk at Ladysmead.

The Tiverton fans I spoke to were bigging this match up as their biggest match since a play off against Dorchester in 2004 to decide who would join Conference South, and the club website had this down as a double negative busting "occasion that non-league aficionados shouldn’t not miss." For Weymouth fans it didn't seem to have that sort of intensity, yes it was important but there is a bigger fight for the clubs future going on.

The 90 minutes of football offered a fantastic respite from talk of solar panels, cheese and pineapples and any matter of important off the field shenanigans and Weymouth managed to cruise to a 4-0 victory over a poor Tiverton side, on a pitch that was drier than a Ryvita in a drought. With goals before half time from Rob Wooleaston and Mike Fowler this nightmare of a season produced a dreamlike performance for 90 minutes. Central to this was the play of Captain Fowler, who impressively broke up the Tiverton attacks, and the wing play of Lee Smith and Jamie Beasley who stretched the Tivvy defence.

Amidst the celebrations of Weymouths 2nd goal Wally chooses his moment to appear, while a man doesn't let the goal spoil his enjoyment of a decent brew.

Tiverton offered little in return and with little going on in the early part of the 2nd half my mind started to wander and take in the seemingly endless range of advertising boards here, which adds to my hypothesis that this is a 'well run club'. You know you're deep in Devon when there are two adverts for tractor spare companies. Other fine examples of products you wouldn't see advertised in "proper" football included; aggregate, home grown fruit and veg, a vets, pressure washers and fly fishing tackle.

Back in real life Fowler headed in a third on 74 minutes , rom a corner superbly won by Warren Byerley who chased down a lost cause and forced two Tivvy players into defending that Denzel Penberthy would have been ashamed of.

This isn't a token match shot. This a proper match action shot. Click it, enlarge it, enjoy it, indulge me.

This goal led to a conga breaking out amongst the younger element of the Weymouth support, who decided to make this fancy dress day and who are, to a man (boy), battered on illicitly purchased fizzy pop. Harry Potter, Scott from Thunderbirds, a cheerleader, a roman centurion, a nurse and assorted others were halfway round their second lap of the terraces when Ben Geering scored and made this officially a 'romp'. I grant them a doth of the AiT cap for their chant that includes the line "Rolls Rolls wherever you may be you're quite fat and your hair's greasy". Consider yourself told George (you fat greasy div) and go easy on those mini pork pies next Saturday hey.

0-4! Romp.

With the sun beating down, a party atmosphere in the stands and an easy victory on the pitch my mind drifted off to Bishops Stortford, where we clinched the Blue Square South Championship in 2006. We're geographically, and as a club, a long way from Bishops Stortford and need to win three tough games in the next two weeks in the hope of winning the battle to stay in this league, with today's victory being, hopefully, a massive step in winning that battle. However, the war to make our club a 'well run friendly family club' is the one that will decide the clubs future.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Tiverton v Weymouth match preview. Sort of.

The cause of the latest unrest at Weymouth FC? A letter and a £5 per head buffet.

The Weymouth Football Club Supporters Association (WFCSA) has finally removed the tightly pulled wool over it's eyes and issued an open letter to our acting Chairman, Pranas Preidzuis, and the ex-Chairman/husband of the majority the shareholder, George Rolls questioning their intentions towards the club. The letter itself contains some juicy questions regarding the ownership of the clubs shares, the financial situation, discussions of a ground share with Dorchester and "what The Board would seek for a takeover to progress." As expected the letter remains unanswered.

Why not write to the Chairman?

Well there doesn't appear to be one, Preidzuis is obviously busy running the Vilnius branch of the Weymouth FC supporters club and the majority shareholder, a Mrs Amanda Rolls (wife of George) is probably busy cutting squares of cheese to add to some of Del Monte's finest pineapple chunks for the buffet at the Fans Forum night, (tickets available at a bargain £5 per person) on the 16th April to "discuss the way forward and the future of Weymouth Football Club."

The 'Fans Forum' has been arranged for the spectacularly awkward time of 6:30pm on a Saturday. It's almost like Mrs Rolls doesn't want fans to pop down to the Bob Lucas Stadium for a cosy chat and a slice of her lovely ham and cheese quiche. Weymouth fans have criticised the timing of the Forum and the cost of attendance. In fairness to Weymouth fans though would you go to a dinner party where you the hosts, who have taken over your house at minimal cost, tried to turf you out to your annoying neighbours, destroyed the memories held there, were probably seeking to bulldoze your house (including that treehouse out the back your noisy kids made) and then charge you £5 for some vol-au-vent's and a glass of Blue Nun at your old house for a little chat about their further numpty plans for your beloved old house? Would you balls.

One man who won't be turning up on the doorstep with a bottle of cheap plonk and some mini scotch eggs is Dorchester Town Chairman Shaun Hearn. Hearn thankfully declared ground share discussions between the two clubs to be"null and void" and has sparked a spat between the two clubs. Hearn's refusal to proceed has no doubt scuppered the Rolls' plans somewhat and left George so angry he accidentally burnt a tray of Amanda's cocktail sausages.

In yet another bizarre Weymouth FC related (chicken) nugget of information the local paper has reported that "The Terras’ board had agreed to fit solar panels free of charge (through a company owned by acting chairman Pranas Preidzius) at the Avenue Stadium as part of their rental deal". If anyone from the Weymouth FC board told me the sun was that bright yellow thing in the sky I'd want to check twice to be honest. I doubt talk of a ground share has gone and the Rolls' will no doubt be back with a Tupperware box full of cold mini sausage rolls and a half eaten tube of Pringles in the hope Hearn might reconsider.

