The Day Terrors

Our first league trip to Imperial Fields to battle the Terrors – Tooting & Mitcham FC.   This is a simple journey from Finchley – straight down the Northern Line to its southern terminus at Morden and then a 25 minute stroll to the ground along the aptly named Wandle Road which follows the line of the river.

Refreshments are available on arrival from The Hub bar which was a disappointment for me last visit.   This time they had two real ales on tap and finding that one was already on its last dregs I opted for a pint of England’s Glory – a pleasant Davenports brew.   Unfortunately, it wouldn’t last the night and I had to resort to Guinness after the match.   It wasn’t the only thing that wouldn’t last – but more on that later.

Hanging on the wall of the bar area are a couple of flags.  The vertically striped Red White and Black one behind the bar area proclaims the Terrors in their team colours and has a humorous ‘Freedom for Tooting’ slogan on the black section – recalling the TV series Citizen Smith and its Tooting Popular Front.   The other, I found slightly disturbing.   Fans have for years carried the Union Flag with their club’s initials or badges added to the centre – this one had the Tooting & Mitcham crest in the centre.   But this is the first time I have seen the colours of the national flag itself altered from Red, White and Blue to Red, White and Black.  I wasn’t comfortable with it – not least because those colours have far-right political connotations.    Anyway – enough said on the subject.

Tooting & Mitcham Score

Tooting & Mitcham Score

When we visited for the final of the London Senior Cup barely 4 months ago the pitch was in a very poor condition – potholes and dust bowls.   Now, early in the new season, it looked in fine nick although there was still the occasional hint of dust during tackles suggesting that the groundsman will struggle to keep it so green.

This was one of those games where there wasn’t much to write about afterwards.    Both sides attacked energetically and although Wingate & Finchley had the best of it to start with, The Terrors were the first to score.  Some brisk passes pulling the Wingate defence to one side before a pass to their 11 in the centre who was able to place his shot into the bottom left hand corner beyond a despairing sliding challenge from Wrighty and Bobby’s reach.

Marc Celebrates

Marc Celebrates

The attacking football continued and W & F won a series of corners, the third of which gave Marc Weatherstone the opportunity to head home off the underside of the crossbar and the chance to celebrate in style following his non-goal of the previous Monday 🙂   The sides were level after 21 minutes.   And that was just about that… Both sides continued to attack for the rest of the half but neither could produce the telling strike in front of goal.   David Laird had one free-kick opportunity that he put just over the bar.

The second half was no different and the tackles became a bit more fierce as frustration began to set in.   For the fans that frustration was vented on the referee who, by the end of the game had alienated both sets of supporters although I’m not entirely sure why – sometimes, watching through the confines of the telephoto lens, you can become isolated from the frustrations felt by the other supporters.   Both sides put together some good attacks and Tooting & Mitcham thought they’d made the breakthrough with a low shot to Bobby’s right but the linesman’s flag was up proclaiming offside.   The only other thing to report from the second half was the late dismissal of Ahmet, who had come on as a sub for Lairdy.   His challenge was deemed by the referee to be high and he was shown a red card.   That’s a second midfielder out for 3 matches… 😦

So, a 1-1 draw which was probably fair to both sides.   Our 100% record may have gone but we’re still unbeaten this season.   If someone had promised us 10 points from the first 4 matches before the start of the season we’d probably have bitten their hand off!    It’s been a great start and hopefully we can return to winning ways when an inspector calls at Summers Lane – It’s The Blues versus the Pointy-Headed Gentlemen tonight (assuming the rain doesn’t make it unplayable) 😉

All thoughts expressed are my own and do not represent the views of Wingate & Finchley FC.

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Comments

  1. A tie certainly is better than a loss! And ‘undefeated’ certainly has a nice ring to it, too!
    Great shots, by the way… looks like a lot of fun!
    🙂

    • Quite right Bob – a tie is better than a loss 🙂 It was nail-biting fun! Another nail-biter this evening – report to follow. Do you follow a sport?

      • I used to follow my favorite team in college football, the NFL, NBA and NHL but I really haven’t been able to in the past few years… I miss it quite a bit some times. 🙂

      • Things can get in the way can’t they. I never used to be into sport or, more particularly, football – check out my first match and you’ll understand how I got myself into this 😉 I hope you are able to get back to supporting your college side. I enjoy watching Gridiron over here sometimes – I actually went to see the London Monarchs a few times and it was fun.

  2. Your pint of England’s Glory sounds better than the thickness of Guinness.

    • Hi Nancy – Guinness is always a good fallback for when there’s no Real Ale available. Some ales are actually thicker than Guinness – Everards Old Original and Hook Norton Brewery’s Old Hookie come to mind. In fact most Ales with the word Old in the name can be relied upon to be heavy and strong 😉 Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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