Season 8 Game 12 (4-7 Dec)

THE ‘Malcolm and Lauren hit the maximum’ HEAD-IN-HANDS LEAGUE
So named because of the weekend birthdays of Frankie Muniz (35-who??) Catherine Tate (51) and Ronnie O’Sullivan (45).

Barney: ‘Leyton Orient go 2-0 down to Scunny – they couldn’t keep the Beestin’ [Alfie]
Chris: [nothing, apart from commenting on the identity of ‘B Trialist’, scorer for Brechin City- “Is it A Sheep?”]
Howard: ‘Scarr has scored for Walsall, shouldn’t it be for the Lions?’

Was rather hoping the COVID protocols would be lifted as it does rather enjoy the carol singers who knock on their door and regale it with seasonal tunes. Cerberus enjoys them from a culinary standpoint and the Dread Hand then doesn’t have to feed it, so saves on food, which gets expensive when your pet is a three-headed canine behemoth. ‘A win-win for us all, though perhaps not the carol singers’ it reflected.

The theme of parsimony extended to the chosen players as Diego Jota at Liverpool, Danny Rowe at Oldham Athletic and Tom Denton at Chesterfield didn’t worry the scoresheet. Our bizarro construct (!) went over and above the call of duty in the case of Denton, arranging for the game to be called off due to ‘other’.

And this category also struggles to pass muster, having to fall back on the ‘Sam’ unisex moniker with Hughes at Burton and Bristol Rovers’ Nicholson just about ensuring we have something to bung in here. We always hate to disappoint our viewers.

It’s been a disappointing season for Pagga, and again we disappoint our viewers with the news that there were zero incidents.

Boreham Wood’s defensive midfielder Gus Mafuta hadn’t netted all season until last week. He made it 3 in 2 on Saturday. Previous clubs were Salford City and Hartlepool United and it’s a fair old drive from Neville’s Island to Stelling Central to Meadow Park. [Note: Hartlepool’s official site says he scored 3 goals in 30 appearances, so he must’ve remembered where the goal is at some point].

Happier news perhaps for the Soccer Saturday overlord is that the Monkeyhangers goalscorer, Mason Bloomfield also makes the grade here, because his previous two clubs were Fylde and Crawley Town.

It’s a trifecta for National league players at Sutton Utd’s goalscoring defender Aaron Simpson’s last three clubs are Kilmarnock – Dover Athletic and now Sutton United.

Two other notables in Tom Dallison (Crawley Town): Cambridge United – Accrington Stanley – Falkirk – Crawley Town and Tom Bradbury (Halifax Town): Dundee – Yeovil Town – Halifax Town.

This is normally one for the lower league manager (cough Mike Flynn cough) but West Bromwich Albion’s Slaven Bilic was pretty (never thought Barney would write that) verbose after their 1-5 home reverse against Crystal Palace:

‘I’m not happy at all about how we collapsed at 2-1 down, but for us to be competitive we need all 11 players on the pitch…..After the second goal – maybe also the third goal – it became too easy for them, we didn’t mark and everyone was relying on their team-mate to do their job for them’

More on the West Brom ‘efforts’ below.

Not the best week for the journeyman with an initial scout through the weekend’s goalscorers revealing very little other than Torquay United’s Asa Hall and his 10 clubs at 34. Further research turns up Gary Madine’s 10 clubs at 30, Bolton Wanderers’ Eoin Doyle 10 at 32, Darryl Duffy of Stranraer with 16 at 36.
However – ‘no standout candidate?’ you say… well how about young whippersnapper Mason Enigbokan-Bloomfield (Hartlepool United) 15 different clubs at just 24 years of age.

Barney – called Tranmere Rovers v Walsall at 1-3 on 74 min – Finished: 1-3 – FAILED!
– called Coventry City v Rotherham United at 3-0 on 70 min – Finished: 3-1 – FAILED!
– called Ghostbusters! – FAILED!

Not only did Gus Mafuta notch up an ‘And Stay Out’, he also scored his goals against the team who employed him last year in Hartlepool United. That’s an absolute dead-on It Don’t Mean Nuthin’

Round of applause for West Bromwich Albion, who accomplished the rare feat of having a player red-carded and then scoring an own goal, both in the first half. That’s the first time this has been achieved since May 2014 and is a shoo-in for a collective Make Ya Ma Proud.

Tommy Smith, there’s a great English name. The Colchester defender, who scored on Saturday, was named after the Liverpool legend, though the U’s centre-back was born in, and represents New Zealand internationally. Local Boy Makes Good and them some as it’s hard to be further away from New Zealand than the UK. Further confusion ensues when the former Ipswich Town trainee cuts short a successful couple of years in MLS because he’s homesick for England.

Fleetwood Town v Blackpool was clearly an Unpleasant Local Derby which I’m sure benefited from the only goal of the game being scored by Gary Madine, a chap very well Known To The Authorities.

