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View from the cemetery

View from the cemetery - April 2016

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 2 April 2016

Tough in the middle innit? What a run of games, who saw that coming? Well, maybe it will focus minds now, there is still a long way to go. Twelve games, lot to play for, and forty one points isn’t enough, that’s for sure.

Some bad luck amongst the various problems, it's true, lots of woodwork hit and some unfortunate dismissals, but one way or another we just can’t get started at the moment. It's a tough life when you give teams an early start. Let's get through the first twenty then have a look is what I recommend. Still, wouldn’t want it to be boring would we? On we go.

View from the cemetery - March 2016 - 2

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Thursday, 24 March 2016

It all seems to be getting a bit wearisome. This long, long season is taking its toll. Maybe it's when you get a warmer afternoon, or maybe it's when the floodlights don’t go on at half time, but there always comes a time in every season when thoughts drift away from the game in front of you and turn to a summer in the sun and plans for next season. There is of course a certain type of football fan who says that they can’t stand the close season and think only of August when it all starts again. That's not me. Apart from tennis fortnight, my views on the Wimbledon shenanigans being well known - see below - I look forward to summer sport. Cricket, golf, the Derby and Royal Ascot, what's not to like is my view. I used to love it when football had a full four month close season and footballers could go off and ply their summer trade. Steve Ogrizovic the Coventry and elsewhere goalkeeper was probably the last in a long line of real double professionals, following the likes of Chis Balderstone, Willie Watson and Denis Compton, but many a cricket club had a pro footballer as their professional, and the local football clubs were always turning out sides to play in charity and challenge matches over the summer. Raich Carter was a dab hand by all accounts. Could our lads field a cricket team do you think? Jon Wightman is a noted bowler but I don’t know of any others. I may be wrong. And none of them would make a jockey....

View from the cemetery - March 2016

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Sunday, 13 March 2016

Fresh from the battle of Washington your correspondent rejoins the fray, exhausted and exhilarated in equal measure. Fifteen minutes of injury time, fantastic, hardly an unblacked eye on the pitch. Goals, bookings, sendings off, accidental, ahem, clashes, incidents galore and at the end a victory, super duper.

It felt a bit like the current squad versus the old boys with no less than eight former RCA players starting for Washy, and a few of us were apprehensive, but in the end the judgement of your management team was upheld, although personally it was a pleasure to be reminded what a footballing one off Joe Walton is. A force of nature, enraged with the opposition, his own team and the world in equal measure. We were clearly the better side, or so I hear, although a failure to convert opportunities made it closer than it should have been. Football in fairly short supply, but plenty of effort and endeavour. A proper derby match in fact, a real good curtain raiser for the event next week, complete with the obligatory annoying kid in the mag shirt shouting stupidities throughout. Where do they get them from?

View from the Cemetery - February - 4

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Friday, 26 February 2016

In Europe or out? I don’t know, and I don’t give political advice, other than to always look for the ulterior motive and beware of the very confident. I suppose that is giving political advice. Anyway, Europe is not something which is likely to worry us in a football sense, unless we ever get round to this end of season tour abroad that is sometimes mooted. I will give my apologies. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the odd football tour in my time. Very odd in a couple of cases.

We once took our Sunday side to play a couple of games down in Leicestershire, one in a pretty little village, just outside the town where we were staying. Late on the first evening, while seeking some sustenance of an oriental variety, we spotted a headline on the back page of the local evening paper which said that the Cossacks, our boldy named opponents the following morning, were hosting, and I quote, “a crack northern outfit.” This came as something of a surprise to the northern outfit in question, as most of us were nine or ten pints in by this time and choosing between the chow mein and the curry to complete the evening, the local young ladies having proved not as accommodating as we had fondly hoped. And we had just finished second bottom of the Sunday league third division.

View from the cemetery - February - 3

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Are we trapped in a weather pocket of our own? And is it anticipating our movements? Looks like it after the postponement of another two games last week. North and South at that. Morpeth understandably keen to protect their pitch with the Vase game against our nemesis from Bristol in mind, so no great surprise there, and they haven’t played at home for months anyway. Not that it did them any good, the Vase game was off as well. And then Norton, caught in a Teesside swamp attack. So the season goes into May now, and we face two games a week every week. As does just about everybody else for that matter. Could lead to some funny results come the last few weeks, in fact I take that back, it will lead to some funny results come the last few weeks. Footballers are creatures of habit, and for most the summer is May and June, time to get the holidays out of the way before pre season comes round. So a few people will go missing no doubt, some unfamiliar teams will take to the pitch, and a few end of season boys trips might have to be rescheduled. Still, some nice warm evenings too enjoy a game, and with the rain presumably finally abating.

View from the cemetery - February - 2

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Friday, 12 February 2016

A bit of a feature on the local telly news the other night, about the lad down at Darlington RA who broke his leg and waited a long time for an ambulance, stuck on the pitch in the rain. Much the same happened to Browny for us through at North Shields earlier this season. And elsewhere as well or so they say. The League Chairman is concerned I hear and raising it in higher places, and I somehow don’t think it was a coincidence that Look North featured the story. Journalistic contacts have their uses. Though I may be entirely wrong in this case of course.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: we will miss him when he is gone. And his farewell walking malarkey seems to be going well, good effort and no question. Over seventeen grand raised so far and quite a way still to shuffle before it all ends. No doubt he spends his time humming that great tune by the much underrated and lamented Edwin Starr, "Feet don’t fail me now”.

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