So this was it, then. High Noon at the ‘Leafe. It was therefore fitting that the top-of-the-table showdown should mark the debut of AFCW’s latest hyped-up signing. In the event, Green and White Stripes (feat. Fat Boy Nos 2, 3, 4, 5 …) 0 v. So Solid Blues (feat. Harveys Bristol Cream) 3 provided lots of action. But there was never much doubt as to who was going to strut off into the sunset as top dog.
The Wombles faithful entering the stadium during the warm-up experienced a tangible frisson as they discovered that MC Å’PJ Harvey was not sitting on the bench, he was in at number 3. He was actually going to be playing! Kick-off was delayed by fifteen minutes — probably to allow time for all the tabloid hacks to stream into the stadium. Pity they had come to suss out PJÂ¹s missus (tactfully absent apparently), not the man himself.
Anyway, we kicked off and established our superiority immediately. The ball hardly ever left the Chipstix half. It was only a matter of time before we scored, and sure enough, fifteen minutes in, Joe headed the ball nicely out on the left for Ryan to send in one of his lofted passes. Was it a cross? Was it a strike? Did it matter? Ball in back of net, job’s a good ‘un. Chipstix played their usual physical (ahem!) game, but the ref was operating a ‘hands-off’ policy, almost like a teacher standing back in the belief that itÂ¹s good for the kids to sort things out among themselves. With that kind of indifference, he should go far in the FA. Heck, even I know somethingÂ¹s wrong when one of our players is lying flat out on the ground, with one of theirs astride him clutching his throat.
In the end, however, even the ref couldnÂ¹t ignore it when a Chipstix player jumped on Oakins as he played the ball in the box. Coops stepped up to take the penalty and it was two-nil to us.
The second half saw a change in mood, from Gunfight at the OK Corral to Annie Get Your Gun. The fouls got more farcical. The hands of the clock reached “sending off Bassey” time, although one of theirs went too. MC Harvey hit the woodwork, narrowly missing a fairytale end to his debut. Scottie scored our third — a spectacular volley rammed in off a perfect cross from Gray.
The match reached a climax when their No 16 — whoÂ¹d come on only minutes previously — had a ruck with the referee, after Scottie was felled by one of his team-mates. Exit No 16 stage left, pursued by his mullet. But it was all over well before that. The Chipstix game plan was basically a lot of bump and grind, signifying nothing. They defended deep, with not much up front. Once we scored, they had little to offer.
Plus points: MC Å’PJÂ¹ Harvey and Lee Å’RonnieÂ¹ Carroll cut the mustard, though defensively we werenÂ¹t challenged. Another Gray wonder goal. ScottieÂ¹s goal — a cracker. Danny Oakins walking away from trouble. Their goalie. Cute. Our new goalie. Also cute. With a habit (allegedly) of telling his team to Â³Push upÂ². Whatever that means.
Minus point: Bassey off. Again. Not totally his fault, though. Maybe more a tactical mistake on Sir TelÂ¹s part not to call him in after the first yellow.
The refereeÂ¹s a …. man of two halves. First 45 minutes, he followed the Â³IÂ¹m not going to stop the flow of the gameÂ² tendency. Second, he was in red card heaven.
Them: Easy to see how they went top of the league, with a stonewall defence based not so much on keeping the ball away from their goalie, but last-ditch clearances off the line. Thing was, once theyÂ¹d gone a goal down, they never looked like scoring.
Quotes: (1) Â³… so I did Steve XXXXXÂ² — a female Womble recalling her activities of last weekend. Actually, she was referring to the fact sheÂ¹d signed his nomination papers for the Dons Trust elections. (2) Â³WeÂ¹re not coming back out. WeÂ¹re having a shower and going home!Â² — one of their players coming off after the pre-match warm-up. Bet he wishes heÂ¹d meant it. (3) Â³Fantastic hairdo!Â² — a certain celebrity DJ on their goalieÂ¹s New Romantic quiff. Worrying thing is, I donÂ¹t think he was being entirely sarcastic.
Chants: All gangsta-related, of course. Favourite was probably: Â³HeÂ¹ll be running round Clapham with a sawn-off down his socks!Â² Chorus: Â³Singing, Å’IÂ¹ve got a bigger gun than you!Â¹Â² Closely followed by: Â³WeÂ¹re so solid itÂ¹s unbelievable!Â²
Surreal moment of the match: The ageing steward parading round the ground with a white placard proclaiming: Â³The cars shown below must be removedÂ². Anyone remember the bloke who used to walk up and down Oxford Street advertising Â³More nuts and vegetables for better sexÂ² or something? Maybe itÂ¹s the same one.
Point to ponder: Chipstix shirt sponsors are a company called Antell. If aforementioned celebrity DJ fixed Â¹em a joint sponsorship with his indie radio station, would they go round with KissAntell on their chests?
Truth is stranger than fiction: Irish crooner Feargal Sharkey is now a radio regulator. Yep, you read that right. But what, you may ask, has this fact got to do with the match? Well, 80s classics featured heavily on the post-match playlist at the Whyteleafe Tavern. And the rendering of Mr SharkeyÂ¹s classic hit Â³A Good HeartÂ² prompted a certain Supporters Direct caseworker to offer up this tangential fact. Nice to know our taxes are being spent paying people to acquire useless information.
So was it worth it? Is Winkelman a club-stealing, moneygrabbing, spaced-out, self-promoting c**t? Well, then …
In a nutshell: We are top of the league, say we are top of the league! Bruv.