Tuesday 27 December 2011

On the first day of christmas my tinpot sent to me Moneyfields versus Horndean FC.

Moneyfields v Horndean
Monday 26th December 2011
Sydenhams Football League (Wessex)
Moneyfields Sports Ground, Portsmouth
Attendance 111

On the walls of the Moneyfields Social club hung one solitary team scarf, no sign of teams of times gone by, no pennants from other clubs; nothing. Hanging in the clubhouse air was Poundland tinsel and the stale fog of a hundred Brussels sprout scented farts. I soon made it 102 and a half.

New iPad's were charged, kids on new scooters wizzed around, a players Mum showed of her new Cath Kidston bag while a ground hopper filed a couple of programmes in a freshly pressed bag.

Signs made of number plate letters is now possibly my favourite tinpot thing ever. EVER.

The early kick off had seemingly caught Moneyfields unprepared, goal nets are fixed to the ground just before kick off and corner flags are put in place as Horndean kick off, almost immediately misplacing a pass straight into touch.

More thrilling photography brought to you from Adventures in Tinpot.

Two minutes later Ho Ho Horndean get into the Christmas spirit and gift Moneyfields a goal, the Horndean manager responds with a "fucks sake". From here seemingly every act by a Horndean player is followed by an angry sweary swear, as every touch is mis-controlled, every pass mis-hit and every shot off target.

Token match shot.

Like receiving socks for Christmas for the 24th year in succession Horndean conceding a second is no surprise. Steve Hutchings scores a penalty it front of the massed rank of two fans, one furiously producing thick clouds of smoke from a pipe (a pipe – Yes! *punches air* When I'm older I'm going to smoke a pipe) and another old boy watching from a chair wedged in the clubhouse doorway. A clear fire hazard. Never block an escape route. Basic fire safety that.

What's wrong with 'Keep off the Grass'?

Dear Santa,

I've been a really good boy this year and I wondered if you and Rudolf the Red Nosed Groundhopper could bring me a special gift this year. Please could you bring me something really funny at Moneyfields FC, I don't know what but if you could leave a surprise there for me there I'd really appreciate it. I'd also really like some Bristol City roller blinds.


P.S - I've left a match programme and a Bovril for you.

Oh, Santa thank you!! It's better than I could have ever imagined, I love it so much! Some seats from a bus stop in the Moneyfields dugout, I would never have even thought of it. I love it! Thanks Santa!! You're the best.

Somewhere in north Portsmouth confused commuters stand waiting for a bus.

Somewhere in north Portsmouth confused commuters stand in the rain waiting for a bus.

It's not the only thing that has mysteriously made it's way into the ground, a Pukka Pies sign advertises their non available wares, a newsagents sign promotes the next couple of games and dotted around the ground are 3 gold coloured bins advertising 'Coors' - not your new modern fangled fancy 'Coors Light', not even your Irish tin whistle toting pop combo The Coors, nope this is the Coors that sponsored Erland Johnsen era Chelsea.

Corrs blimey Guvnor.

The unprepared nature continues. Shortly after the refreshment hut runs out of, well everything it seems. Hot dog? No. Cup a soup? All gone I'm afraid. Chocolate bar? You should have brought your selection box. A kid is dispatched and his scooter to the Co-op to get some milk in an attempt to keep tea sales ticking over. Always have enough milk for teas. Basic catering skills that.

Empty boxes.

Easy on the milk there, that's got to last. Everyone, please welcome the left hand of Old Father Tinpot making it's AiT debut. A big hand for the hand please.

Not everyone at Moneyfields is a little disorganised. One woman walks along the terrace attempting to make people part with that manky £10 note Nan gave them in a Christmas card in exchange for one of her home made scarves in the yellow and blue of Moneyfields. Amazing stuff! A big doff on the home knitted slightly ill fitting AiT bobble hat to you. Identify a gap in the market and fill that gap. Basic business skills that.

Sod the Dukla Prague away kit, all I want for Christmas is a home made Moneyfields FC scarf.

Before half time it's three nil and, like a butterball Turkey on Christmas morning, Horndean are having Paxo firmly rammed up their anus being well and truly stuffed. Horndean go with the triple substitution which sees a kid come on with a hair cut that suggests he plays bass guitar in a locally popular but, nonetheless, hugely derivative indie band. He's not much good at football.

Pompey, rolling slightly irregularly and pulling slightly to the left.

The game drifts to a conclusion, the home support urging the ref to conclude the game “hurry up ref, the Eastenders omnibus starts at 2:45”, a subbed Horndean player leaves ten minutes before the end, presumably to go shopping with Darren Bent, and the game finishes with the ball being booted firmly into the trees surrounding the pitch.

Now...hold hands with the person to your right, and sing along with me!

On the first day of Christmas my tinpot sent to me
Twelve farters farting,
Eleven useless players,
Ten groundhoppers a hopping,
Nine ladies present,
Eight teas with no milk in,
Seven kids a scooting,
Six seats a stolen,
Five home made scarves,
Four part worn tyres,
Three Coors bins,
Two tinpot teams,
and a football lodged in a pine tree.

Monday 5 December 2011

Stories from the City.

