Match results and reports for 2002 -2003 season


Saturday team 2002


Sunday heroes 2002

Saturday Team

Division Three (North and East)



Allendale 'A'



Forest Inn



Handley Sports



Holt United Reserves



Kingston Lacy






Milborne St.Andrew



Poole Borough Reserves



Poole Royal Mail



Shaftesbury 'A'



Stickland United



Sturminster Marshall Reserves



Dorset Junior Cup

First Round Kingston Lacy home 5-2 aet
Second Round Poole Royal Mail away 2-6

Sunday Team

Division One (Sunday)



Hamworthy Lions



Longfleet St.Marys



Poole Wanderers






Semaphore Arms



Ship Inn (Wool)



West Quay Marina Club



Windgreen Corfe Mullen



Witchampton United



Dorset Sunday Senior Cup

First Round bye    
Second Round Semaphore Arms away *

* - withdrew from the competition

League Cup

Group Stage did not enter    



Shaftesbury Res 0: Bere Regis 2

The trip to Shaftesbury was daunting enough after an 8-1 thrashing earlier in the season, but with more people missing than the Iraqi cabinet the task looked impossible. Kev is not the type of person to say die though, unless it is directed at the referee with a swear word in front of it anyway, so in desperation he called up the old veteran campaigner Spivey for his first experience of Saturday football in many a year. After a late arrival at the game (the latest being Squint who had to be surgically removed from his duvet) Bere didn’t even have time to warm up before the German referee, keeping up the national stereotype, started the game at exactly three o clock. The game was not a pretty sight, with a pitch harder than John Close on Stella and bouncier than Jordan on a trampoline. In such circumstances, the sight of Rogerson and Spivey at the heart of an impregnable defence gave the midfield and attack some heart that the odd nicked goal could win it. When the first goal came it was more of a gift than a steal. That wily old predator Ricky Cummings was wise enough to put pressure on a back pass and when the keeper scuffed the ball straight to him on the clearance he chipped it straight back over his head for the opening goal. Whilst Shaftesbury continued to have most of the possession they could do little with it and Bere scored again before half time with a goal that epitomised what Whippet does best….and worst. Picking up the ball on the half way line he kicked it yards ahead and was off like a rocket, leaving players in his wake. When his second touch went another thirty yards ahead towards the waiting defender you felt that was it, as did the defender, but Whippet didn’t! The defender’s next thoughts were probably unprintable as Whippet continued his sprint and hit both him and the ball at approximately the speed of sound. Once the defender had flown over his head, Whippet composed himself, looked up and scooped an inch perfect pass to Ricky unmarked in the centre who lashed it into the net.

At 2-0 up Bere’s game plan for the second half was to soak up the inevitable pressure and hit them on the break. As the Shaftesbury team took the pitch to the chants of ‘Red Army’ from their fans, both of them, you started to wonder whether this would work. In the end, it worked like a charm. The midfield and attack worked like dogs to give Shaftesbury no time on the ball and, when they did manage to get a sight of goal, there was always a defender’s foot head or chest in the way. Add to this the fact that Dave Ramsey, in goal, was on fire (not literally!) and the three points were never in doubt. The closest they came prompted a wonder save from Dave that makes David Seaman’s recent effort seem ordinary. At the other end, the second part of the plan almost came to fruition when a searing break from the defence gave Wayne Cope the chance to whip the ball in for Ricky to plunder his hat trick, if only he had a left foot! In the end, Shaftesbury were begging the referee to put them out of their misery (not a wise move with a German referee!) and Bere were left with a famous victory and a precious three points. Having just beaten third in the league, the last game against second in the league no longer seemed so daunting.

Poole Borough Res 4: Bere Regis 1

And so to the last game of the season. Poole Borough were already celebrating a runners up spot and probable promotion, with their reward being the chance to play their last game on the Combination pitch. Bere were celebrating the fact that they had managed to get a team together, even managed one sub this week, but there was a tinge of sadness. This was to be the last game for Bere’s wunderkind Stuart Moorse as he moves on to greater things, no not the Premiership but university life where he will be educated in the important things in life….girls and booze! As a reward for years of loyal service he was made an honorary forward in the absence of Ricky Cummings, who had gone fission this week. Things started brightly enough for Bere and both teams had some fairly decent chances, but it was Poole Borough who opened the scoring with a 25 yarder from the edge of the area that was placed to perfection. Soon after came the turning point as the Borough had a player sent off for a rash challenge on Stu. This seemed to inspire them to greater things, whilst Bere looked lost amongst all the space. When Borough scored another from a tap in at the back post (where were you Whippet!) it was no more than they deserved.

