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Thanks to a belated attempt by SW19’s Army’s webmaster to try and further his (admittedly limited) education, it was left to me to bring you the wonders of Best Team In Greenford (reserves) 1 CCL Champions (reserves) 2. You could tell this was going to be a night where sensible folk think “Fuck the football, it’s nice and cosy in here” the moment the monsoon started an hour before the game and the northern suburbs of Greenford were illuminated by sheets of lightning and battered by large chunks of ice masquerading as hail.

After being welcomed by a bedraggled ticket seller who claimed that the price would have been 2 quid higher if the sun was shining (obviously went to the Chessington & Hook school of accountancy), I huddled into the bar with the remainder of the Dons faithful. The pre-match entertainment was split between laughing at each successive mug staggering in looking wetter than the last and betting on whether Coops’ hair colour would start to run; unfortunately someone then spotted the teams taking the pitch and we felt duty bound to go and watch.

The pitch was somewhat damp by this stage, and the onset of even heavier rain made conditions atrocious for the first 20 minutes. During this period, despite the presence of several reserves in the team we looked a good side and Quinn scored a header from a corner and SSK curled a beautiful 30-yarder around the keeper for a 2-0 lead. After the rain eased the pitch began to drain a little and play got more bogged down up until half-time. The second half, even though the Dons were now kicking downstream, preceded to make a damp squib look like a Chinese New Year celebration, and apart from some substitutions nothing happened until we slacked off at the end and let them pull one back with a nice chipped finish.

On with the show ….

Plus points: We won, and we didn’t appear to suffer any pre-final injuries.

Minus points: Dull as fuck and wetter than Mrs Slocombe’s pussy.

The referee’s a……: man in black with a whistle. Rather surprisingly good, didn’t call him a wanker at all so can’t complain after Saturday’s “efforts”

Them: Friendly as ever, although the “NGU say Congratulations for being champions, comiserations for the cup” posters were a little cheeky!

Crowded house: It wasn’t. Maybe 400 or so extremely hardy souls probably made up our lowest ever competitive attendance; I look forward to being able to brag about being there in about 20 years time on a futuristic guestbook in true Old Isthmian / Carshalton Womble stylee 🙂

Points to ponder: (1) Why did we play worse when some of the first team came on as subs? (2) Why can’t North Greenford unite with the rest of the place, it’s hardly that big and the Vikings (RIP) have left.

Chants would be a fine thing: (1) “we only sing when we’re swimming” to the NGU massive (well there were 7 of them, with a combined age of under a hundred and an IQ to match) (2) “Same old Wombles, taking a piss” as Martin Drake sneaked into the bushes behind the goal for a leak.

Franchise watch: Didn’t lose by the cunning ploy of not playing. If we are lucky, maybe they will try that tactic permanently soon.

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) The “leader” of the NGU massive coming up to the Wombles behind the goal and accusing “always in shorts” of having moldy legs, bringing the startled response of “I’ve been mocked by a mini-Chav”. (2) An esteemed stats man and occasional NLP journalist reminiscing about a friendly between QPR and Arbroath he once saw (yes, it was that dull a game). “Probably the only time Arbroath played in Britain” – and we thought 70 miles to MK was a long move.

Anything else? Not a lot to be honest; however I dress this up you didn’t miss much.

So, was it worth it? Probably. No, make that possibly. No, ask me again when I finally dry off …

In a nutshell: Did I mention it rained a lot?

See you all for the PCC cup final, where “normal” service should be resumed…