AFC Wimbledon go up to League One, Barnsley to the Championship and Hull City returned to the Premiership. All through the play offs at Wembley and good luck to them. I cant help feeling though that something aint right even though I enjoy the excitement of it all. I remember when Waltham Abbey won through to the Ryman Premier League in 2009, how nervous I was and how I felt. The thing is I didnt even get to see any of the games as I was working and living in Spain at the time. When the news came through I dont mind telling you, I ran down the street In Marbella screaming like a little kid. So I get all the excitement etc but what I dont get is all the glamour that comes with it. Somehow it just doesnt sit right with me that play off winners get a Trophy presented like an FA Cup final and all the glitz, fireworks and the like that go with it. A medal, yeah thats fair enough, a momento but thats as far as it goes with me. It also seems that play off promotion is the way to go. Why finish second and go up automatically when you can win at Wembley and lift a cup! And all those fans that turn up never to be seen again! Just my thoughts, thats all. Anyone else feel the same?
Another after thought, Cup Finals at Wembley these days. What happened to the fans of both teams staying behind after the cup is lifted and watching the laps of honour and applauding both sides? When ever Ive watched one end always seems to empty straight away. Maybe if everyone stayed like they used to in the old days some of the old FA Cup magic would come back? Just a thought.
So Leicester win the league and fair play to them. The eyes of the country were all on the Chelsea v Tottenham clash (should I use that word) on Monday 2nd May 2016. Nothing but a Tottenham win would delay the inevitable for Leicester. It didn’t disappoint. Yellow cards were handed out like confetti, managers and officials were in the middle of scuffles tackles and meelies galore. And do you know what? Not a football fan in the country didn’t enjoy it! A good old fashioned Derby just like “the old days”. It showed everything fans want to see. But the game has been sanitized so much that the wigs at the FA will be rubbing their hands this morning and the bank manager will join in with glee. OK you probably know which side of the fence I’m on but John Terry had it spot on with his interview after. It’s a Derby, points are at stake, we were champions, they are rivals we didn’t want them to win it, all those things etc etc and he said “it’s done, the FA should let it go”. That’s how it should be in my book. Trial by television and the media condemning the behaviour like 22 mass murderers were out in force. Lets be fair both teams were and are no angels, it was just a tough game of football. In my experience no soft team has ever won anything and I’d say that includes Leicester. Even Robert Huth said that game made him look like an angel so he must a have hard opinion of himself! Tell me Liverpool with Souness and McMahan were soft when they won everything?
Like I said not a person in the country didn’t enjoy that game no matter who you support. Just a few of my thoughts while the FA type out the charge sheets.
On Saturday 23rd April 2016 the first team were fighting for their Ryman Division One North survival with other results having to go their way. A home game against already relegated Redbridge should have been a foregone conclusion but with this team, you never know. On the day a two nil home win was pretty comfortable. The scenes at the end were later described as like “a play off final”. The match finished and the players and supporters waited for news to filter through that Wroxham could only gain a point at Romford and we were a point clear of the zone. The relief was there for all to see as celebrations started on and off the pitch. The clubhouse buzzed for hours after and the realisation hit home. The reality now is that next season is a clean sheet, fresh start whatever you want to call it. The cliches abound, “we move on”. But in the cold light of day where would you rather have been on that day? Lets face it (and I´m sure people will see this as a dig), not so far away, a team that were enthralled by their own publicity just missed out on the playoff positions, I have to say which over the season they probably deserved. So where would you rather be? My point is at the end of the day, 6th or 21st, the reward in football terms is and was exactly the same. We both play in the same league next year! However on the actual day we were celebrating whilst other clubs must have been gutted that they missed out!
Is this one of those times when we say “its a funny old game”? I know deep down we all know where we would rather be, but on that day, just that day, as they say in football “I´ll take that”
So we go to the last day of the season in true Sky Sports style hoping that we can win or at least draw and other results go our way. Can we afford to rely on others, well now it’s possible because that’s exactly what we have to do. Relegation does not bare thinking about…
A defeat is a calamity, results going our way is a god send. So many times in football we have heard that phrase “your too good to go down”. Ok we ain’t really quite in the too good league but we can certainly be a better side than what we are. The evidence is there, take the AFC Sudbury away win for example and the fantastic comeback against Bury Town. It’s been a season of frustration and despair with what started off as optimism and the hope of glory! Who would have foreseen that the appointment of ex professional League winner Martin Hayes as Manager would actually take the club backwards. Many felt it was already on a sliding slope but couldn’t get any worse when promising such high hopes. Any hope of team, let alone club spirit appeared to drain away with defeat after defeat. All the comments were and general consensus was that we were playing well, some great football in fact and we will come good soon. But the rot never stopped and the roots were growing longer into the mire. It could not be doubted Hayes is a nice fella and knows his stuff but is level 4 football below his footballing ability mentality wise? The players could not respond and one by one our so called best players left and finally he realised the journey was over. No regrets all round, we gave it a go and it didn’t work. Simple. That’s football. So let’s bring us back to today. The footballs pretty much the same, the same decision making mistakes that cost us are there but the team and club spirit has changed and this gives us belief for the future. We just need this one big Saturday to go our way and we are back in the game. Fresh start and all that. We cannot rely on FA reprieves, we don’t want to rely on other results although we have to, either way we need to win to go out pride intact. In my time and my knowledge no Waltham Abbey FC team had ever been relegated until we fell out of the Ryman Premier Division in 2010, once is enough.
