MATCH REPORT     

 

Previously on “The Never Ending Season”

 Twenty five people in Mexico were outraged.

Andy Boy had rediscovered his goal touch

Musa Kusa had become the new Club Secretary

Safehands was the answer but we didn’t know what the question was

Friday 8th April v EK Plaza FC

at Barlia Sports Centre 2-7 (2-3)

Martin Kelly, Stuart Waugh, Calum Stewart (Calum MacDonald), John Crosbie, Ally McNaught (Arthur McCue), Andy Dick (Danny McFarlane), Paul Joyce (c), Sean Connolly (Fraser Marr), Andy McNaught (Calum Colquhoun), Ally Dick (David Blair) and Adam Walker

Another week, another controversy.

Andy Boy’s goal celebration outburst at a Mexican TV camera had become a You Tube sensation and the Club were in the dock as ever.

“This behaviour is a disgrace and should not be tolerated in a civilised society”, said Lord Bertie Barnstorm, a leading member of the General All Purposes Committee at the SFA whose job it was to outlaw any sort of enjoyment at football matches.

 

“Language like this should only be used in the factory workplace or down the mines, not on Mexican TV”, continued a clearly in touch Lord Bertie.

 Meanwhile at Holyrood Sports Centre Andy Boy approached the Manager’s Office with trepidation.

 That was Jimmy Trepidation, Andy Boy’s Manager, Agent, Chauffeur, Personal Trainer and supplier of Bird’s Eye Burgers by the dozen.

 “But Boss man, I only said “teckle”, I didnae know that wizny allowed, big man”, said Andy Boy.

  “I realise that, Andy Boy, but unfortunately in Mexico “teckle” means “Son Of A Man Who Is No Use At Bull Fighting And Refuses To Wear A Poncho”, which, as I am sure you realise, is a really, really bad insult.

 “The authorities want you banned and, to be honest, I’m not really bothered.”

 “But Boss, I luv playing for the team, luv it, and I’ve just equalled the Legendary Crosshill Goal Machine’s All Time Goal Record of nine which is pure teckle.”

 At the sound of the word “teckle” Mister C headed to the drinks cabinet for some “medicine” as he contemplated what he could do to get out of this problem.

 “How about an immediate retirement”, mused Mister C, not realising that he was thinking out loud.

 “But am only a boy and have years left in the game, big man”.

 “Not you, Machine Junior, I’ll call Club Lawyer F.Preston Dalrymple and get him to make up some story to get you off.”

 And remarkably the problem was resolved as F.Preston Dalrymple explained at a hastily arranged press conference.

 “Mr Andy Boy, y’all, has apologised to all concerned for his emotional outburst after scoring a rare goal for the team.

 “His use of the word “teckle” was not meant to offend any Mexican viewers and was only used as he has spent too much time in the company of Perth people.

 “In Perth “teckle” is used to describe the emotion of scoring a goal and is a substitute for a whole lot of English words which Perth people have difficulty saying, ye ken, y’all.”

 Another disaster averted and we could concentrate on the big game against EK Plaza FC on a bright and sunny night high on a hill top in Castlemilk.

 Unfortunately fourteenth choice keeper Dougie was still unavailable, this time as he’d flown to Mexico to clear his favourite player’s name.

 Dougie hoped to find the 25 people who complained about our star striker and took one of the photos he keeps on his bedroom wall with him in case nobody knew who he was talking about.

 

With no Dougie, Uncle Crossers being dropped after his lamentable performance against Volkswagen, and Zak Dingle stuck at the Hamilton Services, we had no obvious keeper.

 But, panic no more, who should be waiting at the famous Barlia pavilion but the famous wordsmith Safehands.

 “I’m sorry for all my mistakes in the past and I’d like another chance”, pleaded Safehands to Club Kit Man, Old Reg Winkerman who was having a fly fag outside the dressing room.

 “Okay, I’ll tell Mister C but it should be okay as we’ve nobody else.”

 There were a few changes from the Volkswagen game as Mister C had rested some of the better players, and Mad Boab, which meant that Foxy, Jazza, Craig and Miguel were in the stand rather than on the pitch.

 “Right team, we’re only playing EK Plaza FC, who we beat easily the last time, so this should be a cakewalk tonight”, said Mister C in his inspiring team talk.

