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Much needed glass of Claret

Before we start, more on the sodding ineligible player saga. I did a little bit of late night research and just figured something if JD is the guilty one.

(disclaimer for all of the below. I am no lawyer. I am only making layman assumptions here. I won’t be held (legally) responsible if I get any of this wrong. I will of course claim 100% of the credit if I get it right)

Basically if JD signed for us from another club in the 2006/07 season we could be buggered. This is exactly what happened with Altrincham (read this to check the timeline). However, and perhaps very importantly, he didn’t. JD left Cardiff on the 8th May 2006, and agreed terms with us in November. In effect, he was out of the game for six months, rendering himself a free agent when he joined us.

And this is where it would get horribly technical – does being out of contract (and therefore registration to a club, or in short “inactive”) for that amount of time void this international clearance lark? The FA’s website on it is as much use as a condom in the Vatican for finding out that info, and it won’t let me download the full regulations. Though it helpfully tells us that one “window” for normal transfers is up to 31st August, two and a bit months after JD joined us. Confused? Let’s hope the club aren’t. This could get messy.

What’s telling is that JD played yesterday. For those thinking that we’ve gone and sought IC (fed up with writing it properly) pretty damn quick may like to know that it’s the FA who have to seek it on our behalf. And I can’t see us effectively admitting guilt by doing that. I can’t see us risking a further three points either…

Personally, I’m far more inclined to think that it’s PL, especially considering the rumour currently doing the rounds that it was Fi$her grassing us up. I can well imagine them doing that, having heard what one or two of their board think about us at first hand. Without them knowing, obviously 😉 And there is still a great deal of tall poppy syndrome about…

It would make life a lot less fraught if it was PL. There, the worst that could happen would be that we’re chucked out of the FAT. Whether it’ll anger or depress us I don’t know – if yesterday was anything to go by it would rile us up – but we could make shitloads on t-shirts that said “AFCW : Unbeaten in the FA Trophy 2006/07”.

There is a third, under-the-radar, option – Wes Daly. Something to do with suspensions I think. Forget where I heard it, or what the ins/outs of it are, but again being chucked out of the FAT is the worst that can happen. It does seem that people are taking the worst possible option and treating it as a given. I think it’s only happened once (Altrincham) and as explained above, their circumstances aren’t the same as what ours would be. Ours is a bit more grey-area.

Usually when this happens, it’s either expulsion from the competition (almost always a cup) or a replay. It’s almost unheard of in the league. And I believe when Bury got done earlier this year, it was their second such offence. Rules may be rules, but I bet a lot of it comes down to how much the FA “likes” you. Which needless to say could cause us grief…

The problem is of course that because the club won’t squeak over this, the rumours range from the plausible, to the semi-plausible, to the unlikely to the ones as espoused by crack smokers. Me, I think we’re in trouble because somebody has spelt Roscoe’s surname wrongly.

All of this has unfairly detracted from perhaps the best result of the season. Yup, Claret 0 Chardonnay 3, and they were lucky to get nil. Well, maybe not, but at times it was hard to tell who was 2nd and who was 9th.

OK, there were spells that we looked shaky in defence, but when Roscoe went and scored (a bit unexpectedly TBH) that kind of kicked the stuffing out of them. And despite being made to walk out early for the second half, if anything we got stronger. I dare anyone to look at Donsonline and not be impressed by SG’s composure. Can’t remember if he’s one of our products or not, but thank fuck we’ve got him on contract.

Want any more? Here’s…

Plus points: Steve Goddard. Taking the sting out of the game. Pressing forward even when 1-0 up. Ability to kill game off – and they knew it.

Minus points: Collective fan minds not 100% on game.

The referee’s a……: Shortarse. Seriously, he looked like somebody who would hang around dodgy ex-pat bars in Southern Spain, having just “done a deal” with a couple of friends of his. Not too bad, though any player who argued with him would have been found mysteriously killed in a car accident that night.

Them: Chelmsford are what WFC would have been had we not gone up into the league. I didn’t realise just how well supported they used to be. Their ground is weird though – it felt like a pre-season tournament in Austria (the sort they show on Eurosport), even down to the Germanic-type buildings behind the big stand. Still, they’re back in Chelmsford, and that will outweigh any and all inconveniences. As for their team, is this really the same mob that pissed all over us a couple of weeks ago?

Point to ponder: Doesn’t this just make Worthing feel all the more worse? What this does prove though is how we can bounce back from our own misfortune. In fact, this isn’t the first time – after all, we lost at Billy Ricky, and then did Aldershot.

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Their mascot, which looked like a Lunn Poly promotional outfit. No wonder they got bought out by TUI. Seemed to show as much energy as Chelmsford’s players anyway. (2) Their ball boys must be fit. Just imagine them having to rescue kicked footballs by doing 50 metre dashes all the time.

Anything else? Sorry to bang on about the albatross currently around our neck, but three Wombles were handing out flyers repeating the OS story on Friday. Good to see. I was however made aware of a story where one individual took one look at the flyer and immediately had a go at…. wait for it……. DA. Yup, you read that right. And you wonder why I get fed up with the reaction every time we don’t win.

So, was it worth it? I’m sure getting four points out of Worthing and Chelmsford is well worth it. Just didn’t expect it in the order it came in.

In a nutshell: Let’s hope Thursday is as kind to us as yesterday was.