The Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup 19.02.2019
Chester Town v Willington
The Semi-Final we had been waiting for was here…No more sleeps😳
The Cestrians, defending Champions, chomping at the bit like a collection of Thoroughbreds, and only 90 minutes away from their destiny, and their 2nd final in as many years.
This was an evening kick off, the crowd swelled like it was Miners Gala day, packed to the rafters as the expectant home crowd fizzed with Adrenalin.
Was it like The Old Firm, No🤔
Possibly el Classico, No🤔
Derby del Toon Makems, No not even close🤔
The atmosphere reeked of testosterone and Ginsters.. the usual cold north-eastern evening awaited us, talk of 10 degrees had been touted, shorts, flip-flops and a Panama hat the order of the day🤨
Absolute Nonsense, it was Baltic and wet again… as I looked for meteorological defensive cover from Monsieur Cummingston-Templeton and Senor Maximus Kellington-Smyth, I Surveyed the hallowed turf as the Gladiators arrived, steaming bodies with dioxides gushing from their Cestrian lungs, taught physiques honed from marble like an image from some Greek mythological papyrus.
The Willingtonians turned out in a superior kit today, I mean it was biblical, as they ran out to Moor Park with bright peach Illuminati shirts, a homage to a Karl Lagerfeld design, and obviously in memory of the man, the bicycle clips were a lovely accessory🤔
The Flying Scotsman had been sprinkled with gun powder and kerosene before his appearance tonight, Wakey always has a trick up his sleeve man, Cause he was on fire!!!
It was like watching The Fantastic Four tonight, Flame Boy🔥
He hit the left wing at Mach II, scorching the turf (Ron Surrey wouldn’t be happy🤔) and set up The Hepp 20 yards out for a great shot curling just passed the right stanchion!! 😳 ooohhhhhh!!! Close!!
Coomberaggio took his place between the sticks, his first job was to take a great catch low from a powerful cross from the right wing, safe as houses man.
The Willingtonians started with some daunting pressure.. tonight was gonna be one hell of a battle. 👊
Crouchy McBan stood strong on the back line and made a last ditch tackle on the edge of the box.
The Mazzinator, Captain influential, took control as he passed the ball slide rule to The Flying Scotsman, the defender was dancing all over Scotty and holding his waist like he was partaking in rehearsals for Bloody Strictly! I was expecting a scene from Dirty Dancing when Swayze picks up the blonde lass, I’d had the time of my life, but this was ridiculous🙄
The HMS was looking good, getting fitter, stronger, happier, he was in Irn Bru mode, built from girders!!! He was running the line well, Heading like a billy goat and holding up the ball for The Cestrian Gladiators.
The Brazilian Grantinio made a great dispossess as he marshalled the midfield, passing to Maz elegantly.
Crouchy McBan made great cover runs showing such awareness and maturity beyond his 12 years on the planet… I mean how tall IS he gonna grow🤔
The Destroyer moved into the tackle and dispossessed The Willingtonian attacker, he passed onto Brave as a Lyon who was tackled viciously retaining the ball well and sliding it to The Mazzinator who passed a beautifully caressed ball out to The Flying Scotsman.
The Meg surfaced in the right wing looking for a victim, I could hear the low bass strings playing as he whooshed passed the oncoming defenders.
The Destroyer picked out a lovely pass to Scotty who was like a wild beast down the right wing, and won a corner with guile and an experience associated only with the older players.
Caps doffed all round Moor Park😌
The Meg landed a perfect delivery on The Destroyer’s head who was on target but alas no goal.
The Hepp ran like a man possessed on the right wing and made a great pass to Scotty who was denied by an intervening boot.
A corner and more pressure to lay upon the Willingtonians, but alas no reward.
Crouchy McBan’s stratospheric free kick into HMS was pinpoint, he headed onto Scotty, this was it, but no!!! the keeper pounced and got it..
Max Coomberaggio stepped up and made another great catch, he was imperious today. To compare him with The late great Gordon Banks some would say is disrespectful, to them I say, Were you there my friend? were you there that night at Moor Park when he saved us all? He was magnificent, ask any of the 62,372 punters watching the game..
Put it in your diary🤔 The 19th February 2019, The day The Coomberaggio came of age at Moor Park 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌
With the dark silhouette of a young Italian film star and the neck of The Rock😳 Coomberaggio was formidable in many ways tonight.. I mean imagine having to buy shirts for the lad🤨
The Mazzinator then enforced like Dirty Harry, great battling and the inevitable free kick ensued. His partner in crime given a yellow for messing with The Boss man.
30 mins in and Willington Dribbled thru our buttery defence like a hot knife and slotted easily 1-0, not the start we had wanted 🙄.
Very few chances were created where we got a shot away, the stats revealing a worrying zero shots on target first half.
A hopeful Ball from The Hepp to Scotty and touched onto HMS came to nothing nearing the end of the first half, it hadn’t been our best of times, or our worst.
Half time came and a much needed visit to the Michelin starred Moor Park club house Bistro which was rammed with wonderfully friendly ladies serving the masses.
