Sunday 30 December 2012

Weymouth v Bashley and St. Neots Town

On the up at SY656798019

Weymouth 1-0 Bashley
Bob Lucas Stadium, Weymouth
Evostik Southern League
Wednesday 26th December 2012
Attendance: 820
Weymouth 3-1 St Neots Town
Bob Lucas Stadium, Weymouth
Evostik Southern League
Saturday 29th December 2012
Attendance: 701

Giving a lifelong Weymouth fan an A-Z of the UK would be as useful as giving a slug a drivers licence. Years of lower league toil means that every Weymouth fan can provide you a six figure grid reference for any town in southern England. 

Ho, Ho, ohhh...

This Christmas one old village foe rolled into town, Bashley ( SZ240973) I've been there. It's basically a petrol station operating a neighbourhood watch scheme. A place so remote if you enter it into your Satnav and that woman's calm voice barks "I'm not faakin go there you buffoon" before an overwhelming weeping noise fills your car. 

Just the 15 (fifteen) different types of sauce then. Condiments table as previously seen on Adventures in Tinpot.

Our geographical knowledge was extended by the arrival of a new opponent. We've never played St. Neots Town at home or, to give them their full name, St. NeotsitssomewherenearCambridgeithinkisntit. 

Weymouth are entering the festive period on the up. We've been so far away from the up in previous seasons powerful binoculars and an underwhelming green laser light borrowed from the seafront was no help in locating it (gag for the locals there. Them lights hey, hey). Our current place on the up was secured due to four wins in a row and, more importantly, we're finally rid of the Ghost of Quiches Past, George Rolls. George left to focus on his attempt to become the first man in history to have hair greasier than a three bird roast from Iceland. 

Weymouth FC tape measure. Great value at £1 per metre.

The club is now being led by fans and the fact these Christmas games take place at all is thanks to the superb efforts of a green fingered bunch of volunteers. A doff of the novelty flashing Santa hat to you all. 

*opens text message* Hi Dave, hope you had a safe journey. I hope you're not wearing that ridiculous Santa hat and eating more chips. You know you are suppose to be on a diet. LOL. PS, the petrol station is fine.

There's an sense of optimism engulfing the club. It's odder than the popularity of the TV show Mrs Browns Boys. After the last few seasons of inept performances, relegation battles and broken promises of home made buffets like the feeling of being an optimistic Weymouth fan. A lot. I've forgotten how to be optimistic, how to travel to a game expecting to see Weymouth compete for 90 minutes and maybe even see them win.
180 minutes later, Weymouth have six more points and are now in the play offs. Bashley are sent back to man the pumps and sell out of date pasties to lost HGV drivers and a disorientated St. Neots are sent back to wherever it is they come from. 

Beautiful shading. 

Two wins. 4 goals. Two great team performances and jeepers I feel optimistic. It's time to get a little carried away. It's the right of every football fan. We're going up! (Note to self: Have a night off the Christmas booze hey.)

Token Bashley match shot. 

Token Bashley match shot II

Bashley were beaten one nil. A scrappy win, a battling performance and a game that would have been lost last season. In amongst that though were bits of great football, fluid passing moves and no little team spirit. 

St. Neots went a goal up. Last season this would have seen panic set in, defenders would run around like squad players from Super Cup football low on batteries and heads would be dropping quicker than at the Guillotine World Championships in France 1793. Not any more. Oh no. A great free kick from Scott Walker, a jinking run and well placed finish from Mark Ford and a header from Sam Poole gave us a 3-1 victory. 

Small man, MASSIVE hands.

The defence looks solid. There's no need to panic like every time the ball gets hoofed into our half. The defenders have positional sense and a midfield that offers them protection.  Ed Palmer looks like the brute defender any half decent non league side needs, a man ready to clatter that pesky nippy centre forward before removing the strikers leg from his shin-pad and calmly stroking the ball forward/belting it as appropriate. Ashley Wells is Steve Tully (the sweeper era) Light and Barry McConnell is older than last year's squad put together. This is a good thing. It brings the experience, organisation and leadership that we previously badly lacked. 
Token St. Neots Town match shot. 
The midfield isn't afraid of a battle, it won't be bullied into hiding. Dan Clay is always available for a crunching tackle or creating space from which to play a simple pass. It's also a  midfield with no little skill either and a goal scoring midfielder in Craig Duff, who got the only goal against Bashley. 

