Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Refusing to be Bulwelled

Saturday 17th April - Bulwell Town (away) Won 2-1

"Two set-pieces, two goals, 2-1. Luvverly!"

I must apologise for the delay in the completion of this particular post and indeed its relative lack of content. As will become apparent in due course, my enthusiasm for the day in question has long since diminished in the wake of the subsequent allegations sent our way.
It’s ironic really that I should feel this way. It had all started so well.
A glorious spring morning, complete with blue skies and pleasant April sunshine, began with a trip to the local “Salon du Carron” for a much-needed trim. I was accompanied there and back by a bit of Mayer Hawthorne through the car stereo, with tracks like Your Easy Lovin’ simply perfect for a “cruise in the country”…

With Mrs Slush and the Slushettes bound for a day’s goldfish shopping, I was granted a relaxing Saturday morning and retained high spirits from boarding the Riding School Express in Easington right through to the end of our longest trip of the season, the Goosedale Sports Ground in Bestwood Village, home to opponents Bulwell Town.

 "Board!" (sic)

We were warmly greeted on our arrival, with the hospitality for those of us not involved in the action extending to the nearby clubhouse, where home club secretary, Mary, proved the most convivial of hosts.

Nice here innit?

As members of the nearby participating cricket teams ventured in for afternoon tea and having caught the first ten minutes of the Hull FC v Leeds Rhinos RL Challenge Cup game on the box, I finally ventured outdoors again at five to three hoping to see us extend our winning run to five.

All smiles beforehand
A hand of frienship...

I did, thanks to second half goals from Mozzer and skipper AG. However, the bare facts of a 2-1 win are rendered almost totally irrelevant by what has since been said about the game.

How high did Gav get up to miss out on that one?

And this is where I have to be careful. Although not an official Blog on behalf of EUAFC, my position within the club means that whatever I post will, rightly or wrongly, be considered the “official club line”.
All I can tell you is that due to allegations made in the wake of our trip to Bulwell, it would be unwise of me to publish my view of events here.

All hands on deck cap'n!

Instead I will restrict my observations to simply the events on the pitch, where the game ran a not too dissimilar pattern to Bulwell’s visit to Low Farm back in August.
We began brightly and created – and missed – a series of half-decent openings, the best of which saw Farny denied by keeper Ian Gillan. As so often happens, having passed up these opportunities, we were punished on the counter; Bulwell scoring through Justin Edwards-Clarke from what amounted to their first real chance!
That came two minutes before the break and was immediately followed by the first of the day’s “incidents”, which appeared to fester into the half-time interval.

The Brown Stuff

While Mack conducted a Phil Brown-style Half Time team talk on the pitch, I received news of excellent victories for both the Reserves and Casuals. There was the chance of a rare “East End Hat Trick”.

"He's gonna spill this Rodney!"

It came thanks to a solid second half showing – Mozzer’s 20-yard free-kick being followed by AG heading home the rebound of another – and against the backdrop of a double sending-off for the hosts; goal-scorer Edwards-Clarke seeing red on the hour and team-mate Gregory Coleman receiving his marching orders in injury-time.
The events that followed the final whistle will no doubt be argued about countless times in the future. What shall not be disputed is that it was these incidents and my extreme concerns over what might happen next that prompted me to apologise to Mary Duffy for the fact that we could not accept the traditional offer of post-match hospitality. Her response left me dumbstruck.


Still, one upshot of having to find another place for post-match refreshments was that it took us to the superb Horse & Groom pub in nearby Linby. A large village pub in the traditional mould with a spacious car park and beer garden out back, seating out front and – most importantly – a fine selection of cask ales – it was “Perfick!”

Shaken not stirred

I chose Everards Sunchaser and Greene King IPA for my tipple, not quite having the time to explore further a list that also included Abbot Ale and Bombardier. Sitting out front exchanging small-talk with the assembled locals proved the perfect way to take stock of what had just gone on, with some of the younger lads in the squad still looking a tad shaken.

We'll laugh about this in years to come...perhaps not

From the pub it was to nearby Hucknall where the nearest Chippy benefited from seventeen hungry mouths coming through its door.
With the bus suitably loaded for the trip home we headed back up the M1 – shaken but not stirred.

Thanks to Burt G for the photography

No comments: