Gargrave AFC

Barnoldswick Town Res 4 – 1 Gargrave

December 22, 2008

Despite the previous days torrential rain, the Craven Cup tie between Barnoldswick Town and Gargrave went ahead as planned, thanks to some rapid sand spreading by the Silentnight Stadium grounds man.

Unfortunately for Gargrave, a number of their players had anything but a silent night the previous evening as “Builders Friday” claimed some noticeable victims. To get around this yearly problem, Gargrave’s builders contingent planned to turn “Builders Friday” into “Builders Wednesday”, unfortunately, being builders, they turned up 3 days late. (Insert “ba doom tish” sound effect here)

One player might have wished he had used the “Builders Friday” excuse, as manager Boatwright let slip that “Rocket Man” Oliver “Candle In The Wind” Hurst “Are You Ready For Love” Hurst “The Bitch Is Back” Hurst “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” Hurst “Daniel” Hurst “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” Hurst “I’m Still Standing” Hurst had missed the game due to an Elton John concert.

And with almost 2 paragraphs of excuses written down, you can probably tell that the game didn’t go very well for the Dragon’s.

Barnoldswick kicked off and dominated immediately, having a number of shots on goal, luckily for Gargrave the Barnoldswick strikers had bananas stuffed into their boots, causing the long shots to go way off target.

Gargrave then went a goal behind in unfortunate circumstances as Barnoldswick scored directly from a corner that looped in at the back post, just evading the alice band of Gargrave’s Matthew Brown on the back post.

The initial Barnoldswick onslaught had left the out of shape Gargrave defence for want of a better word – knackered, and a through ball past Dan Thompson’s (I’m a man, I can take criticism) tired right leg allowed the 8ft 2″ Barnoldswick striker to round the keeper and slot home into an empty net to make it 2 – 0.

To Gargrave’s credit they didn’t let their heads drop and created a couple of chances of their own, the most notable being a free kick on the edge of the area, that Ben Brown managed to hit over the Barnoldswick club house behind the goal, which must surely signal that it’s time for a certain defender to take free kicks from now on. (Me, not Wilkin)

The teams went in at half time with the score remaining 2 – 0 to Barnoldswick. Manager Boatwright wasn’t disheartened however as he had seen his team come back from bigger deficits in the past. His rowsing team talk seemed to have an effect on midfielder Sam Watson who started to steam like a horse.

Unfortunately it didn’t have the same effect on the rest of the Gargrave team as Barnoldswick scored 2 more goals at the beginning of the 2nd half, leaving manager Boatwright scratching his head and checking his portable Football Manager 2009 tips n’ tricks book for guidance.

The book told him to substitute left back James Wilkin and bring on Gargrave legend Simon Boatwright. This seemed to add more balance to the team and Gargrave scored a consolation goal through the cultured right foot of Paul Wilkin.

In truth the scoreline could have been a lot more flattering to Barnoldswick if they had taken their chances, but some bad shooting and heroic goal keeping from Adam Hudson kept the score at a somewhat respectable 4 – 1 to the hosts.

But the game will always be overshadowed by the fact that Oliver Hurst missed a game to go to an Elton John concert.

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