Follow all the action from the WORLD CLASS facilities of an athletics stadium somewhere up north near Newcastle – LIVE(ish)
Saturday 24 November – Not Quite the FA Cup Trophy
Kick off 3.00pm
Athletics Club 2
Cave 13, Bowey 65
Gateshead: Keen, Baxter, Jones, Flynn, Cave, Southern, Bowey, McClen, Phillips, Armstrong, Harwood
Subs: Talbot, Robson, Thompson, Aitken, Atkin
Boston: Crockett, Smith?, Bloomer, Ellender, Matthews, Medine, Sleath, Nicholls, Froggatt, Stevenson, Leabon.
Subs: Lil’Thompson, Ex-Busted Star James Bourne, O’Redcardohan, Demented Goat Cannibal (© Neil Syson, The Sun), Keef’s lad
Preamble – Ok, let’s the the moaning out of the way quickly, then I can move on.
Football is shit. Go on, admit it. It’s absolutely diabolically shit. Why do we bother? Why do any of us bother? When was the last time it was actually fun being a football fan, specifically a Boston fan with more than a passing interest in the fortunes of England?
Euro 96 had its moments, but ended up, ultimately, being a bit crap. Euro 2000 was just outright crap, as was the 2002 World Cup 2002. Euro 2004 was so crap that it served as a convenient excuse for racist mouth-breathers to trash bits of Boston. World Cup 2006 was crap. As for Boston, the promotions don’t count: they were staged, faked, whatever. Would it be 1985, the fabled Wembley appearance in the final of the very competition Boston re-enter today after a gap of five years? Because very little of genuine worth has happened in between. And we even went and lost that.
Not for us gleeful dancing in fountains in some exotic foreign city, the transgression forgiven by the local police because – get this! – we’ve WON something. Not for us the wild frenzy of an unlikely penalty shootout triumph against the Portuguese, Christiano Ronaldo shanking his crucial spot-kick into his wife’s face in the VIP Ring of Apathy.
No. What we have is a summer devoid of football, travel plans scrapped, that stag-do in Austria now shelved and relocated instead to the Welsh mountains. Sure, we could still go. But it would feel too much like showing up at a party when you’ve never actually been officially invited. People will point and gossip. Paranoia overdrive.
Football owes us – it owes us so much, in fact, that it had better get on the phone to Picture Finance before we show up at its front door with a baseball bat and a couple of heavies. And it can begin to repay the debt today in a very small, tiny little way. We’re happy with installments. And the first installment is, simply, BOSTON TO BEAT FECKING GATESHEAD. It’s really not a huge amount to ask. Really, it isn’t.
Today’s game – Today, Boston re-enter the FA Trophy for the first time since their pretty abject first hurdle exit at the hands of Northwich five long years ago. A quick glance at the teamsheet from that day reveals the only surviving member of the team is, of course, Ellender. Or is it? We may, or may not, see another player from that team take to the field today… Paul Bastock. Although, to be honest, the apparent re-signing of Bastock is a perplexing move. Not because I, or anyone else at impsTALK Towers, at all questions Bastock’s ability, but simply because Crockett seems to have been playing quite well. I’m aware that this would be strongly disputed by some Boston fans, but the times I’ve seen him play he has been pretty good and, indeed, in spells has been quite outstanding.
Tommy Taylor clearly feels he hasn’t got the goalkeeping situation quite right, and he’s won an FA Cup. I once won a toothbrush in a dental healthcare quiz at primary school, so I shall probably defer to his judgment on this. Welcome home Baz. You’re back just in time for the trip to Barrow.
Gateshead – I could trawl Wikipedia for ‘interesting facts’ about Gateshead, but you could do that yourself. Here’s the link. Oops, sorry, no.. for some reason, that’s the page for Grigori Rasputin. No idea where that came from. Ok, er, try this page instead. Ah, there we go. That’s much better.
My only research on Gateshead was to try and find a link, however tenuous, with Byker Grove so I could find a picture of Spuggie or something at the top. But Byker has got feck all to do with Gateshead, sadly. So instead I will simply say that they play in a quite ridiculous stadium, in keeping with a couple of other teams up in that part of the world.
12.45pm – Right, Newcastle-Liverpool on the telly, so see you at 2.45pm. Remember to send abuse/pictures to the usual:
2.50pm – NEWSFLASH! Big Sam, apart from being a total tool, is also a crap manager. Newcastle, it must be said, are a mirror of England. Up until recently, they too were under the sweaty-palmed control of a fat baldy incompetent blazer/buffoon. They too have a rubbish Michael Owen doing his finest headless chicken impression up front – when he’s not injured. Which is never. They too have fans who register a high 8.9 on the ‘Impatient/thickness’ scale. But anyway, onto today’s Boston game. I have no news. So, back to Newcastle. Christ, they’re rubbish. And they don’t even have Titus Bramble any more!
