Sunday, 29 December 2013

Week 17 Results - Now with added John Barnes


Let’s begin with a little teaser.  First, read the following paragraph.


"The melody implies a minor key, with harmonies on the tonic and subdominant. This would, of course, be bizarre and inappropriate for the [lyrics]. But we find that the tonality is actually the relative major of the key implied by the tone, and the harmonies consist of the tonic (with a free-floating sixth) and dominant ninth. Suddenly the words and music make perfect sense, the tension of the dissonances conveying the sense of an appeal ... rather than the actual presence of [what the lyric is requesting]."

 
Double you tea eff?  As they say in the modern parlance.  This is a Wikipedia article about a song.  It’s not a particularly complicated song, but some professor of music (sorry, professor of critical musicology.  Yeah.  I know.) has come up with this poncey description.  Do you know what the song is?  If you have watched BBC programmes over the Christmas period, you may have heard it.  If you listened to Miranda Hart’s Desert Island Discs selection, you will have heard it.  Any idea? 

 
The song is ‘Bring Me Sunshine’, the song that Morecambe and Wise used to sing at the end of their show before dancing away from camera to the back of the stage/studio while moving their hands between head and arse as if they couldn’t decide which to scratch.
 

Honest.  Nae nae kidding.  Professor of critical musicology, indeed.  Pompous twat.

 
Or is it all a joke?  Wikipedia could be playing silly buggers with us.  It has happened before, you know.  Who remembers the explanation of John Barnes managerial tactics?

Strategy & Tactics
Teams managed by Barnes are taught to either hold or give the ball providing they do it at the right time. When in attack Barnes' sides attempt to get the ball to the line at a variety of speeds ranging from slow to fast. In team talks Barnes' always warns his players to be wary of the opposition’s attempts to hit them and hurt them in both defence and attack. One criticism levelled at sides managed by Barnes is that one way they beat their opposition is as a result of getting around the back. John Barnes, although born in
Jamaica, is a self proclaimed England man, and he refers to his tactical strategy as "the masterplan".

Sadly, for whatever reason, this has been deleted.  Why, when it is so obviously spot-on?  Here, he tells us himself.

 
Okay, how did The Grambler’s predictions go today?  The usual?  Wrong?  Not quite.  Read on…

Charlton Athletic vs Sheffield Wednesday – Prediction Home win – Naw

Charlton Athletic 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Sheffield Wednesday remain in the relegation zone after drawing with fellow Championship strugglers Charlton.

Dale Stephens gave the Addicks the lead soon after the break from Lawrie Wilson's through-ball.

Connor Wickham equalised from close range after good work from Chris Maguire and Kieran Lee, although there was a suspicion of offside.  Oh great!  Offside!  So because some linesman couldn’t be bothered to raise his flag, The Grambler is denied a correct prediction.  Shame on you – you ‘sponsored by Specsavers’ linesman!

Leicester City vs Bolton Wanderers – Prediction Home win – Yay

Leicester City 5 Bolton Wanderers 3

This sounds a good un.  Eight goals!

Danny Drinkwater scored the Foxes' opener on 5 minutes from 20-yards before Bolton scored twice in five minutes through Andre Moritz (15 minutes) and Jermaine Beckford (20 minutes).

Anthony Knockaert made it 2-2 on 37 minutes with a header which was absolutely knockout.  Do you geddit?  Knokaert?  However, Bolton regained the lead 2 minutes later when Moritz drove in his second.

The first half ended 3-3 when Tim Ream found his own net (41 minutes) before strikes from Lloyd Dyer on 75 minutes and Gary-Taylor Fletcher on 89 minutes secured the points for Leicester.

Woo hoo!  The Grambler got one right!

Aberdeen vs Ross County – Prediction Home win – Yay

Aberdeen 1 Ross County 0

A fine free-kick from Aberdeen youngster Nicky Low was enough to see off Ross County at Pittodrie.

