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Callington 1 Foxhole 1

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Callington 1 Foxhole 1

Saturday 1st November 2008

You know, as a means of predicting the future, I'm not convinced the typical horoscope in a newspaper is totally reliable. Today, mine said "Pisces....don't believe everything you read. Uranus is cute but, as Mercury is prominent this week, only drink bottled water. England will win the World Cup in 1966." It ended with "today will be eventful....or possibly uneventful." At least they got that bit right.

My drive to Foxhole's opponents was hindered as Coads Green was closed, but after a lengthy detour via Launceston I still found myself with time to spare before kick off. Glancing around at the seriously outdated clothes being worn by the locals going about their business in the main street reminded me that Callington is one of the few places where I actually look vaguely fashionable. I couldn't help wondering if perhaps the town possessed the world's last surviving branch of John Collier, or indeed whether there had recently been a fire sale at a tank top factory nearby. Near the post office I spotted Trinny and Susannah, but the heartfelt advice they were imparting to the populace was being met by the sort of disapproval felt by Andrew Sachs after listening to his voicemail. (Like Russell Brand, I made a prank phone call last week but mine was to Buckingham Palace. I told their answerphone that for an unelected, idle Royal Family with a personal wealth of around £349 million to receive another £6 million per year from the Civil List while 12 children die of hunger in the world every minute is entirely justifiable). As usual, I studied the architecture of the town as I walked, and thought each structure appeared to be competing against the next in a bizarre ugly building contest. Not many people know that Callington was actually mentioned in the Domesday book and was valued by the conquering Normans at an estimated £250. Today, it must be worth at least twice that. I then realised I had forgotten to bring any pencil and paper for my notes during the match, so I popped into a newsagents and asked the assistant, "Do you keep stationery?"

"No," she replied. "I'm moving all the time". Just then, a harassed woman burst into the shop clutching a leather lead and shrieked, "Have you seen a shiatsu?"

"Well, I went to one that had no animals once", I said.

Since my elderly aunt moved to Callington to be nearer the sea (she used to live in Stoke Climsland), I've been obliged to visit her on matchdays but it was with the usual apprehension that I rang her bell. I hate the way she insists on interrogating me on every detail of my often strained relationship with my girlfriend, so I hoped she either wouldn't be in, or was perhaps stranded in her stairlift after a timely powercut and wouldn't be able to open the door. Alas, there she was, looking like a stunt double for Thora Hird, her wooden legs attached to her real feet. Her guide dog, whose eyesight is marginally worse than my aunt's, greeted me in the usual way by sniffing my groin. (Why is it acceptable for dogs to do that? I tried it once with a girlfriend but she slapped my face. Mind you, we were in Asda at the time.) Aunt immediately asked about my partner, and I said I had recently bought her an engagement ring. Unfortunately she had dropped it on the living room floor, and our pet labrador had swallowed it. We had been going through the motions ever since. Eventually, after being forced to discuss each single embarrassing facet of my latest attempt to find Miss Right (whose first name I now realise is Always), I made my excuses and stood up to leave. My bid for freedom was delayed, however, as from inside a pink Ottoman, Aunt produced a jumper she had obviously spent many a lonely evening knitting for me with purple wool. I had no option but to feign gratitude and pull it over my head. It was much too short for me, barely covering my chest.

"Sorry love", Aunt said sorrowfully. "I ran out of wool. I needed it for something else".

"No problem, Aunt", I replied, doing my best to convince her that her handiwork was the latest in haute couture. Then I noticed she had knitted three sleeves on the jumper. "But why have you knitted an extra arm?"

"That's what I needed the rest of the wool for", she explained, regarding me as if I was the one in the early stages of dementia.

I finally managed to escape and hurried to Marshfield Parc only to witness a lacklustre Foxhole somehow make it to half time with their goal intact. This was largely due to an impressive display by stand-in keeper Billy Holland, who denied both the bustling Jones and the fleet-footed McClements, and generally offered calm assurance to a defence missing the injured Rowe. While Adam Holland brilliantly marshalled the youthful rearguard against the dangerous Norman and Lucassi, the visiting midfield allowed their Callington counterparts to dominate and rarely managed to support the isolated Capeling. Although the home team enjoyed a far greater share of the possession, the best chance of the half fell to Bromley on seven minutes, but he was unable to keep down his close-range volley from Warne's inswinging corner, action which was quickly followed by the game's only booking when Holt was cautioned for a crude challenge on Butler.

The early stages of the second period followed a similar pattern with Callington often appearing to have an extra man though their approach work was constantly halted by the magnificent Foxhole rearguard, but the introduction of Rickard on 70 provided much needed impetus. A combination of Hobbs and Bromley failed to convert another Warne corner, only last-ditch defending prevented Rickard from tapping home Watson's centre, and Drinka tipped Warne's fierce drive over the bar as the Foxes threatened at last, before, on 79, Watson released Butler, whose low cross to the far post was mis-hit by Warne into the path of Bromley to bundle home from a yard.