2.55pm – The first e-mail of the day arrives nice and early ‘So, when did communism hit Gateshead?’ asks David from Bicker. ‘And why are Gateshead playing in a stadium that looks like the aforementioned Grigori Rasputin built it? Are there people outside it, queueing for chunks of stale bread? Is Vanilla Ice top of the hit parade there? Come on, comrades, er mean, Boston!’
3.00pm – KICK OFF Someone kicks a ball to someone else and we’re underway. According to Sky Sports, Paul Bastock is on Rushden’s bench today so he’s not signed yet then. Hmm.
4 mins – ‘Let’s get a draw and get a bit of extra money from a replay at York Street. Winning that as well of course,’ harrumps Adam Hildred, before adding: ‘Peace, bread and land!’. Bloody Bolshevik.
8 mins – Nothing much has happened, but Gateshead have a corner after a bit of a mix up between Bloomer and Matthews. The Gateshead lot are making a bit of noise. Crockett deals with ball pinging about the box and the pressure is off for now.
10 mins – Will Stevenson and/or Nicholls actually bother turning up today, one wonders?
12 mins – PENALTY FOR GATESHEAD! Matt Bloomer’s poor back header plays Crockett into all kinds of problems and the keeper comes right out of his goal, hauling down a Gateshead forward – it might have been Phillips – before he can take advantage and score. Crockett is handed a yellow….aaannnd…..
GOAL!!! Gateshead 1, Boston 0
13 mins – Cave slots home the spot kick. Crockett is lucky to even be on the pitch.
14 mins – Hand us the impsRAKE! ‘Dagenham are winning 1-0 over The Macc Lads. Can I make a joke about Sweaty Betty?’ asks Phil.
17 mins – This Wayne Phillips lad doesn’t sound half bad. ‘That bastion of decency and pillar of the journalism community, Piers Morgan, (ahem) has a dvd out about why England are shit. Don’t buy it – I’ve had a preview. It’s just 50 minutes of various stills of McClaren under his umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, oh oh,’ toots ‘Tristian’.
23 mins – ‘Southern runs past Smith!’ shouts Dalton. That might not be the first time we hear that this afternoon.
25 mins – Boston corner. Hoofed clear by The Heed, who are basically bossing this at the moment.
27 mins – Just checking in ‘Assuming it was a stone wall pen and we should be eight down by now?’ says Adam. Like Newcastle, you mean?
30 mins – ‘Now, being bored, I jumbled the letters about a bit and Gateshead Athletics Club gave me: A Cablecasted Eighth Lust,’ says Bert. ‘Ooooooh. I dunno what that is, but it sounds filthy and I want some. Has Stevenson done anything yet, or is he still doing his hair?’
34 mins – Yet again, and I might as well just have cut and pasted this from last week’s min-by-min, Boston have done absolutely feck all this half. Absolutely feck all. To repeat: Boston have done feck all.
37 mins – The way Mark Isaac was carrying on after the England-Croatia debacle, I thought he’d made in excess of ONE MIIIILLLION DOLLARS after backing the Croats at 7-1. In actual fact, he appears to have won a mere £140 and spent it on a pile of wood:
‘Dear Impstalk, How I spent my £140 on backing Croatia at 7-1. Best wishes etc, Mark’
Mark, in your neck of the woods you can have someone KILLED for £140.
41 mins – CHANCE! Or was it? Who knows, but BY GOD! Froggatt HAD A SHOT!!!! It missed.
42 mins – ‘So have Boston done feck all?’ asks Adam Upsall. No, Adam. Froggatt had a shot. I’m so giddy with excitement.
43 mins – Hand us the impsRAKE! ‘Crawley are winning,’ reports a disappointed John. ‘Probably bought the goal. Bah. A penalty. Bah again.’
45 mins – Half time looms Boston look doomed to lose the first 45 minutes. On the plus side, Adam Hildred’s got a cracking anagram. ‘On the subject, ‘dramatic mishaps’ can be jumbled to ‘Adam Smith is crap,’ he says.
45+1 – Bloomer does well to deal with a dangerous looking ball. He clears, and Gateshead have just enough time for a corner. It’s safely gathered by Crockett.
Peep peep peeeeep! Half time. Well, that’s wasn’t very good, but there were encouraging signs towards the end of the half that Boston have got enough about them to drag themselves back into this. It’s all about Leabon, I reckon.
More anagram fun – From Bob: ‘I’ll see your Adam Smith Is Crap from Dramatic Mishap and raise you a Tony Crane becoming Arty Nonce. **hides**’
Kick-off – The second half is underway. No changes.
49 mins – Gary Silk stuffs home an equaliser for Notts County at Sincil bank. Blub etc.
54 mins – ‘It’s shit turning your back on football, It’s almost shitter than actually going but without the £50 spend,’ says Pop Up Pirate. ‘What do people that don’t follow the beautiful game (hmpph) actually do on a Saturday apart from buy wood?
