Season 7 Game 04 (Midweek Sports Special 20-21 August)

THE ‘Catching Tales in 9.56 secs, Tasty!’ HEAD-IN-HANDS LEAGUE

So named because of the weekend birthdays of Jamie Cullum (40), Usain Bolt (33) and Kelis (40).

Barney: ‘Brexit is good for Brittain at MK’ [Callum Brittain]
Chris: [Radio silence]
Howard: ‘Perch dismissed for Scunny – was it a fishy decision?’ [James Perch]

Andreas Wiemann rolled up 88 games for Derby County before moving on to Bristol City. The Austrian scored for the Ashton Gate outfit against Derby and his mild celebrations are enough for an “It Don’t Mean Nuthin'”. This was bettered by Lee Angol, as the Leyton Orient striker fully enjoyed his goal against his old team at Mansfield Town.

We were also very taken with AFC Wimbledon’s Nesta Guinness-Walker scoring his first goal for his new club, surely a future winner of “Are You My Fag?”. Having gone through the youth systems of Chelsea and Tottingham Hotspurs, he was – I believe this is the correct phrase – picked up by The Metropolitan Police (errr…the football club, of course.).

An action-packed game at Fratton Park, where Portsmouth ran up a 3-1 lead against nine man Coventry City, (who had Gerverse Kasteneer sent off for a second bookable on 78 minutes, 11 minutes after coming on, that’s an absolute “Make Ya Ma Proud”) and collapsed to draw 3-3. “Fresh Hell” a certainty, even for an even-keeled type like Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Jackett definitely isn’t the only strong contender for the award. Rather less even-keeled, more ‘old-school’ Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman almost certainly took the paint off the home dressing room walls after Stanley lost 2-3 to Shrewsbury Town, who were 2-0 down on 77 minutes.

Honourable mention to Mansfield Town’s rookie boss John Dempster, after his charges going in at halftime 2-0 up and eager for words of wisdom from Dempster, one Halftime Churchill later, the Field Mill subsided to a 2-3 loss. Let’s hope they don’t attempt to ease their disappointment by getting punchy. Oh, wait… [LINK]

Aiden McGeady (Sunderland)
Danny Mayor (Plymouth Argyle)
Luke Varney (Cheltenham Town)
Rory McArdle (Scunthorpe United) x2
Tom Soares (Stevenage) o.g.

Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough)
Jack Marriott (Derby County)
Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers)
Lee Angol (Leyton Orient)
Matty Godden (Coventry City)

Frank Nouble (Colchester United)
Luke Varney (Cheltenham Town)
Sullay Kaikai (Blackpool)
Tom Soares (Stevenage) o.g.

A blank! 🙂

James Hanson (Grimsby Town)
Lyle Taylor (Charlton Athletic)


Season 7 Game 03 (16-19 August)

THE ‘Aunt Polly scores again for Gosford Park’ HEAD-IN-HANDS LEAGUE

So named because of the weekend birthdays of Peaky blinders Helen McCrory (51), Thierry Henry (42) and Julian Fellowes (71).

Barney: “Paddy Madden’s Donny with that equaliser.”
Chris: [Deleted by Barney]
Howard: “Bowen’s Scored for Hull – Iiiiiiinnnnnn one!”

Has had second thought about the quality of workmanship delivered by Mr Saville. Whether or not their opinion was swayed by that nice Mr Pinochet stating he ‘Wouldn’t trust him with the dead’ is unknown but it has managed to locate a far more experienced builder who has been down here for over 20 years. Here’s hoping Mr Fred West does a better job with the grotto’s basement than previous efforts.

Despite these hassles, the Dread Hand found time to curse Lawrence Shankland at Dundee United (didn’t play), Paul McCallum at Solihull Moors and Will Grigg at Sunderland. Another couple of blanks underscores the power being very strong at the beginning of this season.

Simeon Akinola of Barnet scored the equalising penalty against Chesterfield. Borehamwood, Billericay, Harrow Borough, Braintree Town and Barnet are his previous clubs. Mr Akinola does indeed know the value of an Oyster card.

Another exponent of said travel card would be Reeco Hackett-Fairchild of Bromley, late of Dagenham and Redbridge, Dulwich Hamlet, Charlton Athletic and Borehamwood. More on him below.

Two very familiar names here – David Goodwillie of Clyde [two counts of assault] and Kenny Miller of Partick Thistle [pub punch up]. Professional footballers really need to sort this out, they have a reputation to live down to.

