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78 not out


Quick. Where’s Norris McWhirter? Oh wait, he’s dead. Never mind, get Roy Castle. Oh wait, he’s dead as well. Damn. Looks like we’ll have to sing it….. “Dedication, dedication, dedication, that’s what you need. If you want to be the best, and if you want to beat the rest, dedication’s what you need”. Cue trumpet.

No, I haven’t flipped out totally (only a matter of time though), but AFCW is now the holder of the British record for most consecutive league games without losing. 76 games now, and it’s nice that we’ve finally got something that means a lot to people. We could have very easily lost out, but thankfully when Gypsies 1 Tramps and Thieves 1 came to pass, I could feel the relief. Finally, the record is ours. To get something like that is a damn fine achievement, no matter what league you play in. OK, we came close a couple of times to buggering it up, which probably makes it all the more amazing

The scenes at the end said it all. The team staying on the pitch to applaud, the fans staying to sing “We’re proud of you”. Quite gladdening in a way.

Actually, I almost didn’t make it today. At about 2.30pm I was stuck in traffic in, of all places, Coney Hall. Now, thankfully my car doesn’t have any AFCW stickers in it, otherwise I would have had my car hijacked, the hubcaps stolen, shit smeared over the windowscreen and to add insult to injury had it painted burberry. And they would have blamed me for it as well. Sad thing is, if you were to drive through there without knowing where you were, it does look quite habitable.

I somehow made kickoff, headed towards the tea bar and spent a good 20 minutes queuing for a cuppa. And I missed their goal (Naisbitt through hands, by all accounts). And I got short changed 20p for the tea as well. Cunts.

I did see Ursell’s goal though, sort of. He turned on the edge of the box and rifled it home. Cue mass bundle, and cue me queuing up for another cup of tea (got accused today of having a caffeine addiction for some reason). This time taking about 30 minutes, lasting throughout the half time break. Still, the woman serving was sympathetic and only charged me 50p. No idea about the price of the tea though.

Second half? Um, dunno. I got the feeling we should have won it. Don’t think Bromley had much at all.


Plus points: Breaking the unbeaten record

Minus points: Should have won. Naisbitt handling as well as the Palestinians handled crowd control at Yasser Arafat’s funeral.

The referee’s a…..: Oh dear. Let the game get a bit niggly, shall we say.

Them: I hate Bromley. Correction, I fucking hate Bromley. I hate the place which takes a year to get to. I hate the small team, big attitude that descends on you when you walk into the ground. I hate the fucking pikeys that live there. I hate their poxy parking restrictions. I hate that stupid arsehole dog on the Churchill HQ. I hate… you get the idea. Put it this way, any place that makes me glad I’ve reached Thornton Heath isn’t going to get high marks from me. Oh, and it’s in Kent.

There were more stewards in the car park alone than the last game we played there, which was good of them. Plenty of cops and stewards and even a St Johns presence. No alcohol on sale during the game (thankfully) or after the game to Wombles (thankfully). Locals were usual Kent stock, a couple of Shepherd Neame inside them and they acted like yokels on a day trip to the city. Couple of them tried to take out their drinks to watch the game…. When the Cray games comes around, I’m tempted to miss it.

Radio GaGa: Listening to Spurz vs Arsenil on the way there on Radio Dive Live, and one L Sanchez was on there. You can take the man out of Wimbledon but…… he reminisced about when we beat Spurz in 1986, when he got sent off for decking tackling Graham Roberts, the 88 semi and best of all, mentioned our game today. The word, as they say, is spreading.

Point to ponder: It was mentioned to me that we were playing better because we were playing more on the ground. I wonder if a lot of the criticism aimed at the team about style of play got through? More to the point, now the record has been broken, will the team be more relaxed? If so, we are more than capable of extending the unbeaten run.

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) The farmyard (complete with work horses) by the ground. And you think I’m overdoing the pikey labelling….. (2) What was their PA bloke on? On second thoughts, do I want to know? (3) Despite the crowd figure (between 1900 and 2000), it didn’t look quite as full as the CH game. Were they counting safety officers? (4) Playing “Rule Britannia” at the end over the PA. Go figure. (5) Was Bromley really the same place where we scored our first ever goal?

Anything else? OK, be honest – don’t you feel a little twinge of disappointment that it’s Thurrock on telly tomorrow and not us? You’re probably cursing to yourself that if only we’d managed to convert one of those corners we had against them in the first half. It’s best not to worry about it – Thurrock were better than us on the day, and are more likely to cause an upset. Just look at it from this angle : give it a couple of years and we’ll have enough mettle to get into the first round proper. As tempting as it is to believe otherwise, this team and club still have a lot to learn..

So, was it worth it? Dedication’s what you need…. Sorry, what was the question?

In a nutshell: Watch us lose next game