The next weekend came the home game against Elan. This time I was forearmed with knowledge, and only printed 1000 programmes. The attendance was 1,700 and the programmes sold out early! The star attraction was an interview with The Turd. There was a man who should let his football do the talking. He came across like Beckham’s stupider brother. He’d started his career with Radnicki Nis, and in four years played 1 game for them. However, a year on loan at PKB Padinska Skela has seen him score 13 in 25 games. Two years with Sindjelic Nis had been more fruitful; 30 goals in 54 games. His time at Car Konstantin had been less than spectacular with only 4 goals in 21 outings. Did he feel pressured to perform given his high price tag? He looked bewildered, scratched himself, and made a gesture that indicated he wasn’t sure. Did he enjoy the tactical approach that Boris Krakov used? A shrug. Favourite colour? Orange. Favourite food? Turnip. At last, we had found the level. He admitted that he sometimes wore his girlfriend’s underwear. I changed the subject. He insisted on showing me; he had a pair of stained bloomers made from what looked like canvas. I went outside for a cigarette, and decided to make the interview up. After all, the smart money was on him not being able to read so he’d never know.
Boggy the Elder and the Invisible Man were still out with injuries, so Boris favoured The Pig and Darko up front. I thought Knobber and Nikola had done enough to make the starting 11, but they remained on the bench, as did Horvat. The first half was nothing to write home about; Ilijah had one long range shot that was easily saved, but Elan had shaded the game without creating any real clear-cut chances. The second half saw Nikola and Knobber on for Janker and The Pig. It was vital that Novi Sad had more shots on target than the solitary Ilijah effort of the first period. The second half started better, with a throw-in from Geriatric finding The Impaler, who lost the ball. However, he stayed with his man, won it back and flicked it forward to Darko who closed in on goal and smashed the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box. On the 70th minute, Elan broke into the Novi Sad box, with substitute Tibor Barna delivering a cross from the right hand side. The first player to it was Boggy the Younger, who under no pressure managed to punch it into his own net! Ilijah went on to miss two chances before he was replaced with 10 minutes to go by The Turd. However, the game rumbled to a halt in much the way it had started, with 1-1 being a fair result. Novi Sad were still unbeaten, but a little less convincing.
Three away games were looming. The first was against bitter rivals Veternik; the second against local giants Vojvodina in the cup; the third was against the title favourites Mladost Apatin. It wasn’t a bad time to play Mladost Apatin, as they had yet to record a league win! You just had to hope that the backlash didn’t start with us.
NB. As I said before, this is not my own work. It is Vic Flange’s. The original work can be found on TheDugout, right here. TheDugout is dying, so I’m rescuing the story and giving it the attention it deserves.