SAT 17TH APRIL 2004: H v ARBROATH (@ SAVOY PARK, METHIL)
There was a definite air of optimism around Stade Savoy as the BASTARDS, still fresh from a battling draw against Glasgow giants Morton, took to the field against the unknown quantity from Smokiesville, Arbroath.
There was a massive pre kick-off boost for the BASTARDS, when Igor, uncharacteristically slightly fresh and not too hungover, did the visitors a "favour" by helping out to make even teams. This boost was slightly lessened with the realisation that tired legs would not be tolerated as substitutes were nowhere to be seen. Frustrated swears and curses were heard from Gaffer Neil's direction!!
Onto the action then, and on a gloriously sunny and warm day, Captain Fat Doug, in an unusual but, "you know it makes sense" striking role, won the toss and elected to shoot up the Savoy slope.
From the start, the BASTARDS raided the Arbroath goal with some intricate play and were rewarded for their dominance with the opening goal after only 12 minutes. A lovely through ball from midfield maestro Andrew Warrender sent Dave racing towards goal, outmuscling the centre half and letting fly from just inside the area. The ball, looking destined to nestle in the bottom right hand corner, was brilliantly saved by the Arbroath keeper, only for the ever alert Fat Doug to finish off from at least a whole yard!
B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S 1 ARBROATH 0
Within two minutes of the restart, the BASTARDS had a chance to double the advantage. Warrender swung in a corner from the right and Gaffer Ballingal ghosted in between two defenders but sadly nodded the ball narrowly wide of the upright. The Warrender-Ballingal combination came to the fore again moments later. From the same side, the ball was expertly swung in and this time, from what seemed no longer than the length of a horses privates, the Gaffer brilliantly managed to powerfully head the ball back to the unsuspecting Warrender and the chance was gone. Miss of the season?? Without any question, and were the BASTARDS going to rue the missed chances?
Igor then tried to do what his usual team-mates couldn't but his spectacular volley went narrowly over and Igor's blushes were spared. 30 minutes on the clock however and the BASTARDS doubled their advantage, and deservedly so.
Warrender slipped the ball out wide to Fat Doug, who in one slow turn of pace and skill, skinned the hapless Igor and headed for the penalty area but was brought to the earth with a bump by a rather clumsy challenge from the Smokies full-back and, rightly so, a penalty was awarded. Unselfishly, the honour was handed to the already influential Warrevder who stepped up confidently and placed the ball onto the crater on the pitch known as the penalty spot. Seconds later and the net was bulging as the penalty was dispatched with aplomb. Andy Gray was heard saying " you could have put two goalkeepers in there and they still wouldn't have saved it!". Warrender's first goal for the BASTARDS.
B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S 2 ARBROATH 0.
As the minutes ticked away towards half-time, more chances went a begging, with a lame shot from Fat Doug making its way agonisingly slowly into the keepers arms and a thunderbolt from Dave crashing off the crossbar with the keeper well and truly beaten. Then, right on half time the BASTARDS were given a wake up call when Arbroath pulled a goal back when a 3 on 2 situation was worked well and the Smokies centre forward slotted the ball past the despairing dive of Ian.
HALF-TIME: B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S 2 ARBROATH 1
Arbroath then wisely swapped Igor for Pete for the second period.
Into the second half and the BASTARDS looked hungry to kill the game off and the fans didn't have to wait long as a Stud through ball after 55 minutes sent Fat Doug clear and he drilled the ball home for his second of the game.
B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S 3 ARBROATH 1
The majority of the second half was fairly monotonous, with constant pressure on the Arbroath goal resulting in a few half chances but the Arbroath rearguard refused to be breached, mainly due to the solid marshalling of the defence from traitor Pete!!
With 10 minutes remaining, the BASTARDS put the final nail in Arbroath's heavily nailed coffin and in some style. A forward run from Stuart was halted abruptly by a clumsy challenge, but with the free-kick some 27 yards out and a distinct lack of dead ball experts in the team, there appeared little danger for Arbroath. Please step forward Stud!! A long run up and the ball was on its way, soaring past the 4 man wall and with the bumper crowd gasping for breath, the ball slammed itself into the pokie and the sun shone that little bit stronger!!
B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S 4 ARBROATH 1
Within minutes, the full time whistle sounded and the in the end it was a comfortable victory for the BASTARDS, a point emphasised in the fact that net-minder Ian barely required a shower!!
B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S 4 (Fat Doug 12, 55; Warrender 30 (pen); Stud 80)
ARBROATH 1 (Fishy 45)
TEAM PLAYER RATINGS:
PETE (IGOR) 3 (2) for traitor qualities
NEIL (G) 7
FAT DOUG (C) 8
** Please note : these ratings are in no way officially awarded to, or sanctioned by the BASTARDS inc.