Callington retaliated by swarming forward and McClements twice forced Holland into flying saves, while Jones blazed wildly at McAdam's intelligent pass when well placed. The turning point came three minutes from time when, after a period of intense home pressure, Watson found himself through on goal before being stopped in his tracks by the referee, controversially adjudging Wyatt's stumble as a foul. Within seconds, Callington had levelled, Harris' driven cross cannoning into the net, perhaps off Jones or a despairing defender.

The last-gasp equaliser left me in no mood to hang around in the cold and, as it had taken me nearly an hour to reach Callington along the A30 I thought I'd try to find a shortcut on my way home. However, before long, I was hopelessly lost on Bodmin Moor, inching the Polo through narrow lanes and across rough terrain as the light failed and the mist and drizzle set in with a vengence, making it virtually impossible to see where I was going. I really had no idea where I was and cursed my stupidity in not staying on familiar roads. In the distance I could just make out a light shining rather dimly, so I decided to head towards it, hoping it would return me to civilisation where someone could point me in the right direction. Eventually, after a tortuous journey, I finally approached the light and, through the ever-worsening weather, I could see it was a flickering bulb above a wooden door of a ramshackle, single storey building. After parking next to a sheep, who looked genuinely surprised to see me, I knocked on the door, which rattled alarmingly in the breeze before being opened by a girl of about eight.

"Hello little one", I said. "Is your mum in? I'd like to speak to her".

"No", she replied. "She went out when my dad came in".

"OK", I said. "Can I speak to your dad then?"

The girl tutted. "No, he went out when my big brother came in".

"Well, can I speak to your big brother then?"

"No, he went out when I came in".

By now I was exasperated. "What is this, some kind of madhouse?"

"No", she said. "This is the outside toilet. I live over there", and she pointed to another, if anything even more dilapidated, building across the yard. I followed the girl to her home and was introduced to her family who were about to settle down to a hearty meal of road kill and chips, with fresh wild berries in lard for afters. The bearded head of the household, who was smoking a pipe clenched between broken yellow teeth, wore a boiler suit and hob-nailed boots, and her husband was similarly dressed. She invited me to join them for tea but my eyes had been drawn to the unfortunate animal lying on the table with a huge carving knife through its breast. Despite the visible tyre marks, it appeared still to be twitching, showing more signs of life than some of the Foxhole players had that afternoon.

By now it was getting late and, with no sign of an improvement in the weather, I wondered if I shouldn't find somewhere to stay the night. Politely declining the family's kind offer to sleep in the barn with a goat for company, I set off armed with directions to the entirely fictitious local inn, "The Foot and Mouth", a few miles away. I arrived starving, but the only food available from the kitchen smelt as if it may once have been the pets from Animal Hospital that didn't make it. The aroma of the burgers was particularly unappetising and when the barmaid handed one to me, I peered at it the way Imelda Marcos might have inspected a pair of trainers on special offer at Lidl's. I hoped the burger had not originated from a creature whose final act was to fall at Becher's Brook, but I had little option but to reluctanctly eat both it and a dish of the dessert du jour, which was rhubarb crumble on toast. While eating, I read the notice-board and saw that the inn offered rooms with either a bath or a shower, so I asked the barmaid what the difference was.

"Well", she said. "You can sit down in a bath". While the prospect of such luxury accommodation was undeniably attractive, I decided to head back home after all, and, after quickly rediscovering the main road under clearing skies, I spent the journey trying to come up with an amusing way to end my report, but without success.

Foxhole (4-5-1): Billy Holland 8; Matt May 7, Lewis Prince 8, Adam Holland 9, Phil Hobbs 9; Jason Warne 6, Andrew Butler 6, Ross Maynard 5, Tom Watson 6, Adam Bromley 7; Steve Capeling 6 (sub. Carl Rickard 6).

Callington (4-4-2): Tomas Drinka; John Wyatt, Craig Holt, Paul McAdam, Ashley Pook; Mike Norman, Ryan McClements, Lee Beer (sub. Dan Jefferis), Andy Harris; Ryan Lucassi, Gareth Jones.

Referee: Mr Alan Hoon (Illogan) 8.

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Nota bad report, long, but not bad.

I have to say though that how Callington only came out of the game with a point is beyond me. The game should have been done and dusted by half time, although Callington had at least 70% possesion in the first half and hit the bar and had a goal dissalowed my hat must come off to Foxhole who to be honest never gave up and deserved a goal out of the game, but did not deserve the point. HOwever the old saying goes... goals win games not possesion.

Callington will still be there or there abouts come the ned of the season, there are some very good sides in the West div but Callington are certainly up there with them!!!!!

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