 “Safehands is back in goals, that’s how easy I think this will be, and, despite nobody wanting to play the system, we’ll start with three at the back in Uncle Crossers, Tall Calum and “We Are The People” Stu.

 “It’s five in the midfield, Gary, Sean, Andy Dick Brother, Mister Joyce and Wee Whatshisname.

 “Up front are the prolific Ally Dick Brother and the cleared of all charges Andy Boy.

 “On the bench we have Arthur, Marzinho, LHD, Phil, P.Danny, recalled from his loan spell at the Car Giants, and, to show how seriously we’re taking the game, Calmac.

 “Right, everybody ready ? Reg, what time is it ?”

 Just as Mister C asked that question the dressing room door burst open and in came the world renowned singer Chico who shouted, “it’s Chico time !!”

 

Chico, aka Charlie McGhee, started singing his hit single (34 copies downloaded in the UK), “It’s Chico Time” as a group of local primary school children danced behind him.

 “This is a dream come true”, said one of the brothers in our team.

 “Yes, Ally, I wish I had brought my camera and autograph book as he’s is undoubtedly our favourite singer, and entertainer, of all time”, said Andy Dick Brother.

 “What about you, Nevilles, why aren’t you joining in ?”

 “Not our scene at all, we’re more into heavy rock”, surprisingly said Phil and Gary in unison.

 “Okay, get this clown out of here, not you Mister Buffo, but Chico”, shouted Mister C who had tried hard to stop his feet tapping away in time with the music.

 “Right today is a special day for two of the team as it’s their 50th appearance for the team, and hopefully today will be one of their better efforts for a change.

 “Well done to Safehands and Gary and they will lead the team out and down the stairs to the cauldron that is Barlia”.

 With tears in their eyes, due to a leak of ammonia from the cleaner’s cupboard, Safehands and Gary led the way but their entrance was greeted with a chorus of boos from the extremely loud and obnoxious away support who had travelled the short distance from EK.

 “Boss, I’m scared and not sure I want to go out there”, said Arthur who once again had seen a pink elephant in the crowd.

 

The team were shaken by the deafening noise and, with the failed 3-5-2 system in operation, the signs weren’t very good, particularly the ones written by the locals directing traffic to the ground.

 EK Plaza FC had been well beaten in our previous meeting but this time they were a lot quicker out the blocks and poured forward in numbers.

 Only five minutes were on the clock when Tall Cal went to clear the ball in our area and it ricocheted (no relation) off an attacker and into the net for the opener.

 Five minutes later and a through ball caught us out and we were two down before we’d even had time to get into the game.

 “Okay, it’s not working, let’s go to 4-4-2 as we only ever want to play that system”, instructed Mister C.

 “Stu go to right back, Sean Connelli left and, fingers crossed, that should do the trick.”

 No such luck as a cross ball into the middle was sliced into his own net by Tall Calum as things went from bad to worse.

 A diving save from Safehands from a volley inside the box prevented a fourth goal but it was all one way traffic.

 We were forced into a change when Andy Boy, a particular target of the boo boys, limped off and Phil Neville came on into the middle of midfield with Mister Joyce going up front to join Andy Dick Brother.

 The change brought us luck as Sean Connelli played a pass for Mister Joyce to run onto and he finished in the bottom corner to silence the away crowd.

 They were silenced again just before half time as Weewhatshisname made a burst down the left and crossed for Mister Joyce to notch his second with another low shot.

 We were in ascendancy now but the half time whistle stopped our momentum and we trooped off only one behind.

 Changes had to be made and, naturally Gary came off, along with Tall Calum, The Dick Brothers and Sean Connelli.

 For a laugh Calmac went to right back, Arthur, P.Danny and Marzinho into midfield and LHD up front.

 A good start was necessary but EK Plaza FC spoiled that by exploiting our Achilles heel, a high shot at goal.

 Within a minute of the restart an opponent tried a high shot and Safehands was beaten and so were we.

 Things went from bad to worse as another three goals went into our net and, to make matters worse, Uncle Crossers came off knackered followed by Calmac.

 We ended the game looking a shambles and it was night to forget as we left the pitch to another chorus of boos, this time from our own fans.

