BFC Vagabonds vs Lions FC

April 1, 2012
Score: 1 - 1

Match Report

Blakey the Rover

This tune was composed for Blakey the Rover
As valiant a man as ever left home
And he had been much reduced
Which caused great confusion
And that was the reason he started to roam

In Hatchobori near Tokyo, he had been on the ramble
Weary of traveling, he sat down to rest
By the foot of yon Ministop
Lay a shelf of sustenance
With onigiri and pocari he himself did refresh

With the night fast approaching, to Minami Funabashi he resorted
With futon on tatami his bed for to make
But he dreamt about sighing
Lamenting and crying
Get the kit to the Vags and rambling forsake

‘Twas close to half time, I’ve reason to remember
When at the ground he arrived with the kit in the night
And Vags stood so astounded
Surprised and dumbfounded
To see such a stranger once more in their sight

This tune was composed for Blakey the Rover
As valiant a man as ever left home
And he had been much reduced
Which caused great confusion
And that was the reason he started to roam…

Now then, in his wily ways Chris Blakey had challenged me ‘not to mention it’ as we slugged one of his ‘guilt train beers’ on the way home – my answer was a quick snigger and a ‘yep, yep’. No way Jose that this can go unmentioned in a match report, Chris joining the long and rich tapestry of Geordies who have fucked up badly when in possession of the single thing a team needs next to skill and guts…..the kit. Steve Glenn is the most relieved man in the house now that he can finally shed the snakeskin humiliation of constant piss taking that is unanswerable, having been an unlikely Southerner sandwiched between the otherwise iron grip of a Tyneside stranglehold when it comes to having the kit when the game has officially kicked off – yet not being there.

Cheap way to write your name into the annals of BFC / Vags history, of course. Phil Cockerill is going about it the tough way by chasing a 20 goals in a season target. Chris is maybe just thinking – this’ll definitely be a story which goes round at the club’s 50th anniversary.

I guess we have a good 24 months to remind him of this heinous crime though and good fun it will be. And will be. And will be…..

Vags kicked off in an assortment of cycling shorts, (though nobody was wearing pink ones as per Kev Grays’ ‘j’ai oublie’ moment around 15 years ago) GAP undies, some kind of shitty tracky bottoms which were always falling down, and, rather surprisingly, a full set of creamy white suspenders. Fukuda Denshi supplied bibs so we didn’t get to see if there was a matching bra. This was probably just as well because we don’t want to know these things when it comes to &%#$(%’s sartorial habits.

(Tthis name has been removed to protect Graham —– er, oops)

Mark, who was your ‘falling down tracky bottoms man’, also had to contend with a pair of socks which barely came over his ankles as well as the legally required shin pads which were a feebly bound pile of crap anyway and still try to put in a shift before the Rover arrived. He did and did admirably (Mark not the Rover, otherwise it would be he did and did eventually)….but good God Mark looked stupid throughout the first 45.

Don, turning up on the sidelines to encourage the boys, had a face etched with that long forgotten anti-nostalgia ‘Oh for Jimmy Tarbuck’s sake…I remember this, disorganization, bollocks, running around looking like an extra from the teletubbies’ and, I think I heard, (though may have imagined) a sigh of relief that he is no longer playing. It was a bit like the look you have when you re-encounter your first shag 15 years on.

The first 5 or so were spent getting over the embarrassment but no goals conceded and Vags started to get a hold of the game. Lions were swift but Vags’ snappitidy in the tackle ensured no chances were made whilst the boys in red (well, green and blue and orange and…) started to maraud a bit more. Tom had a good header from a corner inch over – let’s call it a flashing header just to pretend we are Trevor Francis. Or let’s just call it a header and be grateful we are not.

