Posted by sean on September 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm in Bath City, Ventures Outside Of Bath with No Comments

Bromley 1-0 Bath City
Conference South
Saturday 8th September 2012 – 15:00

All thoughts of the depressing 2-1 defeat at Dorchester Town were put to bed a few days later, when a home win against a very physical Billericay Town side saw Bath City maintain their one hundred percent record Twerton Park, leaving us top of the table. Things were looking good, although a growing injury list began to give cause for concern. A midweek trip to local rivals and fellow table-toppers, Salisbury City, saw another defeat on the road and probably confirmed what we all knew – Bath City are not quite good enough to challenge for the league title.

Having missed the Tuesday night trip, my third away game of the season was on Saturday. Another trip east, another visit to Reading services and another chance to say “I’ve been to Kent”. This week’s coach trip took us to Bromley FC, who play at Hayes Lane.

I have made many trips to Hayes Lane during our previous stay in the Conference South and it is one of my favourite grounds. A traditional venue, with large terracing, an attractive main stand and delightful wooden benches behind one goal. If you get bored of the football, you can even watch a spot of cricket while enjoying a Cornetto from the ice cream van which is situated inside the ground. All very proper and English.

Legendary fan, Brian York, enjoying a pasty

I always liked Bromley. They remind me a lot of Bath City. A similar sized club, nice ground, friendly supporters. We both won promotion to Step 2 in 2007 and our first match of the new campaign was against each other – when Chris Holland scored a late, late equaliser.

Like the trip to Welling a few weeks back, Bromley was unbelievably hot. Does Kent have its own climate unique to anywhere else in the UK? Something available in Bromley that wasn’t in Welling, was the very welcoming sight of Thatchers Gold cider on tap. To make things even better was the fact we were served our drinks in plastic glasses and allowed to take them outside. The bar manager at Hayes Lane, obviously doing his research and checking this blog for my demands. Needless to say, nearly all Bath City supporters ordered cider. It was surely to be expected with us being from the West Country.

Cider in the sun

As we drank cider, we watched our players jump up and down, run around, warm up and, in the case of Kerry Mogan, fall to the ground in agony. Another injury and a last minute change to the team sheet.

The less said about the game, the better in all honesty. Bromley took an early lead. A header, scored by a totally unmarked player, from absolutely nothing. City tried to respond, but never really got going. The linesman in Bromley’s half of the pitch didn’t help much, repeatedly ignoring fouls on Kurtis Guthrie, yet ever ready to alert the referee to anything favouring the home side. To blame the officiating would be a poor excuse, though.

The steps remind us, you’re not too big to go down

The only thing to cause a slight smile during the game was an announcement over the tannoy asking for the parents to come and collect their lost child, before minutes later asking a fan to visit the lost property department to pick up their belongings. Either the residents of Bromley are very careless and keep losing things, or they put missing children in the lost property bin.

Note to Bath City players: This message does not apply on the pitch

At half time, I made my way to the very plush upstairs bar. It was air conditioned, comfortable and had an excellent view of the entire pitch. I only went in to get a burger, but was tempted to watch the entire second half from up there. I almost did. The man cooking my burger forgot he had taken my order. It wasn’t until 20 minutes into the second half, with the score still 1-0 to Bromley and not a lot else happening besides the home side missing chance after chance, that he remembered me. I got a free drink for my troubles and was eventually handed my food.

Bromley FC. Safety first. Burgers second.

Burger in one hand, complementary bottle of Lucozade Sport in another, I walked round to where the Bath City fans were stood, sat on one of the wooden benches and watched, depressingly, as Bromley battered us. They didn’t score a second, but it was clear they would win. To use the old phrase, we couldn’t score in a brothel.

Wooden benches. I like.

The “wooden bench stand” was primarily full of away fans during the second half, all in a state of despair. Amongst us poor travellers sat two home supporters, presumably either because they loved their wooden seats or took a thrill out of winding-up the opposition. They were very vocal and in thick London accents would yell out encouragement to their home team and berate the referee for not awarding a red card for a petty challenge on their centre forward, which wouldn’t even warrant a booking, let alone a sending off. I don’t know what they would have done had we scored, as they would have been rather outnumbered, but like me, they could see that was never going to happen.

The Bromley Firm. ‘Propa Nawty’.