Finally, no less than three Alfies scored at the weekend, Beestin at Scunthorpe, McAlmont at Oldham and May at Cheltenham being the culprits. This may stray into Born Under Burberry territory but is certainly within You’re Not A Kid Anymore, Sonny parameters.

And finally a word from the legendary Wiggy (aka Jeff Stelling):”Stephen Hendrie’s been sent off – that will have snookered them”

Gary Madine (Blackpool)
James Tavernier (Rangers)
Lloyd Isgrove (Bolton Wanderers)
Lucas Joao (Reading)
Michael Morrison (Reading)
Vadaine Oliver (Gillingham)

Harry Toffolo (Huddersfield Town)
Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian)
Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) Hibernian
Josh McQuoid (Weymouth)
Lloyd Isgrove (Bolton Wanderers)
Peter Grant (Queen’s Park)
Rhys Bennett (Carlisle United)
Tom Conlon (Port Vale)

Brandon Hanlan (Bristol Rovers) x2
Callum Harriott (Colchester United)
Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion on loan from Chelsea)
Conor McAleny (Oldham Athletic)
Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon)
Michael Morrison (Reading)
Michael Smith (Rotherham United) o.g.
Tobi Sho-Silva (Sutton United)

Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)

Ben Heneghan (AFC Wimbledon)
Conor Sammon (Falkirk)
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Gary Madine (Blackpool)
Nicky Law (Exeter City)
Stephen McGinn (Hibernian)



Season 8 Game 11 (27-30 Nov)

THE ‘A War Machine on The Streets of Jumanji’ HEAD-IN-HANDS LEAGUE
So named because of the weekend birthdays of Don Cheadle (56), Mike Skinner (42) and Karen Gillan (33).

Howard: [Callum] Hendry scores for St Johnstone Was it on the Break?…
Chris: …Motherwell aren’t snookered yet though…
Barney: …But that equaliser arrived right on cue!

The Dread Hand was obviously living it up in the Ibis Budget with Barn, which maybe how it allowed Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) to get one in. Normality was restored with Alfie May at Cheltenham Town and Liam Boyce at Heart of Midlothian both blanking.

Burnley keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell made his debut…relatives-look away now…. in their home gubbing (0-5) v Manchester City.

Another difficult to find Category, but salvation came in the form of Oxford United’s capitulation to Swindon Town. 1-0 at the break and in decent form, Swindon mounted a late comeback, scoring twice in the last 5 minutes. Apparently this counts as a derby, but it’s not a wholly unpleasant one.

Nothing found here, as ever.

Plenty of opportunities for this category here with it being a cup week, but the pick was probably Portsmouth v King’s Lynn Town, as it also qualified as a Gub (6-1).

In contrast to the Darwinism category, few opportunities here, but one notable winner – Brentford v Queens Park Rangers. The Bees won 2-1 in the West London derby.

Barney – called Livingston v Ayr United at 3-0 on 14 min – Finished: 4-0 – FAILED!
– called Manchester City v Burnley at 2-0 on 28 min – Finished: 5-0 – GUB ACHIEVED!
– called Cardiff City v Luton Town at 2-0 on 18 min – Finished: 4-0 – FAILED!

There was an opportunity for an “It Don’t Mean Nuthin'” as former Stoke City boss Tony Pulis returned to face his old team. Sadly, it became more of “An Evening With Paul Robinson”, as Pulis’ new team, Sheffield Wednesday did not manage a single shot on target. Stoke weren’t that much better managing two, with the combined teams managing 13 “efforts”. Thank god for Tier 3.

As mentioned earlier, Burnley were gubbed at home. Even though it was Manchester City, there were unconfirmed reports of manager (and Satan) Sean Dyche building a wicker effigy after the game. Clearly for some, this was to be a “Fresh Hell”.

James Tavernier (Rangers)
Lucas Joao (Reading)
Vadaine Oliver (Gillingham)

Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough)
Erhun Oztumer (Bristol Rovers on loan from Charlton Athletic)
Harry Beautyman (Sutton United)
Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Omar Bogle (Charlton Athletic)

Ademola Lookman (Fulham on loan from RB Leipzig)
Ben Reeves (Plymouth Argyle)
Conor Gallagher (West Bromwich Albion on loan from Chelsea)
Conor McAleny (Oldham Athletic)
Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon)
Tony Watt (Motherwell)

Another blank. Rather like the actual team at the moment (sadly).

Ben Whiteman (Doncaster Rovers) x2
Chris Porter (Crewe Alexandra)
Clayton Donaldson (Bradford City)
Connor Hall (Chorley on loan from Bolton Wanderers)
Jamie Murphy (Hibernian on loan from Rangers)
Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough)
Nicky Law (Exeter City)