There’s a couple of candidates here with the ‘harmonically intriguing’ (All About Jazz) Conor Chaplin netting for Barnsley and Busted bassist Matt Jay scoring for Exeter City. Barney further identified the (he says!) legendary Jesus And Mary Chain frontman Jim Reid scoring for Torquay United, but he’s known professionally as Jamie and not Jim, so I’m not sure it counts.

Maidenhead United v Chorley (4-1). 203 miles of optimism on the way and 203 miles of realism on the way back for the away team. A total of 7 hours and 36 mins of travelling, doubly tragic for the hardy Chorley fans knowing they’re heading back to Peter Kay’s home town.

Barney – called Bradford City v Oldham Athletic called at 2-0 on 34 min – Finished: 3-0 – FAILED!
– called Lincoln City v Southend United, called at 3-0 on 48 min – Finished: 4-0- FAILED!
– Tranmere Rovers v Bolton (“Keepers!”) Wanderers called at 3-0 on 46 min – Finished: 5-0 – WE HAVE A WINNER!

Luton Town v West Bromwich Albion, a Championship fixture in 2019. Luton Town were heading to the Conference in 2008 whilst West Brom were a Premiership club in 2008. That’ll do just fine.

Ebbsfleet United’s veteran centre-back Jack King has had quite the notable start to the season, having been sent off on opening day and returning to score the winning own goal that gave Solihull Moors the three points. Make Ya Ma Proud you say? Yes indeedy.

David Wheeler was given his chance in full-time football by then Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale and prospered to the extent Queen’s Park Rangers signed him from the Grecians in 2017 for around £1m. It didn’t really really work out for him with the West London outfit and he went on loan to Milton Keynes Dons, now managed by Paul Tisdale before joining Wycombe Wanderers on a free transfer for this season. That he scored a last minute winner for Wycombe at Adams Park against Paul Tisdale’s MK Dons on Saturday is plenty enough for an “It Don’t Mean Nuthin'” and possible ‘Scooby Doo’ noises from the away dugout.

There was some debate amongst your scribes regarding the inclusion of the “Day Trip To Brighton” category for this season. We’ve decided to give it a stay of execution for now and efforts like Dagenham and Redbridge’s Angelo Balanta going beyond the call of duty with two goals in the right end and one own goal in the same game will surely help its case.

Outside our juristiction perhaps, but Hungerford Town’s Jimmy Rusby notched up a more traditional “Day Trip To Brighton”, scoring both goals in his team’s 1-1 draw with Chippenham Town, for whom winger Nick McCootie didn’t trouble the scorer. Probably for the best, given what damage Barney could wreak with that surname and this category.

Bromley striker Reeco Hackett-Fairchild got a brace for the Hayes Lane outfit against the great and powerful Jeff ‘Wiggy’ Stelling’s Hartlepool United. The ex-Addick is fortunate indeed to have a surname which certainly makes “Are You My Fag?” and a christian name that qualifies for “Born In Burberry”. The latter category can also comfortably claim Airdrieonians’ Kurtis Roberts as one of its own.

That ever reliable source of information known as Wikipedia claims the Forest Green striker Junior Mondal was in fact christened Lewis Clive Scobie. I for one feel his new moniker was and is an excellent fit for his previous and current ports of call, Middlesborough, Spennymoor, Whitby and now Nailsworth.

Finally, Mike Fondop-Talom scored. Twice. He’s our surrogate Duckens Nazon.

Benik Afobe (Bristol City on loan from Stoke City)
Chris Maguire (Sunderland)
Eddie Nolan (Crewe Alexandra)
Rory McArdle (Scunthorpe United)

Conor Washington (Heart of Midlothian)
Harry Toffolo (Lincoln City)
Jerome Binnom-Williams (Halifax Town)
Kane Ferdinand (Woking)
Michael Smith (Heart of Midlothian)

charlton02Conor McAleny (Fleetwood Town)
Joe Aribo (Rangers)
Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United)
Karlan Ahearne-Grant (Huddersfield Town)
Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) x2
Myles Weston (Ebbsfleet United)
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (Bromley) x2

ArsenalBenik Afobe (Bristol City on loan from Stoke City)

Christian Nade (Annan Athletic)
Clayton Donaldson (Bradford City)
Conor Sammon (Falkirk) x2
Conor Washington (Heart of Midlothian)
Lyle Taylor (Charlton Athletic)
Scott Hogan (Stoke City on loan from Aston Villa) x2


Season 7 Game 02 (9-12 August)

THE ‘Into The Capitol, Into The Unkown, Into The Ring’ HEAD-IN-HANDS LEAGUE

So named because of the weekend birthdays of Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins (57), Gillian Anderson (51) and Terry Bollea aka Hulk Hogan (66).

