The Battle of Waterlooville

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The Battle of Waterlooville

Post  Boz1964 on Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:51 pm

The Battle of Waterlooville

It is now 1815 and I sit on my bed in one of several Havant Premier Inns,  after watching two former Midfield 'Generals' Sir Gavin Williams & Sir Lee Bradbury trying to outwit one another on the sloping battlefield of Westleigh Park in deepest Hampshire.

The Merthyr Battle plan read to the players in the dressing room before the game contained strict instructions to play for a draw and march the Southern Premier outfit up to the top of the South Wales Hills for a mid-week replay and then March them down again.

They lined up with a 1-5-2-3 Prussian defensive formation with Hussar Traylor operating out wide with Cavalrymen Kerry Morgan & Corey Jenkins once again bringing up the reserves.

Up front was sole 'marksman' Maurice Tourey from the Newport Garrison.

In view of their higher football status, Havant & Waterlooville FC were expected to win at a canter, but it was the lowly Welshmen that drew first blood.

Now after our recent drought in front of goal, this came as a surprise to the few Merthyr fans that had made the 300 mile round trip.

But the myth that no-one at Merthyr Football Club could score in a brothel was quickly dispelled inside the fourth minute, after the Newport Lukaku beat the left back and put the ball on a plate for the speedy Traylor to nip in at the far post with a gentle header from bayonet range.

One nil to the Town and the Hampshire people started to ask questions - like where in England, Merthyr actually was?.

It would appear some Havant a clue about geography.

The referee -a Matt Goss lookalike certainly didn't have know much about anatomy -as he left many a handball go unpunished against the Home side and should definitely have booked their star Welsh -born defender,  Brian Stock ( From good stock?)  for being in possession of an embarrassing bun on top of his head.

Havant & Waterlooville were starting to get a little sabre-rattled, as in the late Autumn sunshine, the plucky Welsh outfit showed no signs of wilting or shirking from some of the challenges.

Poor old Mo in particular came in for some rough treatment, as the Hawks lived up to their nickname causing him to do his own version of 'ground-hopping' , as he waited 'patiently' for the female Physio to play another game of find the latest bruise.

Despite being physically intimidated and being isolated from his team-mates, the youngster gave as good as he got -within the laws of the game of course -but found it hard to hold the ball up for the cavalry to arrive from midfield.

After all, cash-strapped Merthyr are more concerned with paying the electricity bills than re-enacting the 'charge of the light brigade'- therefore a Home replay fixture was more of a priority than a do or die one- off result.

The halftime whistle blew mercifully with Merthyr still defending on mass with Tancs looking 'Sharpe' and Wright & Kyle Patton giving their usual blood n guts performance from the trenches.

After the interval, it was clear that the Home Side must have had the Bradbury Hair-drier treatment, as they started to push back Merthyr further and further up the slope, as if Captain Marble had sounded the retreat on his bugle.

The dark clouds started to drift over from Southampton and the change in weather seemed to signal a change in the momentum of the game.

The hobbling Mo wentum off the field to be replaced by Stuart Fleetwood.

As the Heavens opened, the Away fans suddenly realised why it was called WATERlooville and got soaked, as did one of the ground staff who was caught in the deluge suddenly won the Mr Havant Wet-Tee Shirt competition.

And the master stroke played by the Hawks management of changing into their wet weather tyres took Merthyr from pole position to the pits inside six minutes.

Once their big number nine had worked out a safe path through our minefield penalty box - he must have had Prior knowledge- he scuffed a shot past the outstanding Oliver Davies for the equaliser.

This led to much relief for the Home Side and started the terrace dance from the green- shirted Hampshire Bez from the Happy Monday's.

Now the FA Cup is always referred to as 'Magic' by the footballing media and it was to this end that the Merthyr hopes of a replay and an additional £4,500 cup run money suddenly disappeared.

Diminutive Kitman Bombardier Barry Thomas was frantically searching his own bag for some magic boots but bizarrely could only find 'Wellingtons'.

I assume he gave them back to him.

Perhaps it was because like Swedish pop band he had met his Waterlooville.

From behind him the bench, General Sir Gavin Williams could hear creative winger Kerry Morgan singing another Abba number 'Take a Chance on me' and Corey Jenkins humming
'I have a (FA Cup) dream'

But the Abba song playing in the other Manager's mind was 'Money, Money' Money' as he saw his substitution reap instant rewards.

Some people are born lucky and others Lukaku- and some are a combination of both.

Step forward Former Bournemouth striker James Hayter- the man credited with scoring the fastest hat trick ever inside 2 minutes and 20 seconds against Welsh side Wrexham.

And not surprisingly within 10 seconds of being on the pitch, he scored the winner to knock another Welsh side out of the FA Cup.

Cymruphile or Hayter - it doesn't matter -as he is a man who knows where the back of the net is- and to have that ability is a real asset to have on a football pitch.

Were it not for this stroke of good fortune,  I genuinely think General Williams tactics would have won the day and the Merthyr Minnows could have taken the big fish back to Penydarren Park and a bumper crowd.

But I doubt they would have been from Hampshire, as the numbers present were disappointing- I could only assume the Pompey Chimes have more allure than a Non-League Football bar despite it being equipped with seven televisions and a Sky Sports subscription too.

And in fairness to the Martyrs Players, they could have sneaked a draw, as for the last twenty minutes they had several half chances to draw level.

First, Elliott Richards skyed a shot that almost took a passing military chopper out of the darkened rain-clouds- nearly becoming Heli-Shot Richards with a black 'Hawk' down.

Secondly, a chance at the back post which saw the otherwise impeccable Tancock ruin the solar panels of Mrs Mona Lott of 3 Martin Road Havant Hampshire POBox 9 5TH.

Apparently, the complaint letter is on its way to Swansea.

And finally a chance that struck the side netting late in the game that had Superfan Nigel from Bristol's beard off its seat.

In the end, it was a case so near yet so far and the 'winner takes it all'.

Merthyr were of course missing their own 'Nap' Hand in the shape of Kyle 'Coppoleon' Copp  through injury as he might have changed the course of footballing history but today the Merthyr players 1-14 should be proud of the excellent performance against a higher ranked side.

They certainly don't deserve to be exiled to St Helena or Elba.

After all with a bit more experience and better luck, it might take more than 'One Hundred Days' but I am sure this band of raw recruit soldiers of fortune will enjoy their own St David v Goliath giant-killing cup run soon.


Last edited by Boz1964 on Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:25 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : War wound)

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Re: The Battle of Waterlooville

Post  timshorts on Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:45 am

Actually, Matt Goss (or it might be Luke) is a county league referee in West Sussex, about 20 miles away. But that's volleyball.


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All the Goss

Post  Boz1964 on Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:05 pm

Well Tim .....blow the whistle .....did you inherit the Imp's Guinness book of sporting facts when he was expatriated back to Lincoln Post-Brexit?.


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Re: The Battle of Waterlooville

Post  therovingsheep on Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:50 am

Great write up as always

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Re: The Battle of Waterlooville

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