The match at Rotherham was as good as anything served up by the Bridge this season, goals, fighting and general good times was had by all, with people falling over seats as Richie Barker netted the winner 2 hours into injury time. With the celebrations in full swing Saturday night, it would have been easy to forget about the important game on the Sunday for the Bridge, but alas at 9pm I went home to bed in order to prepare for the “big match” the day after, and nothing to do of course with the binge session and falling over.
A meeting time on Sunday of 10 o clock in toad king and miller was met with ease, so much so that I had time for a plastic cob from McDonalds, we went through the McDrive as the rain was coming down. Luckily the ladee on the McDrive counter had big tits, which sort of made purchasing the food worthwhile, even though it wasn’t quite ready and we had to McPark up for a while. After gulping the bacon and egg plastic toy food down, and blocking my arteries with it, it was onto the game, which mysterily was being played in Annesley, not Kirkby as their team name suggested.
We ended up last in the convoy, which proved bad news for us, as we ended up on Lormor’s magical mystery tour, all that was missing was Scooby Doo in his Magical Mystery Van, as we ended up going back into Mansfield, then onto Derby, before finally turning round and finding the ground instead of visiting Stoke on Trent. I’ve scanned ebay to try and buy him a SatNav on the cheap, but have had no joy so far.
As we arrived, the referee was conducting a very detailed pitch inspection due to the rain, this he achieved by tip toeing out onto the soft turf, Pirate was also on hand to assist with his wealth of experience of such things. Alas the Ref decided that we would indeed play on, and the team were sent in to get ready. To say the Changing Room was small, would be doing it an injustice, and at one point we had to employ a one in one out policy.
The Bridge were unchanged from their superb win over Shirebrook the week before, although there was an array of talent on the bench, the supporters made their way into the Daley Thompson stand which was covered (see picture).
It was the visitors who made the first chance, when striker Gallagher did some twisting and turning (something that wouldn’t have been out of place on the BBC’s Strictly come dancing), but his cross was missed by Manq’s knee and ended up out for an early throw in to the home side. Manq had a great opportunity to repeat his feat of last week, but this time after being sent clear by Jay, he chipped wide, although to be fair he was a bit further out than his goal last week. The home side’s first chance was saved by Lormor who dealt comfortably with a weak shot, and from the resulting kick from his hands, Manq and Gallagher forgot they were playing in the game and confused each other, resulting in the home defence to clear up when a chance looked on.
It was at this point that the 1st trouble with the temporary stand happened as it simply blew over. The home lino proved to be a bit useless once we’d put the stand back up, as he was quite clearly not up with play, Gallagher despite being offside by 3.5 miles (the lino was stuck on the half way line), got a shot in but only succeeded in hitting the ball over the bar. Needless to say the Lino was exterminated from his duties shortly after. There was an unfortunate incident shortly afterwards, as I received a hefty blow to the back of the head from the fishing umbrella that had been struck by a gust of wind, this knocked me unconscious for several seconds, luckily the blow to the head was not as bad as the one Harold Bishop received whilst climbing down those rocks during a superb episode of Neighbours, in which he disappeared and came back into the soap 45 years later as a transvestite (allegedly). I was soon back to full health moments later, which was just as well as the home side took the lead, a ball played in behind the defence was coolly finished into the bottom right hand corner of the net. This caused the Bridge to wilt and the home side began a long spell of pressure, Kirk cleared of the line, to which I actually missed due to having a sustained wrestling match with the brolly. Shortly after the home side went close again with a free header following a corner. The heavy rainfall started around this time, and boy did it rain, and clearly threatened the remainder of the game. The Bridge tried in vain to get back in the game, Gallagher got in on goal following another fine through ball from Jay, but the defence got back to clear, and it was from that clearance that the home defence had another shot, that luckily went just over.
Ganna arrived to much relief afterwards, I say relief, if only for the fact that he had in his possession another brolly, as again the home side went close with another header. The home side were pouring forward by now, and it was difficult for the Bridge to get in the game, a 3v1 situation for the home side, saw Quiche slip in the ever increasing mud, only for the ball to strike him as he slid from one edge of the area to the other.
There was a bit of relief shortly afterwards, as the Bridge won a free kick 25 yards from goal, but Jay’s effort went sailing over the bar (click here for video, realplayer needed). It was only short lived relief though as the home side again went close with another header, and almost predictable just after, they went 2-0 up, as a cross from the left was headed over an outcoming Lormor, and into the net, how the home side rejoiced, this is how it stayed until half time.
Half Time: 2-0
The half time was taken amidst the back drop of the referee looking to see if the pitch would stand another 45 minutes of action, he decided to give it 5 more minutes, but the game was already becoming a lottery, and I still couldn’t win a tenner. After 5 minutes it was clear the referee was a huge fan of the BBC quiz Mastermind, as he thought “I’ve started so I’ll finish” in regards to the game. The players could hardly by now stand up, although Quiche managed to as he headed clear a threatening home cross. Lormor was quick to tip over a long range drive as the ball kept splashing about, then saved again as the home side started the 2nd half much the same as they’d finished the 1st. Jay did provide some entertainment at the other end, but his cross come shot went just wide. Finally the rain stopped, albeit for a short time, meaning there was no way the game would get called off now. Garlick came on for Bread, whilst shortly after Manq came off to be replaced by Adam. It was turning into the Lormor show, as again he got down superbly to tip round as the home side looked to turn the score into a rout. Leigh came on for Scott shortly afterwards. The Bridge finally began to get back into the game, against the run of play it has to be said, as Lormor launched a long ball that Jay got on the end of, and as he ran into the area he was chopped down from behind, resulting in a penalty. It was jay who stepped up himself to slot home (video here, realplayer needed, although I was stood quite a way from the area filming it!). Danny decides to give the referee his phone number after a late tackle, that had the home supporters shouting “You Dirty Bastard”. The home side were still having the better chances in the game, although the home forward looked stupid as he went to volley home, but missed the ball completely, and of course we didn’t make any comments about it. Even though the Bridge were up against it still, there was the odd chance to pull of an unlikely draw, to which Gallagher nearly did just that, but saw an effort go wide when well placed. Jay shortly after hit over after two home players staged a love in by bumping into one another. Quiche who by now was on his 341st warning from the referee, went over the top on a challenge and got himself on the referee’s Christmas card list, which is where shortly after the referee decided that was it.
A 2-1 defeat that could have been a lot worse, it would be easy to blame the rain, particularly as 2nd half the game became a bit of a farce, and by that time the home side had already kicked down hill, perhaps in a way then, had Danny knew (somehow!) that the rain would come like that, he would have kicked downhill 1st, just an observation. In truth though, it was a disappointing performance, and even Manq said afterwards “It was a disappointing performance”. Indeed the only bright spot of the day was the excellent Neon sign that has been put up back in the Bridge pub, it was so bright half the players didn’t even see it!
With the rain as it was, and me missing some action thanks to holding the brolly up, it would be unfair to do player ratings, but I thought Lormor should have been Man of the Match from some excellent saves to keep the score down.
More pictures in the "In Action" section