Saturday 27 August 2011

Wagon Wheels Fall Off As Cwmbran Flakes.

Cwmbran Celtic 2-2 Goytre United
Saturday 27th August 2011
Welsh Football League Division One
Celtic Park, Cwmbran
Attendance: 45(ish)

Goytre United are the team everyone aspires to be. They combine skillful players with investment in their facilities. Not my words Carol, the words of the Barry & District News.

It seems odd that everyone would aspire to be a football team from a tiny welsh village, a village so small that if you lay it's minimalistic Wikipedia entry from end to end it would cover the main street of the town. T'internet research reveals the undoubted qualities of the ground, it includes a horse riding school (of course a horse riding school!) and backs onto the River Ffrwdwyllt, a river that floods annually and washes away all the vowels in it's path.

Cwmbran is where Jammy Dodger's and Wagon Wheels are made. Amazing.

Fair point.

The ground, Celtic Park, is tiny and like it's Scottish namesake won't be hosting European football this season. There is one building that houses the changing rooms, pictures of teams gone by posing outside a terraced house (eh?) and a refreshments kiosk, advertised in the programme thusly; "Rosie invites you to sample her wares at the hatch....a visit to Celtic Park would not be complete without tasting one of her famous baps." I had a nibble on one of her baps, bit too soft for my liking. Maytrrrrron.

One famous bap. Ham and tomato. Average.

Team photo outside a terraced house. Obviously. I'm sure there is a perfectly legitimate reason for this.

The Celtic warm up commences with a fantastically innovative keepy-uppy routine, with the person responsible for letting the ball drop being forced to crawl through a huddle of players, whilst doing an impression of an animal. The routine was sadly curtailed by more traditional warm up routines and the team didn't get chance impersonate enough animals to fill Noah's Arc and had to settle for a small dinghy setting sail with a dog, a cat, a cow, a pig and a chicken.

Celtic are managed by ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD, ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD! Ladies and gentlemen please be upstanding for ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD. A round of applause, come on, ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD.

Do you know who I am son?

ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD is a man with an obsession. ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD is a man who knows how he wants his team to play, he likes to keep the animal theme going and is a fan of the hoof, “Don't pick anyone out, clear your lines” being one bit of ungulate advice from ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD. Like a fat man let loose on all you can eat Pizza Hut buffet he is a massive fan of “seconds.” ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD repeats it constantly and occasionally with such force that he releases a torrential downpour of spittle onto the pitch below, which should be honoured to receive ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD's spit to be honest.


I'd pay £4 just to say I'd been in the same football ground as ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD, sadly not everyone has the same thought. About ten people watched the match through a fence behind one of the goals. When it was dry they stood atop a mud bank and when it rained they retreated into their cars and watched the match from there, while performing a ridiculous synchronised windscreen wiper routine. Tight bugers! I hope their windscreen wipers emit a high pitched squeak.

Token crowd shot.

The first half is crap, so two early goals for Celtic early in the second half are as unexpected as Gary Crosby appearing behind you when keeping goal for Man City. They were two really well worked goals, the first coming after some great wing play and a header from Celtic's striker “Ginge”. Both strikes sent ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD into a state of untold delirium and some Celtic players into an half baked 'Inbetweeners' movie dance routine celebration. This is then followed by a nervous few minutes as Goytre pile the pressure on and ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD is forced to chant the phrase “see this spell out”, like an agitated Grotbags trying to reverse a particularly vengeful hex.


As he patrols the right hand side of the dugout, he's clearly a man in a world of turmoil. To the left hand side of the dugout a much more serene story develops as a small girl counts excitedly to ten in a competitive game of hide and seek. One, Two, Three, Four, Five, JEEEESSSSUUS, FUCKING CHRIST HEY....SHIT, coming ready or not!!! Goytre have scored and a five year girl joyfully bounds off, completely unaware of the barrage of obscenities and blasphemy that just drowned out her countdown.

Token match shot.

