‘Baby it’s you, you’re the one I love, you’re the one I need, you’re the only one I see’… I best be diplomatic here and politely suggest Queen Bey’s lyrics apply to both partner and pastime as the month of love is now upon us where we’ll be busy, paying very little attention to our longing spouses for we have pencilled and packed in nine, yes 9 contests into the years shortest calendar chunk. That’s just what we do for you. What gifts come greater than the opportunity to devour a minimum 810 minutes of boisterous Beachboy business. So let’s leave the lollygagging for later, we’ve got games to play and ponder over. Let’s do this.
Havant & Waterlooville rolled into Concord town where they spied the window to reel in table toppers Wealdstone who were absent from action. The Hawks though displaying more futility than fight on a day their gaffa Paul Doswell kindly provided the entertainment, by screeching referee Sunny a cloudy reception to earn his dramatic dismissal.
Oh the game, of course the game. We drew. 0-0.
A puzzling development unfolded whilst paying a Sunday visit to my childhood nest which I found rather amusing. With my head buried firmly into the Non-League Paper I overheard the following context.
“The woman has retired, but the man, he is still working” casually said my Mum whilst strolling into my parents lounge as the 2nd half to Spurs City kicked off on the box, to which my Dad replied, “why’s the man still working alone, he should retire too”. Her matter of fact response was stoutly delivered “he’s not finished yet, when he’s finished he’ll join her in retirement”.
“Ahh okay, I understand” Dad said. This exchange appeared out the blue, without warning, and no dialogue in sight.
Fear not my friends, rest assured our trustworthy treasury team aren’t going batshit crazy just yet. They were talking about the salt and pepper shakers.
County town Chelmsford recently fed a tasteless tic tac to their long serving successful manager Rodney Stringer which inadvertently provided us a welcome favour when they arrived at our Thames Road temple to challenge for the ESC SF spot up for grabs. The Claret clad ‘ballers’ all of a sudden mistaking themselves for tiki taka specimens whilst our industrious la máquina went about rearranging their opponents flawed concept of how to win a non-league ball game. 2 goals to nil it read when the big girl did her bit, singing ‘you are my Concord’, sending them packing back up the A130. We’ll resultantly creep into the ghetto of Essex where Dagenham & Redbridge lie in wait to play host for a place in this years final. Mmmm excitement.
Something quite extraordinary happens next. Buckle up.
Our love story with this years FA Trophy took a paradisiacal path when Leamington lurched into lane, next to front our mighty Beachboys in battle. This wasn’t your run of the mill cup tie though, oh no, this was a biggun, the round of 16 with the mouthwatering prospect to obtain quarter finalist status. A rare nervous aurora engulfed the committed Concord contingent as kick off approached with the apprehension proving justified when we were thrown thru the most tempestuous and exhilarating 120 minutes of classic cup football, having our raw innate emotions tugged from pillar to post ultimately climaxing at 2-2 AET with a penalty shootout required to tip the tie one way or t’other. A perfectly poised conclusion for the neutrals in attendance to further embrace, whilst delivering a dangerously peak pulse pace episode for the rest of us packed into the terraced end to endure.
Sometimes in sport the difference between success and failure is of the very finest of margins, and it was that slimmest of slithers which’d finally broken the Brakes. Battered and bruised Chris Haigh stood strong centre of goal as time seemed to slow to a still, and as if in matrix motion with my heart thumping through my mouth he planted his feet to float right. SAVED!
The feeling that flickered through my veins in that split second I cannot accurately describe in words.
Heroes, every single one of you. Simply incredible.
Tuesday evening was originally reserved to tackle Tilbury but it was postponed due to the Thameside Trophy not carrying enough clout to overrule league fixture status, comprende? Yep lovely, next…
We returned from cloud 9 to head up our Roman adversaries who were sailing choppy waters in a wretched patch of form since we’d clipped their ship in the FAT. The potential for future fixture congestion meant we were keen to tick this task off despite a somewhat depleted starting XI coupled with the untimely arrival of dogged Storm Dennis, who whilst failing in his enquiring attempt to upend our modest shed end, did however manage to ruin a perfectly capable football match. Merry Jerry at least went home with something to smile about as his soldiers stole a slender 1up triumph from their trip down the Thames.
