Not at the (Boat) Races

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Not at the (Boat) Races

Post  Boz1964 on Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:25 pm

Not at the (Boat) Races

As I entered Penydarren Park today, I passed the recently demolished 'Twin Towers' Turnstiles.

I had a tear in my eye, as they were sat , packaged up in the parking area normally reserved for away English team buses ( E- Bay) emblazoned with the words 'Bitton or Bust'

In view of the fact they were one of the few remaining reminders of our in-'solvent' days ( Pre Evo- Stick)...I was glad to see them go....but I hope Old Sod managed to get out first!

This Saturday marked the start of the Cambridge 'Trinity' of three matches in quick succession, separated only by a short Histon ( Also 'a-Broad) break away on Saturday.

As our stalwart Bristolian- based fans will confirm, you need a Histon break travelling that far in freezing conditions.

But today was all about the League and three priceless points towards our aim of mid-table mediocrity.

Cambridge City tried to disrupt our rhythm, by winning the toss, changing ends and selecting to 'punt' from the Surrey Bank of the River Taff.

With both teams in a similar league position, I would have expected more of a fight from the 'Ivy League' boys and more of a university challenge from Cambridge than we actually got.

The first half was a dour one, with both teams struggling to get up a head of steam unlike poor prostate suffering 'Nigel' on a freezing cold day.

I said to the Polar Bear in the stand sat next to's cold innit...but he just kept eating his tiptop.

I can only assume that our Merthyr attack runs on diesel, as they took a little time to get started in this cold weather, as did the Lino on the near side , who did so little and was that much of a spectator in the first half, that we should have charged him an admission fee for watching the match.

The First Half was one of kick and rush and lumped up balls that were easily dealt with by the big tattooed Cambridge number 4 who had more ink than a squid.

Every time he headed the ball, it squirted out like a ballpoint pen all over the front two, and I think played a part in the first Merthyr goal.

It came shortly after the break, when Rhys Baggridge sporting a Ronald Colman moustache caused panic at the disco, as the ball pinged about in the Cambridge penalty, and the Cambridge defence turned an Isis into a crisis , as an attempted defensive clearance of the ball hit Refell in the 'boat race' and rebounded into the net.

With Merthyr one up and having a lot of possession, it seemed like we were in the ascendancy and with the Away Manager preferring to sit on the subs bench rather than than in his designated area, certain of our usual more vocal fans were lost for words and forced to actually watch the game.

As I spoke to one of the Ten Fen Men, who had made the four hour journey to the South Wales Valleys , I was shocked at how breathless he was.

I don't know if the Cambridge man from St Ives was struggling because he had forty wives or whether he wasn't used to walking on an incline but whatever the cause , shattered he was.

Perhaps it was the 1000 feet above sea- level altitude of the pitch or the effects of the thick coal dust air at the Miller Argent stadium, who knows but tiredness started to show on the pitch too as the Cambridge de'fens' started to find it hard back-pedalling after the Wing Wizard that is Ian Traylor.

In a week when Maria Sharapova was tested positive for banned substances, I hope they don't test either his boots or the green boots of Corey Jenkins, as I fear they would test positive for 'Nitreous' , as there were tyre marks on the 3G pitch to rival the Top Gear ones outside the London Cenotaph.

It seemed with 'Hills Plymouth CricketClub' sponsoring the match, we would get a 'cricket score' , as we hit Cambridge for six , as Merthyr had wave after wave of attack, like Hurricane Katrina , as Merthyr were suddenly 'walking on sunshine'.

And then came the most controversial moment of the game, when Cambridge scored after a blatant collision with keeper Garner led to an unlikely equaliser, as the Light Blues used Olivia Newton John tactics on the pitch under the credo .....'Let's Get Physical'.

In an era when you only have to 'stare' at a keeper the wrong way and you get a free-kick , the Hereford referee allowed a Nat Lofthouse challenge on our goalie to stand , to the surprise of everyone in the ground, including Cambridge City's players, who like Garner, were too stunned to celebrate.

The neutral Gloucester linesman on the far side, Sir Ranulph Fens , would have liked to have signalled for the challenge, but his arm was frost bitten and when he did raise his flag, two of his fingers fell off.

The Home crowd responded 'Agincourt style' by showing him that they still had their two bow fingers available.

Having missed the obvious foul, a blatant handball and then a stonewall penalty on Ian Traylor, refused to book at least four bad fouls, one could only assume, he was a stand-in rugby or other sporting referee that had turned up at the Park in error.

That dubious goal seemed to thaw the Merthyr players into action, as they upped the tempo to 'Battle Speed' and then 'Ramming Speed' as they attempting to sink the Cambridge Crew.

There followed a period of fifteen minutes of pure Welsh magic, that Merlyn the Wizard would have been proud of, as on the hour mark , Keyon Refell having his best game yet in a Merthyr shirt, back heeled to McGlaggon and set up a real chance which was well saved by Oak Tree Barrett in the Cambridge goal.

Merthyr now sensed they had their Cambridge counterparts on the ropes, as they poured foreword smelling an inevitable second goal.

It came from a wonderful cross from the magic wand of Ian Traylor and was finished by McGlaggon sweetly after a slight nudge off the flat top airport landing strip that their 4 wore on his head.

It seemed then that the floodgates (or new turnstiles as they are called ) would open and Merthyr would get goals three, four, five or even six , as Merthyr seemed to be 'coasting ' and about to 'declare'.

I had to pinch myself that the score was still only 2-1, as it seemed like we must have scored more and like Eurovision someone had rigged the scoreboard.

The Cambridge Manager, who had remained cool and calculated all game, suddenly got animated at his makeshift defence, as after the loss of their 'sleeved' centre half in an 'ink'ling ( I assumed he got a tattoo caught in the pitch) they didn't look the same solid defensive unit they were in the first half.

With the scoreline still only 2-1 , the game was still not safe, as the likelihood was the Cambridge Number 9 wearing his comedic looking pink multi-coloured boots, would snatch an underserved leveller.

Those 'Cambridge Footlights' were always a threat.

So to was the running of their 'First 11' , their Captain Buster Harradine, who had so much energy it was like Buster had 'two hearts'....I hope he doesn't end up in the resited Papworth Hospital tonight.

Whilst Merthyr were the better team there was always the likelihood of Cambridge hitting back.

Their chance of the game fell to the blonde-haired replacement striker, when he flicked his coiffured hair with the cricket umpire in the middle signalling wide.

The match ended with Merthyr 2-1 up and impressive performances from Traylor, Refell and Captain Marble.

With two more games in the 'Bump Race' left to play and this time silverware on offer -as spoils to the victor - let's hope Cambridge aren't at the races again on Tuesday Night.



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Re: Not at the (Boat) Races

Post  Merthyr Imp on Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:42 pm

Thought you might have mentioned Charlie Brown was playing for Cambridge, Boz.

Good grief!
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Re: Not at the (Boat) Races

Post  Old Sod on Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:08 pm

Merthyr Imp wrote:Thought you might have mentioned Charlie Brown was playing for Cambridge, Boz. Good grief!

That would be peanuts for him, Malc.

When I saw you responded to this I thought you were going to point that Keyon's goal was in the first half.

Still a very good sumamtion of the game as usual, Boz.
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Re: Not at the (Boat) Races

Post  Boz1964 on Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:14 pm

You have to remember Ancient Turf, just like the Referee , I watch a different game to everyone else ....with mine being through comedy-tinted spectacles and with Amnesia memory too..Boz

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