It was an explosive start from the Dons with the 21-year-old curling the ball into the net within the opening minutes.

The expected hail of goals did not arrive though despite the home side's dominance, and Scott Vernon had a penalty saved by Michael Fraser.

Woo hoo!  Two predictions right for The Grambler!  Is this week going to be the big one?

No…

Accrington Stanley vs Southend United – Prediction Home win – Nah

Accrington Stanley 1 Southend United 1

Stanley led with an own goal from Mark Phillips, the Shrimpers' centre-back turning Lee Naylor's cross into his own net just after the hour mark.

Home keeper Andrew Dawber made a series of fine saves, twice denying Michael Timlin, while George Bowerman twice failed to hit the target for the hosts.

And Dawber was powerless to prevent Luke Prosser nodding in Kevan Hurst's corner to ensure the points were shared.

Bloody Luke Prosser!  Probably a ‘momentary lapse of concentration’* thus denying The Grambler a third correct prediction.  Pillock!

*His lame excuse when clocked doing 108 mph on the M6 toll road.  Pillock!

Oxford United vs Scunthorpe United – Prediction Home win – Naw

Oxford United 0 Scunthorpe United 2

And finally Esther Deon Burton (Yes, that Deon Burton) scored his fourth goal in four games as Scunthorpe won at Oxford to move up to second spot in League Two (4!!!).

The 37-year-old pensioner headed in Marcus Williams' cross, but later had a penalty saved by Ryan Clarke after Deane Smalley handled in the box (Ooer missus!).

Oxford fell further behind when David Syers fired in the second.

And their best chance went begging when goalie Mrs Slocombe upended James Constable, but saved Smalley's spot-kick.

Slocombe was perhaps fortunate to only receive a yellow card for the initial foul, but dived to his left to keep out Smalley's shot.

So that’s it for another weak…sorry…week all my grambling chums out there in Grambleland.  There was some money back because of those two correct predictions –

49 pence

Speak up.  How much?

49 pence

Oh, so this week, instead of losing £2.20, I only lose £1.71.  Thanks a bunch Grambler.

Never mind.  There’s always next week.  And it is still the season of goodwill so if you are feeling goodwilly [Eh? – Ed] do remember you can donate any amount of dosh you want to the Bobby Moore Fund via http://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .  I am pleased to say we are fast approaching the half way point in our target of £10,000.  But as Tesco keep telling us – Every little helps.  So, go on, make that donation.  You know you want to.

 

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Week 17 Good riddance to 2013


Well, Well, super Well.

Well, Well, super Well…

Woo hoo! Another win.  Only against St Mirren.

 

I know, I know.  Stop going on about the most wonderful team in the world (That sounds like a festive song by Andy Williams) and tell us how The Grambler’s predictions fared.  Did The Grambler bring us festive cheer?  Or is our Christmas stocking going to be empty?

Empty, I’m afraid.  The Grambler got each and every prediction completely and utterly wrong.  If you remember, there was a lot of a certain beverage dubbed ‘mulled buckfast’ being consumed as the predictions were being compiled.  I reckon that The Grambler was also partaking of this intoxicating liquor and was a bit, well, intoxicated.  How else did he/she/it come up with such crap predictions?

Birmingham vs Nottingham Forest – Prediction Home win – Naw

Birmingham 0 Nottingham Forest 0

Do you want a match report?  Sorry, not in the mood.  I think one word sums this up as far as The Grambler’s prediction goes – Crap.

Leyton Orient vs Crawley Town – Prediction Home win – Naw

Leyton Orient 2 Crawley Town 3

Double crap.

Hartlepool United vs Burton Albion – Prediction Home win – Naw

Hartlepool 1 Burton 1

Mair crap!

Plymouth Argyle vs Bury – Prediction Away win – Naw

Plymouth 2 Bury 1

Yet mair crap!

York vs Oxford United – Prediction Away win – Naw

York 0 Oxford United 0

Crap, crap, crappety crap!

