‘Twas back to the heady days of the Crabby Master, Mr. Denilson, and the Arsenal of a Death by a Thousand Sideways Passes this Sunday last. We toiled and toiled agin a steadfast Claret side who defended astutely and frustratingly, until at the last, a tightly choreographed training ground routine paid off with a win.
Numerous embuggerances ensued over the course of the ninety minutes, and it was a match-up of familiar frustrations, but the goal was funny enough to make a cat laugh and more than made up for a turgid and annoying period. We now enter the Inter-tedium having won a quintet of matches upon the bounce for the first time since one year ago.
The hosts, Burnley, were lead by Mr. Sean Dyche, a man who looks like he can be found in the early hours outside a flat roof pub asking passers-by for spare cigarettes. He martials his team of ten Old Chap-blocking centre-halves and a goalkeeper exceptionally well, and have only lost one of their last 17 home games this year, seeing off the Mugsmashers back in August.
Woolwich began the match at quite a rip, with Saunders effort flicking off young Fenton’s boot and heading just past the mast, the risen Fenton was again close just moments later when his effort again missed the target.
Some say that the previous evening’s session in the opium dens of Manchester were having an effect on St. John Cousins and Melvin Orwell, who had been sucking on a pipe into the early hours, but the very thought that opiates taken before a match might have a detrimental effect on performance is a laughable one. Gentlemen footballers have been taking opium in moderation pre-match for many years. If anything, its accompanying drug, cocaine, had not been taken in sufficient quantities to offset the soporific effects of the opium; as the old rhyme goes – “If one partakes of opium from China, then a sniff of cocaine should make one feel finer.”
They should do well to remember that next time, as they both seemed to have the first touch of Genghis Khan. The word suburrate means to add gravel to a ship for ballast. It seemed at times that our entire fleet of ships had been suburrated before kick-off; handfuls of rocks tipped into mouths, shorts, vests and boots, causing a sluggishness, a certain Luzhnyesque slowness, a veritable Silvestrean laggardness.
Mr. Dyche’s chaps defended resolutely, comfortable to remain in their own half in an almost robotic display of repellence, yet the best chance fell to them when their lunk Mr. Lowton crossed toward Mr. Vokes, who could only head it toward their mascot Bertram Bee, who was sitting to the left of the goal.
After oranges, Mr. Saunders, fizzing keleusmatically like a freshly popped nebuchadnezzar of Krug, set about the clarets with vim and spunk, stretching their glove butler with shot and cross yet to no avail. Mr. Orwell, perhaps partaking of a little restorative jazz salt at half time went close. Burnley’s Mr. Keane (not the ex-Newton Heath foppotee) struck the crossbar with a noggin-bobbler.
The methods of Mr. Windsor are often questioned by the faithful. Highly practised fast-passing tickety-tackety that is hard to adapt against teams who defend and little else, but here was proof that such preparation can pay off. At the very last, the training ground routine known at London Colney as The Swan Lake Double Gambit was unleashed. This is a highly choreographed, graceful manoeuvre, rehearsed hundreds of times and until now thought to be only mythical.
The precise, pin-point operation was completed with real verve. Saunders sent a corner in, and Fenton was waiting in his agreed position to flick the ball toward the pairing of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kosterley, who were waiting at their agreed station. Just as had been practiced day after day for months, Young Oxlade-Chamberlain aimed his shot at the arms of Mr. Costerley and lovanenty! the ball headed for the onion bag.
The beauty of the manoeuvre is that as it is clearly handball, and also offside, the referee will be paralysed by inaction, baffled by two fouls at once, and the goal will stand.