For those of you who have been writing in to ask what colour a Pukka Steak and Kidney Pie tin is here is the answer.

Up front though. Crumbs. It's been a while since we've had a player trouble the league top scorers list. Now we've got two. Ben Joyce and Mark Ford never stop making purposeful runs or harassing defenders. They seem to have a great understanding and, Ford in particular, possess a calmness in front of goal that's been lacking since Stuart Beavon left. 

Two blue tins and a pink tin please. What?

Think I'm making this all up. OK, well how about this then: The Babs stood and applauded the players off. Scary stuff. 

It's been a long time since watching Weymouth was this much fun. The pride of being a Weymouth fan was always there and it's finally complimented by watching a competitive team playing entertaining and exciting football. 2013 could finally be a good year to be a Terras fan. 

Up the Terras!

For photos and videos of the Bashley game click the internet mouse here.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Borussia Monchengladbach Ultras Stickers

Borussia Monchengladbach Ultras Stickers

Like these? You'll like this Facebook group.  

More of this kind of thing from Fortuna Düsseldorf and Werder Bremen. 

Click on the photos to enlarge, or move the computer closer to your face, whichever suits. 




Old school club logo from Obsession Ultras.

Anti FC Cologne sticker.

"Cologne, diarrhoea"

"Proud Borussia fan, for always and enternity"

Ultras Group Projekt Chaos

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Sparta Bilk v Germania Ratingen 04/19 II

....and the goalkeeper wore Robocop.

Sparta Bilk 1-2 Germania Ratingen 04/19 II
Platzanlage Fährstraße 51, Dusseldorf
Düsseldorfer Kreisliga A, Gruppe 1,
Sunday 2nd December 2012
Attendance: 50

"And Sparta Bilk II will kick off in the all yellow strip kicking towards the Gnome with Binoculars end.  Upfront today a man trying to impersonate a Swedish striker currently at PSG and the other a humongous lad who thinks Man vs Food is a cookery advice programme."

Sparta Bilk Ultras.

Zlatan and Fat Man.Tubby is clearly hiding a twix in his sleeves. 

A bonus of being early at German tinpot is even lower levels of tinpot taking place when you arrive. The standard is pubs league. The team names sound like proper team names. Which makes it fine.Zlatanalike is in the team due to his haircut and sculpted beard and, as is the rule with any big lad, fatty has a good touch. A good touch of obesity. 

 Steve Staunton's really let himself go hasn't he.

That game finishes and slowly the ground becomes slightly less sparsely populated. A scrawling wind blows rain in through the small stand, much to the chagrin of a couple of old boys who are sat in their usual seats.  They toil for ten minutes to mend the fence furiously working in tandem to keep out the precipitation and maintain their traditions. They defeat the elements. The wood is replaced, the gap blocked, the rain defeated.  Success!

They move seats anyway. 

 "To me Fritz, to you Gerd"

Sparta Bilk. More festive than a Snowman watching the Queens speech whilst wearing a paper hat. 

Inside the clubhouse were clearly awaiting the arrival of Pato Banton (or similar) to turn on the Christmas lights. The place is darker than a"Goth wardrobe by night" postcard.  Home-made frikadellas are served by the minimal illumination granted by the eyes of two sinister owls who clearly indulge in all sorts of head spinning voodoo shortly after last orders is called. 

We've come for your babies.

"Today's visitors, Germania Ratingen II, are wearing red shirts with yellow shorts and the goalkeeper is wearing elbow pads and a Robocop T Shirt.”

Yep. A Robocop T Shirt. Now, either Germania Ratingen are sponsored by Omni Consumer Products or this is officially the most tinpot thing since the last one. Now clearly you'd expect me to coast here and make some week Robocop puns for the rest of this. Oh, believe me I would. But I've never seen the film. In fact I've no idea about movies in general. (Or women.....or fashion sense. Yes, yes...) So, you'll have to make your funnies and damn fine they'll be too. You're funnier than you realise. It's either that or I copy and paste stuff about the 1987 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Milner and pass it off as my own. 