The enchanting prospect of reaching our first ESC final since our trident of county cup championships presented itself, propping up at Victoria Road where troubled National League outfit Dagenham & Redbridge entertained us as hosts.
How horribly cruel that with a late twist of fate, mere days following St Valentine’s visit we were dealt our first genuine heartbreaking situation of the season. The Daggers dug deep to do the damage at the death, dumping us out by method of penolas, owing great thanks to their lucky stars (1-1, 5-3p). We’d like to offer Daryl McMahon & co our very best wishes when they contest the final vs Ricay at the U’s soulless stadium next month.
Thus far it’s proved to be far from romantic for our luckless labouring lads since the turn of V day, and a trip to see some old familiar faces fared no differently as we tumbled over the resilient Tudor’s to the doomed tune of a goal to nil. The points and plaudits placed firmly in the gloves of the incredible Manchester City loanee, Daniel Grimshaw. Well played young sir.
The observant among you will have noticed that a certain charmed chap conveniently found the location of his missing nutsack having reactivated his twitter account in the wake of a win. Amazing the courage a spawny turn up provides. Not that he’ll find any contents, trace minerals in sight.
I will however happily say job well done to Mids and Bealey. Those two men I have the utmost respect for.
Being brutally honest we could’ve done with swerving a Tuesday night trek to Chippenham ahead of our biggest game of the season and as it turned out, our players seemed to do just that. Tree nil. Or maybe just maybe I’m acting slightly miff like critical amid my warped rationality. Restricted by virtue of options meant our management were left with the unenviable task of piecing together a busted puzzle to compete at a gaming convention. Tis a metaphorical viewpoint… obviously, duh. We’re a football club, not a bloody puzzle. I’m sure you get my point. I’m making excuses again. Leave me alone, I’m allowed to.
For as many wonderful things sport does for the world and it’s population, it can at times draw out the most horrible traits in human beings also. The most innocuous of circumstances and subsequential arising situations can deliver the most toxic of behaviour from rival fatheaded football fans and your average cretinous twitter troll in the shape of a deluge of vile bile and straight up abuse. This was the nature of online muck aimed squarely at our football club in return for the unfortunate late postponement of our scheduled FAT QF tie vs Royston Town. Of course the weather couldn’t have played a part, could it. But then again, you can’t exactly throw sticks and stones at the imaginary big guy for pissing on our parade can you.
Aside from the disappointment of the referees decision, one epic moment was captured across the eye line of yours truly. Whilst sitting alone sulking in the home dugout and simultaneously chinwagging on the dog and bone, I caught sight of the standout single most humorous moment of the day. Strolling through the soft sandy centre circle towards the stranded match ball, some Sir took a powerful swipe, in trying to thump the ball away in sheer frustration… only to slip heavily, hitting the pasty deck quicker than our club’s popularity rating, coating himself, complete with his bright blue jeans, head to toe with a stripe of the finest fresh mud in the northern hemisphere to the tune of a cheer from the Royston revellers. I’m not going to lie, a bit of wee fell out of me.
So there you have it, February flicking by in a flash. A month showing so much promise by beginning so beautifully then lurching into lackadaisical disarray with regards to results before culminating with our pitch related problems. Be this only a minor blip in an otherwise perfect love story where we find our name in the proverbial hat to be pulled out of the famous red velvet bag in the shape of a little black ball.
It’s ‘make your mummas proud time’ in the month of March where we’ll prepare and compete to beat the best in pursuit of achieving our wildest dreams. I’ll end this edition of my blether on a short but sweet quote from one of my favourite books.
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
Santiago, The Alchemist
Love to one and all.
La despedida mis amigos.