Monday, March 1
Chester-le-Street, UK


Chester le Street vs Ryhope

The Fa Vase 1st sept 2018

At Moor Park.
Chester le Street  v Ryhope
After a Summer of baking heat The Champions had been blessed with a hot Caribbean sunshine for this fixture…
The pitch was immaculate, as if the Wembley gods had descended upon us and blessed the grass seeds..
This was gonna be a Stern test for Chester as Ryhope were 1st division quality and Chester would need to be on form to put this one to bed….
You could see the lads were up for it,
As the sold out stadium heaved under the weight of expectancy….
The Mascots were specially flown in  from The Chester under8s training camp Based in La Manga…
The  Sharp-Kray Twins aka
The Hoover and The Beast…
The Kray Twins…
both lads are Mags of course
(Who else is there🤔)
Toon Toon!!
Lord Burlison read the fact sheet on the Mascots….
‘James Sharp 7 years old is an avid Chester footballer and likes to dominate play in defence, aka ‘The Hoover’.
Loves Xbox ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Minecraft’ especially, Has a disturbing love of Sharks and all things gruesome generally.
Ben Sharp 7 years old is also an avid Chester footballer, but likes to destroy players whilst attacking the goal at every opportunity, aka ‘The Beast’.
His ambition is to play professionally and to play for Chester Town would be an honour for him.
Again, Ben loves Xbox…
apart from smashing 7 shades out of each other,
The boys are big gamers and are as competitive as their Dad, God help them!’
A solemn moment then came to pass at Moor Park as news of Tom Hepplewhite’s sad passing was commemorated with a minute’s silence.
It was respected impeccably .
Michael and Daniel would have been proud………………………………………………
The silence ended the whistle blew and The Crowd rose as one and applauded rapturously in respect …..
and then it was business as usual…
game on!
We started with belief, we started with the wind in our sails….
Oliver took a deft touch and laid off the ball like a seasoned pro….  Ginola-esque
(born after those days of old no doubt🤔)
Chester were working hard,
Putting Big pressure on the Ryhope defence….
Great forward ball from Stephenson absolutely slide rule down the wing..
Grant took the ball, consummately composed,
and passed with assurance to create
A Chester attack.. again the penetrating force of Chester was repelled…
6 mins in and a devastating ball to the left wing created the opening chance for Ryhope, with a swift drop of the shoulder and a confident finish it was 1-0 and we knew the fight was afoot..
Heads up lads….
a Good cross from Oliver and the Billy Smart circus keeper juggled the ball, making the crowd lean and gasp as a half chance beckoned,  a head appeared and a pair of hands competed for the leather, oh so Close!!
A Good battling defence from Chester absorbed early pressure from Ryhope,
As if the heat wasn’t enough, the pressure of the desired counterattacking goal was mounting….
Captain Maz made a great ball forward after a bit of header tennis that Tim Henman would have been proud of…
but it was snuffed out instantly by an organised  Ryhope who looked to add to their stash of one.
Chester were  creating chances but were unlucky with the finishing touch…
50-50 possession.. the gods rolled their dice…. what would be the outcome, it was close 🤔
Oliver took great control of the ball and skillfully avoided the tackle on the right wing, it was David Blaine on the ball, here it is mate… and whoosh now it’s gone…
he was unlucky with the back heel Pass… it would have made the north east news with Mike Neville coming out of retirement to comment on such wizardry..
Nichol made a simple pass to Oliver
Who was being pressured by their defence, still we couldn’t unlock Ryhope,
It was gonna take some gargantuan effort.
Great cover was very evident in defence by Greaves, Like a Trump Mexican wall…
ain’t nowt getting though this mother.
Henderson made some good hassling in defence to break up a dangerous foraging run from the opposition,
Then a Great pass by Turnbull was the icing on the defensive cake..
Stephenson’s ball into the box for Nichol to head,  oohhhh so close man..
