Wednesday, 25 April 2012

They Came, They Saw, They Conga'd: Dover 2-2 Maidenhead

Well, at least we managed to end our 4 match losing streak at Crabble in our final home game of the season. But in reality we threw away a two goal lead against the second-bottom side which effectively ended our slim play-off hopes, which was confirmed yesterday evening when Basingstoke beat Hampton 2-0. It was a pretty awesome day on the lash nonetheless with a great set of Maidenhead lad joining us on the piss, all of them clad in some superb fancy dress costumes!

The day had C.A.R.N.A.G.E written all over it when me and Champ managed to persuade the Old Endeavour to open up an hour earlier at 10PM so we could fuel ourselves on what they had to offer. So me, Fish and my sister Jess (no, i'm not supplying the RULES) entered the pub bang on opening time to meet Champ.

Now the Old Endeavour are great at holding events and doing different stuff to make the pub more enticing and quite interestingly they made this a Mexican themed day for all to enjoy. No, I don't know why either but they put on some cool things for us to enjoy. A spicy bean burger and pint was available for £5 while bottles of desperado and corona were £2 all day, while shots of tequila were only £1. They also held a spicy chilli con carne contest at midday which was won in impressive fashion by David Waterfield while my sister was runner-up. Fair play to her. I obviously would have won had I bothered to enter but I was in my "Can't be arsed to eat because I just want to drink" faze.

They also provided free mexican hats and moustaches/goatees/sideburns to wear because national stereotypes are great. And thus I actually got to sample the rare experience of what having facial hair is like.

But the offers didn't end there. They have continental beer bottles on for £2.20 at the moment (singha, cobra, grolsch and something else) while as it was St George's weekend they had bottles of Spitfire, Bishop's Finger and 2 other ales for £2.20 as well. Bargain tastic all around.

And so began my newly acquainted love affair with Singha, an absolutely devine Thai beer that I have never sampled before even though its fairly mainstream and Phil has oftenly drunk it on away games. Its absolutely fucking superb, such a nice taste and it goes down quicker than the twin towers. (Tasteless anecdote provided to you by Martyn Mcgarrigle). I must have drunk upwards of ten bottles of the stuff throughout the whole day.

This was one of the best pre-match drinking sessions before a home matchday in a long while. Plenty of people turned up and the BANTZ was prevailing all day. Ryan Reid made a very rare appearence at a home game along with his girlfriend Katy which always provides lots of amusement. If you knew them then you would know why! A rare appearence by Steven King was also a great treat.

The shot of tequila before 11AM wasn't such a treat though and it almost forced me into vomiting. It surely has to be one of the most horrible tasting spirits around, isn't it? No reedeming features of it whatsoever.

It was great to meet some of the Maidenhead fans in here aswell, they were a great laugh. For every last away game of the season they go away in fancy dress, something I think we shoud adopt. There has been a lack of us doing things like this in the past few seasons sadly.
Anywhere I got meet Lenny of conference south forum fame who was dressed rather impressively like John McEnroe. He should write his own blog about this later in the week, should you wish to read it; then have a gander here. I have to say he was a lot younger than I envisaged. I was honestly expecting to see a middle-aged bloke!
There were far more impressive costumes banding about though, my favourite one being Kermit the Frog, although Mr Zippy seemed to be everybody elses favourite.
We also engaged in a good sing-off with ironic self-depreciating songs being sung by both sets of fans. We carried on with the "don't care if we win, don't care if we lose, you're going down and we're on the booze" ditty from last week.

Marvellous. What also was marvellous was Booster bringing along a bottle of jaigermeister for us to drink. So after I nipped over the shop and brought back a fuck load of energy drink we all polished off the whole bottle within about 60 seconds. A good effort by all.

So we were pretty larraped by the time we left to go to the ground. For some reason Booster brough a 17 seater mini bus along with him so we all piled in an he took us up to the ground. It felt like we were on our way to an away game! BUZZING!!

The Centre Spot proved to be the chance for one final refreshment until after the game because fucking stupidly our club decided to close it at half-time. Why? Because their was a presentation evening on in there at 7PM. I don't know much about events but considering this is a fairly small building, do they really need 4 hours to set up in there? Would it not be better to just hold it on another date and not deprive ours and Maidenhead's fans to drink? There were certainly a lot off pissheads in the ground on Saturday and they will have missed out on quite a few quid from the matchday revenue as a result. I can't defend that and I can't get my head around it. The PR at this club has become so piss poor over the past few years it is unreal.

Now I haven't actually looked through the highlights yet because I never can be arsed after a dissapointing result. Why would I?
It was great in some respects though because we actually managed to see the ball going into the back of the onion sack twice! Both goals through rebounded tap-ins by Corcoron and Cogan from what I can remember.

We were playing quite well and it looked like it would be a comfortable rare home win that we have craved for. But instead doubts creeped in when Maidenhead pulled one back right before half-time. From memory it was a pretty sweet strike too. A half-volley on the turn from quite far out unless I am imagining it.