 “Oh well, at least we have an easy game in two days time against Appin………………”

 Sunday 10th April v Appin

at Holyrood Sports Centre  6-7 (3-3)

Martin Kelly, Arthur McCue (Andy Dick), Allan MacKenzie, Stuart Waugh, Jack Waugh, Ally McNaught (David Blair), Craig McKenna, Calum Colquhoun, Paul Joyce (c) (Andy McNaught), Adam Walker and Sean Connolly (Fraser Marr)

“Okay, guys, let’s be positive and forget it’s Appin we’re playing. The last time we played them in Oban we were unlucky and, if the game hadn’t been cut short we would have made the 14-0 scoreline look more respectable as we were just starting to take control of the game”.

 Mister C’s rallying cry was just what everybody wanted to hear and, as he swigged from Arthur’s lucky “water” bottle, he continued.

 “Let’s get stuck in from the start and let them know they’re in a game. After all we’ve got our strongest possible squad available, apart from the guys that are missing.”

 “Haw you, that’s ma “water” bottle, hic”, slurred Arthur, “and there’s another two missing an aw, ya shower of……..”

 Appin arrived late after being held up in traffic as there were hordes of cars around Fortress Holyrood.

 Unfortunately none of them were heading for the game but they were all looking for the world famous Polmadie Car Boot Sale which is one of the main Sunday attractions of the South Side.

 

It seemed that the EK result had been the last straw for our loyal support and there were plenty of empty seats in the stands as the team wandered out for their warm up.

 Appin, led by the eccentric Jim Weir, are always a useful team, but some of them looked a bit tired and emotional as they eventually made their way onto the park.

 Arthur had searched high and low for his “water” bottles and discovered them in the away dressing room but empty.

 “Noooooooooo, my bottles ur empty and there was some of my special home brew in them. I cannae play way oot them”, cried a distraught Arthur.

 “You can’t normally play with them either”, said a very brave Marzinho suitably attired in his red, white and blue suit with “Vote Conservative” badges on it.

 Ironically the Waugh Twins were wearing similar suits, but without the badges.

 “Right, I’m so confident that I’ve picked the right team so here goes”, announced Mister C.

 “Up front we have the goals galore pair of Mister Joyce and Weewhatshisname who will score a barrel load today.

 “In midfield are the wondrously gifted Sean Connelli, Craig and The Neville Brothers who are probably the best combination I could pick, well, apart from Marzinho, P.Danny……….”

 “The defence is so secure that if I was a betting man I would have money on a shut out as we have The Waugh Twins, Wee Al and [oh, no, what have I done] Arthur.

 “In goals, as Phillip Schofield has gone to the Car Boot Sale, we have Safehands [well, that’s the game gone now].

 “Talent just oozes throughout the team and I have every confidence that we’ll win today, and Arthur, this “water” is lovely”.

 Appin lined up with only nine and the officious, and overweight, referee called over their manager to find out what the story was.

 “Well, two of our laddies are just getting changed and will be with us in a minute”, said Jim Weir.

 And on came their two remaining players, Liam and John, arm in arm and looking slightly unsteady on their feet.

 “They’ve just come off a night shift and are a wee bit tired”, was the official explanation but they headed towards Arthur to give him a hug and tell him that his “water” was just magic, by the way.

 The referee wasn’t impressed as the game was late in starting and our Club Chef Ainsley Harriot was putting on a fine post-match spread of ASDA Egg and Cress Sandwiches and Turkey Twizzlers.

 

So, at last off the game started and amazingly we were the better team on a remarkably good looking pitch.

 Our front two were both in action early and Mister Joyce shot wide before Weewhatshisname saw an effort well saved by Appin keeper Ainsley (no relation).

 Normally a start like this can only mean one thing, we lose a goal, but today was different as we actually took the lead whilst in the ascendancy.

 A corner from Sean Connelli was missed at the front post and Craig stooped to head into the net for the opener.

 Appin started to wake up after this and Safehands made two saves low down which wasn’t unexpected, it’s the high ones he has problems with.

 Led by Jaaack at the back we were in good battling form and everybody was playing their part as we put in our best performance of the season.

 The front two were a handful for the Appin defence and Mister Joyce broke down the right before putting over a cross which found Weewhatshisname on his own at the back post and he easily put the ball into the net for number two.

 The team were ecstatic and ran to celebrate with Mister Joyce who just brushed them away as he shouted, “no touching”.

 “I think this will be our day and I’m away to the bookies to put money on us winning this game easily”, said LHD on the sidelines, and someone who is a betting man, but not necessarily a good one.

 No sooner had LHD disappeared to the stadium bookies, Bet Hamish, than Appin pulled a goal back as Safehands saw a lob go over his head and into the net.