On the pitch things have turned to shit again. Like a bored housewife getting stuck into the potent dinner party punch we got absolutely smashed this week, 4-1 away at Bedford Town. This result that sent us falling backwards down the Zamaretto stairs and landing in a crumpled heap in the relegation zone again. Once again we go into Saturdays match with the stability of a watery Rowntrees jelly as a result of yet another spectacularly idiotic move by George Rolls, a man who deserves to be prodded with a thousand cocktails sticks ad nauseam for the rest of time.

One of the highlights of this year is that the Weymouth supporters have contributed over £9,000 towards the players wages this season through the Wessex Fantasy Football scheme. In a rare show of fan unity WFF have decided not to release any more funds until a written response to the WFCSA letter is issued by our party host, Amanda Rolls, and her incompetent kitchen hand George. In response a vitriolic statement appeared on the clubs website saying that "the Board of Directors will not be blackmailed into written response" and "the Board will now have to inform (manager) Martyn Rogers that he will have to release players with immediate effect".

Abysmal preparation for this vitally important game and, once again, Terras fans will travel to a game not knowing what kind of team we will see in the Weymouth FC shirt.

Up the Terras!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Merthyr, lovely Merthyr you are a lovely machine and anyone who watches you will know just what I mean.

Hengrove Athletic 0-3 Merthyr Town
Saturday 2nd April 2011
Toolstation League Division One
Norton Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol
Attendance: 135

Merthyr Town FC are one of a handful of clubs that have actually been formed twice, first in 1909 and again in 2010, when Merthyr Tydfil FC, were liquidated. Today was to be the day that the club, pretty much, made it first steps back towards Southern League football.

With this potentially being a championship decider the Welsh invasion has began early on and the club house was packed with butt's and boyo's causing unprecedented scenes in the clubhouse of Hengrove's sleepy ground. Extra, Chairman's wife made, cheese and onion bread rolls were called for early doors and the beers were flowing, leaving the Hengrove chairman rubbing his hands in delight at the away teams fans arrving on a mode of transport bigger than a tandem.

47 teas not out.

Keep sticky buns out of football.

The Hengrove Chairman seems to be having a tough time at the moment, the club are in mid table of the league and have just appointed Julian Dicks' brother, Grantley Dicks, at assistant manager. Despite having one of the least tough names available in the book of '101 Well 'Ard Boys' names (just joking Grantley!) he has a reputation has a bit of a hard case/nut job. Quotes in the local rag on Friday from the Hengrove manager suggest he might already be regretting getting Dicks in, “I have to sometimes calm him down as much as I do my own players, but that's him”, although he has apparently “made a big difference around the place.” It seems a big difference is needed, if General Manager Nigel Grey's angry programme notes are anything to go by' “The recent Fancy Dress Party was not supported by any players from either the reserves or 3rd teams...this will be dealt with in future weeks”, typed Nigel, whilst dressed as depressed clown, while Grantley stood behind him, smacking his fist into his palm and dressed as a cheerleader bellowing "you tell 'em boss".

The Merthyr team emerged from the changing rooms and were immediately swarmed upon by a group of Merthyr fans and greeted like personal friends, they probably are. The club have managed to maintain a nucleus of the squad from the Southern League and, to a man, they are given a pep talk by their fans, including one bit of sterling fan to player advice, “no foul and abusive language today you little twat”. Brilliant.

Breaking the law, breaking the law.

There was probably around 100 Merthyr fans at the game yesterday and they had plenty to shout about from kick off as there class showed against a pretty poor Hengrove side. Not that I had much idea what they were actually shouting though, something about daffodils or coal mines or something. The fans, including the oldest person to ever sport a Stone Island jacket, were able to cheer the first goal after 15 minutes with Ryan Prosser heading them into the lead. This leads to the first chant I've ever heard in this tinpot level and makes for a fairly relaxed match for 'The Martyrs'.

As I said, this was a fairly easy game for Merthyr.

Their play was way above that of Hengrove, the movement of the forward players superb and the diminutive Kris Leek (of course Leek!!) pulling the strings in midfield. That's not to say they haven't embraced this level of football entirely though. They have implemented the non league staple of having a massive guy at centre defence, and when I say massive I mean lardy. Always a pleasure to see a fat lad having a go at playing football, always makes me think it's not too late for me and that I can have a pasty and a pint at half time without harming my career prospects.

The second half was pretty easy for Merthyr, they played some great football, made some great runs and for most of the match Hengrove couldn't get close. This didn't stop the Merthyr fans from dishing out some fierce abuse to the referee though. Most of them wore the angry faces of men who had been spent 50 years berating a referee and weren't going to let the sedate setting of Toolstation Division One calm that inner rage now. Also, one of them was smoking a pipe. Things like this are always worth mentioning and, like graffiti of cocks, will always have a place of AiT.

The Hengrove physio was on the receiving end of some cheeky banter from some of the Merthyr fans and responded using the only defence an English man has in armour from a Welsh verbal attack, by making the noise of a sheep. AiT is an equal opportunities blog and does not condone this ba ba bahaviour.

Token match shot.

Prosser got his second after some nice approach play on 70 minutes and got his third from the penalty spot on 80 minutes. The victory was not quite enough for Merthyr to be crowned Champions just yet as challengers Bridport and Oldland Abbotonians both won. However for Merthyr to lose the title they'd have to lose their remaining six games and somehow lose a goal difference of 40 goals in the process. Congratulations to Merthyr Town.