The 2nd half began swiftly and we looked to bring it back. It felt like an uphill battle, Willington were on form and we were not, so far🤔
The Willingtonian Striker ran thru on goal, knocking over Crouchy McBan in the process and smashing one off the hands of The Coomberaggio, what a save! 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌
Again, a long ball and The Coomberaggio watched the dangerous erratic bouncing bomb of a ball which lurched towards his box, we saw it boom skywards around the 18 yard line, I felt my jaw drop open, it’s over him….
and then the finger tips of Coomberaggio clawed at it scraping nails and flesh down the seam of the leathery orb like Andy Dufresne attempting to escape Shawshank😳
It’s going over, it’s gonna be 2-0.. 😳but No! Coomberaggio simply flicked it in the air like a performing seal from SeaWorld…. and retained possession with consummate ease..
‘Me’ was my second exclamatory word😣
Willington pressed on and 2 corners later we were very nervous…
The Mazzinator was having fun, as he put the ball around The Willington midfielder and kept the ball with force, not happy to have beaten his man, he gave it back to him immediately so he could take it from him the second time 🤣 oh how we laughed on the sidelines!! Cat and mouse from The Captain🤣, priceless.
A Cestrian Corner was mashed in by The Meg, and Crouchy McBan smashed the ball in from 2 inches, I was celebrating already, was checking out Open top buses, before a cruel ungodly deflection took the ball wide for another corner, which The Destroyer nutted firmly just over the bar.
Frustrated me? Nah… not one bit🤥
The Flying Scotsman flew thru the defence, and was duly hacked down just outside box, Ref-er-reeee!!!
The Meg circled the ball like it was a wounded surfer, and rose up from the waters to take the kick… whack and into the box, but it was the keeper’s to take 😤
The Meg sensing the momentum change, dribbled into the box, a mirror image of the Willington goal, and just as The Meg was pulling the trigger he ended up on the 6 yard line turf, the keeper mopping the ball up, what happened???
nah not worried mate, 🤥
Elvis The King came on for HMS Clarkson, you could hear his horn sound from miles around, he had given his all and ran himself ragged.. back to the shipyard for a buff up.
Coomberaggio stepped forward seeing the danger, the Willingtonian sprinting towards him, no Cestrian in sight as The miracle worker Jesus Coombes dived full length and saved us once again at point blank range, one on one, our hearts were in our mouths… but our love for Coomberaggio was growing by the second..😍
The Destroyer and Crouchy McBan headers were dominatrices of the back line, imperious all night long, clearing the danger instantly.
Elvis dribbled as if running from The Ghetto😉and showed a touch of class as he passed to The Meg, Grantinio was showing his home skills like he was on the Copacabana Beach.. trapping the ball and releasing it like a Yo-yo.
Maximiliano ‘Jesus’ Coomberaggio was wearing a vest tonight, you couldn’t see it to the naked eye, But it was blue with a big ‘S’ 😌, he once again showed us what a great save looked like, one on one, deja vu was taking hold of me!! brilliant, absolutely brilliant mate!! 🙌🙌🙌
The Flying Scotsman was spent after a huge shift, if he had been wearing a Fit-Bit I’m sure it would shown a number ‘to the power of’🤔, as Olaf The Great(Birthday boy) made his way onto the hallowed turf, could he bring us a reciprocal gift 🤔 surely it was written in the stars!
The Mazzinator was taken down roughly by a sliding tackle, they foolishly thought it would dilute his fervour his, vigour, his vitriol but No! He smiled, it did nothing but bolster his pride and heart for the battle before him… with eyes that screamed ‘I bleed blue and white’.
Olaf thru on goal after The Hepp’s great work, and a perfectly weighted pass to Olaf from Elvis, ‘Thank you very much’ 🤨 Olaf The Great turned and magnetically attached to the ball, immediately being Hauled down like it was the Six Nations at Twickenham!
‘Penalty referee!’ As all 56,000 screaming voices echoed in hopeful unison across the Moor Park fields…..
The Mazzinator stepped up, held the ball like it was his own dear son, whispered to it with tender words of reassurance, ‘yes my son, you will be visiting home very soon’ and with a short run up, a controlled bulleted shot to the keeper’s right, it was 1-1 and hope was restored!
First class finishing from The Talismanic Jock! 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌
Steva The Diva came on for Brave as a Lyon.
Crouchy McBan made a great tackle which broke up their attack and created our own, as he ran to the half line he played in the Meg who looked up and found The Hepp bursting with such enthusiastic energy, not seen since he’d had his first wwwwwwwet shave at 9 years old…(your minds🙄)
The Hepp latched onto it like a Chester lass on a chip butty and almost buried it, beautifully megging it thru the Keeper’s legs!!!! 😳What a winner that would have been, I mean I fear I may have crashed the pitch!!