In fact, let’s just forget last week altogether.

Okay, let’s get on with this week’s predictions shall we?  But first…The Prologue.

As this is our last gramble of the year, I think we ought to take a look back at the biggest news stories of the past twelve months.  Well, obviously, the main news was the passing of our wonderful founder on August 29th; a date that will be forever etched on every grambler’s mind (Please take the time to read some of Stewart's posts.).  But there were other stories.  Now, I feel that I should steer clear of anything too controversial.  So, that rules out anything political.  Or religious.  Or royalist.  Hmm.  What’s left?

Erm….Ah!  Apparently, the word ‘selfie’ was declared the ‘word of the year’.  Really; how interesting.  It means taking a photograph of oneself.  I hadn’t realised that.  I thought it meant… Yes, well, we won’t go into that.  So a shortening of the term ‘self portrait’ is acceptable as a word in itself.  Does that mean words such as ‘probs’ as in ‘no probs’ (no problems) should now be accepted as correct?  What about ‘deffo’?  You what?  I hear you ask.  Deffo as in ‘definitely’.  Or as we say in God’s chosen country ‘definately’.

Another new word seems to be one describing a ‘provocative dance’ as performed by a certain Miley Cyrus.  That word is ‘twerk’.  Basically it describes what the person performing said ‘provocative dance’ resembles – a cross between a twerp and a berk!

I am sorry, call me a traditionalist or ‘traddy’ if you like, but I believe such lazy terms should not be embraced as acceptable;  especially not when we have coined our own word of the year; in fact, several words.  Each one has as its root ‘grambl’ as in gramble, grambler, grambling, Grambleland, gramblemas etc.

Maybe next year those bods at the OED will realise their mistake and give their award to us at thegrambler.com.  Come on all you gramblers out there, make it happen!

Anyway, selfies are nothing new.  Word of the year, indeed.  The first one was taken….guess when.  Answer at the end of this post.

Right.  Let’s crack on.

Houston, we have a problem.  This Sat’dy 28th December there are only 18 senior games taking place at 3pm.  Of those, only 4 take place in England.  Hmm.  This calls for some drastic rule-changing.  Right.  Here’s the plan.  Instead of choosing Saturday games that take place only at 3pm we will select from only those senior games which take place on Sunday the 29th of December.  Yes, I know.  It goes against all my rules.  Call it rule-bending rather than rule-changing.  Oh, one more thing; the games take place at all hours, not just 3pm.  Okay, it is rule-changing.  It’s only over the holiday period.  I mean even obscenely overpaid footballers deserve a holiday now and then.

By using this means of selection, there are 46 senior games for The Grambler to choose from.  Oh…here they are.  Ha!  Five home wins predicted.  A bit cagey this week after last week’s debacle (That’s a good word; I must look it up.).

Game – Result – Odds

Charlton Athletic vs Sheffield Wednesday – Home win – 6/5

For our first match The Grambler takes us to the Valley where the Addicks play host to the Owls.  Given that they sit at 21 and 22 in the table (pop pickers) with Charlton having only a 2 point advantage, this could be called a 6 pointer (doubt it though – more like a two pointer – one each).  At the time of writing (Tuesday) Charlton have played 10 home games this season Charlton have won (whisper it) 2.  Sheffield Wednesday have played 10 games away from home and have won just one of them – but that was last week against once flying, but now struggling, Watford.  Away from home they seem to be the draw specialists having drawn 5 of the 10.  Commonsense would pick this as a draw, but commonsense is anathema to The Grambler who, as always, thinks outside the box (and since The Grambler might actually be a box – nobody knows - that’s unusual in itself)