And after half-time the inevitable collapse occured. Barely long after the re-start they had equalised thanks to some atrociously soft defending which allowed them a free header. It seemed we just let them straight through to score.

Would this put fire in our bellies and give us the kick up the arse we needed? No. For the rest of the game we just seemed to be going through the motions and it was a non spectacle. Maidenhead went closest to getting a winner as far as I can remember.
It was so dull that the main talking point of the game was a conga that the 40/50 strong Maidenhead contingent began embarking on, nearly all of them clad in fancy dress costumes. Sadly though, one of our jobsworth stewards put a halt to it as they were conga'ing past the main stand, apparently under instructions from Jim.

So a load of us though "fuck that, we're not having any of this" and decided to start our own conga round the ground via the same route that they were going. Yet nobody tried stopping us and the River End spent most of it watching on in laughter and clapping rather than concentrating on the game.
We had a brief stop in the Dover Port end with the Maidenhead fans, sang a few songs with them  before completing our conga all the way round back to the RiverEnd. Upon crossing the finishing line everybody was greeted with a standing ovation!
It sounds utterly tinpot and it was utterly tinpot but it was a great laugh and turned out to be one of the biggest talking points after the game. Sums up everything wrong with whats going on at Crabble at the moment.

Anyway, the game petered out to a 2-2 draw, a result not really helpful to either side. Maidenhead have to beat Eastleigh next week and hope that Havant fail to beat Staines in order to stay up. After the massive amount of bum-chummery that went on on Saturday most of us will be rooting them on to do it.

But the result concluded a poor under-achieving season for us in which we have only won a third of our home games in the league. Everything wrong was summed up in the dying minutes with out lack of urgency or will to win the game. If you get a free-kick on the half-way line, get every single body into the box and attack it. You have absolutely nothing to lose. So what do we do? Have four defenders back on the half-way line and float a half-hearted ball into the box that gets cleared with ease. It just summed up the mentality of our players. None of them seem to really give that much of a fuck. I can't wait to have a clearout in the summer and I truely hope Forster shifts out the deadwood in the summer. Don't keep Starkey, Huke, Corcoron, Cogan, they have offered next to nothing all season. I will really struggle to muster the enthusiasm to renew my season ticket if at least 1 of those quartlet are retained.

Although in fairness to Starkey at least he bothered to clap the fans off at the end of the game along with Ruiz and Southam for our efforts in following and supporting them this season. There is the argument by some that they shouldn't have to because a few posters give some of them write negative things about them on blogs and forums. Which is bollocks, obviously. I don't think anyone pays and turns up just to get on the players backs. They've  been supported all season and on too many occasions they have let us down. Fuck them.

Anyway, fuck football, its a shit sport and irrellevent.

For some reason we decided to wait for Maidenhead fans on the slope and applauded them on their way down for some bizzarre non-league reason. The main purpose was to take them into the Three Cups for a much needed drink with my mouth drier than the sahara desert at this point.

I spent most of the time here in the back garden with Lenny and his mate Kermit along with the much celebrated Martyn McGarrigle. We had a good chat about soccer and other boring life related stuff from what I recall. I think it was just one long whingefest about who's club is more shit and why their manager Justin Hippolyte is such a tool. I'm quite envious though about their possibility of playing in the Southern Premier next season. Imagine having away trips to Stourbridge/Barwell/Frome/Evesham - how cool would that be? I don't have a fucking clue where any of those places are. It would be one long exciting adventure and much more appealing than going to the likes of Boring Wood, Staines and Eastleigh for the fucking zillionth time!

(Sorry I can't stress highly enough about how bored I am of the Conference South at the moment!! For an away game enthusiast like myself the prospect of zero new away grounds next season is just a wrist-slashing thought).

Steven King was even out after the game for this one which was really fucking unusual. So what Alex Meathead Wilshaw and his girlfriend Camilla. (I'm only writing this because my blog is mundane, I need to feel space and Alex said he would buy me a pint next week if I mention his name!)

We headed back down the Old Endeavour afterwards for more fun and games and more importantly for myself, more bottles of Singha, the greatest beer on the planet.
This is the point of the day where your head goes really fuzzy and your not really with planet earth. All I can remember here was engaging in a really emotional chat with Kingy who was explaining how gutted he is when he has to miss games through his working committments at the school he works at (Dover Grammar PE Teacher aka a Paedophile). I told him I understood and that when I wind him up for missing games and call him a part-timer its only just BANTZ.
But seriously that is not the case, he is a liability that always lets the club down because he's a fickle bastard that prefers touching young boys rather than going to games.

We all wandered down to the Eagle to take the Maidenhead fans for one last pint before their train home. I thought that we were heading to the Red Lion as I hadn't even realised that the Eagle had re-opened.
I can confirm to everyone that it is still shit, dull waste of a building and I can't fathom what the point was of re-opening it!

