During the phoney war that raged before the Casuals Vrs Ultra Casuals cup clash who was Alex Ferguson and who was Kevin Keegan? And who was Luther Blisset? What is certain is that on Sunday morning several of the Casuals’ players were admitting that they were more nervous than they would usually be before a game; and with the Ultras three divisions below them and having never won a match, terms such as “potential banana skin” where being used. And what better motivation could there be for the Ultras, a first ever victory in a one off clash against their club mates (aka heinous foe).
Old Men x 2
The weather was hot and the Cow faithful turned out in numbers over 40. A sofa appeared in what seemed to be a creative attempt at fly tipping. Both sides looked round nervously to see if the promised spare parts had turned up in the Pit Lane, replacement hips and knees were expected to be as vital as isotonic sports drinks.
As kick off loomed both sides claimed to be taking to the field with a depleted midfield and there was the faint whiff of deep heat and Woodbines as 22 old men limbed up. Punky started a sweep stake and, in what must be a first, managed to get the neutral ref to place a bet; 2-1 to the Ultras said the ref, eyebrows were raised and we expected soft penalties akimbo. The rest of the crowd bet with their heads on the Casuals but supported with their hearts and cheered on the whole for the Ultras. Before the game there was a minute’s applause for ‘The Cat’, Wessex All Star’s goal keeper who died last week. Then we were off.
The Casuals got off to a profligate start wasting some good chances. Simon, who can run quite fast for an old man, beat everybody and hit the bar. Then Ash missed two with his head. It looked as if it would be a walk in the park with a few Werthers Originals and nap on the bench next to the ice cream concession for the Casuals. However, with every kick the Ultras’ defence settled and as half time was reached they remained un-breached.
During the interval there where team talks and a hair drier came out in the Casuals’ camp, then Moylan put it away again once he decided his mop was in good order.
In the second half the Casulas got off to a good start but were kept at bay by some sterling defence and the Ultras’ keeper who was having a great game. Caz produced a good save from Angelo as the Ultras looked like they might sneak a goal. With full time in sight it looked as if one goal from either side would be enough and Quiffy thought he had it. The Casuals touched each other inappropriately in jubilation but the ref signalled that Ash, who had got the final unnecessary touch, was off side. Thus was full-time reached with the score at nil each.
Both teams shook hands in a manly fashion that suggested if nobody was stupid enough to remember that it was a cup match they could all go for a pint and an afternoon nap. However, the ref, who had lost the sweep because Tom had flukily gone for 0-0 at the end of normal time, decided that more running around was necessary.
Halfway through the first period of extra time Quiffey took a really crap corner which trickled across the ground like a pea-roller, Ash collected it, turned and scuffed it into the goal. I suppose that if Ash is going to keep missing with his head such a corner is the correct approach. The crowd we silent before a few remembered their manners and there was a ripple of polite applause. The dead lock had been broken but the flood gates did not open, the Ultras raised themselves and Grandpa Kelly scared Angelo with a looping header. In the second period of extra time Cupis missed a sitter because the goal keeper was “too big and orange”, he finally made good slotting home the second goal.
So there you have it: 120 mins, 25 degrees, 22 old men, attendance 40 odd, 1 sofa and 2 goals.
Chris won man of the match for the Ultras due to his epic defending in the Welch style and Moylan won it for the Casuals because he kicked the big orange goal keeper.
Below is a video of Quiffey’s goal that never was.
Goal line technology shows the ball had not crossed the line when it was headed in by the off-side Ash.