Is Marcus Hallows the new Jean-Marc Bosman?

First, a warning. This post is mildly serious, and many readers may find it lacking in the joviality and incisive wit* that Beat The First Man has become famed for. So that's that sorted.


How many of you could pick Jean-Marc Bosman out of a line up of one? Without the thoughtfully provided pictorial aide below, I'm guessing not many. Yet his name is now as synonymous with the game as Pele, Maradona and Kenny Irons.

pic of Jean-Marc Bosman
Guess who?
And now you can add the name of Marcus Hallows to that list. Like Bosman, a player no-one outside of his immediate family had ever heard of. Like Bosman, a player whose legacy promises to be far greater than anything he could have achieved with a ball. And like Bosman, a player whose actions will benefit others far more than they ever benefit him.

In amongst the gnashing of teeth and collective hand-ringing that is currently accompanying the inevitable, yet prolonged, deaths of Portsmouth, Chester and the like, a court ruling came into being that has potentially huge implications for the future of football.



marcus hallows and dan white
Marcus Hallows (red) and Dany White
Hallows was playing for Altrincham against Ashton United in March 2005, when he was involved in a challenge with Ashton's Dan White. The referee, no more than 10 yards away, saw nothing wrong in the challenge, and no free kick, let alone any caution for White, was given. Yet Hallows was injured. Badly. His leg was broken, and an ambulance was called. In the time it took for the ambulance to arrive, Hallows' heart stopped beating.


There was no footage of the incident, other than photos taken before and afterwards. Eye witness testimony was divided. "Experts" in the guise of Gary Mabbutt argued that the tackle they hadn't seen was "reckless", whilst the likes of ex-ref Jeff Winter claimed the tackle they hadn't seen "was commonplace at all levels of football".

Thankfully, due in no small part to the actions of the first aid staff at the ground, Mr Hallows survived, and made a full recovery. However, he has never kicked a ball in anger since. He holds both Ashton United, and Dan White, responsible for this. Follow this link for a local news report, in stunning technicolour.

Marcus Hallows in his hospital bed
Last week Ashton United were ordered to pay Mr Hallows £32000 in compensation for loss of earnings. A crippling amount of money for a club of Ashton's standing. And if they are unable to, the responsibility falls on Mr White. Compensation for an injury that occured during the course of a normal game of football, that all parties were partaking in voluntarilty, fully aware of the potential for injury.

There is much that sticks in the claw about this ruling. Gary Mabbut's
testimony for the prosecution. That it seems likely to spell the end
for one of Manchester's oldest football clubs. The ramifications for the game I love. But over and above all this is something that it would be easy to lose sight. By taking a fellow player to court, Hallows has breached an unwritten code.

You may not always like the people you share a pitch with, even those you share a dressing room with. But, to coin a cliche, when you cross that white line, you are all in it together. Yes, those given to hyperbole like to describe a game of football as "more important than life and death", but we all know such people are an leave from the asylum. Football is, at it's heart, a game, a pasttime. One which many of us put too much store in, and one which raises passions like no other. But one which we love because it is imperfect.

The implications for the game are widespread.  A legal precedent has been set whereby any injury can result in players or clubs being taken to court, and the financial implications could bankrupt both club and player. In addition, officials decisions are now subject to over-rule "after the fact" Above and beyond instances such as this, it now means that any ruling from a match official is open to reinterpretation. Don't like the last minute  penalty? Take it court.Think your man was wrongly sent off? Get your lawyers on the line.

There is a petiton which, if you have read this far, I would urge you to sign, which calls for the review, and  over-turning, of this ruling. Not just for the future of Ashton United and Dan White. But for the future of the game, for all of us. Even Marcus Hallows.

I have been able to watch Dan White play football fairly regularly since that challenge. He has rightly earned the nickname of "Gentleman Dan" wherever he has played. He was voted RUFC Supporters Player of the Season last season. I have never met Marcus Hallows.

