Wednesday 10 October 2012

Week 8 Results: Different recipe, same great taste!

It would appear that at some point over the weekend, I pressed a big red button which said 'do not press' quite clearly on it and somehow managed to destroy this here website.  Thankfully, the world is still intact and all of the text still existed (there is no way I was re-writing that jibberish) but I had deleted the entire template.  Having spent the past few days rebuilding, I would like to introduce you to the new, improved Grambler!*  There is also now a frequently asked questions page (click over there somewhere).  If you have a question which you would like to frequently ask, feel free to use the comments section, send a message via the Facebook page or alternatively write it on a blank postcard and send to: 

KFC Customer Services
PO Box 57984
London W4 9AX

Back to the business at hand...   It was an average week for The Grambler with three of the seven results correct.  But it was an exciting weekend nonetheless, with 26 goals shared between the 14 teams involved.  That may be a Grambler record, I would check but I can't be bothered.  

*May not actually be improved in any way.

Game 1: Airdrie United vs Hamilton Acidemical
Prediction: Home win 
( x )
Hamilton had yet to record a league win this season as they visited the Excelsior stadium, which is either named for one of the largest gems ever found or a ship in Star Trek.  Since Airdrie are nicknamed the DIAMONDS, I'm going to assume it's the latter.  But I digress.  Accies dominated the first half but Airdrie nearly took the lead following the restart; a Stephen Hendrie back-pass was intercepted but Kevin Cuthbert did well to save.  This was to be the home side's only shot on target though, and in the 66th minute, Hamilton finally took the lead with Ali Crawford scoring his 4th of the season.  Six minutes later and the lead was doubled via a Louis Longridge header.  Stevie May, who appears to be related to Brian going by the hair alone, scored in the 83rd minute to make the score 'realistic' according to the Accies' website; they fail to confirm whether they are referring to philosophical, scientific or socio-political realism.  St Johnstone loanee May then rounded off a good day with a second from the penalty spot, the first spot-kick Hamilton have been awarded for forty games apparently.

Game 2: West Bromwich Albion vs Queens Park Rangers
Prediction: Draw 
( x )
West Brom continued their fine start the season with a win at the Hawthorns.  And it didn't take long to get the ball rolling, with midfielder and unbearably mediocre singer James Morrison notching the first on 5 minutes.  After 22 minutes, the hosts were two-up thanks to a goal from Zoltan Gera, the evil-looking-fortune-granting-whilst-unplugged-machine from Big.  Adel Taarabt pulled one back for Rangers before half-time but any chance of a come-back was buried when Congolese midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu swept in five minutes from time.  QPR did manage a late consolation via Esteban Granero, but Albion managed to hang on for the remaining seconds to record the win.  Man-of-the-match nominee Morrison made it into BBC correspondent Garth Crook's 'team of the week', alongside the outstanding claim that Roy Hodgson should be keeping an eye on him.  That would be Roy Hodgson, England manager, keeping tabs on Scott Morrison, capped 23 times by Scotland... This is the cutting-edge journalism that your licence fee is paying for!

Game 3: Forfar Athletic vs Alloa Athletic
Prediction: Away win

A sunny Autumnal day was not enough to bring out the crowds in Forfar - somehow Station Park defied all physical possibilities to host a crowd of minus 487 -  as the home side were edged out in another five goal thriller.  An early penalty was dispatched by Ryan McCord to put the visitors in front but the lead lasted just one minute as budget jeans salesman Danny Denholm levelled the score with a header.  The Wasps found themselves in front once more when defender Jason Marr scored his first goal for the club in the 22nd minute, and this time they managed to hold onto their lead for slightly longer; the score remaining the same as the players munched on their half-time bridies.  Eleven minutes from time and Denholm had once again pulled the home side level, a left-footed strike beating Alloa's Scott Bain.  But again, the reprieve was only temporary as just five minutes later Mark Docherty nodded the winner to seal the points for Paul Hartley's side.    
Sponsored link; For all your fashion needs, visit Danny Denholm's Discount Denims... The savings are in his jeans!     

