The Real Cold War

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The Real Cold War Empty The Real Cold War

Post  Boz1964 on Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:56 pm

The Real Cold War

'The Seagull flies West over Vladivostok' said a voice from the shadows of the Tregenna Hotel.

I asked as the Steve Claridge Foundation emblazoned fleet of minibuses made their way up Park Terrace.

'You are not from Merthyr are you?' I enquired of the stranger.

'No ...but I am tourist come to see St Davids Church steeple' said the voice resembling that of a meerkat.

As I entered Penydarren Park Football Stadium, it was so cold, Phil 'Old Sod' Mack was stuck to the metal entrance gate by his tongue.

So cold that even Richard Parkes had gone back home.

Looking around at the usual suspects, I was surprised to see several faces that I didn't recognise and after a brief game of I-Spy, I was surprised to see that an Away Team had brought more supporters than the Home contingent.

Not only that but they were a happy bunch too...some with front teeth... others without...but all of them  Smiley's people.

Was there a revolution going down at the Park this afternoon?.

The White Army was in Town and the Mensheviks had invaded Webleys and were busily drinking us out of Smirnoff vodka.

It was great to see a team at our level that had such a travelling support, as it certainly put a few roubles behind the bar, as the tinkers, tailors and soldiers  lapped up the
pre-match atmosphere and famous welcome in the hillsides that Merthyr Town offer.

As the Merthyr Team was announced over the icicle- covered tannoy, once again the line-up had changed due to yet another injury.

How frustrating must it be for SuperGav & Clarkie to have to continually shuffle their pack, which is reducing week by week, in ever decreasing circles.

They have not been able to field the same side two games in succession since November.

As the teams filed out onto the pitch, I thought I had seen every Merthyr kit before but was this latest one a charity special?

I suddenly realised why our players were dressed in Hazmat - we were playing Salisbury FC.

So that is why Captain Marble, Ashley Evans, literally threw down the gauntlet after shaking the Away Captain's hand.

It was no novel joke.

With Salisbury in third place and Merthyr just outside the play-off positions, the portends were
there that it would take something special to win a game between two evenly matched teams.

In the sub-zero temperatures, it felt more like Siberia than Wales, which meant that Away side seemed to settle quicker than the home team.

Looking at the bald pate of referee Daniel Flynn covered in frost, he must have been suffering from hypothermia, as he missed two clear handballs - one for Salisbury on the far touch line and one in the Theatre End Box which should have resulted in a Merthyr penalty.

I think it prudent that this referee should be given anatomy lessons before next season.

Whilst the officials gave Salisbury a 'helping hand' on this occasion, Merthyr had their own their goalkeeper Lewis Webb to thank for his helping hands too, as he kept the scoreboard blank, when the teenage sensation made a fabulous one handed save mid-way through the first half to deny the Wiltshire outfit, after another dangerous  'defection' came off Salisbury's Skripal.

Celebrating his call-up to International Duty with Wales Schools, young Webb earned his new nickname of 'SpiderBoy', as he shot out an arachnid arm and lifted a shot over the bar, in a movement that had all the grace of the Bolshoi Ballet- even if in that cold weather the athleticism might have turned into a nutcracker.

With Salisbury 4, Thomas Whelan, 'Putin' on the style, he stood regally above the rest of the players, as he controlled the game like he was Head of the KGB and SFC all rolled into one.

And it was he who scored the opening goal, as he turned 'Marx-Man' on 48 minutes, after a 'read square'  and a bolt out of the blue, after the Merthyr defence went missing ( just like the Romanov Family in 1917 ) for the first time in the match.

His little 'iced bun' celebrating with him, after a sterile first half that had dragged on longer than 'War and Peace'.

But it could have been oh so different for the Martyrs,  if they hadn't seen their talisman
Ryan Prosser collapse through injury after a collision with Salisbury keeper, Lev Yashin.

The near sided blinds-man flagged for a foul caused by an Polonium umbrella to the leg on the Pontypridd Rasputin lookalike  but referee Daniel Flynn just waved it away.

With the Prossiah injured , the Home Side lost its shape and momentum and whilst one man doesn't make a team, it definitely affected the balance of play, as the Salisbury defence were at that point busy 'fearing the beard', whereas afterwards there was more of a 'Glasnost' feel to their play as their confidence grew.

Whilst Merthyr were getting more than their fair share of possession, thanks largely to the scary presence of Captain 'Evan the Terrible' and the cultured left foot of Matthew Harris, the newly reunited strike force of Meechan and Jones were struggling to get behind the Salisbury Iron Curtain or threaten the goal of the Wiltshire Warriors.

In the cold air, you could see the Merthyr players visibly huffing and puffing away to get the equaliser.

Fine saves from their keeper, a goal-line clearance from defender Oli Garch, which hit him on the Under Claridge, and the offside flag combined to ensure it was not to be Merthyr's day, as they were outmanoeuvred by the soldiers of Salisbury Plan.

Then General Patten fell- having pulled up quicker than a Shetland Pony at Beecher's Brook.

Then Connor Young fell ill quicker than a diner at Salisbury Prezzo Restaurant.

Not even Dr Zhivago could help them.

On 86 minutes with the Home Side with less fit people than 'The Undateables', Salisbury won a free kick on the edge of the area and with the 'enemy at the gate' and the Merthyr Wall  consisting of Warwick Davis, Kenny Baker and Verne Troyer, it was an easy task for Salisbury sharpshooter Vasily Zaytsev to put the game beyond the Home Side.

It prompted a mini-me pitch invasion by a young clutch of Salisbury Fans clad in
'Stonehenge' Island Gear to celebrate with their players- and why not too?....they had travelled for three hours through two Ice Ages....they deserved something for their devotion and loyalty.

Let's hope they all have a safe journey back on the A234 to Salisbury.

Lee Lucas curled in a late consolation but it did little to warm the footballing cockles of my heart.

After all it was a real Cold War today.


Last edited by Boz1964 on Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:06 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : KGB Politburo Sanction)

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