Factoid – How did Charlton Athletic get its nickname ‘the Addicks’?  I bet you are desperate to find out [yeah, yawn! – Ed].  Some think it is a play on the word athletic.  It isn’t.  When the club was in its infancy, a series of cartoons detailing its progress called the club the Haddocks (possibly after the team being rewarded with meals of fish and chips by the local chippie).  Fifty six cartoons were published in all.  By the end of the run ‘Haddocks’ had mutated to ‘Addicks’.  That’s very interesting. [No it isn’t – Ed]

Leicester City vs Bolton Wanderers – Home win – 4/6

Next we are off to the King Power Stadium, home of the king Foxes who play host to the king Trotters [Behave yourself – Ed].  As with all our predictions this week it’s another home win according to The Grambler.  Leicester sit in 3rd place at the time of writing; Bolton are down at 18th spot.  Need I say more?  No.

Aberdeen vs Ross County – Home win – 4/9

Up to the north of Scotland for this meeting at Pittodrie, home of the Dons who take on the Staggies.  Another home prediction.  Aberdeen sit in 3rd spot on 32 points while Ross County are in 11th spot on 11 points.  Need I say more?  No.

Accrington Stanley vs Southend United – Home win – 19/10

Back down to Lancashire to the Crown Ground where the Stanley play host to the Shrimpers.  Oh dear.  Stanley are in 17th spot while the Shrimpers are 7th.  Not looking too clever this one Grambler.  After a crap start to their season Stanley started picking up points and had an unbeaten run of 8 games from the start of October til the end of November.  It has gone a bit skelly lately with a couple of recent losses, but who knows?  Maybe they could bounce back.  Southend have played 10 league games away from home and have won 7 of them.  Don’t think The Grambler has got this one right, somehow.  But Stanley did have that good run….Come on the Stanley!

Oxford United vs Scunthorpe United – Home win – 5/4

…And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther The Grambler takes us to the Kassam Stadium where the Us (yooz) play host to the Iron.  Which Iron?  Any old iron, any old iron, any any any old iron…[Get on with it – Ed].  Home win says The Grambler.  Hmm….Interesting one.  2nd (Oxford) take on 3rd (Scunthorpe, obviously).  Oxford have played 11 games at home this season and have lost 3.  Scunthorpe have played 11 away from home and have lost only 2.  Very interesting.  What about previous meetings?  Nah.  They haven’t met in 9 years.  Difficult one to call, this one.  Would it be cowardly of me to say…a draw?  Yes it would.  Let’s just go with The Grambler.

 

There you have it my little grambling chums; our last gramble of 2013.  The predictions are in and the bet is on.  So how much will be going to the Bobby Moore Fund (Gareth Gates’ favourite charity, apparently) via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 ?  The grand total of…Fanfare please…

£15.53

Is that all?  Aye well, I suppose if you back all the home wins, that’s what happens.

I promised you an answer to the question – When was the first selfie taken?

Answer 1839 and here it is.
 
 
Merry Christmas and happy new year.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Week 16 - A Christmas wish from Father Jack


Merry Gramblemas all my grambling chums out there in Grambleland.  This week is the special Christmas edition of The Grambler which basically means it is the same as every other week except it is longer.  And you get sprouts with it.
 
I toyed with starting us off with a gramblerised version of a popular Christmas song, but there are so many to choose from – Grambling Around the Christmas Tree, Grambling Merry Christmas, Peace On Earth/Little Grambler Boy, I Saw Mommy Grambling Santa Claus [steady on – Ed], Grambling in the Air, Stop the Gramblery – just too many.  So I thought, sod it.
 
That’s not in keeping with the festive seasoning, is it? 

Oh, you’re back, are you?