Barney: Southend’s Lennon scores own goal – Ono!
Chris: No Zinger, no really, I haven’t expunged it from the records.
Howard: ‘Hors Du Combat’ and out of action too. Ba-boom-tsh.

Continues its exploration of the locale by getting to know the neighbours. The Decayed One was recently conversing with next door’s landlord, a Mr Pinochet. He reports that despite many disappearances, a Mr Mengele and a Mr Rauff are his most reliable tenants, as they were on the Mortal Plane.

Having enjoyed the amicable repartee, the Dread Hand then turned its’ ire onto Alfie Pavey at Dover Athletic, Ian Henderson at Rochdale and Michael Moffat at Ayr United. Distance proved no issue for its malevolence as none of those nominated scored.

Ashley Barnes at Burnley certainly qualifies here, with Scunthorpe United’s Lee Novak and Cheltenham Town’s Charlie Raglan being perhaps less of a fit. Another near miss was Beryly Lubala of Crawley Town.

Despite this being Pride weekend throughout the North this has a grand total of zero contenders. Perhaps they were busy blowing whistles and waving rainbow flags. Rumours of a Bacardi (not to mention quiche) shortage in this area are probably correct.

Chorley’s Courtney Meppen-Walter and Torquay United’s Connor Lemonheigh-Evans are almost certainly day boys at some godforsaken public school which will spawn the next branch of influential backbench politicians. Isn’t that wonderful!!!!

There’s been some talk about this category heading for either a name change or being ‘retired’. But it staggers on for now (like Nicklas after a night out), despite being being a rare occurrence.

It’s a blank, inevitably. But you knew this already.

Barney – called Hull City v Reading at 2-0 on 16 min – Finished: 2-1 – FAILED!
– [Failed to call in] – FAILED!
– called Preston North End v Wigan Athletic at 3-0 on 54 min – Finished: 3-0 – FAILED!

Old perennial Matty Pearson at Luton Town (now 26) and his namesake Matty Kennedy at St Johnstone (24) both scored at the weekend, which is handy as this would’ve blanked otherwise.

We noted that Cheltenham Town v Scunthorpe United [4-1] would be a grim 336 mile, 5hr 32 mins round trip for The Iron away fans and a probable ‘Where’s Russell?’

The result also doubles up as a ‘Reverse Churchill’ after a goalless first half at the Jonny Rocks Stadium.

And of course the Sheffield Wednesday v Barnsley game qualifies as an ‘Unpleasant Local Derby’.

Familiar reader(s) will know that all the phrases in quotes refer to our ‘Categories’ – click the [LINK] for further baffling information.

Lucas Joao (Reading)

Harry Anderson (Lincoln City)
Kieran Sadlier (Doncaster Rovers)
Kwesi Appiah (AFC Wimbledon)
Tommy Rowe (Bristol City)

charlton02Harry Lennon (Southend United) o.g.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley)
Karlan Ahearne-Grant (Huddersfield Town)
Lee Novak (Scunthorpe United)

Chuks Aneke (Charlton Athletic)

Chris Porter (Crewe Alexandra) x2
Conor Sammon (Falkirk) x2
James Hanson (Grimsby Town)
Lyle Taylor (Charlton Athletic)
Nicky Law (Exeter City)
Paul Gallagher (Preston North End)
Scott Boden (Chesterfield)


Season 7 Game 01 (2-5 Aug)

THE ‘One is Royalty? Nevermind!’ HEAD-IN-HANDS LEAGUE

So named because of the weekend birthdays of James Hetfield (56), Meghan Markle (38) and Butch Vig (63).

Barney: ‘Jack King’s been red-carded for Ebbsfleet – what a t*$$er’ [You can always rely on Barney for some unpleasantness – rather like a reverse Yellow Pages]
Chris: ‘Lee Evans scores for Wigan, Neil Warnock didn’t find that funny’ {WINNER!}
Howard: “Did Hoorn [Van der Hoorn] go ‘Round’ the defence?”