Bringing on Dr Dacre at half time for an injured Squint certainly had some effect, but two comic goals handed the points to Poole on a plate. The first was thanks to a ‘girly’ back pass from Dean that the forward latched onto and then tempted Dave into giving away a penalty, which was despatched with ease. The second was thanks to five minutes of madness from that legendary slaphead, Spivey. One intended clearance smacked unerringly into the broad chest of Dean and straight into the path of their forward. Chasing back he then had a chance to redeem himself, but could only slice his second clearance straight up into the air. When it eventually came down from the clouds it was, inevitably, to a Borough forward again who knocked it gratefully into the net. After this, Bere were determined to get on the score sheet and, following some relentless pressure they finally got their reward. Stu Moorse, in true Heskey tradition, collapsed like a pack of cards in the penalty area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Up strode our renowned penalty taker Kev Cox. The keeper had more chance of catching SARS than this perfectly struck penalty and Bere had got their consolation goal. With a mid table place assured Bere could now look forward to a well deserved pint on the way home, and hopefully bigger and better things next season……


Stickland Utd 3: Bere Regis 3

A local derby such as this can bring out the worst in normally sane, placid people…so just think what it does to Kev Cox! It will, therefore, come as no surprise to regular readers that Kev saw red once again, although in all fairness to Kev the referee was about as useful as a chocolate teapot. The frustrating thing was that Bere once again played the better football, but just could not kill the game off. Lee Webber returned to scoring ways with a couple of well struck goals and John Close continued his lucky streak with another opportune strike. Unfortunately, Bere’s defence continues to leak like an incontinent drunk and, when Kev got his marching orders once more (that boy marches more than the whole of the Iraqi army) Bere were content to hold out for a deserved point.

Bere Regis 2: Forest Inn 0

After losing to the bottom of the league a couple of weeks ago Bere were not likely to make the same mistake twice. Whilst the score line suggests a close game, it was in reality more like Real Madrid against Man Utd. Bere’s attacking play was poetry in motion and as for the defence; well you were more likely to see a stripper in your local pub than you were to see a Forest Inn goal. The only thing lacking was the finishing to match the wonderful approach play. You can rely on Lee Webber to score though (which he did), and as for a penalty taker, who else would you expect but the ever-reliable Kay Kay O’Coxxy. Like Lisa Riley’s boyfriend, Kev Cox is used to handling the pressure and he coolly slotted home to give Bere an unassailable lead. With four hard games left Bere have made their position in Div 3 safe and are now looking towards Europe, for their football tour that is!

Bere Regis 5: Poole Royal Mail 6

This game had everything. Goals galore, fabulous football, an incompetent referee and a robbery in the changing rooms (now that’s something you don’t get in the Premiership!). The game itself swung more ways than Michael Barrymore, helped by a referee whose knowledge of the rule book was equivalent to Beckham’s knowledge of quantum physics. At 5-4 up Bere thought they had it won, only to be undone by a dubious equaliser and a winning goal for which even David Blunkett would have spotted the obvious shove in the back on Dean. Meanwhile, back at the changing rooms, there were a few more tea leaves than the ones left after Hazel’s half time brews. The players left the pitch to find that money, credit cards and mobile phones had been stolen whilst they were playing. I always said Bere’s football team would be televised one day, but I didn’t think it would end up being Crimewatch!

Bere Regis 0: Holt Utd 4

When playing against the top of the league team you want your strongest, fittest and most athletic 11 players, or at the very least 11 players. Unfortunately, with more dropouts than Johnny Wilkinson, Kev could only scrape together 10 to start the game. Things were also not helped by Whippett not realising it was a 2 o clock kick off and ambling in half way through the first half. The 1-0 score line at half time was, therefore, quite respectable. Although Bere started the second half with a full team they were soon down to 10 again, losing Shaun Cope to injury (a whack in the wedding tackle that gave him more crushed nuts than a Cornetto!). To only concede four goals in such circumstances was a remarkable performance and Bere can take heart for the last two games to come.