A most interesting passage of play followed soon after and once again Thomas was involved – though this time, only an Eichmann to Lyndsey’s Himmler. The ball was played through and deflected off a Lion’s defenders shin as it made its’ way to the touchline, Lynsdey, who had just been involved in the build up, came back onto the pitch and, knowing it was going out for a corner, was going to let it go but then had a epiphany that he might be onside because he had been off the pitch and the ball had deflected of a Lion. He kept it in, looked up, dinked a cross and Tom rose like a two legged newt to spash it home, thank you very much. The aftermath was a searing indictment on the average refereeand footballers’ knowledge in the TML of the basic rules of the game. Nobody had any idea if it should count or not. Vags didn’t even protest because we seemed to intuitively feel that things were not right, but nobody could answer why. The only gem that came out of it was that the ref ‘could have booked Lyndsey for returning to the field without permission’ which is the single item in the whole shebang that we all knew was nonsense. Lyndsey wasn’t injured so didn’t need permission to return – it would be like saying that every time a throw in was taken the thrower would need permission to step back onto the park. So having established that the ref didn’t know what he was doing then we could speculate freely and not mind if we didn’t know our arse from our elbow.

I think it was the right decision not to award the goal all the same (though I have no back up as to why) but then Lions went straight up the park and took the lead and this was disappointing, though nobody to blame but ourselves. I would love to give the Lions their fair dues and describe in voracious detail how exceptional their goal was but I missed it while I was trying to get an amazingly grumpy, rude taxi driver to get our kit, and Geordie in possession thereof, to the ground.

Sheard also lashed a 25 yarder pretty damn close but, but, but.

Half ground down with plenty of effort but 0-1 coming off to receive the repentantly laid out kit. Awash with softener I may add.

So where were we at half time?Waynehad an excellent half full of back tracking against a very swift lad on their right, the midfield did well but never dominated wholly and a Philless/Muzzyless attack was always going to be tough. So the second half idea was a revolutionary ‘application’ whatever that means. To be honest I had nothing to say ‘cause I was mentally exhausted by this time anyway due to the long journey and havering aboot after the elusive kit.

The second brought a Eightsome Reel of pressure from the Vags and what pleased me most was that it was followed by a Gay Gordon’s and then a Strip The Willow. Admittedly the Lions countered with a drum thumpingly fearsome African dance counter attack now and then, but no sober and honest onlooker who wasn’t from that great and vast continent could have kidded themselves that the Vags were not in the ascendency.

Goalmouth chances were made and spurned, mostly by the now genuinely red kitted ones. Koichiro had a couple of half through one on threes – he berated himself after but shouldn’t, Vags dominated the air and Steve G powered a couple of corners just wide. Other clear cuts were few and far between – lots into the area but scrappy stuff.

Pabs then popped up with the best goal ever witnessed at Fukuda Denshi between 20:30 & 21:00 on April 1st 2012. A thumping header from a yard out which left the horrendously blundering keeper with no chance. If Pabs hadn’t been there then two more were, that was the pleasing thing. From then on there was (almost) only one winner – Vags pushed and pushed but only 10 minutes remained and we ran out of time.

Lynds had a good chance at the death but didn’t realize other people might be inside the 6 yard box when he was attacking – ball scooped away. On the other hand the quality of his delivery on this pre hanami evening was so good that the only time he messed up, Ged was straight on his case – now that is the essence of a real back handed compliment.

Talking about ‘at the death’ the final corner was about to be swung in by us and our goalkeeper has pelted into the penalty area – heart attack for me but as he ran past Ged he told him that the ref had assured him it was last kick. This was, naturally, bollocks.

A 1-1 was probably fair but we felt we took the game to them for the most part – Masa M was really solid at right back and Paul Coffey was excellent in both full back positions as the game progressed, including one of those perfectly timed tackles when you are a yard behind yer man but slide him and come away with the ball – did we like? Yes we did.

Mark was great in centre mid too, though all put in a shift (he says as his sentimental, socialist, side comes to the fore dispelling all cynicism for a split second and a teary hug goes round every member)………..right – roll call finished – schnell, schnell.

Great game to watch and great effort from the Vags – excuse me while I goosestep off downstairs.

(the lyrics to ‘Blakey the Rover’ are kindly reproduced and tinkered without permission based on John Martyn’s (RIP) superb arrangement of an already superb traditional ditty)