After a solid display and completely baffling the opposition for long period the inevitable happens, the little boy is captured. Oh and Goytre equalise, much to ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD's disgust. The home crowd are also disappointed, the chance for three points is lost, the time for hide and seek is over and only one guy doesn't let the conclusion of the action phase him as he remains casually picking berries from the bushes surrounding the ground.

ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD fact – his name is Alan. I prefer ANDY DIBBLE'S DAD.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Down is the new up.

Odd Down 2-2 Brislington
Tuesday 23th August 2011
Toolstation Premier League
Lew Hill Memorial Ground, Odd Down, Bath
Attendance: 45(ish)

They're a competitive bunch at Odd Down.

To my left a lone man repeatedly throws arrows at one of the three darts boards and a kid makes arrangements for someone else to do his match report, so he can participate in tonight's pool tournament. On my right three arcade machines flicker manically, behind me a skittles alley, buzzing all round me a women collecting money for the raffle, (The prizes are: one Quality Street, one Roses, four cans of Becks, four John Smiths - I'm presuming this is a roll over) and on the walls around me posters imploring the locals to part with their cash for a fantasy football competition and an upcoming quiz night.


This place is so competitive I was only granted access to the toilet after winning a best of three, which inevitably became a best of five, game of Paper-Scissors-Stone and even in there was a poster for another card game called Click.

*makes note in diary for 11th March*

However it was in front of me that the extremely competitive nature of this part of Bath revealed itself. Slowly, and methodically, a man wearing all black (including braces), sunglasses indoors and a moustache, delivered straight from 1983, sets up a poker table.

The gambler's face cracks into a grin as he lays down the king of spades.

As the darts team wanders in, the card shark is joined by his companions who are all greeted with a steely stare. I think this place is what is referred to as the “hub of the community”, but after noticing the dodgy Italian football** on the big screen (complete with Paula Radcliffe a like) I'm left wondering if there's is some moonshine being brewed out the back along with a lucrative sideline in killer whale smuggling.

The dealer just stares, there's something wrong here he thinks.

They were so into gambling at this club that even the pitch was a lottery. Rubbish gag – it deserves this.

Not every competition goes ahead then. Although, that is a pretty impressive carp that fella is holding. Give him a prize someone!

Tinpot player profiles are always something special. In keeping with the competitive spirit of the place Odd Down's have clearly been written for a bet, on a computer with a bust full stop button. Please observe my personal highlight:

Dan Straffen (Straff) Midfield
Previous clubs Larkhall Straff was the driving force behind the Reserves promotion last season and came into the first team like a whirlwind hitting a skyscraper

Sorry! A whirlwind hitting a skyscraper?? What?

Token match shot.

The first half was tentative, both sets of side seemingly waiting for the inevitable "mysterious" floodlight failure. Brislington manager, Jeff Meacham scribbles tactical notes into a notepad, well I presume he does. He could have been doing a word search, or losing a solo game of noughts and crosses. I'm sticking with tactics though, most of them aimed at, and ignored by, his keeper.

Act One:

Meacham: (To keeper). "Hit the area for Frank! (Points to diminutive winger busy hugging the touchline)
Keeper hoofs the ball straight down the middle of the pitch.

Meacham: (to self, mumbled forlornly) Or kick it straight down the fucking middle then.

Act Two:

Meacham: (To keeper) Try putting it out there. (Points widely to right wing)

Keeper: I'm trying!!

Meacham: Well try fucking harder!

Keeper slices the ball widely into touch

"Keeper.....kick ball....wing"

At half time Ray Winstone appears as a floating hologram in the middle of the pitch and barks something about it being "all about the in play.” Back in the bar a bare knuckle boxing bout is taking place, to my right two blood hungry chickens snarl at each other cheered on by a group of sportswear clad males and I'm even challenged to a game of strip poker before I can order my pie and Bovril.

Or, if you prefer the truth, I got a brew in a mug and watched as an argument broke out over timing of the raffle draw!

A group of tinpot enthusiasts were irate after finding out that the winning ticket would only be revealed after the match. “We've got to get the players and the ref” (to buy tickets) are met with pleas of “we've got to be off straight after.” Tough shit lads. Snooze you lose round here.