It is susposed to be an time of peace arnd goodwill to all our fellow human beans – even that miserable old sod at number 83. And her across the road, letting her kids run nilly willy across my carefully manicmanured lawn.  And her at 73 with the cat.  Next time it comes into my garden to do its business I’ll be ready with a kettle of boiling water.  That’ll teach it!  Where was I?  Oh yes, peace and goodwill to all men.  But not cats.  Of course Christmas has changed considerarbly since I was a lad.  Now it’s just commercialisationism what with these X stations and play boxes.  It’s all computers - In my day the only computer we had heard of was called Bernie and it was the size of an house.  It took it all its time to tell you if your premium bond had come up.  It couldn’t have been much good; mine never won. - And why does everyone want these eye patch things?  Not much use unless you want to dress up as Long Johns Silver.  In my day you asked for an orange and a new penny and thought yourself lucky if you got that.  Santa nearly always forgot what I arsked for.  He is an old codger, probably got dim…demen… Al Simon’s disease!  That’s what it’s called nowadays.  Named arfter that singer bloke.  The one that used to sing with that Carbunkle fellow.  He sang that song about his name.  Something about calling him Betty if you’re his long lost pal.  Made no sense at all to me.  Now why am I talking about him?  Al Simon?  Didn’t they name something after him?  Can’t for the life of me remember what.  Of course when I were little, rationalising was still in place after the war.  Even if you could get it you couldn’t afford it.  In my day, if you wanted something nice you had to nick it.…etc. etc. ad infinitum
 
Anyone else want to put in their tuppence worth before we start grambling?  Oh, hello, Dougie (the local inebriate).
 
Ah’m gonnae huv a kin brilliant Christmas, so am ur.  Ah’m kin gonnae get kin blootered on mulled Buckie!  Kin brilliant, man!

Er…How do you mull Buckfast?

How the f*** dae ah know?  We just kin mix it wi voddie.  Kin magic so it is.  Me an ma buds jist get kin oot wur brains wi it.  Kin mad wi’ it, man.

So just like any other day, then?

Ehm…I suppose ye’re right.  Kin brilliant!
 
I think it’s time to get on with some grambling.  

This Saturday - 21st December – The Grambler has only 54 senior games to choose from.  Being Christmas, the schedules are all to pot.  Hardly any English Premiership games are in the 54.  Anyway, I am now just waiting for Arthur to give me this week’s predictions….Won’t be long….Talk amongst yourselves….Where the devil is he?....Ah, here he comes.  Arthur, have you been drinking?

Well, it is Christmarse.  That lovely chap, Dougal just let me have a little sip of his, what’s it called?  Mulled breakfast.  Very nice.  Belch!

Yes, well, as long as you’ve brought the predictions.

Fear not my good fellow, I have them right here in my hand…hang on, that’s a cocktail sausage.  I can’t have eaten them, surely.  I put them somewhere for safekeeping.  Now where was it?  Oh.  I remember.  I sturffed them down me underpants.  Here you are.

No you hang on to them, I can read them from here.

Right.  What have we got?  Three homes and two aways.  All from the English Championship and Divisions 1 and 2 (or Divisions 3 and 4 to those of us who can actually count!)
 
Game – Result – Odds
 
Birmingham vs Nottingham Forest – Home win – 2/1

For our first game we head to the Midlands, to St. Andrews, the home of Birmingham City, where the Blues play host to the Foresters.  The Grambler’s prediction for this one is that the Brummies will win.  I’m not so sure and nor are the bookies; Forest are favourites to win this one.  Indeed, Birmingham have given the home fans little to cheer about this season having lost 4 from 10 league games.  They have actually only won at home 3 times this season, the other 3 being draws.  Forest have played 10 away from home this season winning 4 and drawing 4, so on paper at least they look the better bet.  They are also significantly higher in the table.  What about recent head to heads?  The teams have met 4 times in the past couple of seasons and, surprisingly, it is Birmingham that have the (slightly) better record having won 2 and drawn 1.  Home win, Grambler?  There is one added ingredient which makes me think The Grambler could actually be right here.  Darren Randolph.  Yep, the Irish international goalie is between the sticks for the Brummies.  And?  I hear you ask.  He only played for the ‘Well last year.  He only helped us to second spot behind that lot from Parkhead.  All together now

Randolph. In the middle of the goal.  Randolph. In the middle of the goal.