Bristol City v Middlesbrough
Saturday 3rd December 2011
The Championship
Ashton Gate, Bristol.
Attendance 14,467

Last Tuesday Bristol City announced losses of a mere £11,454,525 (eleven mill...a lot), taking total losses over 3 years to over £30m (thirty million). *

The loss was announced on the Tuesday and on Friday the club announced two vacancies; one for a Group Financial Controller and the other for a Financial Assistant. That afternoon half of the entire City staff endeavoured, unsuccessfully, to shut a barn door that had mysteriously opened, while the other half tried to locate a stallion that had been seen fleeing the scene in an agitated state.

***Warning – attempt to crowbar in fact coming up.***

The flats surrounding Ashton Gate were actually the ones used in Only Fools and Horses. In an attempt to get some money in quick City offered a reduction Del Boy would have been proud of. They're not asking the usual £30 for tickets, they're not asking for a score, who said £15 – put your money away love, it's only a tenner a ticket and now, because of their generosity, little Jon Stead is going hungry this Christmas.

How much for two tickets?

If that little money raising plan doesn't work City have a winner of an idea. Guinness copyright infringing T-Shirts celebrating new manager Derek McInnes' four wins in his first seven games. Win this game and there's every chance McInnes' face will be photoshopped into his own range of lawsuit inducing tracksuits, produced from a mush in Shepherds Bush.

This years fashion must have in BS3.

If short term novelty T-shirts haven't got you hastily re-writing your Christmas list then City have got just the item for you. Bristol City Roller Blinds. Amazing. Now, I know you've all got one burning questions here, can these roller blinds be fitted within the recess to work with my existing curtains? Good news, these Bristol City Roller Blinds can be “fitted within the recess to work with or without existing curtains”. What a Christmas this is going to be for the “dedicated Bristol City fan”.

This time next year we'll be millionaires, which is a shame because we are currently carrying total financial liabilities of some £30+ million, therefore £1m is only around 3% of our total current debt Rodney.

City aren't going to turn down the sponsorship shilling and there are a few signs signs for local businesses. The 'Boro fans (poor bastards) are situated behind a sign for The Three Lions pub, south Bristol's most unwelcoming pub for away fans, which was once frequented by Danny Dyer and also by a police horse which, undoubtedly, had more of an acting range.

Denzel brought in this shipment of Spartak Moscow gnomes this morning, stick a Bristol City logo on the shorts and go and flog em.

They are separated from the home fans by a bunch of City flags, from groups like Forza Eastend. At the other end of the terrace is an impressive mural including 'Ernie the Robin' and the words “when the moon shines”. Why “Ernie” and why “when the moon shines”? Wurzels lyrics of course.

Forza Eastend are admirably trying to create a decent atmosphere at the games. There's some decent photos here, some decent flags, some flares and Ernie graffited into a duck pond. “Try anything you aquatic mug and I'll get some proper nawty hoisin out, right?”. (Just joking eh lads, eh). They've also got some sort of manifesto, which includes “issuing advice for the correct purchase and consumption of our local apple based beverage.” *doffs commerative 30 years of The Wurzels hat*

Behind door 24 it's a set of Bristol City Roller blinds beautifully fitted within the recess to work with the existing curtains.

Shortly after kick off the only audible sounds of two old boy regulars behind me grumbling at those struggling to find their £10 seats. Middlesbrough keep possession, knock it round nicely and I'm sure it's all very pleasing on the eye, and how football should be played, but it's bloody boring. City get the ball occasionally and look for Albert “Alby” Adomah, a tricky winger who has been linked to West Brom, Fulham, Tytherington Rocks and Jossy's Giants. For Middlesbrough Nicky Bailey looked good, so good that even I noticed and hey, hands up I'll admit it, I'm no Zonal Marking.

Matching Santa hats. *shakes head*

Half time brings “the charge of the light brigade”, according to the old boys, as everyone piles out for Bovril. If I'd have known City we're going to play 'Dancing in the Moonlight' by pissing Toploader I'd have puffed out my chest, mounted my stead and led everyone ala Lord Cardigan in a recklessly brave attempt to storm the PA box and save us all from these offensive Jamie Oliver endorsed sack of taste the difference fuzzy haired shitbags.

There were also cheerleaders. They were called Vivacity.

Vivacity (noun) - characterized by high spirits and animation.

Also Viva City. Clever. Very clever.

The second half sees the locals get more animated as a perceived number of decisions go against them. It remains pretty dull. You know it's a bad game if even the local paper refers to the game as a “forgettable encounter” and the old boys behind me greet another mishit pass with “this ain't amateur football”. Oh sir, how I wish it was. I really do. £30 for this. No thanks.

Token match shot.

There was one bit of quality. An absolute belter of a free kick from Ravanelli, Juninho, Mido, Phil Stamp, someone called Malaury Martin. I've never heard of him. He's never heard of me. We get on fine. It's all here, the goal, the celebrations.

All my other photos were blurred, this is about the only one that wasn't and yes, I realise, it is very dull.

With that a pair of Middlesbrough fans dressed as Santa mock City's Eastenders, the home crowd chant “1-0 to the referee” and the City accountant worries what effect this defeat will have on the sales of those ill conceived Derek McInnes blow up dolls and pelmets the marketing department insisted upon.

*If you did want to read more about City's financial state have a look over Swiss Ramble's excellent account of City's eh accounts.