*anyone claiming that all BTFM posts could be filed under this category will be forced to watch this video on repeat for 24 hours.
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Never Have I Felt The Need To Know More Villa Fans. Until Now.

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Stop The Madness

Portsmouth. Palace. Southend. Notts County. Chester. Farsley. Weymouth.


Source
That's one club from each of the first 6 levels of English football that is currently staring oblivion squarely in the face. North of the border, things are even more precarious. From the Auld Firm down through Clydebank and Stranraer, to the supposedly modern-day cautionary tale of Brechin. A truly sorry state of affairs. The lower down you go, the tighter the financial constraints, and the more clubs appear to be staring over the precipice. How have the authorities allowed this to happen?


Football clubs gambling with their very existence is nothing new of course. The grass is, and always has been, greener, and for every club that has been fortunate to have a board who are prepared to live within their means, whatever that means for the level of football played,
there has been an Accrington, a Bristol City, or a Newport County.



These days the rewards for reaching the promised land of the Premiership, the football league or simply the next step up, are financially greater than they have ever been. However wide the divide between the Haves and the Have Nots continues to grow, the preceived benefits of playing at a higher level are such that businessmen of seemingly sound financial acumen simply cannot get enough of Playing Roman. 

You don't need me to tell you to read When Saturday Comes, surely? And really, I shouldn't need to point you in the direction of 200% either. After all, if you can find an obscure site like Beat The First Man in amongst all the other self-indulgent and poorly envisaged football
blogs, you are clearly know your way around the interwebs. These esteemed sites have covered the plights of some of the above-mentioned clubs in far more detail than I am prepared to. I don't pretend to have the answers, or come that the questions. But I have seen too many innocents get embroiled in the fiasco that is British football in the 21st Century, and it needs to stop.


A caller to a radio phone in said that even if Pompey recovered or reformed, he'd had enough, and was going to give his alegiance to an as-yet undecided foreign team. At first this rankled with me. Surely Havant would be a better bet, if he had truly had his fill of his home town club? But the more I pondered, the more I understood. The sickness of Premiership greed has filtered down to the extent that non-league clubs talk of ten and twenty year plans for Championship football. And he, like so many others, has had enough of  the bullshit.
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"Oh, nobody wants to see this sort of thing"

On the contrary, Mr TV Producer. There isn't enough time given to the noble art of the good-natured pitch invasion

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For technocrati

5XMCDPSCFRPU

It's the sign of the devil
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The One About Scarves And Gloves

happy girl
She wasn't there
A game! That wasn't called off.!! All my christmases have surely come at once.

As I sat in the BoneShaker, passing time before heading in to The Welfare Ground, I got a text from the Fats Domino of groundhopping, who's 66POW blog serves to show us all what a hollow pursuit this is how it should be done. With Worksop's game against Boston being called off, he had opted for Scunthorpe v Watford in the Fizzy Pop League. Lord knows why, although I am sure his relentlessly embellished report will tell you it was a wise decision. Quite whether the £15 admission gave him a game that was thee times better than Armthorpe Welfare v Scarborough in the NCEL, featuring 5 goals, three red cards, two penalties and a vocal crowd, I'll let him decide.

pic of armthorpe welfare fc
Blackpool of the North
At the start of the season, Scarborough were many peope's tips for promotion out of the NCEL. They certainly have the fan base for  ahigher level of football. However, as the season has progressed, they have flattered to deceive, and indeed have been overshadowed by their landlords, Bridlington. Armthorpe meanwhile seem, to me at least, to have far outstripped realistic expectations. Although the general worksite-ness of the ground would indicate that there is financial backing to support their promotion push. Although one suspects they come a little short this time round.