Leyton Orient vs Crawley Town – Home win – 17/20

For our second game we head to the Matchroom Stadium in Leyton – named presumably after the chairman (a cockney for the purposes of this story) saw the all-seated stadium for the first time and exclaimed, ‘There isn’t much room’ – he’s a cockney, see.  Pronounces his ‘u’s as ‘a’s.  I do hate having to explain jokes.  Actually, Orient’s chairman is Barry Hearn, owner of Matchroom Sport.  Any road up, Orient play host to the Creepies.  Nah.  That’s not their nickname.  They are known as the Reds.  Prefer Creepies, myself.  It would be apt because they have crept steadily up the various leagues to Division 1 (3!) after only getting to the Conference league as recently as 2004.  So, The Grambler predicts this is going to go the home side’s way.  I would not disagree.  Orient are currently sitting pretty at the top of the table, while Crawley languish (that’s a good word) in 14th spot only 8 points ahead of bottom placed Bristol City (the well-known rhyming slang).  In the 11 home games they have played this season, Leyton Orient have only lost once.  The Creepies, on the other hand, have won only once on the road this season.  Saying that, they have managed 5 draws away from home, so The Grambler prediction might come unstuck with Crawley taking a point here.  The teams have only met twice before and both games went Crawley's way.  I doubt if Orient will slip up though, all things being equal [If all things were equal, it would be a draw. Ed].

Hartlepool United vs Burton Albion – Home win – 11/8

The middle game of our five takes us to Victoria Park where the Pools – or Monkey Hangers if you prefer – play host to the Brewers.  The Grambler has predicted that this will go Hartlepool’s way even though they sit 16th in the table, 10 spots below Burton.  Hmm.  Can’t say I agree with that.  The Pools haven’t won since 23rd of November and Burton haven’t lost since 16th of November.  What should that tell you?  In fact, Burton have a brilliant away record only losing 2 away games all season.  Hartlepool have lost 4 at home, but they have won 6 and the last time they lost at home, in the league at least, was back in September.  Maybe The Grambler has called this one right.  But I doubt it.

By the way, I think Hartlepool have our ‘player with the cracking name of the week’ in their squad.  Step forward please….Zak Boagey.  Isn’t that brill?

Plymouth Argyle vs Bury – Away win – 21/10

For our fourth game we head down to Home Park, Plymouth where our old friends the Pilgrims play host to some other old friends, the Shakers.  The Grambler predicts this as an away win and expects the Pilgrims to be ‘shaken’.  Do you see what I did there?  Both teams are in the bottom half of the table with only 3 places (and 3 points) separating them.  So how have they fared home and away this season?  First up the Pilgrims at home – 11 played, 4 won.  Hmm, not very good.  Next, the Shakers away – 9 played, 1 won.  One??  Oh dear.  Sorry Grambler, I think you’ve got another one wrong.

Oh, I’ve just seen another contender for ‘player with the cracking name of the week’.  Plymouth have a midfielder with the cracking name of Dominic Blizzard.

York vs Oxford United – Away win – 6/4

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, we head oop north to’t Boooootham Crescent where T’York City tek ont Oxfudd Yooooooooonited.  Sorry about that; I’ve suddenly gone all Geoffrey Boycott.  Ahem.  Start again.  The Grambler has predicted that the Yellows will beat the Mister Men.  Mister Men?  Sorry, I meant Minstermen.  Well, considering Oxford are top of the table and York are down at 20th, The Grambler may well have got this one right.  Shall we bother with the stats?  Don’t think we need to.  Oh all right then.  Right, York at home – 9 played, 5 won.  Hmm, that’s not too bad.  Next, Oxford away – 9 played, 6 won.  That’s better – 6 beats 5.  Job done.  Oxford will win. 
 
