“I hate going to Weymouth. They even had a minutes silence for my Dad and I didn’t go.”

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Boxing Day football is probably the one day of the year that
all football fans look forward to. Most people will have spent the previous day
held captive in their own homes, with only a (Ash) turkey, cheese board, and
monopoly to stop them arguing with relatives. I’m known not to be a fan of
Christmas. Actually, I’ll revise that, I fucking hate Christmas. But equally, I
also fucking hate Weymouth. As a Dorchester lad, It could be the local rivalry,
it might be my ill-fated season playing for Weymouth CC, or possibly  the fact that it holds few recent memories
that I look back on fondly, ranging from family based trauma, to having Simon Radcliffe
tear us apart a few years back (genuinely unsure which was worse). Either way,
the sooner global warming sets in and parts of Dorchester have a sea view, the
better.

On the subject of memories, my early Christmas memories
usually involve me asking my late Father what he wanted for Christmas, and “3
points on Boxing Day” was his standard answer. I can now see why he never
seemed too happy with life as I can’t remember many Pompey wins, let alone one
on December 26th. But would my luck change this year? Well, no, but
it was a good laugh if nothing more.

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(Front L-R, Post Reluco, Pre-Reluco. Rear of photo, needs Reluco)

The day started well enough with a strong turnout in spoons for
breakfast at 1030, all except Fred who had taken the unconventional choice of
having breakfast by himself in the gorge whilst the rest of us were all in
spoons. General Hill had been ready

for breakfast

for a while due to the fact he
was queuing outside Dorchester’s branch of Next at 6am to buy a coat in the sale. They
didn’t have the coat, so Carlsberg was his first purchase in the Boxing Day sales. Due
to my breakfast of coffee, scrambled eggs and and anti-depressants, I elected
not to drink, and was joined originally in abstaining from alcohol by none
other than The Spud, who slurped water claiming he was going to have “a quiet
one”. Of the things that were agreed at the table, the belief that a point
would not be a terrible result was one of them, even if this was deemed as “accepting
mediocrity” (that and we’re all fed up of losing to the fuckers), and we were
interested to see how our new signing, Franklyn Clarke would fit into the
tactical plan Jem had. We’d find out soon enough.

After being issued stickers for our impending trip into
bandit country, we trotted off to The Avenue to partake in some more liquid refreshment
before the battle bus would depart over t’other side of they’t ridge. Now for
many, this is where things go a tad blurry as the jager bombs that were
consumed seemed to have at least a shot and a half, if not 2 shots of jager in
them. Guyer, who had arrived following a heavy Christmas Day looking like he had been dug up, totted up 14 jagers before even departing the ground (ours, not theirs…),
and the £800 that was put behind the bar that day shows that many people were
keen to help the club out financially, even if their livers would pay the price
in the long run. Spud’s  ‘quiet one’
seemed to be fading fast as he was seen stood on his chair singing about Jonah,
shortly before falling gracelessly into General Hill and Berry’s playmobile
shaped noggin. Given my alchol free day, I popped to Tesco to pick up some
reduced sandwiches, and General Hill also decided to earn some clubcard points
by buying beers for the bus. Quite the gesture given it was an 81 seater.

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(Getting ‘Guyered’)

The bus journey there was eventful in that it rained beer,
was very loud, and the windows did at one point seem in serious danger of going
out. I’ve known quieter buses take rioters out of prisons, but we did arrive,
and once inside the ground, we made every effort to make ourselves heard. There
were no great surprises in the team selection, and the away support was good
and number as well as voice (yes, Weymouth, we know you took more to the Cineworld
on a wet Wednesday to watch Star wars than we took to the Wessex) as we settled
down for what was sure to be a feast of free flowing football. Well, 90 minutes
of something that tried to be that, anyway.

To the surprise of no one, the early exchanges were a little
tense. A couple of long range pot shots were all we could muster, and Weymouth
were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Neil Martin appeared to trip Adam
Kelly in the box. Smeets then added injury to insult by appearing to rake the
blokes eyes Ric Flair style (wooooooo), before Charlie Davis went full Stone
Cold and verbally gave the lad the bottom line as he held his face on the
floor. Did we offer sympathy? Did we fuck. What we did do though, much to our
own amazement, was go and take the lead.