I’ve got the Sky Sports thing on, it’s shit cos I don’t care for Middlesborough or Ross County or Celtic and how well they are doing. I’ve got a cup of hot chocolate just cos thats what I do at 3:45 on a Saturday, it’s shit cos it tastes of chocolate and isn’t lumpy and 9000 degrees like it should be and its in a cup and not a faded paper cup
Football focus was on, it’s shit cos it reminded me for 1 hr of just what a shambles the trip to Wembley was on Wednesday…. It really was shit.’
55 mins – Boston are gradually getting back into this. Thank the Lord.
60 mins – In fact it’s all Boston now, but Gateshead are quite happy to just hit Boston on the break. Which, given Boston’s defensive issues of the last few games, is a no-brainer to be honest. Still no news on Tony Crane by the way.
62 mins – CHANCE!!!! Stevenson’s volley is parried by Peter Keen.
63 mins – Gateshead sub Atkin on for Harwood.
GOAL!!! Gateshead 1, Boston 1
64 mins – Jon Froggatt evades the back four and finds himself one-on-one with Peter Keen. And Froggatt doesn’t miss those! It’s all Boston deserve, to be honest.
65 mins – Boston have to be careful here, Gateshead run down the other end and get a corner…. and another….
GOAL!!! Gateshead 2, Boston 1
65 mins – Balls. Non-existent defending from the second of the two corners… Bowey sneaks in at the back post to head Gateshead back in front! Extraordinary!
67 mins – ‘OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!!!’ bellows John in an e-mail we suspect he hasn’t cc’d BBC Radio Lincolnshire on. ‘The back line needs a big lad. Pace not important. Just someone big and commanding. Any ideas?
70 mins – Dredging up the past with the impsRAKE – ‘Crawley 3-1 up now. **shakes fist in cartoonish frustration**,’ grumbles Bob, who might be grumbling a little more now that Lincoln City have taken the lead.
70 mins – CHANCE!!!! Nicholls plays a sweet little ball into Stevenson’s feet – his powerful punt spanks off the post! More pressure from Boston again, but Chris Cook isn’t happy with Stevenson. ‘He takes too many touches,’ he says. ‘He tries to do too much!’ Well, I did say last week Boston tended to overplay. Stevenson is the main culprit.
72 mins – That lad from Mansfield is replaced by O’Redcardohan, who will probably not do anything and then get sent off.
76 mins – ‘Say we go out this afternoon,’ Adam Upsall hypothesises. ‘Not that its in doubt currently – but what exactly is there to look forward to for the rest of the season? Gainsborough home/away? Maybe the Kettering home game? Oh and let’s not forget the massive visit of Solihull Moors (or is that Motors?). Will there be a gong, or maybe a klaxon to signal the end of the season?’
81 mins – Lil’Thommo is on for Leabon.
83 mins – ‘Get it wide!!’ urges Chris Cook as Boston, presumably, don’t get it wide. This is getting a bit too close for comfort.
84 mins – ‘And it’s all……….over………….!!! The…. top!’ yells Dalton as Gateshead blow a wonderful chance to bury Boston once and for all, Armstrong ballooning a shot over the bar when it literally would have been easier to score.
86 mins – ‘Elle having a shocker AGAIN by the sounds of it. Fudging rubbish!’ grumbles Adam. Quite simply, we need Tony Crane back. Quick smart.
87 mins – At least we’re not Brentford, who are 7-0 down at Posh. Ouch.
89 mins – ‘I think he [Crane] is taking the, er, the pee,’ rages a clearly hacked off Chris Cook, watching his words, when someone suggests Crane should return. He’s right, of course, when he says no one player should dictate what time he shows up for training and for games. But we’re also fecking crap at defending. I love a good dilemma.
90 mins – Fecking miserable. We’re out, ain’t we? ‘Well. At least there’s a porn shop near Cash Converters. That’ll give me summats to do until the cricket starts,’ says Bob. Each to their own, I suppose.
Peep, peeep, peeeep!!! FULL TIME Gateshead 2, Boston 1 So that’s Boston’s interest in every single cup competition over. Is it the end of their season? Probably. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. Like I said: football is shit. And it owes me even more now. Are there any other winter sports I can follow instead of this shower?
Pretty much sums it up BBC Lincs are a little slow cutting back to Sincil Bank, and Chris Cook, assuming he’s off air, sighs heavily and with the air of a man thoroughly fed up. ‘Oh dear,’ he mumbles. Yup. Oh dear indeed.
Anyway, that’ll do for another day. Thanks for all your e-mails and all that. Let’s hope for a better show next Saturday against Southport. I’m now off to watch Derby get absolutely destroyed by Chelsea on Setanta, which I have a subscription to because of that Boston-Kettering game. See? See how football destroys lives? Pete