Now I have to admit that personally I have never been Louis Carey’s greatest fan? Nothing personal, but, he is not a player that I have rated particularly highly and I cannot say that I was “over impressed” when he decided to leave us for a short spell at Cov. It might be his penchant for wearing silly “trendy” flat caps or his apparent “Jack the lad” image or it just might be the “infamous” punch up live on SKY on a Friday night at Northampton with one of my all time heroes Bradders. Whatever I am not a fully paid up member of the Carey fan club.
But all that not with standing there is no doubting that he has given massive service to the club and I for one was most certainly forced to eat my own words at the end of last season when he more than played his part in the massive team effort that just about managed to keep us in the Championship.
So in the days when testimonials in the truest sense are surely coming to an end, if there is one player (Alongside another of my all time favourites in Alan Walsh) that does deserve such a game its LC. I must admit that the choice of opposition ie Our noisy neighbours from across Bristol was a tad surprising as personally I could never see them attracting a massive attendance in the middle of August whilst the “over hyped” Olympics are in full swing but Que Cera? Whether Carey actually makes any money out of this game and is therefore in a position to make a donation to a deserving local charity, similar to what Gerry Gow did last week is very much “open to debate.” There has been stories circulating that local plod are allegedly charging over £48K just to provide their presence for this game, when compared to the normal policing charge of £24K for a normal Championship game. With ticket sales rumoured to be no more than 5,000 then its fair to say that initial feeling is that interest in this game has not been great?
So with yours truly occupying for the first time my new home in the Atyeo for the next season a sunshine and showers type Saturday saw ourselves and the other lot from Horfield Common renew acquaintances for the first time for a very long time.
This is the view that your Ashton correspondent will hopefully “enjoy” for the next 9 months.
City started with new Summer signing in goal Tom Heaton who was “modelling” the new keepers kit for this season.
A luminous orange affair. Presumably defenders wont say that they didnt see him coming for a cross? Also City paraded two new full backs. On the left Cunningham who certainly looked a class act and Mark Wilson on the right who was sound enough and one can only presume that Del Boy has now offered him a contract. The Sags had a certain D.Clarkson of the black belt Kung Fu level in attack. I would like to say that he got a “warm” welcome back to Ashton – But know he didnt!!! And no he didnt look any better than when he wore a red shirt, Bless him.
Louis entered the field as is tradition with his kids and a guard of honour.
As for the supporters the mob who prefer their football of a more “amateur” type were given the whole of the right hand side of the East End and it really was so nice to see so many turn up to witness that very well known fact that their actually is “ONLY ONE TEAM IN BRISTOL.” Citys more boisterous followers decided that they were going to get as close as possible to “Irene’s” many followers so plod had to earn their overtime keeping the two lots at arms length.
Now really the first half with City attacking the East End was nearly all one way traffic. Skusy should have given us the lead early on but hit his shot into the ground and it bounced over and then Pitman probably should have done better but also put a good chance against the bar and unlike Sir Geoff Hurst’s goal in 1966 this one didnt bounce over the line. The only “real” attack from those in blue and white came after approx half an hour when “Ginger Minger:” Harrold really should have done better when well positioned but managed to put his shot wide of the far post when from where yours truly was sitting it appeared Citys debutant keeper had lewft a gaping gap at the near post but Que Cera. It really was all BCFC and it was no surprise when “Yours truly’s” old personal favourite Martyn Hairband put City ahead after 22 minutes with a shot that the Sags keeper appeared to get a hand to and help on its way into the net which behind was the Blue few – Happy Days.
City continued to dominate with Pitman in particular playing it like it was a “Real” game ie Not pulling out of any challenges to the extent that Premiership local referee Lee Probert had to have a quiet word in young Brett’s ear? Half time came with City one up but in all reality it should have been more.