The magic of the cup mug.

Odd Down's competitive spirit is shown in the second half as they grant Brislington a 2-0 lead with about 25 minutes left.

How will this match end now? Odd Down? Brislington? Odd Down? Brislington? Place bet now!! BET! BET! BET!


After giving the guests a 2-0 goal head start the The Down's competitive spirit appears and they flood into the opposition half, meaning the Brislington half suddenly contains more Down than a luxury pillow stuffing factory. They score two goals, both from looping headers and Meacham is furious, “ We gotta learn to fucking mark” and the game ends 2-2.

If you said no one win, you the winner!

If you bought raffle tickets and left straight after the final whistle, you the loser!

** Today's AiT Italian place name lesson is: Zurigo - Zurich.

Sunday 21 August 2011

Leamington the Merciless II

Leamington FC 4 -1 Weymouth
Saturday 20 August 2011
Evostik Southern Premier League
New Windmill Ground, Leamington
Attendance: 579

Leamington v Weymouth January 2011

Google maps offers the following directions to Leamington's ground:

Take the road to nowhere,
Turn left at out in the sticks,
Drive past the middle of nowhere,
Take the first left after the back of beyond,
Arrive at your destination

The massed hordes stream into the ground.

Leamington's ground, once located, is straight out of the B&Q football ground show rooms catalogue. You enter through Shed 1 - Turnstiles, make your way along the bulk purchased astroturf, past the hanging baskets, through the maze of picnic tables on the decking and arrive at your destination - the bar!

Look Both Ways. Nothing's coming. The bus is due in three weeks.

This isn't just any bar though, it's a bar offering 1.50 pints and pickled eggs. More importantly than that this is a bar operated by Nigel John Hopkins. What do you mean who? Nigel! Hoppo?! You know, he won the award for "Best Manager 2009/10, an award he mostly displays on his office (stock room) door, just below the one that shows the entry criteria to the hub of the bar activity; "Private property unless you have big boobs" Hmm. Quite what Leamington supporter 'Simesy' would make of such sexual discrimination is unknown.

Shed 1. Nice ornaments.

The bar doubles up as an educational centre for the local community. It eschews the Ray Wilkins led monotony of SKY TV coverage and challenges it's patrons to learn a foreign language by watching the Arsenal-Liverpool match on Italian Sky coverage, and it is by no means because it has a dodgy feed. It certainly does broaden the mind, I learnt the Italian for Stuttgart is Stoccarda, and I also learnt Italian coverage of English football is hosted by a Paula Radcliffe look a like, if Paula had spent the last five years running forlornly into a force seven headwind, whilst being battered by a water cannon of her own piss.

Thought this fella was wearing an all in one steward's jacket. Turns out those are his actual legs and they are actually that orange.

The match programme is also educational. Did you know Jim Bowen was born on the 20th of August 1937? No. Well there you go. That knowledge is safe, you're taking that home with you.

For an added bit of mental stimulation the programme, which is superb (doffs AiT cap), has a Weymouth related word search which is particularly taxing. I found the words; Lodmoor, boats, plague and erosion (genuinely) and even got the bonus backwards diagonal of laeddnuorgygdod.

Plague! Tramway! Erosion! What a magical place Weymouth is.

The B&Q chic aesthetic continues inside, as one terrace reveals itself as a shrine to the flat pack shed. Shed two offers club merchandise, shed three tempts fans with burgers and bacon batches (a type of bread roll only seen up north) shed four appeals to the younger fan and offers a range of kids toys (temporary tattoos, nail decorations, mini torches - the obvious football related stuff) and penny sweets (sherbet lemons, rainbow dust-yes please), Shed five offers a range of programmes. Shed Seven were a ropey Britpop band from York and Hanger 17 was a mid 90's kids TV show hosted by an annoying Geordie.

Shed Two - I have never been less likely to buy a badge in my life. I've also never been so flaccid in my life. And the font, oh the font! All kinds of wrong.

Shed Four - Kids tat.