Anyone thought of any good gags yet? I can always amend this blog, pass them off as my own. 

So from then on its 90 minutes of trying to take photos of the keeper without invoking a harassment order. It's not easy. He knows, everyone in the crowd knows what I'm up to. I should have just asked him to pose for a photo but that's against the tinpot adventures code of honour that I stand by. 

Token match shot. 
Token match shot II. He's Back To Protect The Innocent.

Three Euro entry. That's all. Nothing. Too much for one flash git though. He's parked his car in the car park behind the main stand and he's watching the game from there. He's even brought the missus along. This is a man who, like me, understands women [citation needed] and knows that women lust after men who are exceptionally frugal and want to tear the longjohns and thermal pants off  men who tantalise them with long afternoons of vigorous groundhopping foreplay,  where they are don't actually set foot in the ground and never quite reach the full tick in the box glory.
Have you ever seen a bleaker picture?

The match, well you can see for yourselves. There's ten minutes of highlights over here. The highlight of the first half is after 2minutes ish when you'll see me attempt to trap a ball and coming nowhere near. Thankfully a well placed railing means I don't get hit in the nutsacks. 

Exterminate, exterminate. What? Wrong robot. Ah, I dunno.

The second half is played out amidst bright sunshine, hail storms and a small rainbow that places a pot of gold under the anus of the owls in the clubhouse. Germania take the lead, Bilk equalise. Bilk dominate but Robokeeper keeps them at bay. He even threatens to take on the crowd and spends thirty seconds shouting at a couple of slightly rain sodden old men. Christ this paragraph was crying our for some links to Robocop to make it even mildly amusing. 

Here at Ai(das)Tinpot we're not afraid to call a spade a Schaufel.

A Germanian produces the one bit of skill in the entire match, a brilliant through ball with the outside of the left foot which Marcus Bonnie then tucks away to leave Bilk defeated like the evil Clarence Boddiker. Or something like that.

Monday 26 November 2012

Rheydter SV v TuS Grevenbroich

Ticket to Rheydt. 

Rheydter SV 2-3 TuS Grevenbroich 
Jahnstadion, Rheydt, Monchengladbach
Landesliga Niederrhein, Gruppe 2
Saturday 17th November 2012
Attendance: 70
German football is a world of packed terraces populated by men stuffing bratwurst and beer into themselves and watching glorious football. Not as Rheydter SV it ain't. It doesn't need any of that frivolity. It's better than that. It's got huge grassy terraces. It needs nothing more. 

The purchase of a cheap roll of sellotape leads to the unravelling of wrapping paper to spoil the christmas surprise for one unsuspecting housewife. 

But it's got more. It's a show off. Out the front of the ground is a nightclub.. Inside balloons are being blown up and a buffet is being laid out while a low budget DJ sets up to create the muted atmosphere on a Working Men's Club. A nightclub. My christ I love this place already.

Nothing says "party" like a neon light. 

Behind the Jahnstadion is the home ground of Borussia Monchengladbach's second team. I wandered in, noted the generic stand, noted the generic running track, noted it was a bit generically boring, noted that I turned on my generic heels and then noted my eyes launched out of my head. It's only a mega flipping scoreboard, well hello. Not just any old mega flipping scoreboard but the scoreboard from the old Borussia ground. Massively out of place, massively massive. Marvellous. 


Next to it, a classic German “aschenplatz”. A pitch made of volcanic dust that shreds the legs of anyone dimwitted enough to attempt a slide tackle. Today's big match pre match entertainment was a kids match, which concluded with some frustrated weiner kid booting a drinks bottle and then being hoofed by his Mother. Football needs more Mother kicking players. The “Kick Mothers kicking players into football”campaign starts here.

 This photo suggests that I was hiding in a hedge watching kids football. I was.