West Quay Marina 7: Bere Regis 0

West Quay were out for revenge and boy did it show. With the kind of squad that Alex Ferguson can only dream about West Quay still signed on a couple more players especially for this game. In contrast, Nick had the kind of squad that nightmares are made of, with more injuries than the civilian population of Baghdad. To start with Bere looked pretty good. They were passing the ball well, a few shots on target, some decent crosses, but enough about the warm up when we actually kicked off there was only one team in it. Bere put up some stiff defensive resistance for as long as they could but defeat was inevitable and once the first goal went in it was simply a question of whether Bere could keep them below double figures. This was barely achieved as West Quay showed why the only points they had dropped all season was against Bere earlier in the season. The game was summed up by a throwaway remark from the referee having just given West Quay a penalty. ‘Come on give us a break ref’, shouted one tired and balding defender….’I have been’ replied the ref, and in all fairness he probably had. Still, it was worth having a penalty conceded to see Paddles turn back the years and dive to pluck the ball athletically from the air. If only he was as good at house buying!! The game was completed by a fine diving power header from West Quay, at which point the ref put Bere out of their misery. Perhaps the headlines on Monday will be ‘Bere Regis Not Invincible’……tell us something we don’t know!!

Bere Regis 5: Windgreen, Corfe Mullen 1

All good things must eventually come to an end. The British Empire…..Only Fools and Horses….Rob White’s single life…and the greatest Bere Regis Sunday side in living memory (though you must bear in mind that Nick’s memory is starting to fade with age!!). A team that has risen from the wasteland that is Division Five to the glory of sixth place in Division One played its last game together as many of the veteran players, with their best years now well behind them, are either put out to stud (nominations on a postcard please) or shot (even more nominations on a postcard please). It was, therefore, fortunate that the last game was home to Windgreen, allowing many of them to hold back the years for just one more game and shine again. It took a few minutes for them to wear off the rust of a long break, but once the passes started to find their mark it was a joy to behold once again. The sight of Bungy floating a 20 yard shot into the top corner; Rob White barracking the referee; Chris Oram bamboozling the opposition with more feints than a nervous doctor; Spivey slapping the ball off that famous forehead; and above it all Mark Gale’s dulcet tones echoing across the ground. Windgreen’s equaliser took some of the shine off the majestic first half performance, but the second half soon put them in their place. When Rob White put Bere in the lead late in the second half after a period of utter domination you could see the opposition visibly wilt. Andy Curtis made sure of top scorer for the season soon after and put the game out of reach. As Bere piled on the pressure, Rob White blasted another, soon followed by one final nail in the coffin from Andy Curtis. This is the way it was meant to finish…..three goals in a flowing, final five minutes…..Bere on form and unstoppable!!


Bere Regis 6: Allendale 1

Bere were very much on cruise control against an Allendale side that was about as threatening as the French Government, From the moment Earl volleyed in from eight yards out you just knew it was Bere’s day and when top scorer Ricky ‘I’m looking for an England recall’ Cummings notched a brace before half time it was then just a question of how many. The answer was just the six, thanks to more goals in the second half from John Close, Lee Webber and the Barclaycard ‘Man of the Match’ Shaun Cope. Despite a consolation goal for Allendale Bere finished the game comfortably, with the only black mark being a booking for Thurston from a challenge later than a Virgin train. Onwards and upwards!!

Sturminster Marshall 3: Bere Regis 3

A hard earned point for Bere was not made any easier in having to start the game with ten men. Earl ‘Haymaker’ Dacre had forgotten his gum shield, I mean his shin pads, and had to make a mad dash back to Bere to get them. Even so, it was Bere who took the lead through the ever-improving Shaun Cope. This stung Stur into action and two goals later Bere found themselves behind, only for Ricky to equalise just before half time. In the second half Stur continued to make home advantage tell and took the lead once more. As time ticked away it looked as though Bere would suffer their first defeat of the year, but John Close had other ideas. A precision free kick in true ‘Hoddle’ style picked out Shaun Cope and Bere had nicked a point.