The Pre-teen wolf Referee was perhaps only 5 foot tall. He definitely had an issue with The Mazzinator as he erroneously booked him for something??? I assumed for being taller and better looking than himself, well there was nowt else to card him for🤔
A Corner from The Meg with shouts of ‘Head!’ and various other body parts from Commander Wake, I was expecting ‘shoulders’ ‘ knees’ and ‘toes’ to follow, 🤣 Elvis turned in the box and shuffled those hips like nobody can, not because the ball was imminent but just to create havoc in the box and create jealousy in the opposition forces…
Elvis then distracted everyone with his shimmy and slotted the perfect Mega-delivery towards goal, but what was this, a leg out stretched on the painted line, noooooooooo!!!!!😳
Willington had decided to set up camp like a scene from Les Miserables, a barricade 20 feet high and 50 feet wide as The Cestrian free kick was prepped, again the ref counted out 10 of his biggest strides which amounted to about 4 yards🙄
The Chester pressure was mounting like a rutting stag after a winter of abstinence😤
Before we could finish them off Michael J Fox blew the whistle…
Full time and pens 😳
Howay man not again, I was hoping Phillipoussis Cummingston’s phone battery was doing better than last time and better than mine🤨
Before you could say, ‘Hey Ronnie get us a pint in’ it was game on…
They looked confident, we had previous good form in Penalty shoot outs to lean upon…
Bang 1-0 and Willington smashed one in,
The Mazzinator stood tall and gave it a bit of Ron Jeremy, pummelling it in hard and low 1-1 👊
2-1 Willington smashed another one in,
Birthday boy Olaf The Great stepped up and bosh 2-2 dispatching a lovely shot! 🙌
3-2 Willington score again, nothing Coomberaggio could do about the first 3 pens, water into wine no problem, but top corner pens😳 even The Almighty would have struggled to reach ‘em!🙏
Then up stepped Elvis The King, speaking to the keeper he said ‘a little less conversation please’ as he stroked his ‘blue suede boots’ for good luck, the keeper had eyes of steel but a suspicious mind,
which way would he go🤔?
As Sammy snakehips ran up and lashed an Exocet into the goal, all that could be heard was ‘aha ha, Thank you very much’🙌
4-3 Willington smashed in another, I was getting sick of typing that line..🙄
Steva The Diva stepped up and smashed the ball home for 4-4 a brilliant finish 🙌
5-4 Willington smashed it in once more, putting immense pressure on the next man.
Dicka The Destroyer was the man of the moment, weight of expectation and weight of the world, he decided to caress his shot with a finesse not seen since Gene Kelly hit the boards, would we be crying or singing in the rain🤔
Boom, whack and bobble as it deflected in off the Keeper!! The immense Dicka Power too much for the Willingtonian Keeper to handle and 5-5.. 😳 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌👍
Then a confident looking Willingtonian player stepped up, Coomberaggio had no words of mystery, no mind games, Just a pair of massive hands to match his massive heart…🙌
As he dived majestically in slow motion full length to his right to parry the incoming missile we collectively held our breath😣😳
Saved 😳!!! Euphoria and restrained nervous hope in equal amounts.
“Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” (Shawshank)
Suddenly an athletic figure appeared from the dark recesses of the huddled Cestrians, sprinting and moving erratically, no.8 yes it was Grantinio😳
I just assumed he was acting out some Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian dark martial arts, combining elements of dance, acrobatics, and music🤔
But no he had celebrated prematurely in an act of wild abandonment and lost his mind with euphoria!! 🤣
When interviewed after the game Mr J Edson Arantes do Nascimento Grantinio stated with cold eyes ‘No Comment!’🤨
This was it….the chance to be up in the match for the first time and more importantly into the final🙏
Crouchy McBan stepped up, the keeper tried the usual tactics and handed him the ball, with the look of David Blaine mixed with an Italian waiter, his Psychological mind games were no match for Crouchy McBan, born not of this world but on Krypton, his name Super Ban.
He took a moment to survey the scene before him…Was he man or mouse🤔well all I can say is there was no F***ing cheese on show today as he rifled the ball high and handsome right down the middle of the goal to euphoric scenes at Moor Park!!! 6-5 on penalties. 🙌
Unbelievable Jeff-The defending Champions had clawed there way back into the semi final and into the final..
Full of relief and Adrenalin, fist pumping, sweating profusely, blood coursing through the veins and a tsunami wave of endorphins coursing thru the body…I swiftly made my way to the tunnel to congratulate all Cestrian Gladiators!! I still have the graze marks from The Mazzinator’s stubbly embrace..
Finally I made it to the club house and a well deserved lie down in a darkened room. 🥴
On a very sad note, one of The Willington Officials took ill during the 2nd half and was taken to hospital via ambulance, our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. The Chester Town family collectively send you our best wishes and hopes for a full recovery. 🙏
Our very own physio Hayley Arnold was very quick to act and help the gentleman. Willington AFC said ‘You were absolutely amazing and it will never be forgotten’😔
See you all in April for The Final..
‘Bring on yer Fathas, yer Muthas, yer brothers and yer sisters, yer uncles and aunties, yer cats and dogs, and yer Yorkshire puddings, come on we’ll teck yaz all on!!’😤 (Barry Fry)