MOM & HL V SWAG (Yes, you read that right)

Albion picked up their first league win of the season, with a 4-1 victory over league new boys “SWAG”.

Bruce Lee : Pretty good at Martial Arts

Bruce Lee : Pretty good at Martial Arts

With Alek’s and Neil both scoring early goals, you’d have expected them to pick up votes in the MOM award. They did, with a solitary vote each to tie third place.

Woody added a brace with the third and fourth goals, thereby picking up 3 votes to take second place in the MOM award.

The winner was Will Carlile, with 6 votes for a dominant midfield performance in the “Dave Role”.

Upon turning up to the changing rooms, the Albion were greeted by some Indie tunes playing from Tom’s boombox. For this he picked up a vote in the Henri Leconte voting.

Woody’s first yellow for the Albion picked up for a vote for being “pointless”. Not to be outdone, Tom also got his name in the ref’s notebook for a ridiculously late challenge and he also picked up a vote.

Will C also got nominated for one of the shittest bits of “bantz”, we’ve heard in a long time.

The ref, “Can I see your boots?”

Will, “Yeah, as long as I get them back at the end of the match”.

However, this week’s winner was the ref with 5 votes (I’ll leave it at that). BUT….

I cannot help but feel Chaz escaped clinching the award, after another bizarre exchange in the Alex went largely unnoticed due to everyone having departed relatively early.

It seems he’s not only confused about gardening but also the respective martial art capabilities of actors.

Chaz, “Is Bruce Lee, any good at fighting?”

Cue Will, Luke and myself looking at each other in disbelief.

Chaz, “ Sorry, I meant Bruce Willis”.

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Albion suffered a 4 nil defeat to rivals Battersea Park Rangers, going down to 2 goals in either half.

Alek's "Ladybird" scooter

Alek’s “Ladybird” scooter

The pre-match started in bizarre fashion, when a new BPR player walked into the changing room, shook every Albione’s hand and introduced himself as “Will”. For that he received 2 votes in this week’s Henri Leconte. In another pre-match indiscretion, Aleks also picked up a couple of votes for arriving on a bright red scooter, which matched his bright red boots.

The first incident during the game which picked up votes, was for an “own goal” finish that Will Slater would have been proud of. With Jindy applying a deft and cool finish, in slotting the ball past Alex to put BPR 1 nil up.

During the second half, the Albion did momentarily pull it back to 3-1 following a mazy run from Nick Milne and a slammed finish from Chaz. However, this week’s Henri Leconte winner with 6 votes was Nick for being “too honest” in admitting the ball went out of play before the move was finished. Which left one Albione stating, “it had no place in Sunday league football”.

Despite his own goal, Jindy picked up a vote in the MOM award, along with Will, Woody and Neil.

In second place was the “too honest” Nick Milne with 3 votes. But this week’s winner was red scooter riding and Albion captain Aleks with 4 votes.

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MOM & HL V AFC Hammersmith

It is fair to say that the overall team performance in losing 5-0 to AFC Hammersmith, was shite.

"Ol' Green Fingers" Nick Evans checking out local flora.

“Ol’ Green Fingers” Nick Evans checking out local flora.

However, there was one standout performance and that was Marcus Fletcher operating in his new role at left back. Marcus showed endeavour not matched by the rest of the team and picked up 6 votes, to walk away with this week’s award. Nearest to Marcus was Woody with 2 votes. Matt, Chaz and Tim all registered a vote each.

Albion new boy Teddy, down watching his first game with father and Albion captain Aleks Turner, also registered a vote. Not the first time a dribbling, incoherent, “unsteady on his feet” performance picked up a MOM vote in the Albion awards.

Henri Leconte was equally spread.

With Chaz, who received a vote for a chimpanzee impersonation whilst trying to take down the nets on his own.

Chaz also received a vote from yours truly for this bizarre exchange…

Stew, “Nick Evans was going to the gym a lot whilst on gardening leave”.

Chaz, “I didn’t realise Nick was a gardener”.

Others to receive a single vote included Tom – for admitting having his hair chemically straightened, Neil for describing the Alex barmaid as “packing” and the oppo injured player for getting all aggro for a variety of reasons.

Joint winners and both receiving 3 votes, were Neil for arguing and squaring up with the oppo injured player and Alex W for a weak clearance with gave AFC Hammersmith the ball and an early lead. (Alex voted for himself).

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Dinah Washington once sang, “What a difference a day makes”. I’ve a feeling Dinah never had a day like Nick Milne and I therefore felt it apt to let 7 days pass before posting last week’s awards.

Chaz using his "new" Nokia 3210.

Chaz using his “new” Nokia 3210.

In a first, I feel we should talk about the “Henri Leconte” award before the “MOM” awards.

On any other week, phoning me up at 10.10 to ask me what train he needed to get on from Vauxhall would have made Charlie a clear winner. This was later followed by at text at 10.39 to tell me he was at “Esher”, despite me being unable to answer given I would have been 10 minutes into the game.