WAFC v Redbridge Sat 23rd April 2016 3-00pm Capershotts, Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1NX
Just thought I´d make a small post while I´m passing, on Monday night I managed to grab a half hour of the Under 21 side containing a youthful Alex Brooks helping out the youngsters. Spraying the ball around and still complaining about the pitch! At 0-1 with seconds to go an Abbey forward prepared to shoot when the ball was whipped away from him and he went tumbling. Around eight of us in the stand were just about to say “What a great tackle” when the ref pointed to the spot. Needless to say 1-1 the final score from then on. We all looked in disbelief but were not about to change his mind for him! Footballs a funny game, last night I watched the first team play Dereham Town at home and twice the number two from the visitors was clearly fouled by Kizzi and Co and nothing given. We wonder what we watch sometimes even if it does go our way! Saturday we racked up five at Cricklewoods the home of Ilford when we played Barkingside. Think we have problems at times but boy they got their work cut out. Never used to like Barkingside but after what Redbridge done to them at their ground, I hope they stay up. Was a fair weekend to be fair.
More ramblings soon..everywhere we go were the Abbey boys at the Jason Mallet shooooooow
Of all the weekends to go away I had to travel to Scotland on the day Tottenham were playing Arsenal at White Hart Lane. I wouldnt have been there as you know, well maybe, I would have been at Brentwood Town watching the Abbotts. Well it was a mixed day I suppose, I watched the Spurs win 2-1 on social media with some lad running up and down the train to Glasgow at the final whistle. Whatever floats your boat. Hallett scores early for the Abbotts but the journey became gloomy as we went 3-1 down eventually losing 3-2 to a Brentwood side who are up there this season. Hallett hit both.
Still, watching all the Goons squirm on social media later was an experience, after that they all disappeared until tonight, the time of writing. A three day sleep. Spurs are back to normal service resumed with a 3-2 loss at Liverpool while the Goons send the library back to sleep with a narrow 2-1 win over bottom club Leicester. Have to say it was a cracking game on TV at Liverpool and I would think no football fan would deny that.
I did manage to see some football this weekendish though, I took my little Sunday son (Alf) to White Hart Lane last night to watch the Under 18’s play Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup fifth round. 2408 wasnt a bad crowd with a fair chunk of Man Utd fans coming in from London. Come on they aint come down have they! It was a great game of football and I was suitably impressed by the standard, both sides playing some great stuff and possessing great trickery. Spurs took the lead and Man Utd equalised with their first shot but eventually the home side ran out 3-1 winners. The crowd were in good form too, there is a section who only go to the Youth and Under 21 games and sing their hearts out. Some of the songs were a bit choice but they wernt doing any harm and seem to enjoy themselves. The whistling in me ear was a pain though. Well worth a look for only a fiver and pound for kids. NO hassle parking and the refreshments are open if you got a spare 100 quid lol. Anyway away again this weekend so I’m guessing any footie will be watched on TV once again.
Tonight its Tic Tacs away, wont bore you with the history of darts right now, but cant leave it out, ………… (next day) well that was fun, only had 7 players but we didn’t do too bad. Town Mead actually is a tidy clean club but 3.35 a pint, come on! Anyway we lost 6-9 after 3 nil up. Won my singles checking out on 99 (3-60-36) When I get the urge I´ll write a little bit about darts at the club. The Archers page hopefully will have some of the history of darts at the club when I can find it!
Back in the 90’s I used to have a site called Capershotts.com. It was all about the history of Waltham Abbey Football Club and not current stuff. I had started to build the site mainly to post old memories of times at the Abbey and try to gain interest from people in the town, old players, fans etc and generally friends who had some great times in the 70’s and 80’s. Due to an error on my part this site was lost but recently I managed to find some old files on computer and think I may just be able to recover them. Also with the advent of new technology it looks like its even easier now to build decent websites and get up and running pretty quick. Now I’m not saying this one is going to be quick, by any means, but I’m going to try and make an effort to place as much of my old stuff online as possible, its about time. So if you have stumbled upon this site, thanks for looking, over the next few weeks it will take shape.