The Chester crowd rocked the stands in anticipation of the ball on net!
A Corner for Ryhope….
and a Worldy of a shot curled into the top corner, who was this like?
A ringer from Brazil perhaps🤔
Thomsontinio or Sommat??
Urine samples and a Poirot investigation was necessary… 🤨
Wilson requested lift off via air traffic control  and like a bird he floated effortlessly skyward as if
Gravity-less and scooped the ball onto the post…. wow, it was The Cat,
No I was mistaken The son of Zoff,
I screwed my eyes up against the piercing sunlight…. no it was Yashin..the only Russian goalie to win the Ballon D’or
But even so the gods had decreed it was
just over the line 😱
22nd minutes in and 2-0 with a mountain
To climb, scratch that….
We are Chester, nothing is impossible😤
I thought sandwiches at half time were The order of the day usually,
but All of a sudden it was hot potato time!
The ball was like a power ball.. it just wouldn’t fall for us though….
if I’d been DJ’ing at half time then Pinball Wizard would have been the song of choice…
Wilson was distributing long accurate balls, but Ryhope were snuffing out
Everything… their defence was like
The Schwarzenegger Brothers on tour…
‘No Problemo’…
Stephenson made a Good pass out from the back and The Left wing was set alight by Stephenson’s run which created a chance for Oliver making runs up front
But alas no euphoria…
31mins Ticked over and a swivel from Ryhope from 18 yards and it was 3-0 in the bottom corner..
Turnbull covered a foraging run from Ryhope, he then ‘Van Dammed’ the winger with a swift leg sweep,
‘We taking no prisoners boy’
He was taken down good and proper….
a dangerously positioned Free kick ensued..
A blasting Shot from Ryhope and a great save from Wilson with a strong  block and then did well to recover on the rebound,  keeping the score 3-0…
Karate kid Whitfield got a clean kick on the ball in the challenge,
But a foul was called by the ref🙄
Mr Miyage would have been proud of
That one Mr Whitfield…
Defended well by Greaves who tracked the ball well,
And then cleared it with aplomb…
Captain Maz was a brick wall in defence and won a foul from the opposition due to his dogged determination and skill….
Stephenson was under pressure from the Ryhope attacker, like a marauding banshee invading his red indian home territories, the Chesteronian made a lunging tackle after the usain-esque attacker…
It was enough to disrupt the Ryhopian’s dreams of another goal…
Grant made a very good clearance to the half way line but nothing was borne from the act but frustration…
A Great header by Greaves forward into Opposition territory,
And then a chance was created after a wonderfully crafted ball into the box from the right wing by Captain Maz, but sadly we were 2nd to the ball Once again…
Half time!
Time to regroup, we were still in this.
Yes we hadn’t taken our chances and the future was our own to determine…
Ronnie Honeyball’s jovial dry wit was the best thing about the half time interval
Although the beer came a close 2nd place…
The whistle blew, and I clearly thought ‘this is the starter pistol for the Ryhope manager to unload his very loud and very well practised oratory once again!!’
Cats and Dogs had run for cover during his first half beratings,
And now I was fearful my children having been Mascots and were now personal witnesses to the audio graffiti, 👂
would they suffer irreparable hearing damage… would I in fact need Cochlear implants🤔
My distraction was only within my consciousness for a second as I witnessed a Clearance off the line by the unknown  Chesteronian Defender, as brave as a lion…
I saw only courage, sinew and determination strewn across the Chester turf,
Seconds before Wilson the keeper had selflessly thrown himself on the ball like a soldier saving his brethren from the impending aftermath of an exploding grenade…
 certain injury was to be assumed from such a full on head on crash with the opposition..
But the Terminator T1000 stood
Resolute… Hasta la Vista Baby!
Ryhope gained a Free kick, it was ploughed into the box
To an unmarked  man…
8 mins into the 2nd half and 4-0….
oh boy it felt so unfair!!! 😤
but in the lowest moments we find out what we are made of….
 and the men or Chester proved that in the next 37 minutes…
The 2nd half was  a blur of shots from Ryhope, they sensed blood!!
