Easington United 3 FC 05 Bilsthorpe 2
A red line. An annoying red line, running the full length of every page towards the back end of the programme. If that wasn't frustrating enough, the soundtrack to the hour or so spent copying them was the internet commentary of the Dullers strolling to an all-too-easy victory over Les Catalans in Super League.
It was Friday night. Friday. Night. At one time - admittedly many moons since - I wouldn't have been anywhere other than in a public house on a Friday night. And even though those times have gone, I still wouldn't normally be seen anywhere near my place of work at such a time.
But here I was, shuttling between two deserted offices, taking freshly printed copies of our superb (even if I say so myself) 2011/12 match programme from the printer in one and collating them in another. Yes, dear reader/supporter/player, this is the sort of commitment I currently give to Easington United Association Football Club. Sad b______d.
As such, to have the finished copy carrying such an unsightly "scar" running through every issue really did leave me in something of a foul mood ahead of our season's opener the following day.
Thank Gav it didn't last.
In our short time in the CML FC 05, or FC 05 Bilsthorpe to give them their new, official moniker, have become something of a bogey side for us. Three draws and a defeat in our four meetings thus far, meaning we had something to go at on a fine summer afternoon at the Farm.
Personable manager Neil Whitten and his lads were there in good time, enabling us to exchange many a pleasantry prior to kick-off. Meanwhile, the new-look management set-up clicked into gear, with Nicho putting the lads through their paces, while Mack and Ian went to work plotting an opening day win.
To add to my dissatisfaction with the programme, our new kit was also taking that bit longer to arrive than first hoped. Therefore, the trusty old Gazette number was once again laid out - to universal disapproval from the boys!
Our opponents were also unhappy with our colours - a potential clash had meant they too were donning a historic number (or "shit kit" as such items are generally referred to by players who believe they deserve better).
And so, at 1.55pm on Saturday, 13th August 2011 the players of Easington United and FC 05 Bilsthorpe emerged from the changing rooms to make their debut in the new Black Dragon North Division of the (Provisional) Step 7 Central Midlands Football League. Ooh, what a mouthful.
Unfortunately, for 45 minutes, it was difficult to interpret what we were watching as something "new". As our lads huffed and puffed against well-organised opponents, a fairly turgid goalless half unfolded; with the notable exception of Frosty striking the bar, Chav missing a(nother) penalty and the problems caused by the visitors' new-look striking duo of Black and Prudance.
|Never mind AG's header, Farny's down...penalty ref!|
Half-time brought many of the healthy-sized opening crowd to the Tea Hut, where Judy began her nine-month-long impersonation of Private Hook fedning off the Zulus at Rorke's Drift. Not surprisingly the main topic of conversation appeared to be the penalty. I hoped this wouldn't be so at the end of ninety minutes.
Thankfully it wasn't. Further details of the action can be found here but, suffice to say, an entertaining second half was capped by a sublime winner from the boot of Gav. In keeping with the quality that had gone before? Probably not. Harsh on the visitors? Perhaps. A good 3pts to win? Oh yes.
As I waited to settle up with our three match officials, news of the 3pts that Super Matty Fryatt had earned for The Tigers at Portman Road further fuelled the "feel good factor", as did a fine pint of Tetleys in the Granby.
It was just after 6pm when I arrived home, to be greeted by Mrs Slush, the Younger Slushette and a fish supper courtesy of Newton's of Patrington. The unsightly red line on the programme was a distant memory. Fish & Chips and 3pts at football. Ee, life doesn't get much better than this...
Thanks to Burt Graham for the pictures