I opted for a mix of shed's two and four. The burger and chips was superb; although it was a bastard to eat with my new fake nails and I accidentally got tomato sauce on my 'I heart Bieber' tattoo. Shambles.

Shed Five - Programmes. One at a time please.

In addition the 'Theatre of Sheds' also has a 'Wood Chippings Stand', an terrace made entirely out of B&Q's entire stock of wood chippings.

Dear Leamington FC - I mock to hide my jealousy at your ground.

For a proper read as to why Leamington play here and the history of the club click your mouse on this article on In Bed With Maradona.

Dear George Rolls - Maybe Amanda would like to set up a tuck shop at the Bob Lucas Stadium? She doesn't seem that arsed at the moment, this might make it more interesting for her. Think about it. I am willing to act as a consultant should she wish to pursue the idea and by reading this you have just granted me 70% of the shares in any tuck shop.

The Wood Chippings Stand.

The teams come out to Beady Eye's number 31 chart sensation 'The Roller' (I'm not linking to it - it's shit) and in less time than it takes the 7" single to revolve we find ourselves two nil down thanks to a defence with gaps in it bigger than the windows at Liam's 'Pretty Green' shop last Tuesday night.

Gotta get them team line up's down properly.

Leamington's manager, Paul Holleran, a man of tiny proportions and a face redder than an embarrassed tomato celebrates while Brendan King is left with a lot to ponder. Not least why he's got changed from his suit into full training kit, including socks! Stephen 'Condor Ferry' Reed reduces the deficit by slamming a free kick past the keeper's hand. In his defence he appeared un sighted and the shot, like Leamington's ground, seemed to appear out of nowhere.

Token match shot.

For most of the second half we looked fairly competent, but were as threatening as a yoof using wood chippings to smash a window whilst attempting a looting rampage at an out of town JJB sports. There was a Wooleaston corner that went close to going straight in and eh....that's about it and, like Shed Seven and last weeks blog favourites D:Ream, our comeback wasn't really on and Leamington scored two more before the end.

A man too lazy to get out of his car to watch the match. Not quite as impressive as the guy in this blog though.

After some fairly decent performances we have only picked up one point from nine and it remains to be seen quite which direction we head in this season; the leisurely drive along the road marked 'mid table mediocrity' or hitting reverse and slamming into the Evostik Southern.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Flowers and Football Tops

Nailsea United 5 (five) - 0 Stockwood Green
Tuesday 16th August 2011
Errea Somerset County League Premier Division
Grove Sports Centre, Nailsea
Attendance: 45(ish)

The differences between Nailsea and Stockwood are vast.

Nailsea: a former South West in Bloom Silver Award winner, every house a freshly cut grass semi detached palace, every drive way adorned with two cars, the local pub offering 'Boules Piste' and every voter a Tory

Stockwood: Went through it once, looks bloody rough. Won't be going back. It's Wikipedia page lists it's attractions as three pubs and an "open space", so I'm not in a hurry to pay it a visit. However, one of those pubs is brilliantly called 'The Man In Space'. Pint in Stockwood anyone?

The main stand.

Nailsea's website is a professional affair with plenty of information and a link to the club shop, where you can buy club shirts produced by toffs favourite Canterbury of New Zealand no less. La di da.

Stockwood's however carries a match report from Saturday's match that contains a superb critique of the game including; “without the ball we gave them too much space (although they weren't a good football side)” and “No MOM this week as nobody can count themselves as having the best of games” is a definite winner. Thumbs up.

Nailsea's warm up is well drilled, organised by a coach wearing his club polo shirt; there's bibs, cones and they've got it all. Flip me, they've even got coloured goal nets. COLOURED GOAL NETS.

Number plate dug out signs. A tinpot classic.

Stockwood pre match warm up is a shambles. The players take it in turns to hoof it across the pitch and failing to complete anymore than three keep ups. Some players turn up slightly before kick off and are no doubt dazzled by the surroundings they now find themselves in. This could have been the biggest culture shock since a young Will Smith gave up his life shooting some b-ball outside of a school in west Philadelphia and arrived in Bel Air in a cab with a licence plate that said FRESH and a dice in the mirror.