City came out for the second half with the same 11 but after only a couple of minutes Louis’s number six number was shown in red on the fourth officials board and his afternoons work was completed being replaced by James “Fing Hell” Wilson. There then started a continuous range of ongoing substitutions throughout the second half by both managers but luckily for Mr.Probert I never saw more than 22 players on the pitch unlike last Saturday for Gerry Gow’s game. The Sags only other decent chance was wasted again by “Ginge” Harrold when he glanced a header wide but then both Skusy and the very impressive Paul Anderson could have put the game well beyond the Sags but their keeper made up for his first half error with decent stops but again in reality it really was very obvious which team were the Championship side and which team wasn’t.
City finally got the second and third goals their superiority clearly deserved when Albert fired in from the edge of the area again the keeper might have done better and then Pearson finished off quite smartly with six minutes left after good work by another of the subs Foster.
By now the Sags were a well and truly beaten outfit and in all honesty the gap of two divisions well and truly showed. Most of their lot decided that “enough was enough” and were long gone before Mr.Probert signalled full time leaving happy Plod to count their overtime earnings. So it turned in to a pretty “routine” run out for the boys in red. were their any indicators towards the new season? Difficult to say really as after all it was ONLY the Sags and I will bet my mortgage that City play at least 23 better teams in the Championship next season.
So I move onto the Glen Schmidt Man Of The Match.
Tom Heaton – 6 – Didnt really have a lot to do. Certainly joined in with the general banter with the City faithful in the Atyeo (Unlike Calamity!!!). Might “just” be a tad on the short side????
Mark Wilson – 6 – Didnt really do anything wrong. Looked reasonably accomplished but then again it was only the Sags.
Greg Cunnigham – 7.5 – Looked “class.” Early days but just might be a real find. Loves to get forward with pace and reads the game well.
Louis Carey – 6 – Have to give him his number on HIS day.
Liam Fontaine – 7 – Never really looked in trouble against an attack which hardly looked troubling.
Yannick Bolasie – 5 – Sorry I do like the kid but he had one of his moods where he thought that he could do his tricks and none came off!!!
Skusy – 6 – Typical Skusy. Sound but not spectacular. Should have scored tho’.
Pearson – 5 – Took his goal well but I have a theory about him that he only plays in NIGHT games. Roll on Tuesday and Southampton.
Hairband – 5 – Sorry still (Despite the opening goal) cannot see it???
Pitman – 5.5 – On a “league” day would certainly have seen yellow. Be surprised to still see him at Ashton by the end of the season?
Stead – 6 – Led the line well. No real chances.
James Wilson (Carey) – 6 – No issues. Looked calm on the ball but like Fontaine was up against nothing.
Jody Morris (Stead) – 6.5 – Immediately endeared himself to the City faithful by kicking a Sag 6 feet up in the air in a midfield challenge.
Holloway (Pearson) – 5 – If he touched the ball I missed it.
Bryan (Cunningham) – 6 – Looked composed and ready to take on the Sags defence.
Foster (Wilson) – 6.5 – Looked good supporting Albert.
Albert (Bolasie) – 6 – Really would have like to have seen both Albert and Yannick on for the last 10 minutes terrorising the Sags defence.
Nyatanga (Fontaine) - 5 – DIDNT touch the ball. Came on 30 seconds before the final whistle.
Anderson (Hairband) – 7.5 – Now HERE looks a player. One minute on the left then pops up on the right. One (hopefully) to watch.
Taylor (Pitman) – 6 – Looked OK playing in the target man role.
And now another “new” feature for this season. The James Linnington referee watch mark. For those of you who dont know I personally think that James Linnington is quite possibly the WORST referee that I have ever had the DISpleasure to witness blowing his whistle at BS3 so I have decided to name this seasons award after him and I wont even give him the “honour” of putting a picture of him against the award that carries his name. So the first referee to be awarded the JLRM is the Premierships very own Lee Probert.
Lee Probert – 9 – CLASS act. Reffed it totally spot on. Only whistled when he HAD to. Wont see many better at Ashton this season. Sign of a good ref is when you dont notice him. ’Nuff said.
But at the end of the day this was Louis Carey’s day. Thanks Louis.