Parks Life

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Parks Life

Post  Boz1964 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:13 pm

Park Life

For the second weekend in a row, I decided at the last minute to go and watch the Martyrs on their travels up and down the highways and byways of England.

This time it was a visit to Hitchin - a sleepy dormitory Town of London, and directly on the flight path for Luton Airport.

As Hitchin are nicknamed the Canaries- they were dressed in a fetching shade of yellow and green and Merthyr were clad in their orange away kit.

From the air, Luton Airport's most famous passenger, Lorraine Chase must have thought that there was an explosion in a local Opal Fruit factory or simply a 'starburst' down below.

After having driven for four hours - my eyes were a bit of a 'Blur' but entering the 'Top Field' home pitch of Hitchin and listening to all those North London accents, immediately it reminded me of Phil Daniels' in the Blur video- Park Life.

As I entered the ground, I was surprised to see more wood on display than a John Holmes video.

Rows after rows of worn wooden benches that would just about take my nine stone frame.

Rows and rows of back-benches that had seen more criticism and backstabbing than a Jeremy Corbyn cabinet.

Now, as the two teams took the field in outfits that Julien McDonald would have been proud of, my bleary vision was drawn to the Fairground across the way from the Ground Entrance and a rather large Ferris Wheel.

Was that the Hitchin - Hertfordshire, equivalent of the London Eye?

The Conjunctivitis?

As the game started in earnest, Merthyr straight from the kick-off, showed a lot of attacking intent and spread the ball wide for the enterprising Traylor to run on to and for Barrow to make inroads on what was a very wide Top Pitch on opposing flanks.

For the first ten or so minutes, Merthyr played great attacking football and deservedly took the lead with a goal from centre back Curtis McDonald.

His 'Virgin' goal for the club came after he took off , climbed to altitude and then came out of the blinding Autumnal sun to slam an unstoppable header passed the Home keeper for lift-off.

Now instead of that being the catalyst for an easy victory, Merthyr suddenly decided to go into hibernation mode.

Like most of the hedgehogs that I had squashed on my travels from the Valleys, the game went flat.

Merthyr started to drop deeper and deeper back, conceding the midfield and then made the fatal mistake of giving too much room on the edge of the box to their 10- the home striker and his hot shot flew passed Garner for the equaliser.

Having just returned from University clutching his diploma- he was inevitably dubbed 'First Degree Burns' by the Home Crowd.

And then the game turned into a Welsh version of the BBC show Casualty, as first Barrow pulled up needing a visit to tongue-twisting Hitchin- Hertfordshire Halford's for hamstrings.

Then Jon Brown's body started moulding again, as he headed for the Barrow.

Finally, Formula One Race Car Corey Jenkins had to be substituted in front of the watching Lewis Hamilton's Father by our diesel-engined Player Manager, as our own bench started to resemble the mouldy 'Park Life' ones behind the goal, as the Welsh dry rot set in.

The usual highly original cries of 'Sheep Baggers' came from the home crowd, as we suddenly decided to play 'hot potato' with the ball.

No-one was prepared to hold onto it for more than a second, as our possession percentage plummeted to single figures as Merthyr went all Wombledon, hoofing the ball away, littering the pitch, misplacing passes and overrunning the moves.

Successive short corners from the unstoppable Hitchin nearly caught out the hibernating Martyrs and for a short time it was only the 'Glyn Garner show' that kept us in the game, with flicked shots and catches falling down from all angles like Autumn Leaves.

The halftime whistle went with the scores even- but with a 70/30 possession deficit rate not flattering the away side.

Our formation having had to be adjusted due to the growing injury list looked more suited to the Home attack once Captain Marble was restored to the side.

Merthyr seemed to be living on a 'wing and a prayer' as they absorbed more shots than a North Carolina police suspect and with Curtis McDonald, Rhys Baggridge and Jarrad Wright being the footballing equivalent of Calomine Lotion they tried hard to stop the Hitchin.

The reshuffle from a back three and attacking wing backs to a Maginot Line of three defenders hiding behind Tancs seemed to work, as Merthyr showed true grit in the war of attrition- a quality they lacked away from home under the Steve Jenkins regime last season.

The defence was at it finest today, as the midfield and strikers went all Chuck Norris (missing in action) with Man of the Match for me being Curtis McDonald scoring in the Uncle G-G-Granville's sponsored away shirt on the Octagenarian's 83rd birthday too.

Pick of the Hitchin bunch was their young right back and their Alice Banded number 9.

In the end, the result was more important than the performance and to pinch a point from Hitchin must have Hert their title ambitions.

Finally, it was great to see Jarrad Wright back in the side, as he adds steel to our back four and apart from one dummy by their 9 had his positioning spot on.

You can't please 'all the people, so many people' all the time, but today our 'Park Life' point was worth more than just one point- it seemed priceless.

All 'the girls and boys' can go home happy after our 'Great Escape'.

Boz




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Boz1964

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