The officials go through their warm up, which consists of a gentle jog across the pitch a couple of times before they head off with the ref admitting he's “worn out already” and one linesman, Kev, sweating profusely. Kev seems to have that strange gut shape that suggests a BMI reading of not obese, not fat but of "non league official". He's obviously been running the line for years and a doff of the AiT cap to him.

*doffs cap*

Nailsea head off to their changing room for a final tactical analysis of the opposition and come out shortly after raring to go.

Stockwood's team talk consists of a disinterested circle of men getting shouted out by a man who looks like he's come straight from a cramped office in the back of a builders merchants, where he's spent the day unsuccessfully chasing overdue invoices.

Nailsea kick off on a pitch that contains more lumps than the song 'Lump' by President of the United States of America.

Token match shot.

The Nailsea crowd drift slowly in, even their football banter is posh; for example "Oh, they've got a big goalie", in reference to Stockwood's rotund keeper, where a "fuck me, that keeper is a right fat bastard" would have sufficed. Other members of the home support include three people sat out in comfortable camping chairs, an old boy listening to a radio and a three legged dog.

Big boned.

Stockwood have no supporters. They do have a man, dressed in shorts and espadrilles who looks like he'd rather be supping a Staraproman and indulging ladies in "cheeky banter" in the Slug and Lettuce, who has now nudged the builders admin clerk aside and is barking orders from the touchline.

Nailsea knock it round nicely, look solid at the back, a big man with the obligatory surprisingly good touch and a tricky left winger who scores the opener just before half time.

Stockwood have players called Wingnut, Swagger, about 5 players called Jordan and one, I think, called Vag.

Half time sees Nailsea go into the changing room for a pro zone review of the first half and a revised tactical plan.

Stockwood stay out on the pitch and hoof the ball around a bit more.

My half time routine consists of a tea in a mug, (a mug!) and a look round the bar of the busy sports club. Not for them the usual non league bar decoration of pendants and old team photos, they've gone for the lesser seen skittles alley and numerous leaflets saying the bar will" no longer cash cheques" and advertising a helpline for colitis sufferers.

Ooh, fancy.

The second half sees Nailsea score two goals in the first five minutes, one an absolute belter from 40 yards.

Stockwood get a bit ragged and have a couple of players booked. The ref belittles one Stockwood player with the line "I bet your school teacher loves you" and another argument with a Stockwood player leads him to remark "My cows and sheep don't answer back." I just pray he's a farmer or that remark is just a little bit weird. This is Somerset though.

Token match shot II

Before the end Nailsea add a couple more, Stockwood have a couple of chances and Kev looks absolutely busted. The game is played in a great competitive spirit and enjoyed by all; rich, poor, fat, thin, 2 legged and 3 legged and officiated by people doing it for the love of the game - just as football should be.

If you've been affected by colitis and wish to talk to someone then please call 0845 130 2233. Your call will remain confidential.

Sunday 14 August 2011

Nearly a D:ream start to the season

Weymouth 1-2 Cambridge City
Saturday 13th August 2011
Evostik Southern Premier League
Bob Lucas Stadium, Weymouth
Attendance: 667

It's the long awaited day. The magical day. The one you've been crossing off days in the calendar in anticipation since it was announced, the day you thought may never come but it has. It's here. It's true. D:Ream are finally playing Weymouth.

You are witnessing the pinnacle of a career here.

The D:Ream. The 'Things Can Only Get Better' D;Ream, the D:Ream that invented text speak via there 1994 number 3 chart smash 'U R The Best Thing'. That D:Ream. Playing Weymouth has to be the undoubted pinnacle of any bands career. Let Loose sent the crowd wild here, Mr Blobby's career peaked when he headlined the resort and Toploader, well thankfully they cancelled.

Oh, and the football season starts.