The referee blew his whistle for fulltime. The home supporters celebrated. Some away fans jeered, calling for manager, Adie Britton’s resignation, while others, myself included, applauded the team. Was the applause deserved? Probably not. Do I love my team, appreciate them and want to show my support regardless of the result? Absolutely.

As we walked out the ground, a home supporter commiserated us, although followed up his sympathy with “you got lucky”. Yup, cheers for that. “… you could have lost 5 or 6 today” Thank you very much… “… if we had been able to score…” OK, OK, that’s enough, now. The sad thing is – he was right.

The customary inquest into the defeat began the second we stepped foot onto the coach. A well-renowned moaner, elderly, accusing all supporters who defend Adie of not having played football in their lives. This is the same fan who, after the Dorchester defeat, claimed that the players did not want to win promotion.

Yes, I’ll admit it, we were outfought, outrun, outthought, outchased, outtackled and outheaded. I was very disappointed. The overreaction by some sections of the supporters though was a bigger embarrassment than the performance on the pitch. I don’t claim to be a football expert. As you can probably tell from reading this blog, my knowledge of the game is up there with Mark Lawrenson’s (zilch). What I do know, however, is that we have a very small squad, seven of our players are injured, we have a new team which is still getting used to playing together AND we have an excellent home record (until Dover beat us next week).

Expect another blog in a fortnight. An FA Cup special when Bath City visit either Buckland or Plymouth Parkway (a football club, not a railway station). Green army!


Posted by sean on September 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm in Too Random To Categorise with No Comments

The Olympics and Paralympics have entertained the word this summer with their excellent display of sportsmanship. Even I, who prior to the opening ceremony was not interested in the Olympic Games, enjoyed some events.

However, I would like to propose a third category of athletes for the next Olympic Games. Alongside the Olympians and Paralympians, I would like to see the Powerlympics.

The Powerlympics would feature all the usual events, although the participants would take masses of steroids and performance enhancing drugs. Imagine athletes getting ready to run the 100 meters, built like tanks and breaking not only Usain Bolt’s record, but the sound barrier with their unnatural speed.

Of course, like in all sports there would have to be very strict rules and drug testing. However, the Powerlympians would be tested to ensure that they had taken enough drugs to make them qualify. If the dope tests showed there was not enough medication pumping through the veins, a physio would be on hand to administer some more.

I’m pretty sure by idea is a goer and a company like Red Bull would be willing to sponsor the tournament. Make it happen.

Posted by sean on September 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm in Leeds United with No Comments

This summer will be remembered by most people for the Olympics, the 826th series of Big Brother and Dredd 3D.

For Leeds fans, however, summer 2012 will forever be recalled as the time four months of our lives were wasted on the internet, constantly hitting the F5 button while browsing internet forums and Twitter.

This rabid hunger for information, as all my friends are more than aware, is for news on the proposed takeover of Leeds United Association Football Club and the departure of Ken Bates. Visions of Sheikhs riding into Elland Road and parking their camels in the car park were always in the dreams of all Leeds fans (when not scanning Twitter at 3am).

The situation is referred to by many Leeds fans as ‘Take Over? My Arse’. I am sure after reading this blog, like me, you are already hooked on “TOMA” and are hoping I am about to bring big, breaking news.

Since the official announcement from the club in May, which started this whole frenzy, surely the takeover is complete? Surely it’s time to get Emile Heskey to join Neil Warnock’s revolution? Errr… no. I’m still none the wiser.

Take over? My arse!

Posted by sean on September 5, 2012 at 8:36 pm in Fun At Home with No Comments

It sounds like a group of students have moved into the house next door. I know this not because boxes of Pot Noodles were delivered by Parcel Force, or because a life size statue of Countdown’s Carol Vorderman stands by the front door.

No, the return of the students was confirmed on Monday night when, shortly before midnight, they were kind enough to my fellow neighbours and I by hosting what can only be described as a rave. A loud and awful noise, which I suppose they would refer to as “music” blasted from their house and through the open garden doors, to the entire neighbourhood.

Had I not had work the next day and indeed been deaf, I may have appreciated it. Sadly, I did have to be up at 7am and have perfect hearing, although even if my ears were impaired and needed 888 on subtitles while watching the television, I would have had no difficulties in hearing the racket.

The noise ceased shortly after midnight. I suspect another neighbour went round, hopefully with a shotgun, and told them to shut the feck up. Any repeat of Monday night’s outburst, will result in me sticking tape onto their doorbell the next morning on my way to work.

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