So, there we have it my grambling chums, The Grambler has chosen.  Once again we have gone with a 20 pee accumulator and 10 x 20 pee doubles (aka the cowardy bet).  So, what will the Bobby Moore Fund receive if all these predictions are correct and Mr Bet365 pays up?

£33.48

Woo hoo.  Maybe, just maybe, The Grambler has given us a little Christmas present…Then again, maybe not.
 
Finally, this being Christmas, we ought to end with something Christmassy.  What should it be, I thought.  A little poem perhaps?  Nah.  What about a cute picture?  A cat with tinsel?  A little robin redbreast?  Ahh.  Nah.  What should it be?  Thanks to b3ta, I found the answer.  A Christmas wish from none other than Father Jack.

 


Merry Christmas to my grambling chums everywhere.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Week 15 results - Normal service is resumed


Well, Well, super Well.

Well, Well, super Well…

Woo hoo! A win.  At last.
 
Anyway, you’re not interested in the bestest team in the world.  Let’s find out how The Grambler did this week.  Did we win?  Did we f… No, we didn’t.
 
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace – Prediction Away win - Naw

Chelsea 2 – Crystal Palace 1

Fernando Torres tapped in on 16 minutes to put the Blues ahead at Stamford Bridge after Willian's shot rebounded off a post.

Palace equalised on 29 minutes via Marouane Chamakh's volley from a Joel Ward cross before Ramires curled Chelsea back in front on 35 minutes.

That was the end of the goals, but that doesn’t sum up this match.  Oh no.

Cech denied Jason Puncheon, Damien Delaney and, crucially, Stuart O'Keefe as the hosts scraped to victory.  

Did you read that? 

Scraped to victory.

That said, the home side had two glorious late chances to relieve the tension, only for Ramires to miscue on both occasions.

Now you’re spoiling it.

Boss Jose Mourinho said Chelsea were in trouble after losing at Stoke last weekend, but they are now within touching distance of the top.  While it is a contrasting picture for Palace, who remain in the relegation zone, they should take heart from another encouraging performance.

Yes they should.  Cos they could have won.

But they didn’t.  Bugger.

Blackburn vs Millwall – Prediction Away win – NAW

Blackburn 3 Millwall 2

Jordan Rhodes gave the hosts the lead on 22 minutes, evading Mark Beevers before finding the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Martyn Waghorn superbly levelled 42 minutes after good work by Liam Trotter and Steve Morison, but parity was short lived.

Ben Marshall headed Rovers in front immediately after the break and a David Dunn header on 85 minutes gave his team the cushion before Morison bundled in from close range on 89 minutes to ensure a nervy finish.

But the home team held on to inflict a third successive away defeat on the Londoners, who are now just four points from the relegation zone.

Blackburn, who look comfortable in 11th position in the Championship, scored more than one goal at Ewood Park for the first time since the end of August.

And now…The return of that irregular feature ‘Gaffer of the Week’.

First up….

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer:

"We scored three good goals. We didn't play particularly great [Well! Well you idiot! – Ed] by our standards but we've played a lot better and lost games.

"We're happy with the character and resilience we've shown against a tough Millwall team.

"I didn't think we passed the ball well enough today by our standards. Sometimes the conditions were not great but you have to give credit to the opposition."

That should win it on clich├ęs alone, but next up....

Millwall boss Steve Lomas:

"We were the masters of our own downfall. The three goals we conceded were, I wouldn't even say schoolboy - probably Under12s.

"And that's the reason we're not looking up because going forward we're OK, a threat, scoring goals, but all season we've given away cheap, cheap goals.

"And again it's raised its ugly head.

"I can't keep saying it's unlucky. We're going to have to do something about it."

Those are his actual words, as he spoke them.  Go on, read it again.  What has raised its ugly head?  It is just nonsense.  Absolute bollocks.  So for that reason Steve Lomas is our Gaffer of the Week.

Brentford vs Oldham United – Prediction Home win – Yay

Brentford 1 Oldham 0

A stalemate looked on the cards as both sides fought out a fiercely-contested midfield battle, with clear-cut chances few and far between.

