Tuesday 25 September 2012

Week 6 results: You f#%!ing plebs!

A wee Andrew Mitchell MP quote there to help start this week's results.  Mitchell is, of course, in trouble for saying out loud what the Tories don't want us to know they are all thinking.  And in order to keep this vaguely football related, I should mention that Mr Mitchell does not support any team in particular but is a massive fan of Middlesbrough's André Bikey.  Because he rides a bike.  

This week's Grambling could have gone better, and genuinely looked like it would have at times on Saturday.  However, a few late goals here and there ultimately nullified the main bet.  Saving face, the doubles bet won a MASSIVE £2.53, which shall be added to the Bobby Moore Fund fund to give us a running total of £10.03!  Double-figures at last!

Here is a blow-by-blow account of the weekend's Grambling expedition.  Warning: May contain traces of nut.     

Game 1: Derby County vs Burnley
Prediction: Draw (
x )

The first prediction of the week came so very close to being correct, but the Rams will be feeling rather sheepish after letting a draw turn into a defeat in the dying minutes of this game.  Derby had raced into a twentieth minute lead when the Burnley defence failed to clear a corner, allowing Jamie Ward to score the opener.  Twelve minutes later and the Clarets had equalised through striker Charlie Austin.  Keeping on top of the action, this happy Grambler was rather chuffed as the game approached it's finale looking likely to end in a draw.  But evil Charles Austin decided that he did not like the idea of money going to charity, scoring with an emphatic header in the 89th minute to show his support for tumours everywhere.  It proved to be a good day for Austin, who only took up football as a side-job whilst not producing vacuum pumps.  It was not such a good day for Nigel Clough's men, who slipped below their opponents in the league.  It was a hard result to accept for the manager, who has a statue of his old man outside the stadium.  And that is not a euphemism

Game 2: Crystal Palace vs Cardiff City
Prediction: Home win (
Cardiff squandered the chance to move top of the Championship despite making a fantastic start at Selhurst Park.  Palace started well, but Aron Gunnarsson scored against the run of play, slotting calmly past Julian Speroni.  Two minutes later and City had doubled their lead with a volley from Mafia farmer Don Cowie.  From then until half-time, Cardiff looked rather comfortable and could even have extended the lead further, with Craig Bellamy firing over from nine yards.  A renewed Palace side emerged in the second-half and instantly pressured their opponents.  Within six minutes of the restart, opening scorer Gunnarsson was adjudged to have handled inside his area and Glenn Murray scored from the spot.  Murray got his second on 62 minutes when a deflected shot fell to him and he shot past Cardiff's David Marshall.  And the fightback was complete ten minutes later when Heidar Helguson made a reckless challenge in the Cardiff box, forcing the referee to award a second penalty to the Eagles.  Murray stepped up to claim his hat-trick and seal the win, rounding off a mint performance (insert cymbal crash here).

Game 3: Liverpool vs Manchester United
Prediction: Liverpool 
x )
Two of the great rivals of English football squared up in typical fashion (football kits, mostly) in a day which started with more tributes to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.  And more importantly, two overpaid men SHOOK HANDS WITH EACH OTHER!!!  Liverpool dominated in the first half, but as usual failed to realise that scoring goals is a prerequisite of controlling matches.  Late in the first half, ridiculously named Jonjo Shelvey (is it John or Joe, make your mind up!) was shown a straight red for a mis-timed tackle.  Strangely, ten-man Liverpool went on to take the lead after the restart as Steven Gerrard volleying home just seconds after the interval.  But the lead was to last a mere five minutes as a neat move from United ended with Rafael Da Silva beating Pepe Reina.  United would go on to take all three points when Glen Johnson brought down Nuno Valencia inside the area, and Robin Van Persie slotted home the resulting penalty.  In the aftermath of the game, referee Mark Halsey has contacted police to report offensive comments on his Twitter feed.  Whilst not disclosed by the police, I can confirm that he was referred to as VARK Halsey (vark meaning pig in Afrikaans, obviously.) 

