Monday, 25 April 2011

Outshone by The Shiners

Tuesday 5th April - Easington Utd Reserves 4 Long Riston Reserves 1
Saturday 9th April - South Normanton Athletic (home) Lost 0-3

Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful, somewhat in contrast to what had gone the day before.  And I don't just mean the debacle that had been the Thorne Colliery game.  The back pages and sports bulletins were all dominated by the outcry following Wayne Rooney's profanities into a TV camera after scoring at West Ham.  Meanwhile City's home defeat by Millwall had appeared to scuppered the Play-Off dreams...again.  
Thankfully, the Slushettes had been invited to a birthday party, which helped take  thoughts away from the not-so-Beautiful Game.
Sunday evening brought an episode of Countryfile with a really local flavour.  It focused on the Yorkshire Wolds, with a particularly interesting piece on the Kiplingcotes Derby, said to be the oldest flat race in England.  With a new series of Lewis and the cracking Waking The Dead to follow, it was a struggle to squeeze in my "fix" of Q The 80s.  A burst of The Primitives and an all-time fave from Prefab Sprout ensured I probably got to hear the best bits.
Monday, and another change of listening habits.  A new afternoon slot on 6 Music for Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie offered a decent way of helping the afternoon pass.  Especially when The Pogues' Sally MacLennane featured on their opening playlist.  "What the fuck is this?" from those around me in the office ensured I'd made the right choice.  Philistines. 
By the end of the week, The Waterboys' Whole of the Moon and On Melancholy Hill by Gorillaz would also bring a thumbs-up from this listener.  Along with the rapport between the co-presenters of course.

"The next round is that way"
Tuesday brought the first midweek football of the season to Low Farm, with the Stiffs entertaining Long Riston Reserves as they began their defence of the League President's Trophy (the H. E. Dean Cup).
This was a second round tie.  While the locals had benefited from Skirlaugh's concession, visitors Long Riston had earned their trip to the Humber Riviera by virtue of a penalty shootout win at Withernsea Reserves a week earlier.
The two sides had met at the quarter-final stage last year. In a feisty encounter at Main Street, the Stiffs had completed a comfortable 5-1 win but had seen Frosty sent off along with two members of the home side.
Ironically, one of the two in question was in the line-up again this evening...and was due to mark the aforementioned Frost who gained a place when Kev only had nine players at his disposal come the scheduled kick-off time.
Believe it or not this led to the goal...Burt missed it.
Attending the game in an unofficial capacity allowed me to stroll in some ten minutes after kick-off. Apparently I'd already missed goalkeeper Duggie keep out one excellent early chance for the visitors.
On 10mins Riston's defence failed to deal with a corner and Guisseppi - Joe for short - Pontone fired the Stiffs ahead from close range.  And by half-time we were three to the good, Fozzy curling home a cracking free-kick and Frosty latching on to a fine Stumo pass to make it 3-0.
He scores them...

...He saves them
When Frosty added his second shortly after the interval, the Stiffs appeared to be cruising through; thankfully with the visitors not resorting to the "robust" response of last season.   Instead, they actually seemed to step up a gear and, after several close shaves, they scored via a decent free-kick.  They then got a penalty (rather fortuitously in my view) for which Brettles received a yellow (rather harshly in my view) but which Duggie saved (rather easily in my view).  And they also found time to hit the post before Referee McLane blew for time.  We were through.
Duggie sees another clean sheet go for a Riston!
More blue skies and George Benson's Never Give Up On A Good Thing had me in a cracking mood come Wednesday.  
In more melancholy vein, Matthew Rudd brought us - via Twitter - John Medd's piece on the demise of Boothferry Park's once-magnificent floodlights.  The pylons had come down the previous Saturday and along with them disappeared "the final visible evidence that football was ever played there".  A sad day, also captured perfectly by Marcus Dysch in his fine Daring To Dream blog. 
Boothferry Park means nothing to the Elder Slushette but on Tuesday she was part of a school party visit to the KC Stadium.  Lucky little devil.  She came back "full of it", quoting facts and figures about the stadium in addition to taking some delight in pointing out that "Tigers' changing room is much bigger than the Black & Whites".  That's my girl.
It was a big week for daughter number one as Thursday (7th) brought her eighth birthday.  The day also marked 22 years since Mum died.  Our adoption of Mary as my first-born's middle name cements this poignant link between the two events.

Where a most Yorkshire of Yorkshiremen enjoys his tea
Both sets of grandparents accompanied us to the Crown & Anchor at Kilnsea for tea.  It was actually the Elder Slushette's decision to go there, although I'm sure Mrs Slush thought I'd prompted her!  As it was, the Timothy Taylor Landlord was on its usual fine form, as were the views across the Humber of a perfect early April sunset.
I'd mentioned how much I was looking forward to our choice of tea venue earlier in the day on Twitter.  This had prompted a reply from one of my "followers" to state, "i think u are definitely the most Yorkshire of Yorkshiremen I've ever met".  Possibly the nicest thing anyone's ever written about me!
Talking of Yorkshiremen, Friday witnessed the start of the County Championship season and the Tykes looking to make amends for their last-match failure in 2010.  With Jacques Rudolph having not been replaced, it was a mainly homegrown side that began the season down at New Road, Worcester.  
For me it meant the start of another summer spent in the company of Dave Callaghan and his online cricket commentary colleagues from around the country, one of whom - Notts' Dave Bracegirdle - offered this downbeat assessment of the White Rose chances.
Adil Rashid soon helped put such a pessimistic prediction to the back of one's mind; Worcester being dismissed for 286 on the first day.

And so to Saturday and the visit of the league leaders.  A chance for us to avenge our worst defeat of the season, which came back in October, as well as putting last weekend's horror show to bed. Ha-hem.

Ooh, needed that. Shiners keeper Baker relieves some pre-match tension
It helps in games like this if you have a full complement of players, who are all fully focused on the task in hand.  That didn't happen and we were punished for it.
Two goals conceded before the break - courtesy of Shiners top scorer Adam Nicholls' 31st of the season and Andy White's 20th - put us firmly on the back foot.
For our part, Man Mountain drilled wide and The Skipper was similarly off-target, while Frosty couldn't quite latch onto a free-kick at the far stick.

"Ave it!"
There was better news from the County League squad's two o'clock kick-offs coming through during the break, with the Stiffs recording a vital 2-1 win at AFC Rovers and the Casuals a fine 1-0 success at fellow hopefuls South Cave 3rds.

Skanking Mountain
But any hopes of a second half fightback at the Farm were soon quashed by Matt Phillips' close range finish.  
We continued to huff and puff and Normo keeper James Baker produced a decent stop to keep out a Kempy free-kick.  But there was a sense of inevitability about the whole thing. 


This would have been my fave sequence...had the goal stood!
With eight minutes to go Gav headed home but his two-handed push in the back of his marker hadn't gone unnoticed by the referee.  Our last chance of a comeback had gone.
The Elder Slushette's birthday disco at the local Youth Club meant no post-match pub for me, which was probably as well given how disappointed I was feeling with the attitude of certain players. 
My thoughts on this would have to wait for another day...

Thanks to Burt Graham and Colin Brammer for the photographs

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