We were in need of Red Adair
 or Mr Terence English(the world famous surgeon)
to stop the flow..
Chester awoke and began to believe the impossible was possible….
Yes a shot on target was in the offing🤔
We hoped Ryhope would ease up, get tired, perhaps burn out🤔
but hey man they were frantic,
They had morphed symbiotically into the personality of their manager…
Scott Robson came on,
The crowd started its Whisperings…
 the rumours🤨
 is it Bobby Robson’s grandson?
Chester prayers Were readily audible….
could he deliver redemption and was he ready to provide 4 goals to even up the clash of The Titans🤔(I hear you ask)
The Chester Faithful clung to their bibles(Programs) as they fell to their knees proclaiming this is the Messiah, the second coming (of the 2nd goal)
Then a moment of clarity formed before my eyes, like a dream scene from some big West End show..::
as a breakaway by the Ryhope massive (big units them lads) rained upon us….
its surely 5-0
But then a worldie save from The Keeper Wilson, Tom Daley would have given a 10/10 surely for that… triple
Salchow and a toe loop whilst saving a howatza shot😳
 Mamma Mia that was superb…
I was about to send the S.O.S
 ooohhh that was close!!!
Oliver was then taken down like he was in a The judo world champs in 1978 Tokyo …
Leg sweep foul referee!! 😤
A Free kick was awarded and Captain Maz had the crowd and Ronnie Honeyball oohhhing and aahing
Like Kim Basinger in 9 and a half weeks…
But unfortunately the grazed paintwork was the only evidence of a ball on target….
Ronnie had to be put on Valium and cuffed into a straight jacket for his own safety after the referee gave a throw in the wrong way,
‘Robbed uz man Robbed Uz!!’
It was the drought of ‘76 again,
Not a shot on target but ohhhh!!!
But then the gods smiled on us….
The prayers had been answered!!
Oliver ran thru like it was pension day at the post office….
He was a whippet, the goal gaped
and with a Stephen Hawking’s accuracy he slotted with an assurance not seen since OJ Simpson stood on trial…
4-1 and OMG!!
Euphoria in the stands🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌
The 97,582 crowd raised the highly painted roof from its hinges!!
Dave Winter winced at the damage and
Horrendous repair costs… 😳
Wave after wave of Chester Gladiators moved forward…. belief had been re-established… the hordes moved pitch side as if waiting for The Tsunami of goals…
Then The Messi-esque left footer was released from deep into enemy territory..
It was a creation borne of God and Scott Robson, a divine being not of this world, a sentient being who’s creation was asteroidal….
 The Ryhope keeper just stood, a voyeur, a wax work,  as it sailed passed him…
 The chester faithful rose like a levitating collective huddle of Indian Kamens….
the horrible creak of knees audible to all in attendance…
but the ball was destined to be just over..
the fight back was on though!
Kelly and Robson the super subs created interplay and almost brought us a second goal…
Bobby’s Grandson was ready to level things after smashing a howitzer towards goal… oooffff!!!
Bobby was dancing in Heaven along with The Chester Faithful in the hot Chester sunshine…
Kelly came into the action immediately,
First chance in the box, hero waiting to be tagged onto his name.. ball bouncing,
A Difficult chance but the Keeper took it well…. unlucky!
Then a dangerous cross into the box was headed out by Captain Maz
like a rhino butting an uninvited male amongst the herd,
Unfortunately to be met by a Ryhopian boot…
And from 25 yards  the cosmic missile found its way into the back of The Chester goal and 5-1.
Stephenson was wrestling with the Ryhope winger
Until the ref called it.
No submissions and no knockouts although Stephenson looked interested in a rematch
 ‘in the blue corner weighing….’
Before gum shields and glove tape could be located it was time…
The whistle blew!! Full time and 5-1.

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