It's fair to say that Armthorpe is not the most enticing of areas. But then, as a suburb of Doncaster, can it be expected to be? I remember a few visits to Church Road with Retford, back in the day. What fans they could muster were always a fairly volitile bunch. One of those in and out operations. Decent chippy opposite tho.

pic of disused turnstile
One of the better games I've watched in recent times, this. Wellie, as no-one calls them despite their best efforts, were happy to soak up pressure, and hit Boro on the break, whilst the visitors themselves were capable of some good football when it suited them. On this showing, neither time would disgrace themselves at the next level.

The home team took the lead after about 10 minutes, following a prolonged spell of pessure from Scarborough. It was a scrappy goal, but they deserved it. The Seadogs were making great inroads by going down the right, with the Wellie left back having a torrid day. Not helped by his mate in goal berating his every move. He was booked, and things just got worse for him. Eventually, a free kick on the Scarborough left wasn't dealt with, and it fell to the right winger who, having been hopelessly ignored by the aforementioned left back calmly leveled the scores. With the last kick of the half, Armthorpe hit the bar.

arty football shot
The second half was even more manic. Boro went two one up after more poorly executed set piece defending, only for Armthorpe to go straight down the other end and earn a penalty. Two all. This didn't go down too well with the visiting fans, who prior to this had been enjoying themselves by baiting the home keeper, not only for his continuing admonishments of the left back, for other, less clear but no doubt no less deserving, crimes. I don't think either party will be in a hurry to exchange Facebook accounts.

video 
An utterly pointless clip, if I'm honest

Shortly after they were reduced to 10 men as a "6 of one" kerfuffle broke out down by the dugouts. Inexplicably, the home combatant was only booked, whilst his nemisis walked. Needless to say the travelling Seadog army were now incandescent with rage. And it was going to get worse.

But not before Armthorpe attempted to shoot themselves in the foot with a reckless two footed lunge that served only to even the sides up at ten-apiece.

Armthorpe headed off down the exact same route, with the standout number 7 again tormenting the left back (not the rubbish Armthorpe one), and the outcome was the same. A penalty, this time with added red card for even greater punishment. Upstepped the Liam Hardy again, and Armthorpe were 3-2 up against 9 men.

And that was pretty much that.
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To Whit, To Who?

football of pele
It was going to be Whitby Town tomorrow. But I have thought better of it. For one, it'll be cold. Very cold. And for another, there is every likelihood that it'll be called off anyway.


So, as of 11pm on Friday night, as I wait for a Britisher to slide down a hill on a tea tray, it's Armthorpe v Scarborough in the NCEL.

See you there.
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Rafa robs Martin O'Neill and Hodgson slates Allardyce

Talksport deserve awards for these. Truly. But then I guess they counterbalance the fact that most of their output is unmitigated shite


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Good ol' Arsenal

It's doing the rounds online at the moment, but Beat The First Man has never been blessed with the pace to avoid an onrushing steam train.

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Pre-season friendly

Lest we forget, we live in a global village these days. Whilst many fans are already tired of another season of under-achievement, boardroom shenanigans and bureaucratic back-stabbing, elsewhere the hopes and aspirations that only a new season can fertilize are still vibrant.

Courtesy of 101 Great Goals, witness the sheer joy that the prospect of a new campaign can bring to all those involved.

And no, I have no idea what they are saying.

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Bottesford Town 2-2 Barton Town Old Boys

Bottesford Town 2-2 Barton Town Old Boys

NCEL Division One

Birch Park
Ontario Road
Bottesford
Scunthorpe

Bottesford Town FC
More signs than fans

Eagle-eyed readers, and I have no reason to doubt that there must be some out there who aren't drunk and/or Scottish, will notice that the game I graced today was not the one advertised earlier.  Quite simply, in the past I have alluded, light heartedly, to a curse having beset this Best Of The Web-in-waiting blog. Well, tonight, I am not so sure it isn't.

 

non league football letterbox view
All my shots are similarly framed. 

