Rate my intergalatic thunderspunker, you mother


This was not an average week in the Stone ladies and gentlemen, but are they ever average in this demented, diverse and enlightened cultural hub we call home? Where else would the local branch of the Green Party have to put out a tweet claiming they were against all kinds of vigilante action after they shared a picture of some cunt on Lower Fant Road who’d parked entirely on the pavement? What were they going to do, shove a courgette up its exhaust pipe? Shove a marrow up the owner’s exhaust pipe?

The town was raging on Saturday. The M20 has AIDS, which meant even more Audis on the rat runs and DPD drivers treating North Pole Road like a drag strip. And while the government is drowning in a sea of cunts, Helen Grant is still only the milk monitor (admittedly she was when this was written around 8.30pm. She might well be foreign secretary by the time you read this).

Christ. I cannot switch on the motherfucking tv without wanting to ram an iron into the face of whichever chinless, born-to-rule, inbred public school wanker with the moral compass of a fucking Expedia call-centre manager happens to be on the screen. Even 6 Music has to be listened to in bursts because they insist on broadcasting the fucking news every fucking half hour.

Under circumstances like these who doesn’t long for the sweet release of two hours in the company of a fine body of 2000 or more human beings, all of whom are happy to swear like a Mangravet fishwife opening her second bottle of £3.99 Lidl Pinot of the morning?
You want the godly-release of swearing? You’ve come to the right place, motherfuckuuurrrr.

The tone was set right from the start. “Keeeeeeepaaaaaaaaahhhhh! Waaaaaankkaaaaaaaahhhh!” yelled a Town Ender as Wrexham came out and warmed up in front of the Town End. They switched ends and then, for some reason switched again, meaning he got to yell it twice.“Pearson you wanker!” yelled another. It was a great in-joke,taking the farmer’s line from the Alan Partridge Norfolk Broads episode and changing the name. Right? Yeah. He loved it, we loved it,it was great #bantz, or #gwahanu as they say in Wales.

One of our saner Town Enders said he thought today was like a “free hit.” Given they were top, anything we picked up would be a bonus. The saner fans around us agreed. We all ended up disappointed we’d only drawn, which is probably a good sign.

One of the travelling hacks gave the Wrexham players ratings, which is always fraught with the risk that you end up looking like you’ve watched the game through a pair of elephant-shit-tinted spectacles and that you wouldn’t know a decent performance if it was attached to a petrol-powered dildo that was fucking you up the arse. Especially if you award the ratings for a performance against the team you thought Maidstone were, rather than the team we actually put out.

The game started. They looked marginally stronger, although on the rare occasion they created a clear chance, their finishing was absolute Dominic Raab. We didn’t do a lot, but then that’s all part of the plan these days, isn’t it? Let the blows rain down like Ali using the ropes to absorb the force and then emerge, somehow intact, to scare the shit out of them in the second half. Personally I can get used to the feeling that we’re not going to concede.

Players were booked. Walton, for something, Phillips for absolutely fuck all. A Wrexham player then escaped a booking for a tackle even later than Tracey Crouch’s discovery of a social conscience. Their number nine went down like Liz Truss during a conference and got dog’s abuse for the rest of the match. 0-0 at half-time.  

The second half started and the thought occurred: we’re actually the better side here. We’re a team that gets right up in the opposition’s shit. The mindset shifted. We even, at times, started playing some attractive football, as they steadily backed off. With Turgo trying to do too much on his own the most likely source of a goal looked like a long shot from a second ball and after a few stray efforts Walton obliged.

How to describe the goal? How about “an intergalactic thunderspunker”, does that hit the right note? It has to be better than the Daily Post’s use of “sumptuous,” the word Peter Drury always reaches for when he wants to sound like he’s better read than most of his audience. Cunt. This is a football match, not a fucking restoration comedy. Rate that motherfucker.

The boys by the curtain did what boys by the curtain do. Hormones + football + a goal= wanker sign action. Lots of it. At a guess around 20 of them were up against the fabric, waving the five digits in the direction of a handful of equally hormonal Wrexham fans, some of whom nearly went the full Willis. The stewards scrambled, in more than one sense, up the steps and restored order using a combination of hi-viz gilets and threats of ejection. And the great thing about celebrating a goal like this is that there’s absolutely no chance you’ll end up looking like a fucking idiot ten minutes later.

It was fun while it lasted. Specifically it was fun being better than the team at the top of the table, but the law of the single-goal cushion always applies and a single shit-housing moment of luck made it 1-1, the ball deflecting in for one of the spawniest goals scored at this venue. Still, it was just as well none of our BBTC had  … ah...