However, far and away the “winner” was Nick Milne with an astonishing 10 votes! With the game poised on a knife edge at 2-2 and with 5 minutes to go, Nick was 30 yards out and closing down on the opposition keeper. Typically the keeper tried one of his “Rene Higuita” moves, only to be dispossessed by the onrushing Milne.

Nick was then clear through on goal, with no one around to challenge him – cue 9 loud cheers, hand pumps and returning goalkeeper Blaney popped off 2 rounds from this Colt .45.

Then the rattle! With the ball looping up and out of play, following a thumping against the crossbar.

For the remainder of the game and most of the post-match, Albion’s own “Rain Man” was heard repeatedly saying “Uh-oh! I’ve hit the bar! Uh-oh! I’ve hit the bar! Uh-oh! I’ve hit the bar!” and the Albion had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

An honourable mention should also go to Putney’s goalie, who post game was seen driving from the ground in the World’s smallest affordable car – knee’s up against the steering wheel. 

Man of the Match was hotly contested between Will C playing the “Dave Role” and Nick M, with Nick pipping Will to win the award 4-3.

Bill, Josh and Stew all picked up a vote a piece.

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To round out the September fixtures Albion took on the curiously named Wig Army in the Marcus Lipton Cup.  With two leagues and presumably thus at least 8 places separating them Albion were favourites, although were dealt an early blow through the absence of Player/Manager Stewart Lauder prior to the warm up. thebus

Rumours were abound as to the cause of Lauder’s Karanka-esque no-show but a representative from a leading ride-sharing website suggested that he ‘might have been drunk’.  Jade Barker and the Albion FC board have yet to comment whether Lauder would be subject to the strict playing staff code of conduct, in particular the section reading…

‘If anyone dropouts after 12 (midday, you cheeky f*ckers) on Saturday, without a viable reason, they will also be excluded from the next weeks squad.’

Which Lauder had embarrassingly emblazoned on a bus during pre-season.

Despite this sideshow Albion had a match to play and started relatively brightly, quickly nullifying Wig Army’s rather one dimensional long ball strategy.  After 20 minutes Albion got into their grove, passing the ball well and starting to create space down the flanks.  The pressure quickly paid off with a ball from the right breaking to Tim Groundwater who lashed into the left side of the goal from 12 yards out for his first ever Albion goal.

Buoyed by breaking the deadlock Albion turned on the style, with a beautiful flowing passing move down the left end up at the feet of Tom South, who promptly introduced the ball to the net.  Not done for the first half, target man Baxendale’s looping header beat the keeper but hit the underside of the bar, but fortunately South was on hand to put the rebound away.

Long time fans of Albion FC will know that like Bonnie Tyler, every now and then we fall apart.  We promptly did this for the last 10 minutes of the first half and were lucky to survive unscathed from multiple rounds of penalty box pinball.  However at half time it was 3-0.

A pattern was quickly established in the second half as Wig continued to launch long balls akin to a ~Russian~ Ukrainian separatist soldier in Sevastapol.  Albion, content to absorb this pressure and launch counter attacks, were constantly dangerous but were unable to convert, with Baxendale once again acting cupid for ball and crossbar before eventually slotting the fourth and final goal.

Albion will face tougher tests this season but, should he continue his tenure as Albion coach, Lauder will be impressed with a professional performance and will hope Albion can take this form to get their first points in the league next week.

MoM: This week was a close run thing, but taken by Matt McManus for his ‘1000’ headers.  Marcus Fletcher came second with 2 votes with spare votes also for Aleks and Nick.

H/L – GOES go to Lauder for his failure to read the email and turn up on time, but more than one vote also went to Aleks for matching his boots to the red kit.  About as conspicuous as Taribo West at  an EDL rally – fair point.

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In my absence we failed to nominate the awards following last week’s defeat to AFC Putney.

However, I can tell you that Woody picked up his first and the season’s first MOM award. We can assume Walter would have picked up HL, for being half an hour on time (sod’s law, I was away).

This week wasn’t much different, with Woody winning after collecting 5 votes whilst scoring a brace in the 5-3 defeat to FC Morden (Nick E slotted the other). Neil, Marcus F and Chaz all picked up a vote a piece.

"Bruce" - Better house trained than Charlie Baxendale

“Bruce” – Better house trained than Charlie Baxendale

During recent years the Alb have had various runs in with “man’s best friend”. A few years back there was a strange incident when Albion full-back Rich Evans was accused of striking a dog (whilst in reality, he was only arguing in Welsh with it) and who could forget St George’s part time physio and linesdog.

However, this weekend saw an Albion first when “Bruce” turned up with owner Neil hoping for a place on the bench. Unfortunately for him we were able to field a full side and he had to spend his Sunday morning being entertained by injured Albion striker Harry Carlile, who reminiscent of the St George’s story attempted to run the line whilst holding the lead.

Quite rightly, the ref turned down the request and played the game without linesmen.

Tim came second with a couple of votes. One for rolling his ankle twice, despite being nowhere near the action and the second for sticking up for himself by giving me a piece of his mind during the half time team talk.

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 Those unfamiliar with the composition of the Putney squad are in for a shock.