Why else would my game be the only sodding game in the Central Midlands league to be called off? Indeed, the only game for bloody miles around. If that doesn't smack of an MI5 conspiracy, well then, I don't know what does.

 

So, if you find your team wracked by injuries and suspensions, give me a call on 1800-CALLMYGAMEOFF and I'll see what I can do.

 

Granted this proves nothing



Having rumbled the Illuminati's plot, I was yet again forced to hastily scan the fixtures and re-evaluate. The winner, Bottesford Town, left me with an hour to get across Lincolnshire and into Humberside. A route which took me past Fanny Hands Lane. I thought about taking a shot to prove it. but thankfully someone else did. In 1955.

 

It is an interesting irrelevant side issue that due to the unique way BTFM is funded, I don't have one of those all-singin', all-dancin' proper internet-y type phones. Instead, I have to muddle thru with a phone that was cutting edge many many moons ago. As such I can access enough of the web to get club information, but luxuries like actual maps are a stretch too far. Meaning that texts from concerned citizens which read "It's right at the end of the road, just when it looks like you've gone too far and couldn't possibly be there", whilst hugely appreciated, aren't much use to me.

 

More by luck than judgement, I happened upon Birch Park, just in time for the heavens to open. It is a gift.  I am mildly intrigued as to why the estate it is housed upon has named itself after various aspects of Canada, but not intrigued enough to actually Google it. So if anyone has a exhausted every other possible search they can muster, please let me know.

It's a cracking set up at Bottesford. A true testimony to what can be achieved by a forward thinking local council working in tandem with the authorities, and of course, the club itself. Parties up and down the country (Bassetlaw and Barnet for two), should take note. 

 

The cast-off's from ITV hit "Take Me Out"

I guess this constitutes something of a local derby for these two clubs. Indeed, the first meeting between the two is currently the best attended game in the league this season. But the people of Scunthorpe are guilty of neglecting all that Bottesford has to offer, as The Poachers have one of the lowest home averages. 

 

So it was no surprise to see a sizeable away contingent milling about amicably prior to kick off, although the deluge meant that part of this bonhomie took on the air of the fabled Blitz Spirit.

 


At least until the opening five minutes had passed, by which time the hosts were one up, and Barton looked like they were in for a long old afternoon. Every ball over the top seemed to cause them problems. Which is not to say they were poor, just baffled by the tactic of teams trying to score against them. The keeper was unsure of himself, and this translated itself to a half of heart-in-mouth defending. At the other end, they attacked with guston, and through the course of the afternoon hit the woodwork on at least two occassions, if not more.

 

Good. But blue boots?

Stand out player was visiting skipper Ryan Morton, resplendant in his blue boots. I'm not sure on his leadership abilities, but as a play-maker he definitely lead by example. He gave the home right back a torrid afternoon, and whilst his delivery wasn't always pinpoint, he provided a constant threat going forwards.

 

Once Bottesford scored their second, via sloppy defending from a free kick, it appeared the travelling hoardes were in for a wasted journey. But credit Barton, they kept on pushing. They were helped when a reckless tackle in midfield lead to a straight red for the home side's ball-winner, but there were was still plenty of work to be done.

 

A goal mouth scramble gave them a foot in the game, and with time winding down, they kept on coming. And the, late drama, a penalty! Up stepped captain Ryan, and...

video

All in all, a satisfactory afternoon. Fair result, I think. Although naturally Bottesford will feel agrieved to have surrendered a two goal lead at home.


Next up, Harrogate on Monday if I can be arsed, although Tuesday night at Rainworth is more likely. That said, given my pedigree, I could be anywhere.

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Man out of time

Sometimes I worry about myself. We're off to Louth. God knows why. Expect a post later this evening decrying all of humanity, and questioning The Makers plan for me.

In the meantime, Tesla. I can only apologise for the shirts and hair.

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Put your clothes on, get out of here, and change your taste in men.