Back it all came,the wave of Onan, pointed fingers, raised middle digits, the “see you outside you cunt!” gestures, a mosh pit of testosterone. Everyone let off a bit of steam, everyone felt better for it. We played the corners and had a look every now and again. They had one last corner they put straight down Smudger’s throat. Their players were happy with a point. The fans who watched without shit-tinted spectacles would probably agree. Because ladies and gentlemen, we were excellent, as good as we’ve been since the glory days of the start of last season when a Pigott-driven crusade to the play-offs seemed possible. Long may it last.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Buckland Hill to score some ket before touring the nightspots of the ‘Stone, selling roses wrapped in plastic to make up the shortfall the five Premier League refuseniks have left in Richard Scudamore’s golden handshake. Then I’m going home via Lower Fant Road, where I intend to ram a marrow deep into the fundament of a pavement-parking scumbag.


"Back and to the left ... Back and to the left ..."

Match Report by MENOPAUSAL MAX

In a dog’s arse.
Ever looked at a league table?
It was fucking Macclesfield!
It's the same every year, isn't ladies and gentlemen? The only real shock was that Helen Grant MP, wearing what looked a lot like an absolutely munting burberry coat, lasted until half-time. Outside the ground the queue was stretching way back up the hill, although this was because people had mistaken the queue for the programme for the actual admission line. Someone shouted that turnstiles one and two were open, which was only half true and the usual “will they delay the kick-off?” rumour went round, although everyone seemed to get in on time, barring Jurgen Dahmer, who’d seen a picture of the lines on social media and decided to stay in the juicer for a while.

Inside a bugler played the last post and there was a pin-dropping minute’s silence, although one of our less cerebrally endowed fans still managed to infer disrespect from the fact the we weren’t wearing poppies on the kit.

The pre-match talk was of recent departures. Were senior players told their cards were marked or did they join the dots for themselves? Is it, as Paxo suggested, almost a different club now? Well yes. Made of Stone looked like a corporate video, competent, slick and on-message. If that’s how the team are going to play I can’t see many people complaining. I turned up thinking we were more likely to win than lose, an unusual feeling for much of the past three years. You can’t read too much into league tables, but any club that’s won a single game all season and is plunging inexorably back towards the National League, has to be on its arse. They looked a shadow of the team we took four points off last season even after taking the lead. It was a nicely worked goal, a break down the right, a rollback and a clean finish, but aside from that they didn’t really look like scoring.

The half time dressing room cry along the lines of: “fucking lift it you cunts!” (one surmises) was, therefore, inspired by our own lethargy. Maybe a revival of the old Barry Fry line: “they’ve got a fucking dodgy keeper!” wouldn’t have gone amiss. There was a distinct change in the atmosphere in the second half and we were level before you could say: “He’s got no business shooting from there, Clive.” You don’t see many scored from that angle by players who aren’t called Gascoigne and whether it was a shot or a cross was immaterial. It went in off a post that would, a couple of minutes later, get the Zapruder treatment.

Romain headed across against what looked like said post. Some of our players appealed for a goal, the officials ignored them and but for a double-save Smudger at the other end Macclesfield would have gone 2-1 up from their counter-attack. At the time, from our angle it didn’t look like it had gone in. Having only watched it about 20 times since there’s nothing conclusive and the fans in line weren’t “losing their shit.” None of the Flickr pictures show the ball over the line, but one does show it against the post and predominantly over. From that position it’s difficult to see how it could have rebounded in the way it did, unless it hit the small grey post between the upright and the base.

Cue Mr Garrison …“Back and to the left … back and to the left ...”

Romain then had another disallowed for what looked like heading the ball out of the keeeeeeepaaaaah’s hands, before winning the penalty which only one Macc player contested, a sign that they either knew it was a Stonewaller, or that they were giving up. Possibly both. Turgo displayed his cast iron ringpiece to score to the keeeeeepaaaah’s right and from them on we never really looked like Rochdale-ing it.

This was (correct us via the usual channels if we’re wrong) the first time we’ve come from behind to win any competitive game of football since Sutton away on August 26th last year and it was reportedly all down to the swearathonic team argument at half time.

"Ooooh well swearing never achieves anything!"
Au contraire, motherfucker.

Fear and loathing in East Wealdstone

At the end, while our fans went “fucking mental” and while the players went “fucking mental” along with them, a dozen or more Barnet fans were lingering so they could scream at Sir John Still. “Fuck off Still!” was the gist of it. Maidstone United had reduced them to this. To any Barnet fan under the age of about 40 this will have been the kind of humiliation ex-League clubs feel when they get beaten by a side they don’t realise were once a league club.

This was a historically loaded fixture. If you’re over 40 and reading this you might well remember our Barry Fry era of the mid-eighties, when he left Barnet to replace Bill Williams and brought half a dozen, mostly shit, players with him. Even now the names can chill the blood of a certain generation: Bill Baldry, Mike Pittaway, Ian Ferguson, all apparently Barnet legends who somehow turned into pub players the moment they got through the tunnel.

