Thursday, 11 November 2010

Now that's more like it!

Saturday 6th November - FC Brimington (home) Won 4-0

A Flying Thommohawk!

Oh that's been so long coming. Yes I know Brimington have got problems at the moment - manager gone, lengthy injury list, reluctance to travel - and I know it wasn't a complete performance by any means - we still allowed our concentration to slip at what could have been crucial times - but by 'eck it wasn't half good to see us pass the ball as we can (at times), play with a smile on our faces (at times) and score some cracking goals in the process.  And it provided a fine end to another interesting week.

To add further complications to my normal ethic of trying not to let work interfere with my social life, not only did I have the obligatory match programme to produce ahead of FCB's visit but "Design Guru" Andy's work commitments in Holland meant that it would be a Friday night turnaround (i.e. we would have about four hours max to layout, proof read, touch-up and finalise...and Friday was "Bonfeer Neet"!)
In addition, I also had the delayed management meeting, taking place on the Wednesday, while at work there was the long-awaited office move.  It was shaping up to be a hectic week.

One of the biggest concerns for over our office move was the loss of internet radio facility (such luxuries/distractions are frowned upon by certain bodies within the terminal).  Although, given the topics dominating Five Live's news over the early part of the week, to deprive us of it might have been a godsend; it was enough to prompt one of the station's listeners to text: "We're joining forces with the French, prisoners are getting the vote and two women want to marry each other. I'm off back to bed!"  Quite.

Thankfully, the nature of our new abode has allowed us to continue to keep up with world events, enjoy quality (and not such quality) music and of course cricket matches from around the world.  Along with Twitter it also gives me plenty of scope to rant on topics as diverse as FIFA's approach to corruption within their own body, David Reeves' choice of tracks on his local radio "Golden Years" and  Polly Toynbee's views on...well, just about anything really!
Such things really help the working day go by just that little bit quicker.

I trust this won't be the only First Team pic we ever see with Pagey on it!

Wednesday night brought me to our much-anticipated management meeting  (held at The Haven Arms) at which we discussed a whole manner of things felt to be currently  undermining the running of the club.  Such small, informal gatherings usually bring about honest talk and this proved the case with some salient points being raised.  I returned home feeling the three hours had proved very productive...and the beer of choice (Vale Brewery Co. Best Bitter) wasn't half bad either.

He can't...
He can...

He has!

In almost a role reversal of recent trends, Dave had assembled a decent looking squad for Saturday's home game while Reserves boss Kev was looking at a glut of absentees for his team's East Riding Senior Country Cup trip to holders Riccall United.
Thankfully, matters were eased somewhat by Howden AFC 4ths' resignation from the County League on Thursday.  This meant that the Casuals' scheduled game in Division 5 was now off and therefore more players would be freed up should Kev require them.  It also meant that the Casuals had gone back up to third, with all their main rivals having points taken off them as Howden's six defeats to date were all expunged.  "Nowt to this management lark" posted Casuals boss Maccer, which given his side's defeat to bottom club Brandesburton and the lengthy debate he'd prompted at the previous night's meeting made me smile...a lot!
Thursday also brought the local "tradition" of Mischief Night.  We escaped unscathed (perhaps the weather put them off coming up this far) and the following night saw a Slush family outing to the fireworks display at Skeffling (already blogged).

Our Romanian goalkeeper

And so to match day.  I must admit I never fail to be in a good mood on a Saturday morning in the football season (well, almost never!).  There's just something about it, the anticipation of what's to follow that afternoon.  Even when it's "daft o'clock", pitch black and I've got to sort the Slushettes out before heading off to work to run off 60 match programmes.
Although I've read and re-read the publication umpteen times before it goes to print, I still enjoy browsing through the first completed issue to come off the copier that morning.  I allowed myself a smile when glancing at FC Brimington's squad list on the back - it's one of the few that compares with ours in terms of numbers (most teams opting just to send the names of the 14-16 players likely to be involved).
I've touched on the origins of the visitors in a previous post.  However, after a first season of what can perhaps be termed under-achievement (final placing 6th) they happen to look a better bet for promotion this term.
Or rather they did until a recent hiccup in form, which has seen three defeats, numerous injuries and the loss of chairman/manager Cliff Thomas from his matchday role due to other commitments has upset the applecart slightly.  Still, we aren't exactly pulling up any trees this term.  We would be treating our opponents with the utmost respect...