Forest Inn 2: Bere Regis 1

When Bere went down to the Forest today they were sure of a big surprise! In the sort of form that they couldn’t even find victory in a dictionary, Forest managed to scramble a win against Bere’s high flyers. Wayne Cope’s goal was the only high spot in a performance that can only be described as indescribable. The referee may have been sponsored by Specsavers, the Forest keeper may have been Clark Kent and Peter Parker rolled into one, but Bere should still have emerged as winners. It just shows that the only certainties in life are death, taxes and Kev Cox getting booked for dissent!


Poole Wanderers 8: Bere Regis 1

I blame the amount of injuries we have. No, actually I blame the cold weather. The referee? Terrorist activity (we were close to Hurn Airport)? Actually, the truth is that Poole Wanderers are a very, very good team and Bere are just not on their level. A few injuries and absentees made it more difficult and Pete Macklin’s Teflon chest gave them the gift of a first goal, but the movement and one touch passing from Poole meant the Bere midfield were chasing more shadows than Cliff Richard’s groupies. Even Bere’s goal came from a perfect through ball from the Wanderer’s defender that left Britney one on one with the keeper….no contest!! Only 3-1 down at half time Bere felt they were still in it, but an injury to our midfield rottweiler Bungy Brown early in the second half effectively ended the game as a contest. An innocuous challenge left Bungy still motionless long after the ball had gone. Bere’s qualified first aider went to assist, but on hearing Bungy shout ‘It’s popped out’ he was understandably reluctant to get any closer, especially with Bungy’s recent sexploits. Thankfully, he was referring to his knee and after a small amount of treatment Bungy bravely tried to continue, but was eventually substituted to save his strength for his other hobbies. As the goals reigned in, Bere tried everything….different keeper…..change of formation…..white flag…..nothing seemed to work. In the end, the use of a final whistle stopped the avalanche of goals and Bere trudged back to the changing rooms broken men. Worse was yet to come, though, as many players left the showers only to find that their towels had been stolen (all except Chris Oram’s lovely pink towel!). I blame the terrorists!!

Bere Regis 1: Witchampton 1

The talk before the game was that we were going to make Witchampton pay for calling us the ‘whipping boys’ of the league. However, with a squad ravaged by injury Bere would have more luck getting a Jewish Scotsman to pay than Witchampton. Nevertheless, the die-hard squad players turned out and did their level best to grind out this draw. Like Bungy, it wasn’t clever and it wasn’t pretty, but Bere battled like troopers. Witchampton took the lead when a clever angled pass gave their forward a clear run on goal and he took the chance with relish. Apart from that, chances were few and far between and Witchampton retained their lead until half time. Nick Macklin is not the type of manager to kick a football boot around, for a start he would probably scuff it into the showers, but he knows how to keep his team motivated. The players continued their dogged resistance in the second half and were finally rewarded late on when a rare corner fell to the feet of Dan Vater. He tempted the defender into a rash challenge in the box and Bere had a penalty. Step forward Nick ‘Iceman’ White with a nerveless penalty that gave Bere a well deserved share of the points. As a result, Bere retained 6th place just above Witchampton with only two games left to cling on to this lofty position.

Sandford 7: Bere Regis 2

Against a top 3 team like Sandford the last thing that Nick wanted was more injuries. However, with a raft of players still unavailable the manager was left to field a defence of Spivey (dodgy ankle), Galer (dodgy knee) and Rogerson (dodgy haircut). Then there was John Close, a player of such great reputation now that he even gets a police escort to the game. Unfortunately it was not the footballing reputation they were interested in from a man who has had had more brushes with the law than a policeman’s barber. This was only the start of his worries as John proceeded to find a forward with amazing regularity, the Sandford forward that is as with two perfect through balls Bere soon found themselves 2-0 down. It was at this point I’m sure I saw Nick ringing 999 to ask them to come and take him back! Apart from some brief flurries from Stu Moorse, Bere looked a shadow of the side that defeated West Quay and were pleased to be only 3-0 down at half time. The second half was no better and Sandford kept chipping in the odd goal until Andy Curtis took it upon himself to make some kind of mark in the game for the Bere side. Firstly, a power drive that deflected over the keeper and then a close range finish from an inch perfect cross (or was it a shot?) by our US import gave Bere some reward for their 90 minutes of effort. It was only when the final whistle sounded that we realised all the Sandford goals had been scored by just one player. This gave us the consolation of boasting that we beat 10 of the Sandford players 2-0! Yes, we are getting that desperate!!


