While Clarence Park might not quite echo with the history or grandeur of institutions such as Oxford or Cambridge, we do on match days, quite often rival those seats of learning for the standard of our academic debate, particularly in relation to use of the English language. This past weekend was no different with an earnest debate in relation to ‘bobble'(noun,’doing’ word as we used to call a verb…or both?) and also the most appropriate description of the melee/shenanigans/brouhaha/skirmish/fracas that surrounded the x-rated tackle which led to an early red card for the opposition.
All this high tempo debate was taking place as we move to what is commonly known in footballing parlance and cliche as the business end of the season. Nothing to do with suits, offices and the working week. No. It indicates that it is time for a bit of heart rending disappointment, uncontainable joy or for the vast majority, another mediocre and flat ending to a season of ‘what-ifs’ as the final scores on the doors are revealed. One minute the fixtures/results page in the programme (or StatAttack as it is known in our match day tome) is a blank canvass waiting to have a season’s dramas and miseries etched out in glorious technicolor with the occasional shade of humiliation thrown in for good measure. And then before you know it that page is full and it’s the last home game of the season.
Or not as the case maybe.
Because down here on Planet Non-League the play-offs are an altogether more nasty, brutish and short affair. The semi-final doesn’t mess about with any home and away leg marlarkey. It’s one game with the second and third placed teams getting the home advantage as they play against fourth and fifth respectively and than the final is between the winning semi-finalists, with the originally highest placed team getting home advantage (still with me?).
Saturday’s win against Biggleswade (with not an aerodrome joke in sight) left the mighty Saints needing 1 point from the trip to Frome to be assured of participation in the play-offs. This 1-0 home victory was in no small part down to the performance of the divot in the away goalmouth whose timely intervention ensured that a fairly insipid grass cutter of a shot did at the last second veer past the flailing arms of the opposition’s keeper, over his head and into the back of the net…..or maybe it just…..
Whether the divot will be available for selection, should we end up with a home game in the play-offs remains to be seen. I of course will be up for a bit of play off drama wherever it may take place, after all I’ve had the training for it…..
St Albans City 1 Biggleswade Town 0
Losing golden goal tickets 3
Epic raffle ticket fail 10 tickets
Bacon Fries 1 Packet
Andy’s van purchases A match-winning traditional bacon cob
Lager consumed 3 pints Stella
There is a rumour going round that I am not the best lucky mascot in the world….several TATTPIB fans have already begged me to go on another season of cold turkey from my lifelong team as that should guarantee Premiership survival. Hilarious.