26/9/20 Alvechurch v Royston Town, Southern League Premier Division Central. Losing My Religion.

No, not the R.E.M. track. ‘Losing my religion’ is an American saying, for those who don’t know, it roughly means being at your wits end. I’m really going to try and leave off with ranting about restrictions. If nothing else, it’s boring me, let alone it’ll probably be boring anyone making the mistake of reading this tripe. Walked into town, lottery and train tickets. The Welly opened up a couple of minutes earlier than advertised. Seeing as with every other pub and restaurant, it has now got to shut at 10 o’clock at night, it seemed churlish not to open until dead on time. 10 o’clock at night, and I don’t think it’ll be long before the Army will be patrolling the streets looking for anyone without masks to shoot, but opening a couple of minutes early isn’t deemed to be a heinous crime yet. Daryl was wearing his mask. Though as moving targets go, he’d make for challenging practice. The human equivalent of clay pigeon shooting, it would be akin to shooting at a blur. Both Steve and Taffy came in, the hersute barmaid has to wear a mask now, so neither me or Taff could check on the progress. For all we know, she could’ve cultivated a moustache as impressive as Salvador Dali. She had definitely made more effort with her eye makeup though. JK came in, as did Paul Mason, who had been letting his hair grow. It’s now long enough for him to put it in a ponytail, which he has. Daryl was off to watch Halesowen, Taffy revealed he would be supporting the team Alvechurch would be playing that afternoon as he was pretty sure he had been named Royston after the place. What sealed his theory that his parents must’ve seen the place name and liked it, was his brother being called Stourbridge. Me, Taff and Steve left to get the train, Jinksy getting on at Longbridge. Hadn’t been much point of him coming into town just to come back out again on the same line.

Alvechurch sits just over the border from Warwickshire, in Worcestershire. In a picturesque setting by a canal basin, is the Weighbridge. I’m not going to say ‘normal circumstances’ anymore because we’ve had this present ‘normal’ pushed on to us. Instead, I’m referring it to ‘proper circumstances’ because how it was, should be what it is now. Before I slip into a rant which I was hoping I wouldn’t, I’ll just say that because we weren’t eating (Apparently Taffy’s bag of crisps doesn’t count) we had to sit in a hastily erected gazebo. They’ve also erected a festival style bar. According to Jinksy, it’s the type of traditional pub interior that I like. It’s also supposed to have a good range of ales on. There was only two put on for the ‘diseased unwashed’. I’m sure that before all this aggravation it would’ve been a great little pub to visit, I’m also sure that during the summer months, it does its best trade. However, with the weather changing from summer to autumn, I can only see the pub struggling. It should just about survive but only just. We took quite a pleasant walk down the canal towpath to the first of the Swans in Alvechurch. Even saw an Ellie Simmons style barge.

Badger would be impressed

Again, we sat outside the pub and chatted as our drinks were brought to us. Jinksy showed us an ironic new purchase.

A Burberry scarf used to suffice in the 80s

We walked back down the towpath and down into the centre of the village. A rather quaint little village if I’m being honest. Not in the honey coloured quaint style of the Cotswolds but still aesthetically pleasing. Certainly made a change from inner city Brum anyway. We went in the other Swan. Once again it was table service. If you’ve managed to slog through my blog the past few weeks, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of it. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter. Table service is now compulsory again. I tend to dislike anything that is compulsory anyway. I see myself as a ‘free spirit’ and don’t take to being dictated to. We made our way down the lane to the ground.

It’s a typical ground for that level.

Stand
A bit of terracing and a clubhouse

Talking of terracing, the pitch slopes quite dramatically, you can tell from the terracing how much

Well I could tell anyway

It was a good tight game, one that didn’t bring any goals in the first half. At halftime we dived into the bar and settled on pints of Guinness. One good thing at this level of the game is that the vast majority allow you to take your pint and carry on watching the game. Luckily for us as Alvechurch took the lead, we missed a goal last week through being stuck in the bar.

No anti social distancing.

Royston battled back and with around 20 minutes to go, they equalised. Almost immediately, Alvechurch retook the lead. It seemed harsh on Royston after they had been striving hard for their equaliser, but that’s football. If that was harsh on Royston, their second equaliser of the game was harsh on Alvechurch. With seconds to go of added time, they secured a share of the spoils. A victory would’ve been welcomed by the home side but a 2:2 draw was probably a more just scoreline. All in all, it had been a good game. Worth watching.

We went back to the second Swan, watching the Baggies storm into a 3:0 halftime lead. Jinksy decided to stop on for another, well he hadn’t got as far to go as we had. Me and Taffy parted company with Steve back at New Street before Taffy decided to wait for the tram up Corporation Street. With his breathing, I couldn’t blame him, but as I would’ve had to have got a ticket for the short distance and he’d already got one that would’ve covered him, I took the trouble to walk. The tram passed me, but I didn’t see him on it. I carried on to the Bull. Last week, I renamed it with the hope it wouldn’t fall foul of the Covid Gestapo, it hadn’t done the trick. By the time I had come back from the toilet, Taffy had not only joined me, but had very nicely bought the pints. We’ve done enough drinking together now for him to know what kind of beer I go for, and it’s not Carling. I honestly don’t know how long this oppression of the masses will go on for, but it really feels like we’re in occupation. Taffy went before the Covid Gestapo could drag him out of the Bull at 10 o’clock and chuck him into a waiting armed ambulance to be taken to a pound surrounded by barbed wire. Nigel was forced to call last orders by gunpoint. It was that late in the evening that it was still light outside. I managed to sneak through the barriers at checkpoint Charlie without detection, temperature taken, obligatory track and trace details being taken and having to dip my hands in a vat of acid.

BREAKING NEWS!!!!

Even with the tremendous advancements in medicine, they’ve still been unable to discover the secret to immortality.

It’s a huge blow for anyone hoping to live forever, and means that at some point in your life, your heart is going to stop working at around the same time as you stop breathing. Ah well, such is death as they say. Now if only we could all just go back to enjoying what we’ve got left without being scared of dying.

One thought on “26/9/20 Alvechurch v Royston Town, Southern League Premier Division Central. Losing My Religion.

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