The team needed a rest. They were not the fittest bunch by any shakes, but a few days was all they had, because of the cup games. It was a home game against Bezanija who currently lay second in the league. A home win would buy us a bit of a gap; a loss would see us spend a mere three days at the top of the table. With cup football a long forgotten memory, it at least meant we could get back to weekly matches.
I figured that we could anticipate a gate of around 2,500, following the team’s heroic exploits on the road. Filling the programme was simple, with reports on the games plus an in-depth report on Milos Ponjevic and Stojan Pilipovic, rising stars in the Under 18s squad. In fact, both the Under 18s and Reserve squads looked good, and I knew Boris was considering shuffling the pack a bit to try and find a better level of consistency. With more than 60 players, there had to be a worthwhile combination in there somewhere. Alex and Terminal Disease had showed that they could do the job, The Turd was beginning to impress, and Branko was bossing the midfield like a Serbian general, only without the usual atrocities.
The game would have left many believing they were watching the two bottom clubs, rather than the top teams! Suffice to say that after 90 minutes, Novi Sad had 7 shots, two on target, and Bezanija had four shots on goal, none of which were on target. The subsequent 0-0 draw was only remarkable in that Alex walked for two yellows on 90 minutes. At least it shows that Novi Sad are not alone in playing crap every now and again. The other downer was another miscalculation on the number of programmes; about 1,000 of them ended up in the river. The positive side is that we remained top of the league.
The next weekend saw another away day, to Becej who were 9th in the league. The first subtle changes started to appear. Dragan Brmbota (The Backside) made his first start in the league, and Ilijah was dropped for Nikola. The Turd retained a starting place for the third game running. As is now becoming predictable, the early stages of the game had nothing to recommend them. In the 28th minute, Asceric of Becej picked up a loose ball on the halfway line, and was alone going nowhere. He reached the corner flag, and was still alone. There was no one to cross to, so he simply walked the ball around three defenders and slotted it past the inanimate body of Boggy the Younger. Approaching half time, The Turd had to work overtime to prevent a wayward ball going out for a throw, and once saved he moved up the left touchline, eventually dropping it on the foot of Darko, who chipped the advancing keeper, allowing Boggy the Elder to nod the dropping ball in for an equaliser. The second half was only shaken from its slumber by The Turd, who spurned three excellent chances. A 1-1 draw was not what we needed, but as every other team in the league drew, excluding Mladost Lux who beat Elan, it wasn’t the end of the world.
Before the minibus left, I found a small local bar and quaffed a few beers. The locals were happy to talk football, and I explained how frustrating the lack of quality in the Second Division North was. I told them that I hungered for better quality football. One man, with a moustache like a small dog, asked how that could be achieved. I explained: “Maybe a First Division side like Partisan or Red Star will come in for Boris Krakov, and I’ll get a chance to move with him”. The bar exploded with laughter; a rain of spittle hitting my face as men fell like skittles, hands clasped on stomachs, shoulder heaving as their monstrous bellows echoed off the walls. The man opposite, Dog Moustache, suddenly stopped laughing, stood up and left. The acrid smell hit my nostrils, a tinge of ammonia in the air. I looked down and saw he had urinated where he sat. He had literally pissed himself laughing. I paid for my beer and left, people still sniggering as I closed the door.
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.