This particular Saturday I also had the added responsibility of the Elder Slushette's Dance Class to contend with for the first time since the "new term" commenced.  I shouldn't complain...but usually do.  Mrs Slush takes the Elder Slushette to swimming & Brownies on Monday, football training (oh yes!) on Tuesday and now a junior Youth Club on a Wednesday.  Suppose I ought to show a bit of willing by helping out at the weekends!


Two Nil on two cameras

The knock-on effect of this added activity on the Slush Soccer Saturday timetable was a trip down to the ground straight from my "early shift" in the office to put out the afternoon's strip, balls, bottles etc.  I was finishing up just as Groundsman Brim - and this weekend's appointed assistant, wife Carol - rolled up, ready to sort out the necessary ropes and stakes.  I'm pretty certain Brim would have liked to know the day's team news.  But I didn't really have time and Carol ensured he didn't either - "Don't stop talking, let's be on, I've got Coffee Morning at ten."  Ooh, it's  a hive of activity is Esinton on a Setherday morning!

Synchronised camerawork on the third goal

I enjoyed that!

And so did Man Mountain!

Matchday at the Farm, you can't beat it...especially when you win. Of course not everybody enjoyed the day.  Poor old Pagey's first team debut lasted all of 2 minutes (well, five then if you include the time it actually take for him to leave the field).  A broken finger sustained in Brimington's first attack curtailed the chance for him to shine and thus ensure Chaz's wait to come back lasts longer than just one game!
With Frosty (aka "the Romanian refugee" as one observer somewhat acidly described him) donning the gloves I'll admit to having a slight sense of apprehension.  Not only was I not sure of the sub's goalkeeping pedigree but I was worried we would miss the pace and goal threat he could bring outfield.  I needn't have worried.  It was his opposite number, Adam Valente, who would be by far the busier...and come up with the vital error.
There looked to be little threat when Mozzer let fly from 25 yards but sonehow Valente got his angles all wrong and the ball ended up in the net.  17 minutes gone and one up, just what we needed.  By the break it would be three.
Andy M headed the second from a Chav free-kick before Man Mountain made it 3-0, applying the finishing touch after Valente had beaten out Chav's initial shot.

Thommo lets fly...

But this time Valente's equal to it

Before the break the FCB keeper would go some way to restoring his reputation with a full-length stop to deny Thommo from 30 yards.
Our number nine should have done better with another chance presented moments afterwards but he was then in the right place at the right time to convert Andy M's cross-come-shot 6 minutes into the second half.  Four up, game won.

The coup de grace!

If Saturday mornings are enjoyable, Saturday evenings on the back of a win are even more so.  And this being Bonfire weekend it meant only one thing - a family gathering at  the In-Laws.  And an excellent one at that.  We had fireworks (which really pleased the Younger Slushette!), we had fodder (courtesy of the finest meat pies from Jones The Butcher and even finer homemade fruit pies) and we had fun (thanks in part to a previously unseen episode of Dad's Army featuring another Jones The Butcher?!).  Throw in a little alocohol and some convivial chat and there was enough light-heartedness around to ensure that even news of another barren afternoon for The Tigers couldn't spoil things.
All-in-all the day had acted as the perfect send-off ahead of my impending two weeks away from the First Team scene... 
Oh, and as you might gather, I'm on a bit of an electro trip at the moment.  Enjoy!

Thanks to Colin & Burt for the photographs; 
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