The symmetry between D:Ream and Weymouth FC are startling: both have seen better days, played in front of bigger crowds, have seen players go on to better things, (D:Ream fact – Prof Brian Cox was in the band), both face uncertain futures and both have an entrance price of £11. Bargain. D:ream have never played (twice European Cup winners) Nottingham Forest though and rumours that Rob Wooleaston had a pre season trial for D:Ream have been denied by the player.

Plenty of obvious gags here.

Amanda Rolls has quickly to bring in a couple of kitchen hands to help her be (imaginary) Chairman and signed up Mrs Susan Rolls and Mr Edward Brennan Rolls to join the clubs board and gave them special duties for (imaginary) vol-au-vents and (imaginary) prawn rings respectively. I would like to welcome them both to the club. No, I genuinely would, I doubt they"ll ever see it.

With Amanda busy thawing an (imaginary) Vienetta it's left to George to greet our guests from Cambridge, sadly he chose to represent our club while looking like he's just turned up at the ground straight from a two day Hooch and Fosters Ice fuelled binge with Toni Di Bart.

Pre match atmosphere doesn't get any better than this.

The pre season optimism has got to me. Add in the excitement caused by one of 1994's best Irish bands, with a colon in their name, being in my home town and my brain was in danger of leaking out of my ears. Today's the day, together D:Ream and Weymouth FC can grow again! D:Ream, you will have another number hit, you will win that Best Dance Act award at the MTV Europe music awards that you so cruelly lost to The Prodigy in 1994; Brendan King you will lead us to Dorset Senior Cup victory!

3 seconds into the match and we start the season by thumping the ball straight out for a throw in, which leads to an attach that culminates with a Cambridge shot rattling the bar and I start to realise that my D:Ream induced optimism might, like a mini scotch egg in a jelly, be massively misplaced.

Or not.

23 minutes later Weymouth's goal machine Warren 'Wozza' Byerley heads us into the lead with a great header and we might as well be handed the league trophy now. We are gonna piss this tinpot league!

The crowd in the Sharkey's stand go wild.

Shortly after things get even better as familiar traditional terrace traits are shown to have survived the summer. The Barbara Windsor stand gets it's first opposition player of the season booked. A fairly innocuous shirt pull is met with howls from the Babs which results in the ref dishing out a yellow card and means the Babs stand has now secured more bookings than D:Ream in the past 10 years.

Token match shot.

A doff of the AiT cap to manager Brendan King, who watches the match from the directors box, due to a touchline ban, and chose to do so in full Weymouth FC training gear, including shorts. Shame we couldn't get him a Phil Brown style headset mic though, or even give him a bendy straw, or cotton bud taped to his ear so it looked like, from a distance, that we could afford some high tech gadgetry.

The half time score announcements bring another first of the season, with the inaugural hearty cheer for the fact that Dorchester have made a n:ightmare (see what I've done there!) start to the season and find themselves three down. Pah, losers! The music fades out as substitute Kyle Bassett goes through his half time warm up routine, which consists of queuing up to get some chocolate from a refreshments hut in the ground, while dressed in full kit and boots.

Fans to flag ratio, 5:1

Sadly other traditions have lasted the summer, the tradition of being a bit dodgy in defence and the tradition of losing. Some poor defending cost us two goals that sent the 15 or so Cambridge fans (roughly the same number of people who bought the new D:Ream album, possibly) and despite a late fightback we, like D:Ream, aren't able to launch a successful comeback. There was plenty to be pleased with from this performance, the squad lacks a little bit of quality in depth and defensive errors need to be eradicated but there were plenty of positives to take from this performance against one of the title favourites.

Yes! I didn't make the obvious 'Things Can Only Get Better' analogy!

Sunday 7 August 2011

It's Great When You're Yate ... Yeah

Yate Town 4-2 Chippenham Town
Saturday 6th August 2011
Pre Season Friendly
Lodge Road, Yate
Attendance: 99 (ish)

"3-2, 3-2 now!! Penalty. Five minutes left" Wherever in Bristol's tinpot lands you are you're never that far from someone shouting out the Rovers score. That's certainly the case here and you get the feeling a large amount of the Yate support are here as 'The Gas' are busy spoiling AFC Wimbledon's party.

A busy week ahead at Yate Town FC

As kick off approaches the Rovers faithful slowly drift in. The soporific sun, the lure of frosty pints and the threat of a dull and pointless friendly means enthusiasm levels are muted. Some of the Chippenham support are more animated however. A nearby chat with with summer signing, Aaron Wilson, reveals he has signed for Chippenham after 2 years away working on cruise ships around the Caribbean! Keep your multi million pound exotic summer signings, shove your extensive South American scouting network because whatever you've got isn't going to trump Chippenham's signing of a man who has been living in a cabin on the high seas for the last two years.

Good work Bethany!

Yate are taking this match seriously. Very seriously indeed. They've blown up the inflatable ice bath! A doff of the AiT cap to them for embracing sport science and having an inflatable ice bath, but I'm struggling to envisage an overweight seasoned non league bruiser defender wanting to jump in an ice bath on a cold Tuesday night after a gruelling match against Stourport Swifts. Also, they tend to work better when filled with ice.

The Yate Town FC birthing pool.

For the first twenty minutes nothing much happens, bar the occasional baahing of sheep in the adjacent field and the Chippenham keeper impersonating a vociferous Supervisor of an orange juice pressing factory with constant shouts of “Squeeze!!” The match, in the summery Bristolian suburb, is enlivened when (**weak orange juice related gags alert**) the keeper is rudely awoken from his tangerine dream, as a complete lack of concentrate on his behalf means he fails to (vitamin) see a long range shot until too late, leaving Chippenham a goal down and Yate in a state of sunny delight.

The Yate Megastore. Closed for a concretey refurbishment.

After forty five minutes, and with the scoreline now 2-1, the half time whistle is greeted in the usual style – the playing of Green Sleeves. An ice cream van has suddenly appeared in the car park, staffed by a man sporting the classic ice cream salesman look of faded vest and straw hat. This man shuns the school fête, a kids playground, the end of a pier, anywhere else that would have provided conditions conducive to people wishing to procure a Calippo. This man sees a gap in the market for selling Mini Milk's to those 99, or so, middle aged men watching crap football. However, the selling of approximately 2 Mr Freeze's suggests he might want to re-think his business plan.

Busy day mate? Nahhh...not really.

Further proof of how serious Yate are taken this is offered by the fact the subs aren't trusted to do their own warms ups. The coach's encouraging shouts of “ nice and sharp aye” and “quick on the turn” are met with a lackadaisical jog from the subs and “give your hammy's a stretch” results in a bit of apathetic leaning.

Token match shot

On the pitch Yate suffer a setback as Chippenham re-equalise, Dave Gilroy scoring a great header. Off the pitch things are starting to get serious for Yate. The half time draw winner still hasn't presented themselves and the winning ticket number tannoy announcements are getting increasingly desperate.

A final, pleading, call for ticket number 2564 results in an young, attractive blonde Chippenham fan being introduced to the draw organiser by a steward with the words “he'll know where to take you” The announcer, with thick northern accent, and dressed in one of those shirts only worn by men in Working Men's Clubs and darts players, can't believe his desperate pleading has presented him with such a fine filly and responds with the slightly disturbing line of “I know where to take you....I know where to take all the pretty girls.” The re-appearance of them both, about thirty seconds, later suggests nothing more extravagant than an exchange of a box of Cadbury's Celebrations took place.

Token match shot II

Chippenhams's big summer signing from Brittany Ferries, Wilson, left his substitutes bench berth at half time. Launching his appearance at right back and continuing his nomadic lifestyle by calling at the ports of right wing, left wing and finally docking just about anywhere he fancied.

The good work of Wilson, and his shipmates, was sunk by the Chippenham keeper whose continued failure to catch a ball, this man would struggle to even grab an Outspan (small ones are more juicy naturally) means that Yate are able to score a couple more without reply before the end. The final whistle sees a sprint for the bar, to see how many Bristol City have lost by, as both the ice bath and the returning ice cream van remain unused.