So, our final game of the season just so happened to be the Merton Derby, and once again, we showed our superiority. This time, Good 5 Evil 1 was the order of the day and all was well with the world. Well, sort of. The game itself was a bit typical end of season, though the first 10 minutes did threaten to break out into a football match. Firstly, we went in front, then in an act of temerity akin to starting up your own football club 8 divisions down, they scored. Yes, they bloody well scored within minutes of us going in front. Six games or something without conceeding and who bloody scores against us? That lot. Christ, almost ruined my day that did. Anyway, normal service was resumed with Danny O.
All you need to know after that is that we went 3-1 at HT, then 4-1 then 5-1 and by about 2 minutes in the second half everyone looked drained after a long, gruelling season. Oh, and Joe Sheerin went off looking red. We finished third, but then does anyone care? Barring a bribe invite up from the Ryman it looks like hostilities will resume between us and Vile once again. We’ll have to put up with Ash’s “hospitality”, bring in military personnel for Southall and bring the radiation suits for Feltham once again. And judging by everyone’s reaction today, nobody is going to care one iota.
Plus points: We won. Scored 5. Good all round play. Oodles of promise for next season, where we’ll have to drop all complacency.
Minus points: Why did we let them score?
The referee’s a …….. : And in a season which redefined the phrase “the referee’s a wanker”, the best was saved till last and we actually got a decent ref. Didn’t do much wrong, he seemed to absolutely love the occasion, smiling etc. Even did a “how wide” arm/hand manoever when Joe Sheerin thought he was on trial for Cork GAA. Bit on the fat side though, and he apparently “waddled”.
Them: Now, as you know, I occasionally go down Grand Dive in an evening and watch them play. I have even been known to have a drink with the Vile manager afterwards. So you can imagine my surprise to see quite a few Vile fans there – I doubt that there were less than 30 there, by far the biggest away turnout at Ks this season, although some of them were sporting Brentford tops. And they did put up a bit of verbal sparring (ie a few kids sung “Who are ya?” in that distinctive Raynes Park twang). And once again, I got accused of trying to manufacture a rivalry simply to make writing match reports more interesting. Bah, what happened to local pride? No self respect the lorra youse………
Three’s a crowd: Today’s attendance, subject to the inevitable recounting, was 4262. Yes, that’s 4262, which was even more than Chipstead and was our biggest crowd of the season. Felt like the biggest crowd of the season as well, moving around was night on impossible and it was so packed together even the Athletics End felt a bit warmer as well. No body fluids were exchanged though, you’ll be pleased to know.
Strip joint: Today alone, I saw Fulham, Celsi, Arsenil, plenty of Brentford, one Hayes t-shirt, some Leamington, a Burnley fan or two, Watford, swear I saw a Luton shirt, and of course St Pauli (though it’s hard to determine whether those wearing St P garb are actually from Hamburg or mean and moody Wombles), doubtless other people saw an even wider range of apparel being sported. If they all become AFCW fans so much the better.
Point to ponder: Doesn’t the new Womble mascot – that we can now have because the Beresford clan have told Franchise not to use Wandle The Wanker – look better? OK, I don’t like mascots but kids do. Then again, kids like tartrazine and everyone knows what that can do to the little sprogs. As for Wandle, I wonder what’s happened to him? Probably processed meat by now.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Can I get away with saying the whole season? No? Oh, all right then. (2) New fundraising for AFCW – Golden Ball. The format will be drawing out a piece of paper, only this time it will list the amount of times the ball leaves the stadium. Anyone with the exact figure wins a cash sum. Today, the ball left at least 13 times, making this a new record. (3) Speaking of losing stuff, our goalie did the traditional running over to the West Bank and luzzing his shirt in the crowd. Only he managed to somehow throw it over the roof. (4) Your humble and esteemed editor trying for the first time a Ks samosa. And it’s OK, I have to be fair, though perhaps a little too spicy.
Franchise FC watch: In case you didn’t know, your humble and esteemed editor went down to Franchise yesterday, my view on proceedings are here. To compare what happened there yesterday to today is so vastly different it’s beyond belief. Yesterday, it was walking amongst the living dead, there was nothing right, or friendly about that place. Compare to today, and you have a team proud of its past and not afraid to genuinely move forward. Getting there two hours before kickoff and seeing the amount of people (see photo above) already says it all. History shows that clubs franchised out – regardless of what sport or location – never do well. The culture of sport is tribal and that’s why we’re doing well and they’re not.
Hello mum: For those asking who the “very drunk SW19 reader who acted the same as he does when he’s sober” from the Reading Town game is, I am fully aware that it could apply to most of the people reading this. Said person is nice and sober BTW, and even gave me a CD from Queens Of The Stone Age. Muchos thankos. Also, nice to see 1970s Drummer Womble about, even if he did look like he was in rehab. SW19 will be expecting the comeback album and the tabloid sob-story, “My Booze Hell” to follow.
Womble Underground Press: Criminally forgot to mention this Saturday, so I’ll do it here : well worth buying, and it’s nice to see how many people purchasing an alternative publication. Version 1.1 was out today, which basically nabbed this site’s Reading Town report minus the swear words. And you wonder why SW19 never went into print…
Anything else? Yeah, the post match celebrations. Sidwell got POTY as expected, and it was really, really nice that for once we had a nice on-pitch presentation ceremony at the end of the season. I don’t recall it even happening at PL let alone Selhurst. The pic of REMBE, Lurch, Sanch and KC (Wolves version) along with members of 1963 and 1975-77 must surely be worth a fair bob. In a contender for most surreal moment of the year (as well as most blatant attempt to get Â£1000 off people), the bet that KC wouldn’t score with his head was taken to extremes by an impromptu cross/header session involving Ivor in goal. And guess what – he missed the first five attempts……………………………………………
So was it worth it? Season or game? Yeah, guess so.
In a nutshell: Recharge the batteries, replenish your bank account and take a break. You’ve earnt it.
Finally, as this is the last match report of the season, just want to thank everyone at AFCW for this season generally. It’s been a strain at times, but it’s better than having to do yet another venom-laden diatribe at those who run the club with no control over the future direction. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t hate everything to do with AFCW. Hell, I’ve even enjoyed one or two games this season (not many though, it’s in my job description). Thanks to all this site’s loyal readership, all two of you. If you like reading this site, don’t worry, barring death, depression, getting cancer or the remote possibility I get a job it’ll continue, no doubt further cementing me as AFCW’s answer to George Galloway. Thanks to everyone who allows me to borrow their quotes for the site, occasionally with permission. I hope you don’t want to kill me. And most importantly of all, fuck off Franchise.
Now, what shall I do this Saturday?