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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Albion went down 4-3 despite putting in a spirited display and fighting back from 4-1.

"Ya Beauty"

“Ya Beauty”

Man of the match saw Harry and Duncan in joint third with a vote each and Walter in second place with 2 votes, Walter in particular deserves special mention for keeping the score respectable during a spell of nightmarish defending.

However, the winner was Charlie Baxendale with 5 votes and 2 goals topping off a great game leading the line with Harry.

There were a multitude of random votes for a range of oddities in this week’s Henri Leconte. Including Nick Milne for revealing that he finds Rebel Wilson “super-hot”, Will Slater for an un-PC pre-game comment (think Jade Barker circa 2011), Luke for bringing a pair of crusty concrete reinforced boots and finally Will Slater again for increasing the average speed of Sunday League wingers since coming out of retirement.

The winner reminded us all of the bag scene from American Beauty, Harry Carlile stepped up to take a free kick to see a stray black bin bag dancing mysteriously in the goal.

Harry had this to say, “It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. Right? And this bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That’s the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. So I stepped up and banged the fucker into the bottom left corner. Ya beauty!”

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Albion progressed through to the semi-finals of the Marcus Lipton Cup by producing a 7 nil thrashing of AFC Putney B.

"OOOOO", "AAAAAA" "Jade Barker"

“OOOOO”, “AAAAAA” “Jade Barker”

At times the attacking play was a joy to watch, with the front 6 on the attack at every opportunity and this was reflected in the Man of the Match voting. However, we start with defenders as Stew and Simon picked up a vote apiece and joining them in joint third place was Nick Milne also with a vote.

Despite scoring 4 of the 7, Harry came in second place with 3 votes with this week’s winner being Josh with 4 votes for another vintage midfield performance.

Henri Leconte was the proverbial 2 horse race, with the ref picking up a couple of votes – possibly for not wanting to leave the centre circle, not wanting to use linesmen or not really wanting to be there at all.

I should maybe have opened the article with commentating that Jade was in attendance.This would have given everyone a clue as to who might win this week’s Henri Leconte.

Ahem! Jade picked up 6 votes for his sensual topless back massage on the opposition keeper (the keeper was topless not Jade). Not a stranger to aromatherapy and holistic remedies, Jade produced a secret bottle of “Sex Panther” and went to work on injured muscles.

Unfortunately, the keeper didn’t recover and had to leave the field of play – albeit with a hard-on.

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A 6-4 win saw the Albion overcoming their bogey team with a long overdue victory.

Charlie's pre-match meal, "mmmm".

Charlie’s pre-match meal, “mmmm”.

A classy performance saw many impressive individual performances; however the Man of the Match award was dominated by 3 players. Charlie came in third with a single vote, Duncan was second with 3 votes but the way out winner was Josh with 6 votes. Another vintage performance from Josh saw him dominate the midfield and he even produced a 30 yard lob whilst the BPR keeper was on one of his many forays out of goal.

Josh also featured in this week’s Henri Leconte, picking up a vote for being registered as 18 and therefore bringing the overall squad average age artificially down to 34. The whole team also received a vote for a combined age in the mid to high 400’s, with 4 of the players having already hit 40.

Being one of the 40 year old’s, Bill tried denying his age by turning up dressed as Avril Lavigne’s long lost lover wearing a full skater boy outfit.

The oppo keeper picked up a vote for an erratic performance which gifted the Albion at least 3 goals and this then allowed Walter to pick up a vote himself, by confirming that he fully deserved last week’s accolade as the “best black goalie in South London” ™.

However, the week’s winner was Charlie who produced and devoured a pre-game meal of completely decomposed food.

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Albion have been sensationally drawn into a scandal involving the alleged abuse of the elderly.


McPhee : Still got it!

Following up on a report made by a general member of the public, Age Concern were made aware of alleged activities during a recent Southern Sunday League Premiership fixture.

A member of the public who has asked to remain nameless gave the following statement, “I was walking my dog along Clapham Common last Sunday when I was drawn by a loud moaning noise from the one of pitches. Looking closer I could see a rather tall old man walking aimlessly around the centre circle, flailing limbs and shouting out random names of people who didn’t seem to be nearby. “Ralph!”, “Ralph!” Was the only one I made out. At first I was concerned an elderly member of the public had walked onto the pitch in confusion, however I soon realised the gentleman was kitted out in full strip and answered to the name of “Dave”.

It is not known whether the old gentleman in question was asked to play against his own will but reports suggest there was more than one potential victim. The eye witness went on, “there was also a ginger gentleman who seemed to be foaming at the mouth, shouting in anguish and seemed to be confused which way around his head was. I’ve never seen so many backwards headers”.

Asked for his opinion controversial pundit “Big Ron” had this to say, “The ginger fella’s doing no one favours with those headers, tell you what, Clive, Slater looks like he’s playing from amnesia out there”.

Albion have denied the allegation but manager Stewart Lauder confirmed that there we’re several players over the age of 40, some of whom had “reluctantly come out of retirement 4 or 5 times in the last year”.

Age Concern issued the following statement, “We take these matters very seriously and from early reports, these actions seem barbaric and must be stopped. We have looked into league records and as well as recently fielding a team with the combined age of 556 years old, the average squad age is 38”. Adding, “We are particularly considered by David McPhee, as his play is clearly displaying early signs of dementia”.

The eye witness concluded, “I felt most sorry for Nicholas Cage’s older brother who had been asked to run the line and who was later introduced into the play”. Adding, “And I’ve no idea why that young lad was playing right wing in a team with all those old guys”.

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