They nearly got us relegated. Four years later in 88-89, with John Still now in charge, we met in the GMAC cup, the Conference’s now-defunct league cup, at Watling Street. They beat us on a freezing cold night (there was no other kind in Dartford), in front of a dire crowd. As we left one of their fans screamed: “That’s your season over Maidstone!” We duly won the league, but by the time we met again in 91-92, we were a club on our arse, because we still didn’t have a new ground. One of the cruellest results that season was at Barnet's old Underhill ground when we clawed back a 2-0 deficit in the 89th minute, only to lose 3-2. Go to 52:00 here, note the Argentina away kit and the state of the pitch.

Now, it seems, Barnet are a club on their arse because they have a new ground. It’s nice enough, it’s just nowhere near Barnet, or anywhere even resembling Barnet. This was supposed to be the site of Wealdstone’s ground, which might have worked given it’s only a mile away, but all the atmosphere and sense of community they once generated at Underhill has gone, possibly forever.  
This is worth a look, for background and a few familiar faces.

It isn't Still's fault that Barnet, as a club, are fucked. In the midweek game against this happened, so we were braced for the stewards. They weren’t that bad with us, which after an absolute Julia Hartley Brewer of a journey was probably just as well. A couple were friendly and helpful, a couple of others were polite but clearly shitting themselves for fear of their superiors and incapable of independent thought. Two more were the kind of stewards we sat at Tonbridge a decade ago: the only rational explanation for their behaviour was they wanted to create trouble, to generate more business. Or they may just have been cunts. At one point they chased a middle-aqed square guy in a flat cap, supporting Barnet, out of the bar. “Eh! Eh!” they yelled, like a couple of drunks trying to start a fight in a rough-as-arseholes alehouse. “It’s ‘Sir’ actually,” said the flat-cap, trying to and just, maintaining his dignity. It takes a man to walk away from a fight. These stewards are copping a lot of the blame for the lack of atmosphere at “The Hive.”

You can blame us for the rest. We completely gubbed them on Saturday. First credit where it’s due: HW’s tactics paid off. The team defended like bastards (in a good way) and there was a bit of Rome 97 about the way everyone worked together. It helped that there were hardly any individual errors and none at all of the magnitude that Weinsteined us against Solihull.

Apart from a coupleof slips, inevitable when clubs will insist on playing on grass pitches, it’s difficult to think of a single player putting a foot wrong. It’s also great to be proved wrong. Gold looked lost in his first couple of games: today we finally saw what the fuss was about. You could say the same about McLennan.

It wasn’t total football, but it worked. They must have had at least 70 percent of the possession, but that was because they couldn’t break us down. We spent a lot of time defending on the edge of our own box, which sounds a bit brown-trouserous but actually wasn’t. I lost count of the number of WDH headers and of the times Iniesta 2 charged down crosses.

We went ahead when Iniesta 2 pumped it forwards, Cassidy held it up and Ozil-ed it forwards. Then Turgo did what Turgo does, rolling it in past a stranded keeeeeepaaaaaaaah, who subsequently made a high-class save from the same player a few moments later, clawing an effort out of the top corner.

1-0 at the break and Still made a double substitution, a fairly obvious admission his starting XI were a busted flush. (Although the newly man-bunned DI Regan didn’t see any action at all). It made no difference. They played exactly the same way, to exactly the same effect. We were as comfortable at 1-0 as you can reasonably expect to be when you’re only ever one fuck up away from an equaliser, but it still looked a big call when Gold came on for Paxo. A few minutes later Turgo slipped him in for a one-on-one and the keeeeepaaaaah stopped his effort with his foot. Well, not bad, at least he was getting in the right position and hitting the target.

This, it turned out, was just his sighter. Cassidy, the assist king, surged into the area, stung the keeeeepaaaaah’s palms and Gold rammed in the rebound. 2-0 and by the time Barnet managed a serious effort on goal half their crowd had gone and we were three minutes into injury time, which shouldn’t detract from the brilliance of Smith’s one-handed save.

It’s easy to be nice when you’ve won and despite the Lokko affair last year it’s difficult to have anything other than love for Still. I’d have been delighted if he’d succeeded Jay. He got dog’s abuse from the home fans at the end, however. He must have heard it, it was from a few angry, exclusively male voices and it was echoing round the empty seats. He walked into the centre circle, formed a huddle with his players, said a few words and then walked off, with his head high, ignoring it all. He remains a Maidstone legend and he kept his dignity as a handful of arseholes blamed him for something that wasn’t his fault.

What, too subtle?