Most amusing part of this pub was when Jared turned up about 10 minutes after us. He began pulling off his sulking face because apparently we had left him behind in the Endeavour even though we all said we were off. Then he began crying. Yes, he was crying. He's a very strange boy sometimes.

So I took it upon myself to take an emotionally and physically fragile Jared back to my house via a quick stop at my favourite pizzeria, a desperate neccessity having not eaten a single thing the entire day. I was horrified to discover that they had hiked the prices up and knocked half of the pizzas off of their horrid modern menu but it still managed to deliver the goods. Its still relatively cheap aswell but I was dissapointed nonetheless.
I had various text from the others begging and pleeing me to come out in town but I opted not to. I'd already spent a ridiculous amount of money throughout the day and I needed to conserve funds for the weekend ahead, so made the correct decision and pussied out. I had a great day overall anyway.

So thank fucking god the season finally finishes on Saturday with a trip to Weston-Super-Mare. This will hopefully be a case of saving the best till last as seven of us lads descend onto the city of Bristol for a carnage fuelled weekend. I've never been to the city before so it is one I am really looking forward to. And with our game being an irrellevent dead-rubber there will be no way a football result can spoil our weekend. Bring it on.

Hopefully I'll be able to produce a half-entertaining blog out of it as was the case with Newquay/Truro weekender. I apologize if my standards have waned in recent weeks but that probably is a result of my lack of enthusiasm and desire for the season to hurry up and end.
Take care for now.

Tuesday 24 Apr 2012
Hampton & Richmond 0 - 2 Basingstoke

goal Sam-Yorke (30)
goal Sills (56)
attendance 569
Saturday 21 Apr 2012
Basingstoke 3 - 0 Eastbourne Borough
goal Sam-Yorke (11)
goal Daly (58)
goal McAuley (59)

attendance 458
Bromley 0 - 0 Thurrock

attendance 688
Dartford 2 - 2 Boreham Wood
goal Garrod (23)
goal Erskine (80)

goal Montgomery (31)
goal O'Loughlin (89)
attendance 1,309
Dover 2 - 2 Maidenhead Utd
goal Cogan (22)
goal Corcoran (36)

goal McKain (42)
goal Brown (47)
attendance 725
Eastleigh 1 - 1 Chelmsford
goal Forbes (83)
penalty Rainford (89) attendance 831
Farnborough 1 - 0 Havant and W
goal Bennet (03)

attendance 789
Hampton & Richmond 0 - 2 Welling

goal Day (43)
goal Healy (91)
attendance 519
Salisbury 3 - 1 Sutton Utd
goal Williams (50)
goal Williams (82)
goal Williams (91)

goal Watkins (02)
sent off Scriven (39)
attendance 892
Staines Town 2 - 1 Weston-S-Mare
goal Chaaban (23)
penalty Antwi (29)

goal Ingram (51)
sent off McGregor (60)
attendance 283
Tonbridge Angels 2 - 1 Dorchester
goal Suarez (49)
goal Malson (25)
own goal Bell (54 og)
attendance 756
Woking 3 - 3 Truro City
goal Cowan-Hall (23)
goal Sole (33)
goal Cowan-Hall (54)

goal Watkins (37)
goal Pugh (58)
goal Afful (87)
attendance 4,048
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 up 4 Woking 41 29 7 5 89 39 50 94
2 down 2 Dartford 41 26 9 6 88 39 49 87
3 up 6 Welling United 41 24 8 9 78 46 32 80
4 down 4 Sutton United 41 19 14 8 66 53 13 71
5 up 10 Basingstoke Town 41 20 10 11 64 49 15 70
6 down 3 Chelmsford 41 18 13 10 65 41 24 67
7 down 5 Dover 41 17 14 10 61 48 13 65
8 down 8 Boreham Wood 41 16 10 15 62 56 6 58
9 down 9 Tonbridge Angels 41 15 12 14 68 63 5 57
10 up 7 Dorchester 41 16 7 18 57 64 -7 55
11 down 11 Salisbury City 41 14 12 15 52 53 -1 54
12 down 1 Eastleigh 41 15 9 17 54 59 -5 54
13 up 8 Weston-S-Mare 41 14 8 19 57 70 -13 50
14 down 14 Truro City 41 13 8 20 64 79 -15 47
15 down 7 Staines Town 41 12 10 19 51 60 -9 46
16 down 16 Farnborough * 41 15 6 20 52 77 -25 46
17 down 17 Eastbourne Borough 41 12 9 20 53 66 -13 45
18 down 6 Bromley 41 10 14 17 51 65 -14 44
19 down 13 Havant and Waterlooville 41 10 11 20 61 73 -12 41
20 down 4 Maidenhead United 41 10 10 21 45 71 -26 40
21 down 7 Hampton & Richmond 41 9 12 20 51 69 -18 39
22 down 12 Thurrock 41 5 11 25 33 82 -49 26

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