Lev'red: Outstanding Profanity Tally.
At the bottom of the West End at lunchtime, so dashed to Lev'red v. Peacehaven & Telscombe.
After two f-words in the opening minute or so from Tanners' boss Richard Brady, I decided to do a "Mary Whitehouse" and tally them up.
By half-time the f-word count was twenty-three. Six from the pitch, the rest from the home dugout.
The second half saw a substantial escalation. A perceived dive - unsuccessful, in terms of convincing the ref - by a P&T player, followed by a dicey free-kick against the Tanners 10 seconds later, brought a round dozen f-words, a c-word and a p**** from Mr.Brady in around sixty seconds.
Towards the end, a handbags session, which saw a conference twixt ref and lino and a Tanner marching for a stamp, provoked a slanging match between the benches, won convincingly by the home dugout by a score of 20 f-words to 4. (Other than during this altercation, the P&T bench didn't score.) The handbags session also provoked the only two audible f-words from the crowd.
Bog standard game.
I'd be confident those who followed the shrewd money - and the Racing Post preview - and went in on Peacehaven each-way are going to do their dough. Not a lot there, talentwise, but they're maybe only a whippet and a top-notch midfielder from being play-off possibles. Must be said that they're unlikely to have pebbles kicked in their faces by bullies on Saaf Essix beaches when the wind comes whistling up the Thames Estuary on a rainy February evening. No need for many of them to cut a Charles Atlas coupon out of a newspaper. They will be solid. Nothing special. 4-4-1-1. Many of them are well-known to Hendon anoraks. Keeper DiBernardo, a Sussex regular for a while, is solid, if occasionally ambitious outside his back stick. The back four does a job but they're quite slow - the outstanding but now ancient left-back Mark Knee was on the bench, while they fielded a right-footed left-back. Main supply line is from another Sussex regular, Josh Jones, down the left flank. Not a lot of creativity in the middle and not much pace anywhere. Hole lad, Tom Burton, works hard when his side isn't in possession - but he's not Peter Dean. Number nine Jamie Brotherton's been turning out v. Hendon for Sussex teams for ten seasons or so, has impressed me in recent years and may bag 20 goals at this level.
Lev'red are very much a work in progress. Looked laboured in the extreme in a dire first half, but improved strikingly after half-time - God knows how many expletives Mr.Brady fired at them in the dressing room. Standard-ish 4-4-2, though it was slightly diamond-ish, with Matt Smart usually behind Richard Avery in the engine room. Big centre-halves. Ryan Dolby at left-back can get up and sling in a cross. Leftie Nathan Koranteng on the right wing; totally unlisted bloke named Vasilios Karagiannis (I think) on the left - maybe I'm going blind (or deaf) but he didn't look very Greek to me - tricky but not penetrative. Carl Rook leading the line; with Kiernan Hughes-Mason beside him but often dropping deep - P&T let him pick a loose ball up, run 15 yards and rifle a right-footed 25-yarder for the 1st Tanners' goal. Useful thug Scott Kinch and talented ex-Ricay lightweight (by Ricay standards) Paul Semakula listed in the squad. They looked good enough to finish halfway up the table after the HT bollocking but will be nearer the bottom than the top come April - probably a lot nearer.
Final profanity tally?
92 f-words, one c-word and a p****.