Those unfamiliar with the composition of the Putney squad are in for a shock.

Albion dusted off their collective boots for the first game of the season against last year’s double winners Putney FC.  The morning sun illuminated a new look Albion side with no less than 6 debutantes in the squad, all spoiling for the chance to become the ‘new Will Slater’.

Even with manager Stewart Lauder serving a one match touchline ban the pre-match preparations went well with Walter Gwan-Nulla even arriving with a leisurely 30 minutes before kick off.  Walter makes history this season by becoming Albion’s first ever semi-pro player, using his fees to pay for petrol – presumably for complicated offshore tax purposes.
Albion started well and implemented their game plan, explained with less than the usual amount of expletives, well for the first 30 minutes.  However after a short break in play Albion switched off and a long ball to the right saw Putney win two successive headers, the latter of which somehow ended up in the Albion net.  Like Hermione Granger Albion has been good in spells but went into the break 1-0 down.
Putney drove home their advantage in the second half, making the most of an extra man in midfield and their superior fitness.  With Albion struggling to retain possession Putney sprung the offside trap to score two more goals, essentially sealing the tie.  However Albion were not finished.  Newbie Tom South rattled the crossbar with a direct free kick, proving his intent to take Jindy’s place as set piece taker and as frontrunner for the most ridiculous hair award.
Albion made three substitutions, giving debuts to Marcus Coatsworth, Tim Groundwater and Matt McManus and the injection of energy provided a needed boost.  Albion started to create chances with Woody Archer getting his head to everything even vaguely spherical, much to the irritation of the Putney bench.
The goal Albion scored was ultimately a consolation but at least ruined the day for Putney’s ‘sweeper keeper’.  Coatsworth released Charlie ‘leg breaker’ Baxendale on the left who saw his one-on-one well saved before the ball somehow broke to Neil Joliffe who theoretically could have missed but fortunately didn’t – concurrently surging to the top of the Albion golden boot chart for the 2016-17 season.
Albion fans will be disappointed that the blue and blacks missed the opportunity to take points off a weakened Putney side but will also see promise in a squad that features almost as many new faces as Steve Claridge’s Weymouth side in 2009.  Next week Albion face league runners up FC Morden.

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Last week’s awards were light on votes, presumably due to the nature of the defeat in conceding an equaliser and then a winner in the last 4 minutes of the game.

"Got any dried porridge?!"

“Got any dried porridge?!”

However, due to the outstanding performance from Charlie I feel it deserved a post – Charlie won the “MOM” award with 6 votes.

In the Henri Leconte, Jim P featured for offering halftime Satsuma’s, AFC Putney for celebrating their winner like winning the World Cup and their lino asking if he could run the line “on the other side”.

However, the winners were Charlie and Nick for combining for a fantastic goal on the break which involved a mazy dribble from Nick and a far post cross which was met with a diving header by the onrushing Charlie.

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Dunc : Before the beard and the do.

Dunc : Before the beard and the do.

Following his announcement that he was leaving this was potentially Duncan’s final game for the Albion and he made sure it was memorable one with a fine defensive performance and by scoring the equalizer.

His 7 year career has seen countless back post headers, marauding gallops down the right wing and plenty of times when he’s given it the “full gun”.

In fitting tribute to the departing captain, he picked up 6 votes and the Man of Match award.

Making up the rest of the voting, the returning Jim Rothwell picked up 3 votes for second with Josh and Charlie joint third, with a vote a piece.

Jim also features in the “Henri Leconte” award with a couple of votes for his trademark back post “push/space maker/nudge”. Walter also picked up a couple of votes for his “butter fingers” in fumbling the first conceded goal (he voted for himself so he’s fair game).

However, the first and second spot were wiped out by Charlie, who had an eventful morning.

Second place with 3 votes was for Charlie, grassed upon by Harry by revealing Charlie’s pre-match routine involved scabbing a hot water from Café Nero so he can dump a sachet of porridge oats into it – rather than splashing out on the finished product.

The winner was Charlie for going all Basil Fawlty on us and producing a comic backwards trip over the bags on the side of the pitch.

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Mann: Always happy to get you a beer

Mann: Always happy to get you a beer

Albion footballer Jindy Mann has condemned footballers from MK Dons who were photographed urinating into a pint glass before tipping it over a balcony at a race course.

In a strongly worded statement, the former Albion captain called the action “reprehensible”.

Mann said: “I’ve never seen such a disgusting sight. These players should be ashamed of themselves.

“After relieving themselves into the pint glass, there was a golden opportunity to pass that urine-lager shandy onto an unsuspecting team mate. It would’ve been easy. Everyone there had had a skin-full. Instead they just poured it away. It’s a criminal waste.

“Not only that, they got caught doing it. Amateurs.”

The injury prone midfielder is notorious for serving pints of a lager-urine shandy known as “Jandy”. Served lukewarm, it is usually only drunk by gullible or inebriated players on Albion’s German tours.

Mann defended his actions: “I like to think of it as an alcoholic sports drink. Yes, it tastes awful and the performance benefits are dubious, but in that way it’s like every other sports drink on the market.”

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