32Degrees Farn'enheit

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Post  Boz1964 on Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:24 am

32% 'Farn'enheit.

'Big Fans are you?' asked the friendly, diminutive Farnborough FC steward.

With my stomach protruding over the barrier and technically trespassing onto the pitch, in my case she was correct.

However, assuming she had mistaken the tall pale frozen figure of designated driver Ownes for a wind turbine, I replied through chattering teeth 'No Luv' ....'bloody cold ones'.

It had been one of the coldest October days on record and even fellow traveller
Ken 'rock-wool fibre' Bishop was bluer than the local Farnborough Conservative MP.

The day had started much brighter as the 'three amigos' set off in the Ownes unmarked police car from the Pearl of the Valleys with our destination of the Cherrywood Road Ground programmed into the satellite navigation system.

As the voice of Shaw Taylor boomed out directions from the travel aid, I was sure I heard that the M4 had been re-christened the DialM4- in honour of the number of times the dedicated away fans had spent on the Tarmac following Merthyr Town on the road to the English Capital.

But we didn't dial M4- we decided to ring into BBC Radio Wales instead, as Ownes is a regular listener of the Owen Money show to see if our Honorary President would give us plucky fans a mention.

After being transported via the airwaves back to the simpler times of the 1970's with nostalgic records from David Cassidy, David Bowie and the Walrus of Love- Barry White- I was pleasantly reminded by my fellow passengers that each of the singers were in fact dead- which cheered me up no end.

I wondered then if I could get through today the station, who I could get a DEAD-ICATION for.

I settled for Play Misty for Me - to confuse Lyn Mittel, the self confessed Merthyr Nut and
slipped disc jockey into thinking that Merthyr had signed a new player-as he hadn't the 'foggiest' clue, who was still on the current playing personnel, as he had 'mist' a lot of games recently.

After the best part of three hours, approaching Farnborough on A325, we passed the former Tumble Down Dick pub- which was named in honour of a local non-league striker from Hartley Wintney- and it was so sad to see such a historic tavern formerly occupied by Oliver Cromwell's Model Army, now in use as a McDonald's restaurant now occupied by an army of non-model shaped people but with equally bad haircuts.

Apparently, from the conversation in our car Oliver Cromwell is dead too.

But bad haircuts isn't common to the Farnborough FC team.

In fact, I would go as far to say that Farnborough are the best groomed team in terms of hairstyles I have seen for years ....since- Barnet FC that is.

Boro Captain CJ Fearn had a slick black number going on and his teammate number 8 Brendan
Murphy-McVey had a gold coloured 'Charlie Simpson from Busted' style in evidence , however, the black n white streak of defender BAJJA made him look a little too ferocious.

The ultimate Farnborough Hair Show.

And what a stadium too.

It was magnificent- the finest non-league ground I have ever witnessed, deserving of a team from a much higher level of football and a much higher fan base.

With only 200 or so fans bothering to turn up to support their local Club,  sadly it looked like
Arsenal's Emirates Stadium during a Fire Drill.

I suspect there will be more attendees at Theresa May's leaving do.

And oh how I longed for the warmth of a fire, as my Magner's cider- enhanced breath was visible in the frozen air, and as I belched politely little Apple logos sailed off into the sky, like a Hampshire version of West Ham fans 'forever blowing bubbles'.

Thankfully for the home fans they had a hot shot to warm them in the shape of 'Charlie' Murphy-McVey who 'busted' the net with a screamer.

The goal has been captured on camera and is available on Twitter and I urge any real football fan to watch it- as the strike is so magical and a great advertisement for the quality non-league
players have to offer.

I doubt if there will be a better goal at that stadium until the year 'Three Thousand'.

Of course, it may have been different,  if Merthyr Town goalkeeper Joe Perry, had not been putting his watch back an hour ready for Winter- but with the power of the Murphy-McVey strike- which must have felt like TWO people had hit that shot-as there was to be no
'daylight saving time' for Joe Perry.

With his side in the unusual position this season of being ahead in the game,Farnborough FC Manager Spencer Day shouted at his players to 'Focus'.

But that could have just been instructions from local Farnborough FC sponsors Ford- as why else would he added 'book a test drive today on 01252 544344'?

Sadly, the ripple of joy the wonder goal should have created was greeted with less noise than a Trappist Monastery in the empty stadium- with only the players celebrating wildly.

It was not just the stadium atmosphere that was flat, but the ball seemed under-inflated too with less bounce than the dead cat that was knocked off the Prospect Road End Stand Roof.

But our
Jekyll & Hyde
Glamorgan side
Merthyr Town,
don't stay down, (poetry too this week Ownes) -nor do they give up easily.

At home, we seem to be on a 'Hyding' to nothing but away it is just what Doctor Jekyll ordered and Merthyr were level less than five minutes later, as Ian Traylor moved the windsock that was blowing on the corner flag and hit a 'Mullered Corner' which deflected passed Boro keeper Mason by recent teen defender Connor for his first goal for the club.

It was just dessert.

Traylor has wonderful intelligent footballing feet and has the ability to drill in bullet crosses or slower 'Matrix' style ones which confuse defences and keepers alike.

The touch from Young was enough to turn Mason to stone and warm the Pen Clawdd cockles of the frozen fans hearts, as the South Wales Echo of all 30 or so travelling fans rang around the walls of the Hampshire monastery, as they 'reported' home the score.

Like the true 'amateur' he is, Young didn't celebrate with the other players but retreated 'professionally' back to his defensive position at left back ready for action.

Better was to come for Merthyr Town, as no sooner than the Welsh Vespers had faded from the stadium, than Keiran Lewis ghosted in behind the Boro defence to put Merthyr into the ascendency which lasted until the referee blew his frozen pea whistle for half-time.

