Friday, 12 March 2010

A Casuals Affair

Saturday 6th March - Afternoon
Easington Utd Casuals 2 Eastern Raiders 3

Where's the Hoppers gone?

The Bonanza may have moved on but there was still football to be found at Low Farm last Saturday afternoon. 
But enough of the impromptu kids game taking place on the main arena (see next post), it was to the intimidating atmosphere of the "Pitch Across the Ditch" that I was headed where awaiting me was "Ted Hankey", a skunk and a strange fluffy thing protruding from Awd Threv's arse pocket...

World Cup Fever hitsEasington early -
the Cross of St George and daft-twat haircuts!

Accompanied by the Elder Slushette (who I managed to drag away from the Kids playground at the back of the pub), Manager Mack (& son) and AG, I arrived at the “Pitch across the Ditch” with the Casuals 1-2 down in their clash against Goole side Eastern Raiders.
By all accounts - well the manager's at any rate - this after a first half in which they had again been punished for not making early superiority count. But at least Rich Clubley had kept them in touch with a goal before the break.
The visitors were a young, enthusiastic side, new to the league and scenting promotion. This sometimes breeds a type of confidence that doesn’t sit well against players at the opposite end of either the age scale (like the manager, skipper Threv and fellow veterans Biff & Clarkey) or weight scale (like Steve “Ted Hankey” Ward and Danny "Passionate" Campbell).

Steve Ward

The home mood was further darkened when the referee allowed a decisive third goal despite the scorer being at least a “Hankey Overhang” beyond the last man when latching onto the pass.  Thankfully he did manage to see the blatant handball employed by the skunk-like No.8 to "score" what would have been a killer fourth.  (Mind you, even I did and my vision was, by this time, seriously impaired.)

"The Passionate One" and a shy, retiring opponent

To their credit United rolled up their sleeves and made a fist of it (literally in some cases!) with Rutter’s long awaited return from injury adding a touch of, er, something, to the midfield.

"Handball you cheating little skunk!"

After Langfield had kept them in it with two superb saves another recent returnee, the aforementioned Clarke, gave hope of only the locals’ 7th point of the season with a neat finish inside the far post. But when Kurt Johansson’s 3ft frame couldn’t quite extend itself to meet Rutter’s cross cleanly, their last chance had gone.

Ted (with hankey, far left) and company repel another Eastern Raid

Despite defeat confirming their place at the bottom, there was the usual buoyant mood in the home camp as we reconvened to The Granby; perhaps not surprising as most of these players grew up getting beat on a weekly basis while wearing EUAFC shirts. And after bribing the elder Slushette to tell her Mum “Daddy’s only had two beers”, I imbibed three pints of a surprisingly nice Manns Chestnut Mild (while launching another futile attempt to convince the Landlady and Bar Manager Hankey that the future lies in casks).

The only thing the Skipper had in his back pocket all afternoon

While reports of the Reserves’ reverse at Reckitts completed another disappointing day on the County League front, I got the feeling that it would take more than a few setbacks to stop this set of lads donning green & gold for a few more Saturdays to come.  If not they could always turn to darts...

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