…was one of the many rumours circulating the dressing room prior to push back. A return to the team for vice Captain, Numb Nuts following a discreet surgical follicle implant and teeth whitening procedure.
A trip to the market town of Pickering* was the treat for those making themselves available to play. As you can imagine players were queuing round the block for the 3 hour, 20 minutes round trip particularly for a game where the result would determine whether the Chapeltown 2nd eleven would finish 6th in Division 2 or 6th in Division 2. Our opponents on the other hand still had a chance for promotion to Division 1 if they won their final 2 games.
Chapeltown travelled with the bare 11 set of bones due to the aforementioned 'queuing round the block'. Sadly 'top corner' goal hero of the previous fixture with Old Malton before Christmas, Matthew Bradshaw was unavailable due to busy filming schedule commitments starring in the latest Direct Line Insurance adds as the lime green shell-suited patsy to Chris Addison.
Opening exchanges were one sided with the home side starting the stronger of the 2 teams and their reward being awarded a series of early short corner scoring opportunities. Chapeltown were resolute in their defending with a string of good saves from Andy Bowring and blocks from Matthew Burgon, Lee Robinson, Greg Bristol and Keith Paddock.
Following some scrappy play, Old Malton saw the ball break luckily in the D finding an unmarked Malton player on the far post who dispatched the ball at close quarters past Andy Bowring.
This appeared to jar Chapeltown into action and there followed good midfield and forward play, Matthew Burgan linking well with the defence and forwards. Sam Fletcher snubbed out any threat on the right hand side of midfield as well as dicking his opposite number on a number of occasions. The forwards made some good leads in the first half, Tom Casson leading the front line supported by Ed Mallinder and Nicky Desoysa. Imminent Doctor, Dr Bellendcheddar and Ed Mallinder appeared to be stuck like glue to the left touchline following a rare appearance of 'female support' in the opposing dugout, both flexing their calves to the max. The last time I witnessed similar behaviour, my child hood dog was watching Lassie on TV getting all hot under the collar with his lipstick out.
Unfortunately Old Malton continued to be awarded short corners and capitalised later in the half. The ball being slipped left undercut at Andy Bowring hitting his inner crotch and deflected low into the Chap goal in a shot that would have easily been over the back-board. The goal stood despite some good medically trained protesting skills from Tom Casson.
The second half saw Chapeltown start slowly with the Vice Captain thinking he may as well have read a bet-time storey in the half time team chat. Old Malton capitalised to make them 3 goals to the good. This goal was the ‘poke with a stick’ Chapeltown needed as they enjoyed the lion’s share on possession with good play particularly from Mike Chambers and Matthew Burgan. Following a good spell of pressure, Chapeltown were awarded a short corner with Ed Mallinder dispatched with a solid strike into the middle of the goal with the giant of a goalkeeper managed to contort his body over. Chances fell to both sides with Ed Mallinder, Matthew Burgan and Tom Casson going close. Unfortunately the game fizzled out with the final score ending with a 3-1 loss.
After match teas were interesting with a strict ‘3 chip’ per person rule being imposed which was immediately and skilfully ignored by popular ladies man, lothario and student, Bellendcheddar, ramming chips into his cake hole with consummate ease. If only ramming the ball into the opposition goal came with such ease. A selection of sandwiches thankfully filled the void that the snaffled chips left although unsurprisingly the sandwiches that looked like they had been filled with vomit (cheese surprise allegedly) were left in the main untouched.
Man of the match went deservedly to Chunder for some great penetrating balls deep into the opposition box, a spectacular nose dive into the turf only topped by the subsequent Terry Butcher (blood strewn) impression for the last 5 minutes.
Andy Bowring was awarded Dick for thinking Pickering was 160 miles each way and getting himself locked in the showers followed closely by Nicky, usually a poor showing in the Dick votes, for getting into the sack with his mother and father following a night out with the 1's. Freud would have had a field day.
On a brighter note, congratulations to Old Malton who were subsequently promoted so we don’t have to travel to Pickering next season. Replaced in the league by Scarborough! Get your passports stamped early, gents, ‘over-nighter’ in Scarborough next season.
*Pickering - 'Gateway to the Moors' founded by Peredurus, King of the Brigantes around 270BC, Pickering is famous for it's steam engines, market and for being home to the 'he-man - masters of the universe' official fan club.