Nicky Maynard at Mansfield Town, Bradley Dack at Blackburn Rovers, and James Norwood at Ipswich Town were taking on an enemy they can feel but not hear…

The Thing has come to the conclusion that life in the mortal plain isn’t really for it and has retired back to its roots, to the second circle of Hell. Its dwelling has been neglected and certainly needs many repairs. Thankfully, there’s a local handyman nearby who is available, at least that’s what it believes ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ is all about.

An impressive start for the spectral one, 3 out of 3 and Maynard missed a penalty too.

With so many players debuting today, this was always likely to be an easy category to sort out. And so it proved, with many calamities befalling may players on their first real game with their new clubs. We’ve picked out a couple of the better ones in Luton Town’s record signing, Croatian goalie Simon Sluga, did this: (from 1min 08) [LINK]

Rohan Ince celebrated his first game for 14 months and his bow for Cheltenham Town with a straight red for foul and abusive language. Impressively, said incident occurred before the game had restarted following the red card given to Ince’s colleague Luke Varney.

Rangers’ centre-back Connor Goldson scored a very late winner for the Glasgow outfit. His previous clubs being Shrewsbury Town and Brighton & Hove Albion make him a solid candidate, with Joss Labadie at Newport (Notts County-Torquay United-Dagenham & Redbridge-Newport County) also in the hunt.

Any worries about being unable to find a suitably enraged manager this early in the season (‘Because we all know it’s marathon, not a sprint, Gary’) evaporated after Queen Of The South’s 0-0 away draw against part-timers Arbroath. Quoth Doonhamers boss Allan Johnstone ‘I’m definitely not happy – we’ve got to win games like this. It’s a hard place to come but with the quality we’ve got we should be looking to win’

Martin Cranie scored for Luton Town on Friday, which meant this category was solved early as The Hatters are his 12th club at the age of 32.

There don’t seem to be any other players who beat that, but there were a fair amount of well-travelled veterans getting sent off over the weekend, including Luke Varney (37), Sam Togwell (34) and Michael Doyle, who’ll enjoy his 38th birthday on the 8th August knowing he has an uncontested 3 match ban on the horizon for violent conduct.

Barney – called Newport County v Mansfield Town at 2-0 on 34 min – Finished: 2-2 – FAILED!
– called Peterborough United v Fleetwood Town at 0-2 on 15 min – Finished: 1-3 – FAILED!
– called Cove Rangers v Edinburgh City at 2-0 on 36 min – Finished: 5-0 – GUB?!


Bradford City v Cambridge United’s goalless draw may just squeak in with 5 shots on target from either side. Perhaps more impressive were the collective efforts of Oldham Athletic, Morecambe and Cheltenham Town, all of whom lost without a single shot on target between them.

Lawrence Shankland was a very regular goalscorer for Ayr United, scoring an unfeasible 50 in 61 appearances for The Honest Men. Moving to a bigger club in Dundee United could’ve caused some getting used to, but the One Man Good Seeing To (Four goals) he personally administered to Inverness Caledonian Thistle on his debut alleviated those issues.

No longer ‘The Oldest team in the 92’ Notts County, to give them their full name, kicked off the season in true “Is It Cup Week?” fashion with an away trip to Eastleigh. In what may be a harbinger of a grim future for the Midland Magpies, they lost 1-0 and had two players sent to the showers early.

Finally, David Goodwillie at Clyde and Leigh Griffiths at less glamorous Celtic scored on Saturday. Both are very well Known To The Authorities.

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe (Salford City) x2
Reda Johnson (Eastleigh)

Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough)
Danny Andrew (Fleetwood Town)
Harry Beautyman (Sutton United) x2
Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian)
Kane Ferdinand (Woking)
Kieran Sadlier (Doncaster Rovers)
Krystian Pearce (Mansfield Town)
Omar Bogle (Cardiff City)

Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon)
Josh Wright (Leyton Orient)
Karlan Ahearne-Grant (Huddersfield Town)
Martin Cranie (Luton Town)
Tarique Fosu (Oxford United)

ArsenalA blank! Yay!

Callum McFadzean (Plymouth Argyle) x2
Elliott Whitehouse (Grimsby Town)
Lee Evans (Wigan Athletic)
Lyle Taylor (Charlton Athletic)
Martin Cranie (Luton Town)
Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion)
Scott Boden (Chesterfield)
Stefan Scougall (Carlisle United)