Sunday, 1 May 2016

30th April 2016 Marske United (a)

The day started with sunshine for my early morning Park Run then hailstones raining down on Tyneside as the Boy Mark picked me and Woodie for the 45 minute drive to Marske (we were in denial - the 45 minute drive rule still applied).
The increasing injury list and fatigued state of the squad after another four-game week combined with the number of cup-tied players (about five at last reckoning) to leave a thread-bare squad. As a result, the travelling Bay fans were to be treated to the delights of David 'Chuck' Berry - Mr Body Perfect himself in midfield!
One day I would love to see Andy Robertson returning to the Bay first team but his quest for reserve team goals meant he was yet again playing for the reserves (or rather not as their game was called off at the last minute) so we had 'Chuck' instead...
Sunshine....but no cheer!
Callum Anderson's appearance lasted the blink of an eye as he was swiftly substituted through injury so it looked like it would be a long day. Although Dave Berry worked hard and his heading was a great help to the team, his lack of match fitness meant he was always struggling against the home attack who had the ball in the net almost straight away. Thankfully ruled offside, it was an omen and soon Reace Kelly scored a legitimate, deftly chipped goal after a mix-up in the Bay defence.
Marske ultras with their terrifying
 "Sea-sea-sea-siders!" chant.
Anderson's replacement was Bulgarian superstar Nikolay Ivanov and as he began to settle showed glimpses of neat passing. Woodie wondered if he knew what the rest of the team were saying to him cause of his constantly bemused expression. But weather the Marske storm the Bay did and once McDonald had taken charge of the freekicks the lads were looking far more threatening up front.
Fearing a soaking or hail-stoning from the ominous-looking clouds, we had decided to stand in one of the cow sheds at the side of the pitch but as the Marske Ultras began their chants of "Sea-sea-sea-siders!" we decided to escape from their clutches and head behind the goal...under the guarantee that if we got wet...or hailstoned..the other two could blame me for their discomfort. Sure enough, as we took our usual place behind the goal the rain began; to which I told the others to "Man up!"
We were rewarded when Alex Kempster kept on his feet despite being tripped and the Bay were awarded a penalty. Our nerves were all on edge as Shanks stepped up to take it...the memory of his miss against Dunston still raw.

The Shankster, thankfully, stepped up and blasted it high to the keeper's left: his 40th of the season. The scratch team were level!
The Bay then surged forward with increased confidence. If Mr Bay himself, Barry had been a bit quicker fetching the ball for Chris Mac to take a corner then there might have been a surprise lead while the home team got organised. However, at half time we were very pleased, to be on level terms.
 A quick trip to the portacabin just outside the ground, we were treated to a cup of tea or coffee in a real mug, all for the price of an honesty box donation. There was no licence for the premises, so no alcohol, but there was a television with half time scores and comfortable seats. On the other side of the room was the great and the good of the Bay - with their own box of biscuits but it was good to see everyone in the same room together: enjoying a nice cup of tea!
Sing in the Chicken Run!
Taking our spot behind the goal, I was delighted to return the ball to the Marske keeper with a deft half volleyed chipped ball which, if it had been seen by Chan, might have meant a spot on our dilapidated bench for me. As it was, our own Chuck Berry had to be substituted after being poked in the eye. Despite this setback the Bay were still fighting and the game was flowing from end to end. The well-groomed but noisy keeper , James Brigg in the home goal, was getting more and more irate as Ivanov, 'the Bulgarian Brute', in particular was showing much more confidence. However, eventually the lads' legs tired and with 13 minutes left, a goal from Marske's Jamie Owens put the home side ahead. Six minutes later the tie was finished as a contest after a rebound was turned in.

Leaving with heads held high. 
The lads had done their best and put up a heroic fight: every one of them. The number of games played and the growing injury list had put paid to that. If Chan can be convinced to stay next season with the majority of the present team then we have the makings of a top team. However, he has to be given the tools to do the job in the same way that Paddy had been. One of the top priorities has to be to make sure that the first team has the best players playing for them and avoid the situation whereby players prefer to play for the reserves. If they can do this then the future looks brighter than it has since the Vase wins: 5 years ago!

No comments:

Post a Comment