 Well, it would be nice to think he saw it anyway.

 Appin’s Ainsley was again called into action as he saved well from Mister Joyce before our star centre forward (in his own mind) appeared to be brought down on the edge of the area by Player Manager Jim.

 Incredibly no foul was given and the referee explained that a fly had flown onto his glasses and he’d popped them off for a minute to clean them and missed the incident.

 It was a poor excuse and we lost concentration as Arthur, yes, really, cleared the ball off the line then Safehands made a save, yes, really, as Appin forced the pace.

 It was end to end stuff and Craig saw a header cleared off the line before we got caught out by a long ball and an Appin player nipped in to score to make it 2-2.

 The heads could easily have gone down, they generally do during our games, but we fought back and took the lead again as another cross from Mister Joyce was this time turned into his own net by Calum Weir.

 It was breathless stuff and Safehands made a good save at his near post but, from the resulting corner we lost another equaliser as an Appin player got a free header in and scored.

 Half time came and both teams went off to a standing ovation from the crowd, official attendance 23 (down 45,000 from our previous home game).

 “Phew, that was a good effort”, said Mister C, “now the easy bit, who’s coming off for the three subs.”

 “We’ve got four subs”, Andy Boy piped up.

 “Yes, but we’re keeping you in reserve for when the Appin defenders get tired.

 “Okay, Gary and Arthur, you know your place, and Connelli, you are all off with Andy Dick Brother, Marzinho and LHD you are all on.

 “If we play as well as we did in the first half then LHD’s coupon will be up.”

 But, as so often happens in our games, all our coupons were down as we once again started a second half slowly and got punished for it.

 After being the better team in the first half it was all a distant memory as we capitulated under Appin’s pressure.

 First of all Stu got caught in possession and a forward ran on to score.

 Then a corner was only half cleared to a player on the edge of the area and his shot was saved by Safehands but he couldn’t hold it and John Napier put in the rebound.

 John Napier again caused us problems as he breathed on Jaaack which wrong footed him and he scored to put Appin  in a seemingly unassailable lead at 6-3.

 “Oh well, business as usual”, said a realistic Mister C.

 “Seeing as we’re out of the game we might as well bring Andy Boy on for Mister Joyce.

 “Sean and Gary you can come back on as well for Craig and Phil but I’ll not bother with Arthur as he’s obviously enjoying his snooze on the bench.”

 

The game had gone but we got a glimmer of hope when Weewhatshisname tried a cross cum shot which struck the bar and LHD tapped the ball home.

 “Boss, I think we can do this now after that goal”, said Phil Neville, but he’d hardly managed to spit out the words, as he had taken first shot at the excellent buffet, before we lost another goal.

 A good run by an Appin midfielder saw him chip the ball over Safehands who dived low in anticipation, wrongly as usual.

 Oh well, at least it was a sunny day and we’d scored a few goals in a game that nobody thought we could win anyway.

 But wait, suddenly the game was turning in our favour as we kept battling away and were piling forward as the game got stretched.

 Andy Dick Brother, impressive in the middle of the park, made a run forward and looked like he was about to shoot but played a lovely pass to Andy Boy who dinked the ball past the keeper to make it 7-5.

 A few minutes later and it was 7-6 as Andy Dick Brother tried a shot from distance which the keeper fumbled into the net as LHD kindly knocked his hat off whilst trying to get to the ball.

 Possibly five minutes to go, including endless injury time apparently, and the ball was flying from one end of the pitch to another.

 Appin had a couple of shots which flew over and LHD had a chance but his boot flew off and went closer to the goal than the ball.

As the minutes ticked away Sean had one last effort at goal but his shot struck the bar and went over.

 Just after that the final whistle blew to end a great game of football.

 It was a fantastic performance by all fifteen of the team who gave their all and battled from the start to the finish and came so close to getting a draw which their efforts would have deserved.

 The air of pessimism that was round the squad prior to the game had vanished and the squad all jumped into the Holyrood Jacuzzi in good spirits, with the Neville Brothers flanking Arthur to keep his head above the water as he continued to snooze.

 Both teams then headed to the Social Club to enjoy the buffet and to have a rest after an all action game of football.

 “Well done lads, I’m proud of every one of you and now expect that level of performance every week, although I doubt that will happen”, said an emotional Mister C after the game.

 A good end to a good day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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