Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Supermarinated Canaries

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 10 March 2012 at Top Field
Hitchin Town 0 Swindon Supermarine 1
Southern League Premier Division (step 3)
This game does not count as an addition to the lifetime list, but I am here to add my welcome to The Phoenix Club of groundhoppers from Belgium and Holland.
This match in one sentence
Hitchin Town missed lots of chances and Swindon Supermarine converted one of theirs for a classic streetwise away win.
So what?
Very valuable points for Supermarine on a day when several of the lowest-placed clubs picked up points.  Hitchin stay on 40pts and need a few more before they can be sure of survival in their first season back at step 3, but I would back them to do so.
Something random

Welcome to The Phoenix Club which includes tweeters @Doingthe116, @HansRedMagic and @DutchAddick.  They were today’s match sponsors.  This jolly group of football fanatics democratically selects a game each year and they have successively jinxed Workington, Merthyr Tydfil, Hayes & Yeading, Marlow and now Hitchin Town.  They have never seen their chosen home team win in their five-year existence.  I am tempted to invite them to Molineux for the next Black Country derby, but I am sure that Manchester City will pay them more to stay away from Eastlands.  The good news, however, is that as continental gentlemen of refinement they love their non-league.  A pleasure to meet you, gents, and good luck on your travels.  They are pictured here with local tweety friend and Hitchin advocate @CynInHerts.
The drama unfolds
My opening clip comes after 15 minutes – I had arrived just in time for kick-off – and Supermarine are in red.  There’s nothing wrong with the soundtrack, it was indeed rather quiet and subdued at Top Field today.

There was very little incisive goalmouth action in the first half-hour.  Supermarine are a strong and well-organised side, and they had the early territorial advantage.  We passed through, and thankfully left behind, a niggly few minutes in which several players shouted louder than the crowd on their swandive to the turf in search of a "decision".  There were a few exchanges of view, a bit of pushing and shoving, and a yellow card or two.  Martyn Bennett in the Hitchin goal was slightly the busier of the two keepers.  The second equally tedious clip (I was not cut out for a career in advertising, you know) is from half-an-hour in.

Gradually, Hitchin got into the game and I took clips of a couple of set-pieces, but if you are looking for real excitement then have a look at the Dulux catalogue of beiges instead.  0-0 at half-time

At half-time I was introduced to the visiting sponsors by @CynInHerts and joined them on the terraces for the second half.  We exchanged jolly groundhopping stories while we watched Hitchin Town impose themselves on the game.  Nice to meet people who don't think I am barmy.  They had even heard of Sherjill MacDonald, the enigma.  There was the real prospect of the end of the Phoenix Jinx, as it seemed a matter of when rather than if the home team would score.  Credit to the defence and their keeper for good work all round and one flying save in particular.

The sucker-punch away goal came with about 12 minutes to go.  Bradley Gray’s looping shot from the left gave Bennett no chance, possibly aided by a deflection.  0-1

There was to be no late drama for me this week, as the final two clips will confirm.  Final Score 0-1

The Phoenix Club have a tradition of selecting a man-of-the-match, and they like a tackle, so Hitchin’s Ieuan Lewis got their collective nod, and who am I to argue?  My picture of the presentation has been submitted to crapphotosofnonleague.tumblr.com, and I hope their webmasters will consider it bad enough to publish in due course.  It deserves a wider audience of people deliberately looking for bad art.
A snippet from the programme

Fair play to the club for attempting a Dutch welcome on the front page, part of which translates as:

“The Netherlands has its own football tradition, one to be proud of, and we hope to show you something similar with “Total Football” here at Hitchin.”
What Next?
Not a clue. Other commitments mean that I am planning one day at a time but I could end up at the Central Midlands League hop next Saturday.  Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details.  For those following the blog in forensic detail I am pleased to report that offspring #2 @yappattack is seemingly on the mend but the oil in his eye will probably stay there for several months while retinal healing takes place.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Graham,

    Nice meeting you in Hitchin.
    Meanwhile you can check out my website on http://sites.google.com/site/cheeseanduniononline/

    grtz; Hugo