This is then followed by an “alte Herren” (old boys) match. Think shirt stretching stomachs, think haircuts styled on Jim Smith and think much hilarity. Pacey counter attacks aren't an option and crunching tackles are avoided due to the real danger of clattering an arthritic leg or busting a hip replacement. Half time isn't a time for a tactical rethink it's time for a drag on a cigarette and an alcoholic drink. It's dusty brilliance.
Stay grassy Jahnstadion

The Jahnstadion ground though. Built in 1922, with nothing done to it since. Previously with a capacity of 40,000, now reduced to 20,000 and today playing host to a German 6th division match in front of 70 people. Don't worry Janhstadion, I still love you. The terraces are vast and they dwarf those few spectators. These aren't just any old terraces but huge crumbling, grass covered terraces. I bloody love overgrown grassy terraces.
Yes, I was lying on the terrace. 

The players enter the field to a cacophony of noise. That noise being the sound of 22 exhausted old gimmers wheezing their way across the terrace, into the changing rooms whilst whacking their boots clean. One person applauds the teams onto the pitch, . one chap walks into the ground carrying three bags full of shopping (“Yeah, um.....sorry I’m late home Frau, in Aldi was massive.....ehh... *tugs collar, mops brow, shuffles awkwardly*) and a rabbit (ground) hops around behind the goal.

This blog is providing you with a good weed.


So, 70 people. In a ground that can hold 20,000, a calm relaxing Saturday night watching sixth division German football. Great. Even here, in this grassy loneliness someone decides it’ll be a good idea to bring a drum and dribble into vuvuzela. Oh yes, that’s just what this peaceful situation needs. Actually, I’ll let them off. These 5 nutjobs did also have one of those horn things which makes a sound which I can only describe as “eastern European football during the communist times, as heard on clips on Grandstand ”. Now, I’m not an expert of sports psychology and motivation techniques (really, I’m not) but I’m not convinced that one man thwacking a drum while another tries to herd non existent livestock is really going to spur the home side on. Not that I care to be honest, I’m busy filling up another gigabyte of memory card with dimly lit photos of a luscious grassy terrace.

A beautiful noise. 

Sadly though I have to report a fundamental law of Germany was broken. Article 407a of the German constitution states “When a group of more than four people gather in one place for duration for more than six minutes someone must be appointed to sell beer and bratwurst”. I would have vigorously instigated legal proceedings for violation of my basic German human rights if I wasn’t busy developing an uncontrollable lusty crush on this herbaceous wonder.

The loneliness of an away fan.

Token match shot.

Half time 2-2. Can’t focus. On game. Huge grassy terrace. Rabbit. Think goals good. Weeds. I think. GOAL! STRIKER! Grassy. Rabbit.

 The view from my new home.

Can you marry a football ground? Legally? Illegally even? I mean I would if I could. I could build myself a little den here made of twigs and leaves couldn’t I? No one would see me. I’d be so happy. We’d be so happy. Live on the terraces? What a life. I will befriend the rabbits. The ash pitch will become my child. Stroke the grass late at night, watch it change with the seasons. Sing to it, stroke it, smell it, hold it. Be as one. March around the terraces bare chested with a crown made of thistles. Me King Groundhopper Chief Man!! OK, there is no food and water here but I could survive that. This could work. This could actually work. I’m going to live here. You’ll come and see me at Rheydter SV won’t you? Say you will. It’s great here. I’ll let you meet my rabbit friends. Please come.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Fortuna Düsseldorf Ultras Stickers

Fortuna Düsseldorf Ultras Stickers

Like these? You'll like this Facebook group

There's not a bin or lamppost within a 17km radius of Fortuna's Esprit Arena that isn't covered in Ultras stickers. I've checked. Here's some of the best. 

 For some genuinely brilliant pictures of the Fortuna Ultras set your internet brower accordingly. 

Even Yoda is a Fortuna fan. Soul City are a Fortuna Ultras group with a love of Northern Soul and Ska music and with around half their members being female. Some more of their artwork over here.


That fella with the black tape across his eyes and the flare in his hand is Fortuna Düsseldorf captain Andreas "Lumpi" Lambertz, celebrating on the pitch after Fortuna secured promotion to the Bundesliga. He received a two match ban and a set of stickers for his waving the flare around.

"Bread and football". As in their the only things that matter, I think. I'd also like to add beer in there. Unless this is Fortuna Ultras group made up of recovering alcoholic master bakers then, well done you for beating your demons and I'll take a sliced crusty loaf ta.

 "If we come, we come together"