Serbian football follows a pattern, so the order of the games was familiar to us. Vrbas was the first challenge. We had drawn with them at the Deterlinari on the opening day of the season and had beaten them away. We were back at home. My original programme feature was entitled “The Year for Novi Sad.” I changed it. I didn’t want to jinx the team.
As I was writing a piece on the new keeper, Krusty, Angel came into the office. She had smeared marmite on her nipples and wanted me to lick it off. A thick lump hung off one of the many jet black hairs sprouting in all directions from her mouldy-looking teats. I smiled, fighting against the urge to gag. The smell of marmite, urine and unwashed Serbian clacker was too much. I pushed past her into the afternoon greyness, and dashed straight into Slobodan Zecevic. He gripped me by the throat, his fingers digging into my flesh. I struggled to breathe, and felt his fetid breath on my face, as he whispered: “You give my wife bottom love, eh?” He’d been eating herrings, and I didn’t think they had been particularly fresh ones. Small children stopped playing football and watched. One even let go of a cat he was trying to strangle. Angel stood there, tits out and covered in marmite, her face contorted in a crazy looking way as if someone had stuck an electric cable up her butt.
Then it dawned on me. I didn’t like Serbia very much!
That had been a few days ago. Sitting watching the team run out against Vrbas, I tried to forget what had happened. It still haunted me. The crowd of nearly 1800 was pretty much standard. I had about 100 programmes over. Perhaps I was starting to get the hang of things.
Ilijah had picked up an injury in the game against Becej, so The Pig got a start. The game so slow to start, and a 5th-minute penalty, converted by the Turd, gave us a cushion. Whilst there was no real advantage to either side, Novi Sad managed six shots on target, and Vrbas had none! From kick off in the second half, Janker picked up the ball and found Boggy the Elder in space, and blasted in from close range to make it 2-0. A few minutes later Darko found the Pig on the edge of the box, but the Vrbas keeper just managed to get back to collect the ball from a crafty chip.
Vrbas opted to play the long ball game, and on 67 minutes nearly left the Novi Sad defence out-paced when Ninko the Kid got in a well-timed tackle, flicked the ball upfield to The Pig, and this time his chip evaded the keeper to make it 3-0. On 82 minutes, Pillhead, Cretin and Horvat came on for The Turd, Janker and Darko. The game petered out and ended as a 3-0 Novi Sad victory. The Pig lifted a well deserved Man of the Match award. The crowd stayed on the terrace at the final whistle, silently waiting for the scores from other games. Eventually, a fat boy came running from the house of Stevan Petkovic, an Under 18 player who lived right next to the ground and also owned a radio! He shouted the scores out at the top of his voice.
“Bezanija 2, Radnicki 0.
Elan 5, Mladost Lux 0.
Veternik 3, Mladost Apatin 2”
There was no change at the top! I got up to leave, and saw Slobodan Zecevic, smiling at me. He really thought he had got one over on me, the silly bastard!
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.