Beating Proleter 3-2, away from home, had been one of the season’s highlights for me. The home game against them should have been a corker, but what we got was another 0-0 bore draw. There is little to say to justify either team’s game. These types of results seemed to come along regularly in Serbian football, and after two wins on the trot, it served as a reminder of the fallibility of Novi Sad.
The away game at Elan was one we needed to win to try and open up a gap between us and the other teams. It was a safety cushion we needed. So when Glavardanov put the home team in front after five minutes, a wave of despair did seem to hit the bench. Luckily it didn’t ooze onto the pitch, and one minute later a bullet header from Boggy the Elder brought Novi Sad level. After this, Novi Sad came alive, and only acrobatic goalkeeping and the woodwork stopped us from extending the lead. Then on 73 minutes, Darko – having returned from three matches out with injury – scored a trade mark goal from a tight angle. Suddenly it looked like we had the gap we needed. In the 82nd minute, however, Misimi advanced on the frozen Boggy the Younger and rolled – and I mean rolled, like at the pace of a really old and fucked up snail – the ball into the net. A 2-2 draw highlighted the cost of Boggy the Younger being in the team. He was the best we had, but he wasn’t good enough.
When the mini-bus returned to Novi Sad, we saw the lads dragging the tar pots into the street. A home game with Veternik was approaching. As the bus pulled up near the stadium, a small boy looked at Boggy the Younger and drew his index finger slowly across his own throat. The ramifications of losing were clear.
There was the home game against Veternik, an away game against Bezanija and then the six week winter break and the transfer window. Boris wanted fresh blood, and packed the two scouts, Slobodan Zecevic and Vladan Tomic, off to Finland and Slovenia respectively. Novi Sad led the table by two points from bitter rivals Veternik (as if the next game wasn’t bad enough) and Bezanija. This meant we played the second and third placed teams before the break. I needed a drink.
As I walked into town, Vasa Orlovic stepped out of the shadows. He was still a snidey fucker, but could not do much while Boris was taking the team forward. Remembering the early days, I asked if he was going out to bugger a goat. He coughed, a lump of phlegm landing in his palm. He put his hand on my shoulder. What a cunt! He whispered: “Mr Flange, remember who you are, and who I am. I will see you disappear too easily, you understand?” I nodded. He suddenly walked away and started talking to a group of children playing football, kicking the ball against the makeshift goal of an abandoned van. I stopped and took off my jacket, and wiped the snot off it. Then I sat down and smoked a cigarette. I had to get out of this shithole. As I stood up, I thought I saw Vasa sodomising a small fat kid. Oh well.
I drank until the evening became a blur. At one point I remember a plump but not unpretty prostitute sitting on my lap. She almost seemed too clean, too pretty, too polite. I groped under her skirt, and was delighted to discover she didn’t have a cock! Things were looking up!
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.