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A Touch of Frost

Well, what a complete and utter fucking farce….

I’m not going to bother with any sort of match action from Tooting and Mitcham tonight. We were 1-0 down apparently (I was sensibly in the bar when the goal went in), and despite quite a plethora of first teamers out there (including Jon Main, Pullen, Kennedy and Judge), we were, well, meh.

It was one of those half-hearted teams where the real top players don’t bust a gut, the fringers are too short of proper match time to make a difference, and the youngsters are thrown in at the deep end without any armbands. In short, a typical Senior Cup game.

We needed a really comprehensive performance, but when you see TB having a cup of tea 20 minutes beforehand in the bar, you know it was going to be one of those nights. Sort of a glorified training session, only not quite so much fun. Maybe just being there was punishment enough for Saturday? You do wonder what the point of putting these sorts of teams out is – the first teamers aren’t going to go full pelt, and it’s a sort of mish-mash. The fact we were losing is as bad as it sounds, but not that surprising…

If the game was forgettable, the outright farce of the whole event wasn’t. First things first – £10 for a London Senior Cup game is a complete joke. And a fucking one at that. Did they have to employ extra stewards? Did Mitcham Police send 100 coppers for the Merton derby? Or was it a case of, T&M is local enough for plenty of people and they’ll pop along anyway? I think I know the answer, especially as close to 500 turned up.

Needless to say, and I know this is a contentious point for many, we weren’t offered any ticket stubs. So, you were on your own if the game got called off. This is what pissed people off afterwards – you paid £10 to get into a minor cup competition, and depending on the LSC committee we’ll probably end up paying it again. And let’s face it, we all know that most people will turn up again to a contest that isn’t so far away from your doorstep.

That is assuming there is a replay. We await the actual ruling on this, though a quick glance at the FA’s rulebook doesn’t state what happens if a game is called off after a certain time – will this count as a 1-0 loss? Do we replay? Do we stand naked in the middle of Morden High Street, playing a game of Scissors/Paper/Rock? At time of writing, it’s due to be a replay apparently, though we await official confirmation of that.

We never seen to have much joy in senior cup competitions as it is. We all remember the grief over the Slurrey Senior, especially when we were made to play that Met Police game when the organisers knew damn well we were getting chucked out. Lest we forget Coney Hall, with the most dangerously inept bit of “security” I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness in 25+ years of sports watching. And now this.

It’s not so much down to the actual reason why the game was called off. SW19 Towers was pretty frost-bitten this morning, and one corner of the pitch (where your editor spent the second half) was pretty slippery. Reportedly, the pitch wasn’t playable anyway according to one of our players, and the ref was told, but he still let the fixture go ahead anyway. Remember that game from the Ryman days when one of our players did a nasty injury in the warmup on a frozen pitch (Billy Rickay IIRC)? Plus ca change, as they’ve never said in Tooting.

What is worth pointing out by the way, is that according to one of the T&M players, those with studs were still upright whilst those with moulds on their boots were slipping over. Whether it was called off because of the hardness of the ground I don’t know, but if some players were OK and some weren’t…?

I’d like to think for any replay that T&M offer free entry or a reduced entry fee of about £3 (fiver at the absolute maximum). I’d certainly like to think that in a similar situation we’d do the same, and chances are we probably would. They may argue that they would lose money on something that ultimately wasn’t their fault. Fair enough, but they did all right out of us tonight, and if it’s a low entry fee for any replay, they may get more people in and therefore more money.

Anyway, there will be plenty of more bitching and moaning about this. At least it will distract us from how crap we were…

Oh, and Monty is out for 8 months after his Wrexham exploits. Who the fuck has been shagging witches at AFCW?