The first day always brings excitement, anticipation and a few nerve jangling moments along the way. And today was no exception. I am of course talking about the Olympic boxing. Despite some iffy refereeing, it seems like the Cubans, Russians and Khazakstanis will be collecting the metal disks at the end (keep an eye out for a Khaszak called Shumenov Beibut who outclassed the Polish guy in the light heavyweight today. He’ll be the one who loses in the next round now I’ve jinxed him). Two things strike me : one, why do boxers always shake hands and hug each other when they’ve just spent the last half an hour beating the shit out of each other? And secondly, why do two of the strongest boxing nations going – UK and Ireland – have a mere four boxers competing? Cuba on their own have double that. You can’t tell me that some of the dossholes around London or Dublin don’t have the next world class champion or Audley Harrison in their gyms….
The football? Oh, that. Well, it was a case of carrying on where we left off, and Spanners 5 Nuts and Bolts 1 had a definite feel of CCLness about it. It certainly had a CCL crowd of 3095, which down the hAE was pretty claustrophobic. And I’m sure Phillo and the police told you not to change ends at HT. You naughty people. The game. We started off pretty brightly, coming close on a couple of occasions. However, this is Ryman 1, not the CCL. A free kick to them, some slack defending and bam. 0-1. Cue much gnashing of teeth, more than a few shouts of “he was fucking offside you cunt” and me trying to think of how I was going to write a defeat up without people killing themselves.
What I did write down on the SW19 notepad (swiped from Hilton Los Angeles Airport, for you fact fans) was “Good wake up call”. And so it proved, for two minutes later, a bit of a scramble and up popped the much maligned Richard Butler. 1-1, and the PA tune of hallejuha never quite felt so apt. This spured us on in a giant spuring type manner, and came the storm. Another attack, ball bounced to Jamie Taylor who sweetly volleyed it. 2-1. More pressure, and a corner. Swung in, header back and bam. Steve Butler making it 3-1. It felt CCL like again, as though we’d somehow got relegated back without us knowing. Half time came and went, and soon it was 4-1, with about 3 of our players deciding whether to take a shot or not. Up popped the much maligned Richard Butler. Do you think that it will now stop the professional moaners about him and comparing him to KC? No, neither do I. Finally, the best till last : outside the area, Jamie Taylor, nice curve and 5-1. Already on the next end of season DVD, and they’ve only just bought out the last one.
And that, as they say, was that….
Plus points: Win. 5 goals. Almost embarrasing. Good performances by all. Good to see the much maligned Richard Butler get goals and a good reception when he went off. And for JS coming on, and looking like he’s putting it about a bit more. Looking as dominant in R1S as we did in the CCL.
Minus points: Conceding.
The referee’s a……: They told us it would be different. They told us it would be fairer. They told us that in the land of the bigger boys the teachers would be more just, truthful and integral. They told us that in the Ryman, the referees would be better. They were wrong. Very wrong. Too wrong…
Them: About 30 of them came down, in scarves and shirts. As somebody said to me before the game, it’s clear we’ve gone up a level as our opponents sell merchandise. Lovely kit, I don’t think. Unsure if they’re one of the better teams in the R1S, but they’re probably on a par with the best CCL club. One thing for sure, I doubt if it’ll be as easy as this each week.
We are the goon squad and we’re coming to town, beep beep: Something strikes me about our coppers. They seem interested in the football. The two near me were talking about Chessington and Hove (sic) last season, with the mini riot and something about changing rooms. In fact, one was overheard saying “Even I saw that” in response to an over-zealous challenge. Makes a change*
* – OK, cheap shot. The police generally do a good job, and as Richie Rich said in Filthy, Rich and Catflap, next time you get in trouble, call an alternative comedian.
Bang, bang, bang on the door, baby: Drums usually suck at games, they’re the sort of thing that Sucker AM find funny. And there are plenty of things funnier than Sucker AM, like constipation. Well, today, two known persons bought these instruments in, and started playing them. Started off much in the way intended, then the chants went “stick your fucking drum up your arse”. Then, comes something that should go in Truth… but deserves its own section. The West Bank, for once being vocal, did a rendition of Little Drummer Boy. And it went on for quite a while. In fact, it started taking on a life of its own, with pro-AFCW lyrics being created on the fly. And they say there’s no humour in football anymore.
Song Sung Blue: As said before, the West Bank were in good voice for once. A nice set of anti-Kent/Ashford/pikey references not seen this side of Gillingham. “Wheels on your house go round and round” is still class even to this day. I understand the “We are going up” ditties. After all, we’ve only got nine more months to go
Point to ponder: Why didn’t Steve Butler have the SI logo on his shirt?
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) I will never listen to Little Drummer Boy in quite the same way again. (2) Extraordinary amount of wasps about. What use is a wasp anyway? They don’t produce honey, they don’t eat other creatures that might annoy us, like spiders do. They just sort of meander about menacingly, getting in your way for no reason at all and drone like hell. Like a Franchise fan in fact. (3) Signs up at the hAE toilets for male, female and disabled. At least if Bryan Robson ever found himself at KM he’d finally know which one was the ladies* (4) Why are Ashford called Nuts and Bolts? (5) Sub boards. Finally.
* – for the uninitiated, Bryan Robson was arrested in the 1980s for being caught in a ladies toilet in a nightclub, trousers down his ankles etc etc. Not the only time he got injured in the tackle.
Franchise watch: And more back to where we were a couple of months ago. Lost 2-1 to Swindon. No idea how many gimps went down to Wiltshire, but here’s a rough guestimate : if the amount of their fans turning up today were in the Olympic opening cermony, waving their Republic of Milton Keynes flag, the Solomon Isles contingent would be pissing themselves at how small their turnout was.
Anything else? Yeah, noticed that Ivor’s company isn’t doing the programme printing anymore…
So, was it worth it? New season, new division, same old results? Nah…
In a nutshell: We are going up.