Game 4: Port Vale vs Gillingham 
Prediction: Port Vale 
x )
A battle of the big boys in League Two ended with Gillingham cementing their place as league leaders.  The visitors were in control for most of the game and took the lead on 11 minutes when THE Deon Burton headed in Robbie Findley's cross.  Did anyone know he was still playing?  I seem to remember at France 1998 everyone thought he was going to be the badger's nadgers but he ended up being... a bit crap.  The Gills (who take their nickname from celebrated nuclear physicist Piara Singh Gill) made it two when Chris Whelpdale fired home from a Joe Martin through-ball.  Onomatologists everywhere will jump at the chance to tell you that Whelpdale's surname means Puppyvalley, so that is how he shall be referred to should he ever appear in The Grambler again.  Following the game, Gillingham midfielder Danny Jackman said "The gaffer's tried to get us work as a solid unit, and once we all attack together, we all defend together."  Top clichés, sir! 

Game 5: West Ham vs Sunderland
Prediction: Sunderland 
x )
Sunderland have now drawn so many games that they may as well just get it over with and rename the club Sundrawland.  The perennial single-pointers started brightly with summer signing and Craig Levein ignoree Steven Fletcher scored the opening goal after nine minutes, dedicating his goal to his father who is currently incarcerated at Slade Prison.  West Ham responded by piling the pressure on the Black Cats, but could not break their resolute defence.  A number of chances went to waste as Sunderland sat in their own half for most of the second half, hopeful of defending their narrow lead.  All looked swell for The Grambler, as the game entered it's final minutes with an away victory in sight.  But cap'n Kevin Nolan had other ideas; in the dying seconds, the ball fell to him in the six yard box and he hooked the ball into the net.  A dramatic end to the game and another nail in the coffin for my coupon.  In tribute to home team's goalscorer, here is potentially the best joke I have ever come up with: Which West Ham player has problems when accessing the internet? Kevin No LAN! ThankyouverymuchladiesandgentlemenI'llbehereallweek!   

Game 6: Aberdeen vs Motherwell
Prediction: Draw 
(  )
Saturday afternoon.  Pittodrie, Aberdeen.  83 minutes on the clock.  Motherwell lead by three goals to one.  Stuart McCall shouts cap'n Keith over to the touchline.  "Psst...  I've just noticed that The Grambler has us on for a draw this weekend... Better tell the lads to ship two goals in the last seven minutes... You ain't seen me, right?"  McCall taps his nose and slinks back in to the dugout, his ginger mullet flowing in the wind.  It's the only plausible explanation.  It was Aberdeen who had opened the scoring, Gavin Rae heading into the net after six minutes of play.  Well's Michael Higdon levelled things before the break with his seventh goal in as many games (and yet, half of the East Stand still boo him... Yes, I'm talking to YOU exceedingly angry man with black baseball cap and senile father in tow who sits two rows in front of me!)  Motherwell took control after the break, Shaun Hutchinson heading them into the lead.  The win looked to be sealed on 82 minutes when Nicky Law scored from close range, but this is when the above conversation took place.  Niall McGinn proved that the game was not over with a header on 84 minutes as the away side let him score.  And McCall's brilliant plan came to fruition in the last minute of stoppage time as Josh Magennis scored in dramatic fashion.  So thank you Stuart McCall for sacrificing a comfortable lead at the top of the SPL just for The Grambler, much appreciated!

Game 7: Morton vs Raith Rovers
Prediction: Home win 
(  )
My 'Favourite Match Report of the Week' award (a new award celebrating my favourite match report of the week) goes to whoever writes the reports on the Raith Rovers website, who informs us of important match incidents such as 'the referee is a former cricketer' and 'the fans munched on bacon rolls.'  Raith appeared to have a number of chances to build on their recent good form, but could not find their finishing touch as Stuart Anderson, Scott Taggart, Jason Thomson  and Simon Mensing  missed the target.   The decisive goal came from one of the home side's few chances, when Stephen Stirling hit a thunderous 25 yard strike past former Raith keeper David McGurn.  The win pushed Morton up to third place in the First Division, much to delight of manager Allan Moore who, along with being a mediocre football manager, wrote the Watchmen and V for Vendetta.  Assuming of course that there could not possibly be more than one person with this common forename and surname combination.

So another mildly successful week, still waiting for the big win.  Inevitably it will come on the final round of games of the season, whereby I will win two grand setting me up nicely for a Danny Wallace-esque book.  

The next round of Grambling will start at 9 a.m. sharp on Friday (which translates roughly to 7.30 p.m. by my timing).  As I have won some money for a few weeks now, I am legally obliged to provide an inspirational quote about winning.  So take it away Mr Roy Castle:

"If you wanna be the best,and you wanna beat the rest.  Oo-ooh!  Dedication's what you need.  (Trumpet Solo)"

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