Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Draw of a Day Trip from Margate

This might explain at least some of the headaches of the home directors

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 3 March 2012 at The Abrahams Stadium
Wingate & Finchley 2 Margate 2
Isthmian Premier League (Step 3)
This fixture does not add to the lifetime list (see #203) but it was in the right place on my journey back having taken @yappattack to a checkup at Moorfields Hospital in the morning.  My original Twitter friend and Man of Margate @JeremyJacobs was also in attendance.
This match in one sentence
After a bizarre start which had two goals in two minutes, Margate eventually needed a late penalty to rescue a point in windy conditions.
So what?
Mid-table security looks likely for both these sides but Margate will be the happier having avoided what would have been a seventh league defeat in a row.
Something random
How are Wingate & Finchley surviving at this level with a crowd of 105?  Half of them were supporting Margate, including a bow-tie wearing band.  Nice!  Pic courtesy of Jeremy Jacobs.

The drama unfolds
The match kicked off at ten-to-eight according to the stadium clock on the far side.  The first harmless-looking ball over the top landed in the Wingate & Finchley penalty area after about 20 seconds.  Somehow, Tom Bradbrook had plenty of time to bring it down and fire in a daisycutter of a shot that crept in at the back post from the cutest of acute angles.  No idea how it went in, and in fact two other sources have it as a header, but not a great moment for home keeper Bobby Smith.  0-1

From the first attack after the restart, a long ball down the middle dropped from the sky towards the penalty spot.  Leon Smith (for whom the word burly was invented) jumped with Margate keeper Simon Overland, who was trying to punch clear.  Smith made contact with the ball and his header looped into the net, Overland made contact with Smith who stayed down for a horizontal moment of celebration.  Only two minutes gone, at most.  1-1

Neither team could maintain this goals-per-attack ratio and the game settled into a pattern, with Margate arguably having the advantage of the windy conditions.  Here’s a scene-setter clip taken about 20 minutes in from the back of the main stand.  The home side are in blue.

Wingate & Finchley took the lead after 33 minutes.  A curling ball from the right got into the 6-yard box and Gazmend Dauti arrived from midfield just before Overland to poke it home.  They held on to the lead comfortably until the interval.  2-1 at half-time

Margate made a double substitution at half-time and Tom Murphy and Matt Bodkin were to link up frequently with much greater pace and urgency.  Several times one or other reached the byline but a final ball either missed the target or evaded the attackers.  Here’s a second-half clip.

Lean Smith continued to impress as a target-man with good strength, immaculate close control and layoffs and intelligent movement.  Twice he found himself one-on-one with Overland.  On both occasions the keeper came out on top.

In stoppage time, Margate’s increasingly desperate attacks got them a penaty for handball.  Here’s Dan Stubbs sending Smith the wrong way from the spot.  2-2

There was still time for an “if only” moment for each side.  From Margate’s next attack, Smith made an excellent block but the rebound was skied by Richard Avery when it should have been easier to score.  Here’s the home side’s last set piece, which has Overland scurrying to his right as the stadium clock maintained its ten-to-eightness.  Final score 2-2

I usually ask myself which player decided the destination of the points – so this week it goes to Margate goalkeeper Simon Overland.  Leon Smith was the best outfield player on the pitch by some distance, but although Overland lost out to Smith in a 50:50 for the goal, it was the keeper’s two one-on-one saves that kept Margate in the game and paved the way for their point.  Honourable mention to the visiting subs Tom Murphy and Matt Bodkin.
A snippet from the programme
A very professionally produced programme including ads for lingerie (“Discover what lies beneath …”) and a vibrating platform (“I thought my footballing days were over until I used the TrueVibe…”).  What should I find but an article from @DannyLast on Football’s Guilty Pleasures …
“In our youth, the Italian word Panini meant more to us than Rossi or Tardelli.  Walking around playgrounds or standing outside Spar with our pile of unwanted stickers of Coventry’s Mick Coop – resplendent in his chocolate brown kit – in a vague hope of finding that elusive shiny Liverpool badge and the second half of the Swansea City team sticker to complete our album.”
What I learned today (well, this month)
A non-expert summary of what I now know about eyes.  Number 2 son Chris aka @yappattack is convalescing after a retinal detachment and treatment at Moorfields.  Broadly speaking, there are three modes of treatment for retinal tears and detachments.  Firstly, laser treatment can sometimes be used to stop a very small tear from spreading to other parts of the retina.  Secondly, a scleral buckle is a strip of silicone stitched to the back of the eyeball to change the shape of the eye and close the gap to the detached retina.  This is often used in conjunction with lasers or cryoscopy (very low temperatures) to create fresh scar tissue to keep the retina in place.  Thirdly, a bubble of inert gas (sulphur hexafluoride) or silicone oil is injected into the eye to push the retina into place from the inside.  Sometimes this will need the patient to maintain a certain head position for several days so the pushing is in the right direction.  The method that is chosen will depend mainly on the nature of the tear or detachment.  Chris’ scleral buckle from last week has proved insufficient so he now has an eyeful of silicone too for a few months.  All pretty amazing stuff technologically and this is why more of our young people should be taking up the sciences.

If ever you have the sense of losing part of your field of vision – such as a black curtain coming across or down (Chris described his starting with a “bubble” effect) – then get to Moorfields as soon as possible if you live anywhere near London, or to your local A&E.
What Next?
I am only planning one day at a time at the moment but I see there is a mid-Wales hop next week and a Central Midlands hop the week after that.

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