The hosts' Will Grigg had the best chance of an even first half when he clipped Jake Bidwell's cross just wide, before Oldham’s Mike Petrasso screwed an effort just past the far post before the break.

Saunders' goal-bound effort on the hour-mark was cleared off the line by Genseric Kusunga as the game went from end-to-end in the dying minutes.

Oldham left-back Ellis Plummer survived a clear-cut penalty shout when he sent Clayton Donaldson sprawling in the box with minutes to go, before Douglas escaped with a yellow card for a foul on the edge of the box as Oldham's Petrasso broke.

But Jonathan Douglas had the last laugh as he rose highest at the far post to lift Brentford into third as the rest of the Sky Bet League One promotion pack dropped points.

On 90 minutes that goal, so The Grambler only just got that one right.

Wolves vs MK Dons – Prediction Home win – Naw

Wolves 0 MK Dons 2

A poor Wolves sank to their second straight League defeat as goals by Patrick Bamford and Ben Reeves gave MK Dons a deserved victory.

Bamford scored after half an hour for his 14th goal of the season. Reeves notched a superb clincher five minutes after the break, rifling home from 20 yards high into the net.

Wolves made changes after half time with Leigh Griffiths and Bakary Sako being substituted.

Sub Liam McAlinden fired narrowly wide. Dave Edwards miskicked from six yards from James Henry’s cross.

McAlinden forced a save from David Martin and Henry fired horribly wide when clean through on the keeper. But it just wasn’t their day and Wolves could have few complaints when the final whistle was greeted by boos.

That was one of our bankers as well.  I was convinced the Dons couldn’t win.  Ah well.  Still one game to go for The Grambler to save face.  Cyril?

And finally Esther…

Wimbledon vs Mansfield Town – Prediction Home win – Naw!

Wimbledon 0 Mansfield 0

AFC Wimbledon and Mansfield played out a goalless draw at Kingsmeadow as the visitors avoided a club record of seven straight league defeats.

The Dons were on top for most of the first half, but Luke Moore failed to beat Stags goalkeeper Alan Marriott when played through on goal.

Home keeper Ross Worner produced excellent stops to keep out headers from Matt Rhead and Sam Clucas.

The Stags have not won in the league since 28 September.

Yeah, but they managed to play well enough to fmuck up The Grambler for this week.  That was another banker.

Oh well, back to the grambling board – Did you see what I did there? I substituted grambling for drawing – maybe we will have better luck next week.  That will be the last games before Christmas; I will have to try and give it a Crimbo feel.

And of course as you know Christmas means peace and goodwill to all (even MK Dons and Mansfield Town!).  As the great Sir Cliff of Richard once said -

Its a time for giving, a time for getting,
A time for forgiving and for forgetting.

Yeah, well ignore the bit about getting for a moment; let’s just concentrate on the giving bit.  I know all you grambling chaps and chapesses out there are incredibly generous and are just wondering – if only somebody could give me an idea of a deserving charity that I could donate a large sum of money to at this season of goodwill, for I am feeling particularly goodwillish at the moment.  Well, wonder no more, fair reader; I have the very charity for you to give large sums, or indeed any sum, of money to.  It is of course

The Stewart David Smith Memorial Fund

But how do I donate, I hear you ask.  I don’t really.  Don’t panic.  I don’t have super-sensory hearing.  Yes, how do you donate?  You simply log on to http://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 and donate away til your heart’s content.  Every pee donated goes straight to the Bobby Moore Fund which, as all you regulars know (thanks to all three of you), provides money to Cancer Research UK specifically to help find a cure for the horrible, horrible disease that is bowel cancer.

So with that plea, I bid you farewell for this week and, as this is the week of Dick Van Dyke’s birthday, I will leave the final words to the great Dick himself…

‘Comm bick soon, Grembling Pappins.’