A week ago, having a day out in Louth seemed like a good idea. Now, as I look at a weather forecast that says unlikely to break out of freezing, snow possible, it seems less enticing.

I'll sleep on it.

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Gedling Miners Welfare 5 Graham St Prims 0

(It's not that late)

gedling miners welfare fc


East Midlands Counties Football League Premier Division
Plains Social Club


Cold. Quite cold. That will be my abiding memory of this trip to Nottingham's outskirts. I know it's hardly akin to Scott's visit to the Antarctic, and as anecdotes it's probably best I don't dust it off for any appearance on Parkinson. But still, it was cold.

Avid readers of this blog (how long left on the isolation order?) will know that this isn't the place for wide-eyed analysis of the game, with formations and tactics being deconstructed at every turn. There are folks who know stuff who can write about that. Nor is this the place for cutting critique of the ground or the catering. All of which really calls in to question the actually reason for this blog. And if I'm honest, I don't know. Which isn't great, given that it's only been in existence, albeit in various guises, for a few months.

gedling miners welfare seats
It pisses all over some seated stands, to be fair

It took about 10 minutes of last night's game for me to question my sanity. It wasn't a bad game, don't get me wrong. I've seen worse, at much higher levels. One particularly inept showing between Tranmere and Birmingham springs instantly to mind. And I've been colder. Grimsby v Barnet in the middle of March for example. But there was something futile about proceedings at The Plains.

Gedling are going great guns at the top of the league, and despite being plenty of points behind the leaders, have plenty of games in hand. The ground is set fair for improvements, should they be needed. All in all a good set-up. St Prims in contrast are struggling near the bog end. So something of a forgone conclusion.

And so it proved. For the first 20 minutes or so the visitors matched their hosts, and both teams were intent on playing football. But it was painfully obvious that Saints were short on confidence. For all the pretty stuff, as soon as they got anywhere near the business end of the pitch, they floundered. Ineffective running and errant passing lead to the home defence having a relatively stress-free night.

At the other end, the Prims keeper looked, well, shit. Scared to come off his line. Terrible when he did. Unable to catch or kick anything, and apparently traumatised by a football at a young age. Had Gedling been blessed with a physical presence up front, rather than two strikers who would be dwarfed in a pantomime, the tally could have been much higher. Despite their limitations, Gedling got the ball wide repeatedly, and attempted to cross whenever they could. An odd choice, but as I said, I am no master tactician.

Once the hosts took the lead, the game was over as a contest. Had Prims managed to keep it 1-0 til half time, they may have stood a chance, but the last kick of the half was a free kick that put the game out of reach of a side who had offered very little.
video


The second half consisted of St Prims manfully repelling Gedling's attacks, but sheer persistence paid off three more times. The keeper continually failed to cover himself in glory, and had Gegling been more ruthless, the scoreline may well have ended up even more lopsided.

Attendance 61
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Ladies and gentlemen... Craig Bellamy

craig bellamy is a cock
Wikipedia says: Craig Douglas Bellamy (born 13 July 1979) is a Welsh footballer who plays for Manchester City and the Welsh national team as a striker. He has previously played for a number of sides in England as well as a spell in Scotland since making his debut for Norwich City in 1997. He is captain of the Welsh national side. During his career he has been well known for his exceptional pace and skill which has seen him win the Scottish Cup and Community Shield. He is also recognised for his much criticised behaviour off the pitch. Despite this, the player has accumalated thousands of pounds for charity and has also established a football academy in Sierra Leone.

I say: cock

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Happy Fat Thursday

My Polish colleague advises me that  today is Fat Thursday, a Polish tradition marking the start of Lent. Or something. I wasn't really paying attention.

  

Anyway, it means we get to eat doughnuts all day. Or farworki if you're going to get all fundamentalist about.

And I'm sure all right-thinking citizens can agree that, whatever ills you may think have befallen our nation since the Eastern European influx (for the record, the right answer here is : absolutely none. In case you were stuck) a tradition such as this is one we should all
embrace whole-heartedly.



