Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cotgrave CW 0 Caribbean Cavaliers 6

An 80 year old man was sitting on a park bench sobbing, when a young man walks by and asks him what's wrong. Through the old man's tears he answers, "I've fallen in love with a beautiful 25 year old woman." "What's wrong with that?" asks the young man. Between the sobs he answers, "You can't possibly understand. Every morning before she goes to work we make love. At lunchtime, she comes home and we make love again, and then she makes my favourite meal. Then after supper, we make love once more."The old man breaks down, and is no longer able to speak. The young man puts his arm round him. "It sounds like you have a perfect relationship. Why are you crying?" The old man answers through his tears, "I've forgotten where I live."

Jack and Joe continue to go boxing in the Meadows area of Nottingham. They are coached by former World Champion Jawaid Khaliq. It’s beginning to pay off as both are showing tremendous endurance and stamina when playing football. Both their teams have kept clean sheets. But “The Skipper’s team continue not to pass the ball.

There’s renewed hope for Premiership strugglers D***y County, with the announcement this week that “defender” Calamity Claude Davis has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

I was having a surf the another night, Mrs P was at Salsa Dancing, or so she says, when I came across a cracking question. Who is the only player to have winners’ medals in the Champions League, Premiership, UEFA Cup and FA Cup, as well as an Olympic Gold Medal? Answer at the bottom.

It’s another short trip today to Woodview, the home of Cotgrave Colliery Welfare. It’s almost a year since I saw them clinch the title at Keyworth United’s Platt Lane courtesy of a Paul Nicholls daisy cutter. They looked nervous that day and were fortunate to take the points. I’m driving through Plumtree, past The Griffin Inn. The Magpies are one up at Villa; Owen has scored early-doors.

NSL pacesetters Caribbean Cavaliers are today’s visitors and are riding high on the crest of a wave. They can equal Clifton’s league record of 18 games unbeaten if they avoid defeat today.

Cotgrave is South-East of Nottingham and has a population of 7000. Olympic silver medallist Nathan Robertson is from the village. I’m sat in Cotgrave’s number one real ale pub, the charming Rose and Crown. I’m supping a fine pint of Willie Brewd from the Church End Brewery in Nuneaton. It’s 4.5%. Christ I’m getting boring. The pub is thriving. A gang of youths gather outside smoking cigarettes in the glorious sunshine. Ironically ELO’s Mr Blue Sky is on the jukebox.

I drive up to Cotgrave Country Park; it’s on the old colliery spoil heap. Newcastle have leaked two goals during my swift pint. I “worked” at the mine in the late 80s. To be honest I tossed it off in the Time and Wages dept. Happy days though. There’s a fire engine parked up outside the country park, its lights are flashing. All the firemen are inside. It must be an important game of cards they’re playing.

I drive up Candleby Lane, past the precinct and Cotgrave Futures. I take a right turn at the Leisure Centre into the Welfare car park. It’s free admission but there is no programme or team sheet issued.

The first person I bump into is Scooby. He’s on the Cotgrave coaching staff. We played cricket together for years. Both he and his late brother Biffa, were a pair of characters. Biff was cruelly taken away from us all last summer. I loved that bloke.

Cotgrave were formed in 1946. In the 60s there was an influx of Geordies and Mackems that came to the village to work at the colliery. They’ve always been a tough, uncompromising side to play against. Lee Penley, their big cheese, is stuck on 99 NSL goals. The Evening Post photographer is hoping it’s his ton up today.

Caribbean Cavaliers were formed in 1978. A friend saw them play recently in a spicy encounter at Southwell’s Memorial Ground. They didn’t cover themselves in glory that day and finished with only eight men. They have signed the coveted Michael Grinnion. It’s a no show from him today.

I elect to stand the opposite side to the dug outs, with the sun behind me. The pitch is in good condition. They have floodlights here and often play midweek.

There’s nothing to choose between the teams in the first 25 minutes. The Cavs’ keeper’ is way off his line and Vipond tries to lob him but doesn’t quite connect properly.

The Cavs finally unlock the home defence. Brown and Burke exchange passes; Brown continues his run down the right flank and delivers a dangerous ball into the box which the advancing Justin Evans bundles home.

The home team go into their shell and it is only the endeavour of their pocket rocket midfielders that keeps them in the game. Impressive Cavs’ winger, Wes Burke, recently back from a five week ban and forward Juree Staples both fire wide. The Cotgrave defence begin to buckle and are pinned back in their own half.

Lee Penley keeps the Post photographer on his toes with flashes of brilliance. But he is often isolated. His team don’t lack effort, just quality and ideas.

“Cookie” doubles the visitors’ lead, shortly before the break, with a calm finish, after escaping the attention of the home rearguard.

The Cotgrave bench are unhappy with the performance of the man in the middle, accusing him of bias and blindness. Scooby lets his frustrations boil over, and vents his fury at the man in black. He is banished from the dugout and is forced to stand alongside The Groundhopper for the remaining 45 minutes. The Cavs stay out on the pitch at the break. According to one of the players the away dressing room is roasting.

The second half is a rout. Cavs’ midfielder Winnie Brown gives a performance alien to me at this level. He is a man mountain, rangy, attacking box to box midfielder, who could surely perform at a higher grade. The Evening Post photographer is perfectly positioned to snap the excellent Staples nod home a Burke corner.

By now Penley has sussed he won’t be make his ton today. He asks to come off. He’s disillusioned and disheartened. There’s good news for Scooby on the hour, his beloved Mackems are one to the good.

Cavs’ substitute Dwayne Brade scores a fifteen minute hat trick. Cotgrave keeper’ Springthorpe keeps the score respectable. A home spectator mocks Cavs’ full-back Ryan Perkins. He is put in his place by the young full-back. “Go back to your farm” he tells the villager.

On 85 minutes Scooby decides he’s had enough and invites me over to the Welfare for a pint. I kindly decline his offer. I always watch the full ninety. At full-time there’s a text from Barthez. Keyworth have demolished Wollaton 4-0. They continue their pursuit of the leaders and have plenty of games in hand. I will watch them soon, maybe at Notts Police. And I will be in the away end, that’s for sure.

Cotgrave 0 Cavaliers 6 Brade (3) Evans (2) Staples

Attendance: 27

Man of the Match: Winston Brown
Quiz Answer: Kanu


Anonymous said...

After playing footy against Scooby for the past 10 years or so, I have never had anything but abuse from the great man.
Wouldn't have it any other way.....

Anonymous said...

Another fine choice Sticky. The Rose and Crown at Cotgrave is quality.You should have tried the Abbots,I have it on good authority that mine host can be bribed to pull a half.

Anonymous said...

That was no daisy cutter...I saw the pegs come out the ground as the bench erupted...