Game 4: Chelsea vs Norwich City
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )
Off the field, it has not been a great week for Chelsea.  Captain and alleged massive racist John Terry was found guilty of being an alleged massive racist whilst defender and all-round unlikeable guy Ashley Cole has been fined for calling the alleged bunch of twats at the FA a bunch of twats.  However, on the pitch it was back to business as usual.   It was a comfortable win for the league frontrunners, but it was Norwich who took the lead when Grant Holt drove in a 15 yard shot.  Fast-forward 20 minutes and any hope that City had of holding on to their lead had been demolished.  Fernando Torres headed an equaliser on 14 minutes and a trademark long-range strike from Frank Lampard put the blues in front.  Just after the half-hour mark, Eden Hazard put the home side comfortably in front, all of this in spite of a Ruddy good attempt from Norwich's goalie to keep them in the game.  Norwich had some chances in the second half through counter-attacks but failed to find the net and force a way back into the game.  Branislav Ivanovic made sure of the three points when he drilled in the fourth with 15 minutes remaining.  And for all of you football trivia fans; Ivanovic once challenged Deep Blue to a game of Buckaroo and won.

Game 5: Millwall vs Bolton Wanderers 
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )

Defeat at Millwall proved to be the last straw for the Bolton board, with Owen Coyle losing his job in the aftermath.  And what a cruel way for the manager to go, with a 90th minute goal winning the tie for the Lions as well as a missed penalty that could have granted the visitors a win.  Millwall started well and early on Danny Shittu had a goal ruled out by the officials.  I Shittu not, a push on the goalkeeper was spotted by the referee and the home-side were denied the lead.  Shortly after, they made amends when Darius Henderson's shot deflected into the net past a sprawling Adam Bogdan, whom I swear was in Harry Potter.  Five minutes after half-time, Chris Eagles levelled the game; a soaring shot from the winger flew past the flapping keeper and nested in the net (because he has a name what is like a bird, see?)  Eagles was then given the chance to put his side in front from the spot after a foul from Jimmy Abdou, but he blazed the kick over the bar.  And in the last minute of the game, Henderson grabbed his second whilst moistening the seal on the envelope containing Coyle's P45 (not literally, that would just have been weird.)     

Game 6: Leyton P&O vs Sheffield United
Prediction: Home win ( x )
There is not a great deal to say about this game... A lucklustre first half by all accounts ended with neither team threatening to score, the only reportable incident was an injury to  Blades keeper Mark Howard which forced the introduction of  18 year old keeper George Long.  The second half saw slightly more action and just before the hour mark, Nick Blackman scored a stunning match-winner from 25 yards.  Kevin Lisbie could have equalised for Orient, but his shot was well-saved by Long.  Following the match, Orient's chairman Barry Hearn resumed his mental claims that the club should move to the Olympic Stadium instead of West Ham, stating that the club will not exist in five years time unless they move and rename themselves London Orient (catchy).  Apparently Mr Hearn made his fortune as an accountant.  Then went bankrupt.  Then somehow made another fortune  as an accountant.  So he should be able to complete this quick maths puzzle; Saturday's match was attended by 4,882 fans.  Of these, 1,253 were Sheffield United fans.  The Olympic Stadium has a capacity of 80,000.  Showing your working, please calculate WHY THE FECK ANYONE WOULD THINK THIS IS A POSSIBLY GOOD IDEA!? 

Game 7: Brentford vs Crawley Town
Prediction: Away win 
( x )

In the first of two ties taking place between these two sides this week, Brentford emerged as winners thanks to a Clayton Donaldson double.  Brentford started the game well with 'Harry Forrester playing like a conductor controlling an orchestra in the first quarter and the rest of the Brentford players playing his tune while Crawley stood and admired.'  Thank you to the wannabe poet who does the Brentford match reports for that line.  Donaldson opened the scoring after 23 minutes when he slotted past Crawley keeper and former Manfredd Mann singer Paul Jones.  Nicky Adams gave the visitors hope with his goal in the 59th minute, having intercepted a poor back-pass.  But this was to be Crawley's only on-target shot of the game.  Donaldson secured the win with a neat chip in the 76th minute to move the Bees closer to the play-off spots.  And an insipid fact to round things off:  In what could be the most z-list celebrity coupling ever, Donaldson's partner is former Fame Academy contestant Pippa Fulton.  I bet you really wanted to know that.

So another week without a win.  From next week, I am thinking it might be a good idea to select my three favourite predictions (based on the reliability balls) and stick a separate bet on them as three correct seems to represent a good week.  Thus, the chances of raising money for those lovely Bobby Moore chaps would be increased.  Makes sense, no?

It is an international break once again this weekend, with a host of games taking place on Friday night.  I shall have the predictions online early on Friday morning for your enjoyment and/or ridicule.

"A frog in a well does not know the great sea."

-Ancient Japanese Proverb

(Nota bene: In this week's Rather Pointless Quote of the Week, The Grambler is 'the frog', 'the well' is the world of football betting and 'the great sea' is Scunthorpe.)

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