I'm off to Greggs...
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I was like...And he was like...And I was like...

East Midlands Counties League action tonight, as Gedling Miners Welfare ended up slotting five, I think, past a hapless Graham St Pimms. I say "think" as I was having a lovely chat with a bloke called Steve, who I believe is known to one or two parishoners.

Any road, this chat meant that much of the second half passed me by (as it did many of the visiting players, ho ho) and coupled with the cold, I struggled to to keep tabs on what was going off.

I will abuse my time at work tomorrow to post more in deth and accurate reportage, but in the mean time....

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Church Warsop MW 9 (nine) Welbeck Welfare 0

knockout punch
This always looked like it was going to be a one-sided affair. And, to be fair to the visitors, it wasn't for the first 15 minutes or so. Then their defences were breached. After which there was a minor incedent (more of which later). All of which culminated in one of the more memorable second halves I have witnessed this season.

But first, an apology. Like the rank amateur I am, I neglected to recharge my camera before heading off to the game, which lead to the bloody thing dying on me half way thru the first half. Therefore, the award-winning photo hournalism you have already come to know and love as the trademark of this football blog will be sadly absent from this thrilling installment. So for this issue only, the role of "action shots" will be played by BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth.
sophie raworth smiling

Having been burnt over the course of the last few games, I opted for safety over glamour. This game is the localest of local derbies, the two clubs being seperated by little over a mile. Further to that, Welbeck are truly my local team, with their Elkesley Road ground being a minute's walk from BTFM Towers. Although, for my sins, I am yet to make a home game there. I hereby vow to change that by the season's end.

Down the road, Mansfield Town had offered "pay what you want" admission for their BSP game against Gateshead, and over 7000 took advantage of this. Doubtless a few of them would have been at The Alley had The Stags stuck with their usual pricing policy. And come 5pm, Gateshead heading home 2-0 winners, no doubt a few of them were wishing they had been. On the other side of town, Kirkby Town and Sutton Town were indulging themselves in another derby, with some grudges bubbling under the surface. I await to see the tales resulting in a 6-0 win for the visitors.

sophie

But back to Wood Lane.Church are having a great season, and have been near the top of the Central Mids Premier for most of the season. Welbeck on the other hand, aren't. It has been a season of struggle, and one which looks ever harder as the weeks go by. That said, spirits in the camp seemed high, although given the events of the afternoon, that may well have been gallows humour.

Things started out alright. Church in a blue and yellow kit reminiscent of AFC Wimbledon, and Welbeck in their change kit of yell... Hang on, aren't those Worksop Town shirts? Sponsored by Greencore, Unibond league badge on the sleeve. "Tigers" at the base of the shirt. This would be a perfect moment for a photo, I know.
Look, she's in the bath!!
Local derbies are supposed to have some niggle. But in the main that niggle tends to be between fans, rather than players. At this level, the scene is so incestuous that whilst there are always scores o be settled, players hop from club to club so readily that it is impossible to build up any long-term on-feild animosity. This certainly seemed the case here, with both sets of players chatting comfortably with each other, and taking the piss as and when it was called. Wildly errant shots were jeered from both sides, and tackles, whilst whole-hearted, were not really nasty.

The one player who seemed to struggle with concept was the visiting skipper. A hard centre half from the old school, he was actually the stand out player for the first twenty minutes or so, marshalling his troops effectively, and leading by example. But then, once Church had broken through one too many times and finally got their noses in front, he seemed overcome by a crushing sense of inevitability. Decisions were moaned about, expletives used freely (not that I care, but the difference was noticeable) and tackles got a little bit, shall we say firmer.

