Dun but not dusted.

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Post  Boz1964 on Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:24 pm

Dun but not dusted.

Last night saw Merthyr Town take on lowly Dunstable Town in the big relegation six pointer match.

On a freezing cold anti-cyclonic night - the kind of night you have to snap a dog off a lamppost- it was only the most ardent or dullest football fan that ventured forth to watch a relegation dogfight under the stars.

Wearing five layers of clothes and looking like a Gurnos shoplifter leaving the Burton's menswear fitting room, I settled into BOTH of my seats in the hope of a certain three points.

However, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry and it was the Away Side who appeared to have 'borrowed' the Reading FC kit from the washing lines on their way up the M4 from deepest darkest Luton in their Bedford Van, who started much the brighter.

These were the unsung heroes of non- league football.

Amateur players that put in a shift at work, drive four hours in a mini-bus that seats ten people
( substitutes on the roof rack) only to play ninety minutes in a freezing cold Welsh Valley Town at a thousand feet above sea-level.

If Ryan Prosser joined the 300 last night, it was these Spartan heroes that deserve to go down in history like King Leonidas at Thermopylae.

Now I don't know what diet their Manager Tony McCool (No- not the car salesman in the
Fast Show) had these athletes on but I have yet to see footballers on a pitch run so fast before.

Not that is since jailed football coach Barry Bennell offered one to one training in keepie-up.

Their 7 looked like he was cast from the same mould as Shaun Wright-Phillips and made our flying wingers Corey Jenkins and Ian Traylor look like Greek statues, as he flew around the field without equal.

Poor old Scott Tancock ( once again playing out of his favoured position) had to try and 'cage' the 'fast and the furious' winger and ended up with 'Diesel' and Nitrous Oxide burns on his shirt.

It was worse for poor frontman Ryan Prosser, as his Holy Grail shirt (probably covered in his last supper) ended up looking like the Turin Shroud.

With that amount of pace on the pitch, it came as no surprise that Dunstable took an early lead.

It came after Harry Franklin playing in strange surroundings at right back, got caught by some smooth interplay between midfielder Arel Amu and 'dreaded' full back Gedeon Okito with the combination producing Amu Gedeon for the Merthyr Town defence.

The punk enhanced cast of Romans were shouting at our temporary full back
'to hurry up Harry' as they were 'going down the pub'.

It was 'Sham'bolic.

The move was finished with aplomb by their number 9 Ethan Lamptey, who lamped the ball passed goalkeeper Oliver Davies, who was literary frozen to the spot as the 3G crumb hadn't thawed out properly.

1-0 to the Blues to add to the existing Blues of the Black n Whites.

There followed more huffing and puffing than an asthmatic Honey Monster but no Merthyr Town player seemed to want to take the responsibility of pulling the trigger.

The half ended with Shaun Wright-Phillips, Usain Bolt and Co deservedly ahead by the odd goal.

At the half-time interval, more steam was seen rising from the Home dressing room, than was trapped in the Michelin sausaged  Holvey Sauna/snack bar (and that was saying something) as SuperGav gave the players the Alex Ferguson Hairdryer treatment.

It must have worked, as it was the neatly coiffured flattop of Rhondda Man Mountain, Jarrad Wright that 'levelled' things.

What the Away had in pace they lacked in height and their undoing was to be the number of corners they conceded.

This season we have been caught out by the height of visiting teams but poor old Dunstable only had one player of any real height, their 6 Keiran Ogden (Five foot ten in stocking feet and hairnet) and it was impossible for him to mark all of our players at once.

And Wright took full advantage of it too.

Once Merthyr had scored it drained the confidence from the youngsters, who were by now feeling the effects of the cold and the long cramped trip in the 'Mystery Machine' as their feet began to look like those of Adam Lallana.

And things were to get worse when their full  back let Ian Traylor get around him.

He had left the Dun-stable door open and our workhorse made him pay, as he played a one-two off the keeper's chest and slammed the ball into the net for the lead.

A case of being out of the Barry Frying Pan and into the fire.

The Dunstable keeper deserves a mention as he was outstanding all game, making some saves that would not have looked out of place on Match of the Day and it was a real surprise to see how young he was as he left the field.

It is clear that if you have such quality - age is not a barrier- although this wunderkind was a football barrier all night.

As they tried in vain to chase the game, the Away Side came Dunstuck and had a double blow when one of their players had to be stretched off by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Brandy Makuendi was given some cognac to try and revive him.

The Aberdare Poacher got his second five minutes from time and secured three home points for the first time since October.

It left our Management with a bigger smile than an Oxfam worker stationed in Haiti.

It was a real tonic for the writer who had been 'cobbered' by the Australian Flu and had missed his first day's work for over 11 years.

The youngsters of Dunstable on the evidence of this performance are committed to the cause.

I expect their dogfight with Gosport Borough to go down to the wire.

After showing their teeth for the fight tonight, they are Dun but not dusted - not by a long chalk.

And as for us it was three precious points and at last a result the players deserve.

Let's hope this result has stopped the rot and we can look up the table and not over our shoulder.

And that the Merthyr public support their players, our Club and each other in our fight to stay afloat too.


Last edited by Boz1964 on Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:01 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Old Age)

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Dun but not dusted. Empty Dun but not dusted.

Post  hirwaunman on Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:19 pm

A comprehensive and entertaining report, as usual from Boz.

Yes, it was a perishing cold night, which no doubt accounted for the lowest crowd of the season, by far. But at least the game was on - the only one of ten which went ahead, thanks to our excellent artificial pitch. At least we won't have to cope with a fixture pile-up and the consequent pressure on players and fan burn-out towards the end of the season.

It was also good to see the team's marked change in attitude in the second half, proving that our Manager is not only a loyal, committed and thoroughly nice guy, but has the ability to motivate and to bring about effective changes in tactics. Nice to get our first win in six starts.


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