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A corner was partly cleared, headed back in, Jonah’s shot
partly blocked allowing (he scores goals, he scores goals) Nathan Walker to
slot home from a few yards out, fox in the box style like a Dorset Francis
Jeffers. The lead wasn’t to last though as Kelly, despite seeming to mess up
his original effort on goal, was awarded a penalty when the referee adjudged
the unfortunate AWH, who received a late (yellow) Christmas card for his
troubles (har de har), to have fouled him. It seemed harsh at best, and was
made worse when the penalty was duly converted. 1-1. Keep in tight until half
time we though. Wrong. A sucker punch in first half injury time saw Phil
Edwards’ dark haired brother Stuart Yetton (I hate his Christian name spelling)
turned the ball in following a corner we failed to clear. Half time and 2-1
down seemed about fair after we’d gone back into our proverbial shell following
the equaliser.

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As fans, we realised that we needed something different in
the second half. The Footballing Gods© seemed against us, so what better way to appease them than
offering a sacrifice. As luck would have it, Weymouth scarf was acquired (no, we
didn’t buy it from the shop), and in a bid to improve our second half fortunes,
it was burned on the terraces to appease such Dorchester terrace idols such
as Dinky Curtis, Matty Holmes, Justin Keeler, Elliot Bent and Tim Sandercombe. So
frustrated was TC with the first half that he kicked a bin in the toilets in
anger so hard he fell flat on his back on the piss soaked floor .

“Do I stink of piss?”

“Yes, Clarkie. It’s a toilet and everything stinks
of piss.”

So with the smoke from the scarf fresh in people’s
lungs, we spent most of the second half pushing for an equaliser. It was a half
of few chances with Weymouth’s keeper seemingly doing his best to create
chances as he missed crosses and made simple saves look exceptionally
difficult, and not to be outdone, AWH went for a 40 yard stroll and was lucky
not to be punished. The game should have gone for us when AWH parried a shot
which left Tim Sills with looked a simple tap in. It obviously wasn’t as he
knocked the ball wide when it was really very difficult to miss. Hard luck. Our
pressure continued with Watto, Liam Sayers and debutant Franklyn Clarke all coming
on, but it seemed all was lost as we headed into injury time. But then, it
happened. A long ball forward bounced in the box a couple of time before
favourably falling to Clarke, who whilst falling managed to curl the ball into
the top corner for the late and deserved equaliser.

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(Credit Phil Standfield)

How did the fans react? We went fucking mental, as
did the players. The footage of the goal celebration has been analysed more
than the JFK assassination, and reveals several missed gems. Some poor lad in a
grey hoodie tries to hop the barrier, fails and face plants the pitch, gets up
dazed, then dances off. Dills nicks and ends up wearing some lads bobble hat,
Kriss hugs and kisses a reluctant steward, and somehow, The Spud manages to get
onto the pitch and run around. How did this happen? Well after straddling the
wall for a good few seconds, he was hurled over said wall in a Royal Rumble esq
manner by his own brother and Joe Prior. Think Vader being thrown over the top
rope by the Big Show and Rikishi.

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(The face of a man let down by Forest Green Rovers)

The final whistle soon sounded, and the players
received a deserved round of applause for a point well-earned as we enjoyed the
rare feeling of not coming second best in a local derby.  Did we over celebrate a point? No, I don’t think
so. Am I worried what Weymouth think? Couldn’t give a flying fuck. After the
match, I headed off for family duty so did not attend the post-match
festivities, but having seen the state of many of our fans the next day, and
heard how The Spud was throwing mayonnaise at General Hill in spoons and
jabbing him with cutlery,  I’m pretty
sure they had a good night.

We’re about where I would have liked us to be come
the turn of the year in that we’re closer to the playoffs than the relegation
zone, and can look to kick on from here. Promotion is not assured in January,
just ask Weymouth and Poole from last year, but we’re in a decent position. It’s
over to the players now to build on a good first half to the season. It’s a bit
better than where we were this time last year under Kempy to say the least. Up
the alehouse cloggers, and here’s to a good 2016, or some such shit. UTM. SV

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(Credit Phil Standfield)