He eventually got himself booked for mouthing off one too many times. By which point Church were 2 up, and the game was pretty much a done deal. Welbeck weren't shocking, but their hosts certainly knew how to stop them. And the two up front, Simon Johnson and "Maggot" score goals for fun.
sophie raworths legs
This image came from an image search, and not as a result of a bookmarked site, I swear (check source)

It all got too much for Welbeck, and with five minutes to go before half time, another foiled attack saw the ball break towards the Church left. Tirelessly, the Welbeck right winger tracked back, and managed to stop the break away with a foul. From here, the gates of hell opened. The afronted Church player jumped up and headbutted the Welbeck player, thus invoking the free-for-all brawl so beloved of ice hockey fans. Substitutes, goalkeepers, bandana-bedecked assistant managers all lept on to the pitch, and punches and kicks flew in from all sides.

For fully two minutes the officals tried to untangle the mess, which, like a nest of snakes, rolled across the pitch. From my vantage point, I saw at least three deliberate kicks to players prone on the floor, and frankly the whole thing was embaressing. I won't call it a disgrace because it's all good fun, and football has become sanitised enough at the top level. These guys aren't roll models or figureheads. They're just playing football, and sometimes tempers boil over. Whether in support of their mates on the pitch, or a vent for frustrations off it, shit happens.

The end result was that the aforementioned number 5 was sent off. As was his keeper. And a guy who had already been substituted. Leaving Welbeck with only nine players, and an outfield keeper. Obviously, the original offender who had started it all with his headbutt, was also off, leaving us with 9 v 10, and a spot-keeper. The second half was going to be fun.
And so it was. Although it threatened not to take place. Quite what caused the delay in Welbeck coming out I am not sure, but specualtion was rife amongst the masses two old boys stood next to me. Whether they were thinking about abandoning the game, or whether it was a sophisticated tactic to get Church Warsop out in the cold for ten minutes is anyone's guess. But whatever, they eventually took to the field, complete with Peter Crocuh in goal.

What followed was 45minutes of attack against defence, with Welbeckinsisting on playing some ill-conceived off-side paln, Church breaking through it at will, and the stand-in keeper being variously heroic, awful, and comedic. He was worth the admission money alone. When a ball was knocked through, only for strikers to fail to run on to it, he would come hareing off his line, screaming "KEEEEEPAAAAAHH!!!" He would lambast his defence for not being more robust. He would try to psyche out on-rushing attackers. And, as the half wore on, he became more and more effective. Or Church got sloppy.

Seven goals went past the hapless chap in the 45 minutes, one of which was a penalty. He stopped at least three or four others. And whilst Church Warsop were guilty of some horrendous misses (I'm looking at you Jordan Johnson!), there is little doubt that the score would have been double figures were it not for him.

Perversely, for all that had gone before, the second half was played out in remarkable good humour. Maybe both sides figured there was no point continuing fighting over such a lame duck, I don't know. But my memory of the game won't be the brawl. It will be the laughter from both sides, the good-natured ribbing when a shot was saved. And the sense of anticipation when Welbeck did finally muster an attack. It came to nought, of course. But, whether 9 men or eleven, it was always going to end like that.
pics
Next up, some East Midlands Counties action on Tuesday night, as Gedling host Graham St Pimms, whoever they may be.
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NNC

He got game


Bread proofing. Check

Kitchen cleaned. Check

Weekly wash of privates? Check

Church Warsop v Welbeck Welfare, game on.

All aboard the Wood Lane Express.

I have nothing else to add at this stage, but this layout demands a certain number of characters for the preview, else it pulls the url for the video I have posted below, and it looks a bit shit. Sorry about this. I'm sure you have better things to do with your time. So do I, really.

All content (c) Beat The First Man. If for any reason you would like to replicate anything you see on these pages, please get in touch.
NNC

Well I never


Yep, definitely cursed.

So, in the absence of Glapwell v Lairds (no cheering at the back), allow me to introduce one of the finest bands of the 90s.
All content (c) Beat The First Man. If for any reason you would like to replicate anything you see on these pages, please get in touch.
NNC