ALBION VS KNAPHILL ATHLETIC


Blaney: Albion's promising new striker

Blaney: Albion’s promising new striker

In Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey gave up his family to travel to another galaxy in the hope of saving the Earth. Fortunately, that epic journey didn’t start with an 8am meet outside The Alex. Otherwise he probably would’ve thought, “Sod it. The world can wither and die for all I care. I fancy a lie-in.”

The Albion faithful were gathered at this ungodly hour for a Surrey Cup away game in Woking. No-one was sure if the Alb had ever had to travel so far for a match. Even Walter didn’t fancy cycling to this one. Incredibly, Woking was still within the known universe and satellite coordinates were available. So, GPS devices plotted, the Albion convoy boldly ventured where no squad had been before.

I was with the gaffer in the trim-mobile, always a worrying place to be on a long journey to an away trip. There’s always the strong possibility that you’re going to be subjected to his Led Zeppelin compilation, or a lengthy dissertation on the merits of George Michael’s solo career. Luckily, the great man was content with Radio 5.

That’s not to say that the journey was entirely without incident. A hill start at some traffic lights required Jade to burn the clutch as the engine screamed in protest. The car rapidly filled with an acrid, rubbery stench rather like the smell of an overheating Scalextric. Fortunately, whatever was on-fire quickly extinguished itself and we could complete our journey unsinged.

I was also treated to part of a classic Barker philosophy lecture. Frankly, it was still a bit early and Jade had lost me a few turns back so I didn’t really have a Scooby what he was talking about. However, his ruminative treatise ended with him describing a lady as the “Ferrero Roche of women……someone who just makes you want to get the Ambassador out.”

Does anyone know if we’re there yet?

Anyway, we arrived at Knaphill. Excellent facilities. Unfortunately, Stew bolted for the only toilet in the changing room and proceeded to destroy it, rendering it unusable by anyone else. The dirty bastard.

So, to the game. Albion’s somewhat depleted squad reverted to a traditional 4-4-2. Line-up: Walter in nets, back four of Mike, Luke, Stew and Slater. Midfield of Marcus, Jim O’d, Rich, and Stu. Up front Harry and Albion’s promising young striker Bill Blaney.

Jade: Like's his women, like his chocolate. Wrapped in gold and served in a small brown cupcake doily.

Jade: Likes his women, like his chocolate. Wrapped in gold and served in a small brown cupcake doily.

Handshakes, coin toss, and the match kicked off.

Albion started the match in fine style. We were knocking the ball around and playing some lovely stuff. Knaphill were an odd side. They seemed to have some alright players, but none of them seemed to do any work. This meant everyone had time on the ball. Hot prospect Blaney was linking up play like a vintage era Mark Hughes while Marcus, Harry and Stu were causing all sorts of trouble to the Knaphill defence.

Albion took the lead in somewhat bizarre fashion. The pitch was soft and wet, meaning the ball would sometimes whizz through or sometimes hold up. An over hit through ball should’ve have been the keeper’s all day long, but he misjudged it allowing Marcus to steal in and nick the ball from his grasp and roll it in to an empty net.

We should have had a quick second when Harry played a sweet one-two with Bill before despatching into the far corner. However, the bent-as-a-nine-Bob note lino flagged for offside. After a lengthy chat with the referee he managed to talk him out of the goal.

Worse was to follow when Knaphill – whose best player was a fat John Hartson look-alike – came a bit more into the game and equalised. A bucketful of gilt-edged chances for Albion followed, but we weren’t able to convert, contriving to miss when it would’ve been easier to score.

Half-time. 1-1.

There was a bit of a bollocking from Stew at letting this dreck off the hook. There was no way this game should be close and we only had ourselves to blame.
Irritatingly, the second half followed the same pattern as the first. Albion missing shed loads of golden opportunities. There were a few hairy moments at the back where it looked like we might regret our profligacy.

We almost bagged the winner in spectacular style when Marcus and Harry combined beautifully down the left. Harry threw in a perfect cross to the back stick where an onrushing Bill had timed his ‘arrive’ © Ron Atkinson perfectly only to lift the ball millimetres over the bar.

Fortunately, Albion were not to be denied. With only minutes remaining, Marcus was scythed down in the box for a pen, which Haz coolly despatched. 2-1 final score. And Albion march on.

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