Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A 2-2 for number 333

Hopperational details
Tuesday 5 October 2010 at the Middlesex Stadium, Hillingdon Borough 2 Holmer Green 2 in the Step 5 Spartan South Midlands Premier League
This match in one sentence
Holmer Green settled and played the better football after going 2-0 down early on, the first being a disputed penalty which set the tone for a constant stream of dissent from both sides.
So what?
Hillingdon Borough are 4th (they were relegated from step 4 the season before last) and Holmer Green (promoted after a season of demotion to step 6 for ground grading reasons) are 15th.  The Middlesex Stadium is duly entered at position 333 on my lifetime ‘hopperlist.
Who caught the eye on the pitch?
“I am not a number!” said The Prisoner (Patrick McGoohan) in the incomprehensible but strangely compelling TV series.  However, in the absence of announcements or any obvious team display all I can tell you is that Hillingdon’s #4 and #11 wore fluorescent yellow “Fancy Dan” boots.  If the point of wearing them is to get noticed, then they worked.  #4 put in a good display in central defence, and #11 was pacy up front and tripped for the penalty.

However, the man in black was the centre of attention for much of this game.  Both sides kept up the pressure on him and the assistants after that early penalty.  He showed several cards for dissent, including one to a sub or official on the bench.  The challenges to them were loud and sustained, and defenders patronisingly shouted, “Well done Lino!” when the offside flag was raised.
This match had the same effect on my pulse rate as …
… the non-arrival of a cheque from Nigeria after you have been kind enough to help that nice email correspondent with the release of his family fortune from those nasty bankers who don’t believe him.
A snippet from the programme
Hillingdon Borough were runners-up in the FA Vase in 2005-6, and the programme records the essential details of defeat at Binfield, putting them out this season despite a comeback from 0-3 to 2-3 and a moment of handball controversy where “even the Binfield keeper agreed (a penalty) should have been awarded”.  The programme editor’s notes continue the evening’s theme of dissent.  “At no point in the second half could you have imagined that we were the team with only 10 men, and had it not felt as though we were playing against 12 …”  Meanwhile, the FA Respect campaign advertisement is in full colour on the inside back cover of the programme.
Modus Hopper Random Talking Point

Is there anyone out there who thinks the Respect campaign is making any difference?

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