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The Vikings
The Vikings

The Pies are Back! - Part 2

By: Chris Smith
Date: 26/08/2009

GOOLE had played badly at a mediocre Wilhenhall on the Saturday and conceded a poor goal, the type of result we have become used to at Grimsby. However, they did try to take the game to Stamford.

It was a very open first half though and Stamford did have plenty of pressure and could consider themselves unlucky to go behind to a Niall O’Brian free kick which took a wicked deflection. Not that this bothered the three of us who indulged in the "Derderderderder Goole AFC" to the Pigbag tune and a bit of exaggerated cheering. A bit sad really considering we had a combined age of about 130-140. But something was missing! No Liquidator tune and we then realised that we hadn't heard it when the teams came out either. I hope it isn't because the club have realised that a few Grimsby exiles might start singing naughty words to it.

The game had really taken off and Stamford hit the woodwork twice and Goole were also denied by the goal frame. It was surprising to see an entertaining first half end with just the one goal to show for it.

I ended up chatting to Paul who played in goal for Donny Rovers at the beginning of the 1970s in what must have been the last time, until very recently, that they had played in a division above the Mariners. Paul has a season ticket at Goole which works out at just over a fiver a match which shows how overpriced League Two football is in comparison. With a few notable exceptions in the Premier League, I regard League Two football as the most over-priced in the entire league set-up and I will miss some fixtures because I refuse to pay to use their "facilities".

The second half commenced and saw Goole come under a lot of pressure although they did carve out some chances which were unfortunately wasted in the style of an ex Town player in a number three shirt. Say no more. It was notable that the referee had appeared in a white shirt and we were bemused by this. However, Eric told me that the black shirt worn in the first half had clashed with the Stamford colours. It had actually taken me a bit of time to separate the sides at first as Goole were playing in red. As my colour vision is poor and seems worse at night, I could understand that there would have been confusion. I also watch a game from the side of a ground as I'd otherwise struggle to see a lot of the action. This is why I had to decline writing detailed match reports for The Fishy as I would have to plagiarise others’ material to produce them. I comfortably saw two thirds of Town’s match at Bury, if that, which is why I make the most of the whole day experience. I probably enjoy non-league football so much because I can see so much more of the game at the compact grounds.

The referee had approached Eric to see if he could rustle up a yellow shirt for the second half but had to compromise on the white. I would normally say that I hope he was charged for it. However, I was told that the referee was in the Army and had only just returned from Afghanistan. Not only was he one of our heroes, he had travelled down from Catterick garrison to officiate at the game. Whilst referees do get paid at this level, their attendance at these games reflects their commitment to football itself and all fans should be grateful that these fixtures can take place. Please note that I'm not including the referee at the Town v Rotherham game last week in this praise, although we should appreciate that no matter what we think of their competence, we do need them!

Paul had said at half time that he would be happy with the point, if not all three but we dared to hope with just seven minutes left. However, the inevitable happened and Stamford got a deserved equaliser. It was a bit like watching Town riding their luck in some games. It finished one apiece and a draw was a fair result, although a higher scoring game would have done it justice. Apart from a few late offside decisions by the linesmen, the officials didn't seem to be noticed, which means they must have had a good game. Des O’ Hearne, the Goole chairman and benefactor, might disagree as he looked to have been having a difference of opinion with the officials as they had come off at half time. I like Des, he is entertaining when he wears his heart on his sleeve, and obviously has his club’s best interests at heart. He can often be heard from the sidelines. You could probably hear him from Thorne when he’s on form.

I spent the last ten minutes or so talking to Mal who puts most, if not all, of the Goole programme together. That is some achievement as I think I've done well sometimes to put an article together around work and voluntary commitments. Mal said that he always welcomed contributors, and as GrimRob says, why not volunteer to help The Fishy out? Apparently, quite a few fans had gathered who I was from my piece that had gone in the Goole programme. Must be the smell of fish or the hangdog look. Actually, we have got to know the regular fans here, which always enhances the matchday experience.

I see Goole have a home game against Belper on September 15th and it doesn't clash with a Town game so I'll be there. Whilst the price has gone up since their Northern Counties days, £7 represents good value and by the time I've spent £3 on a slap up supper and £2 on a programme, I haven't got through that much. To put it into perspective, I spent £80 going to Cheltenham, getting in, and the rest of the stuff that goes around going to a game. And, I don't drink. Whilst I'm fortunate to be able to afford it, I am questioning whether it is worth the expense sometimes. I got two weeks in Malta with flights included, transfers and half board for three times that cost. It makes you wonder. Bury last weekend set me back £40 and I regard that as getting off lightly for an away game. I also know that when I put money into the coffers of non-league clubs, and especially at Goole, it is greatly appreciated and not taken for granted. As part of a continuing fund raising effort, I see they are organising a night out at Stainforth dogs which is just down the road from me and that will be a great laugh. There has been some apathy towards earlier events which Town fans could identify with. It’s easy to think there isn't a problem when someone is bankrolling a club, but **** happens.

Not a bad start for Goole then. A draw against a useful Carlton side and a win at Grantham. Always good to put one over the birthplace of Thatcher. They will be hoping to continue their unbeaten run against Lincolnshire opposition when they play at Bourne on Saturday. I hope they win as they haven't had a really good cup run since winning the West Riding Cup.

I'm now having a twelve day break in Malta and think I've cocked up as I have the horrible feeling I fly back on the day that they play Sweden. I'd like to have seen a game over there. Next up, Hereford at home. Can we be top half by the time I get back and will Goole do the business as well?

Up the Mariners and Vikings.

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