A visit to the Club House was high on the interval list, immediately after a visit to the little boys room to sort out my own frozen pee, where I was shocked to see super fan Brian Tweedy wasn't wearing one layer- just a Merthyr Town shirt.

Like Newcastle United Fans before him he regularly braves the worst of the British elements clad only in thin football regalia but even today he had covered up with a Rab C Brexit string vest.

Looking like Page 3 Girl Melinda Messinger in the cold, he provided impromptu coat hangers for the other Merthyr fans to hang their scarves on , as they surrendered disrobed layers to the welcoming warmth of the Cherrywood Saloon Bar.

With a 3d television set designed by Damon Albarn displaying the half-time scores, I asked all and sundry how Blur-mingham  City were getting on.

No sooner than blood had returned to my cheeks than it was time to return to becoming a member of the cast of Avatar and the second half started as it had finished with Merthyr on the front foot.

Farnborough had some talented youngsters on show but on the evidence of this performance seemed to lack fire power up front.

One shot was so far over the stadium roof that a blue and yellow UFO was reported by Farnborough Air Traffic Control.

Perhaps their playing budget,  just like Merthyr has had to be cut, due to limited attendance figures, as the Home Side go from being Farnborough to Farnborrow and dip into the overdraft facilities to rob Peter to pay Puemo.

Merthyr piled on the pressure and it was only the excellence of Captain CJ Fearn and keeper Sam Mason ( I wonder if he was on a free as his trousers were rolled up above his knee?) that kept the score down.

Matthew Harris was running the show in midfield with his artistic 'brush' strokes, both defensively and offensively.

He looked more cultured than a natural yoghurt.

A series of attempts to lob the keeper followed with one athletic goal-line clearance from Captain CJ Fearn that was outstanding -how he got a frond to it I don't know.

When he went off with an injury, Farnborough looked much more susceptible to the pace of the Merthyr attack.

After an 'initial' inspection 'CJ' Fearn has a shoulder injury but hopefully nothing 'bracken'.

If the makeshift Farnborough defence looked scared, it soon became terrified as Rhondda Juggernaut Jarrad Wright went on a personal 'Duel' not just with 1970's star Dennis Weaver but with the entire Boro team, as he pretended he was Tottenham FA Cup hero Ricardo Villa dribbling his way towards the 'Easy as a HGV' sponsored Home Goal.

As he was upended by a stray Boro boot on the proper grass pitch, just outside the penalty box, I have never witnessed so many Moles moving that quickly before- not since supermodels Cindy Crawford  and Kate Moss quit jogging that is.

Unfortunately, the resulting Traylor free kick was hit straight into the bread basket of the Home Goalkeeper.

But few can deny the ever dependable Traylor his customary goal and he added the Merthyr third with a shot across the keeper after a right wing 'scamper' to the blessed relief of the keyboard warriors following on the Merthyr Town Fans Forum.

At 3-1 like David Cassidy, Dennis Weaver, Bowie and White, Farnborough looked dead and buried, but like a undercover police officer pretending to be dead in the Prince Charles Hospital Morgue, Farnborough refused to lie down.

With ten nervy minutes left on Joe Perry's corrected time piece, West Byfleet referee Creswick awarded a soft penalty for handball against Adam Davies.

The official judged the defender as having his hand in an unnatural position.

True, he was picking his nose at the time of the incident but that isn't unnatural for most footballing men - and if it's good enough sustenance for German National Manager
Joachim Low - who are we to complain?

The resulting penalty was converted by striker Cumberbatch to cries of '( Doctor)
Who.... are you?' from the 'growlers' amongst the iceberg pack of brave Merthyr Fans left floating in the stands.

Fortunately, the cool heads of substitute Ryan Prosser and Ian Traylor game managed the victory by keeping the ball in the corner for the remaining few minutes.

It was a fine away performance against a young but skilful and resolute Farnborough side, which secured some much needed coffers in our Club, which is hanging onto its survival by the skin of its teeth and the generosity of sponsors the World Wide Webbs.

Let's hope it is not just the Mercury that rises from this cold but calculated Trophy win - but that Merthyr Town Home attendances rise too to keep us in business.


Last edited by Boz1964 on Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Referee style eyesight)

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Post  Tim Drummond on Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:18 am

The poor attendance demonstrates the declining interest in Cup games even though they can be a big financial boost to clubs.
The time was when there would be a big build-up in the week for clubs involved in The FA Cup and FA Trophy. Now only the dedicated supporters of clubs seem to know the next fixture. One fan turned up at the metcoaches stadium recently not aware that the Poole game was off because they were still in The FA Cup.
Every season, clubs aim for glory with more expenditure and likely less income.So we have impressive grounds such as Farnborough with great facilities but which attract little local interest. It's a little like The Emperor's New Clothes. We see lots on the outside (well so the Emperor thought but was wrong) but beneath the surface, there is little depth.
Sometimes I think most non-League clubs exist only to provide a wage for players.Fair play to Dunstable Town last season whose players played for nothing- though this is a lot to ask at Step Three Level.
At Merthyr, if the gate reaches 500, it is greeted with applause! The time was when that would have been considered poor. We have big empty stadiums in the Southern League so community events have to subsidise football and even they don't seem to be enough at most clubs!Progress through the pyramid is for most clubs an unrealistic dream. But on the other hand, to simply survive seems almost pointless without ambition.
It's hard to be positive but clubs just have to realistically cut their suit according to the cloth. One fan told me he thought if Merthyr were promoted, it would be a "disaster" for the club.Managers and players want promotion to show they have done a good job but it means more finances.And look at where Hereford are now after promotion. Roy of The Rovers was just a story-book character.

Tim Drummond

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