We had a very nice (but all too brief) visit over Christmas from our son and his wife. They went home on 27th December.
After the cup defeat at Ossett Town and a postponed league game at Market Drayton, Belper Town returned to action against Sheffield FC at their ground in Dronfield on Boxing Day.
The game ended in a well deserved 5-1 victory for Belper in the pouring rain on a pitch which cut up very badly as the game progressed. It's always satisfying to put one across Sheffield FC who have some of the most arrogant fans I have ever come across. As in all such cases, a handful of bad apples spoil the whole barrel but the banter is generally verbal - until Tuesday that is!
Belper were winning 3-0 but Sheffield pulled a goal back. The game became end to end as Sheffield tried to increase the pressure in an attempt to get back into it.
Then Belper made a break and sub Shaun Tuton raced a defender across the penalty box looking for a shooting opportunity. The defender slid in a tackle - probably not the smartest idea on a wet and muddy pitch - and took the ball and Shaun in one movement. The ref awarded a dubious penalty which Belper gratefully accepted of course!
I turned to Snapper Harrison and said "I don't think that's a penalty." and then felt an almighty shove in the back from an enraged Sheffield FC fan who was screaming "That's NOT a F**king penalty."
Fortunately, I didn't drop 3 grands worth of camera I was holding at the time and I turned to ask this idiot what he thought he was doing. His face contorted with rage, he shouted again "That's NOT a f**king penalty." I calmly pointed out that I agreed with him and repeated what I had actually said - "I don't think that's a penalty."
With hands thrust deep in his pockets, he replied "Well, he's a f**king awful referee." as if that justified it.
To my eternal regret, I did nothing about it at the time although I have since e-mailed Sheffield FC to warn them that they have a maniac in their midst. I should have called a steward but wanted to carry on taking pictures. (There's dedication for you!)
After the game, as I was packing away the camera gear a guy approached me and said "I thought that was totally out of order mate - what he did to you." He added that he was a Stocksbridge fan first and a non-league fan second and he was there because Steels were away at Buxton (getting a 7-0 hammering as it happens!) "Don't need that sort of idiot at any game and certainly not at non-league level!" he added.
The good thing is that we don't play the First Club In The World again this season! And their manager - Curtis Woodhouse - resigned on the Friday because his boxing commitments were clashing with the football and he'd decided he could no longer manage both.
The football pictures are here:
Think between us we got that covered!!
That's about that for now. Looking forward to Mickleover Sports at the Meadow on New Year's Day. Hoping a nice win for the Nailers will set me up for the return to work on January 2nd!