Milborne St Andrew 2: Bere Regis 3

These are the sort of games that Bere need to pick up points from and that is precisely what they did….just! Kev Cox needed to plug the large gap in his defence from last week so it was good to see Dean Rogerson back as a perfect fit for that gap, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. It was also good to see that Squint's sense of direction remains just as bad as, with everybody else knowing the game was at Puddletown, he mistakenly assumed the Milborne game was in Milborne. I dread to think where he would go for an Arsenal game! Finally, Kev had a full team and they started in conditions so foul even Michael Fish would have warned against playing. Nevertheless, against the wind they played some good football and deserved to go in level at half time, which is precisely what they were thanks to yet another Ricki Cummings finish. In the second half you felt the flood gates would open, mainly because of the rain, but Bere could only manage a scrappy own goal. When Milborne equalised you felt it was not to be Bere's day but, thankfully, Bere have come to rely more and more on a Close finish, John Close that is. The player with a bigger engine than a Jumbo Jet and more tattoos than the Edinburgh Military was in the right place at the right time and Bere were looking to the giddy heights of Div 3 once again.

Bere Regis 4: Stur Marshall Res 2

The one thing you are always guaranteed with the Regis at the moment is goals and this week was no different. First Stur scored, Wayne equalised almost immediately, and then Squint with a tap in left Bere 2-1 up at half time. As the football flowed like sweet wine in the second half Bere increased their lead through John Close, only to be pegged back by a goal more freakish than Michael Jackson. Bere were merely toying with the opposition though and, as Stur flagged near the end, John Close was on hand to seal a deserved victory.

Linthorpe 2: Bere Regis 2

Playing at Linthorpe is such a dangerous affair nowadays I am surprised that Bush has not included them on his axis of evil. The conditions were again atrocious, yet Bere still managed to play through the puddles and were much the better team in the first half. They went in one goal to the good, thanks to Bere's 'wunderkind' Stu Moorse as Kev continues with his youth policy (Sven must have been watching us!!). Whilst Bere continued to outplay the opposition in the second half, with Bere's defence there is always the chance of the odd goal (a penalty), or two (just plain bad defending). But that is why we have the old warhorse Ricky Cummings on the pitch. Turning his back on that international career (beach football in Ibiza) has done wonders for his club football and he was perfectly positioned to get the thinnest of touches on a late corner that gave Bere a deserved point.

Bere Regis 6: Handley Sports 0

After a defeat against this team earlier in the season Bere needed to be wary. However, after the dream start of a precision header from John Close Bere never looked back. Ricky Cummings scored from close range, then Squint took on the goal scoring mantle with two finishes in quick succession from some exquisite pass and move football. The half time tea always tastes nicer at 4-0 up and in this relaxed frame of mind they soon picked up where they left off, with another goal from Ricky. With the game beyond them it was unfortunate to see Handley resort to a bit of afters, and I don't mean sticky chocolate pudding. It was extremely unfortunate for one poor Handley soul as he followed through on one seriously angry Brummie. The young lad never knew what hit him as 'Haymaker' Dacre gave him such a slap his ears were probably still ringing at school on Monday. Even down to ten men Bere were still well in command of the game and they added one more to the final score with a free kick from 'Zola' Close (Gorgonzola that is!). Another win and Bere continue their long climb up the league.


Ship Inn 1: Bere Regis 2

Over the last few weeks Bere have endured more cancellations than your average Virgin Trains passenger. In fact, the previous week West Quay tried to play us on a pitch so icy I swear I saw Torvill and Dean in the changing rooms. However, the conditions were perfect for this trip to Wool and Bere arrived in good time to have a proper warm up and chip away at some of the rust. It was, therefore, somewhat surprising to arrive and find no markings, nets, flags or even goalposts and a pitch more grassy than Gloves' bedroom. The masters of improvisation, Bere were soon warming up in the local village hall and when the opposition were finally ready Bere were raring to go, which probably explains the most sumptuous 33 seconds of football Bere have played all season. From the kick off, Bere carved a chance with such precision that the Ship never even touched the ball. After ten or twelve inch perfect passes the ball came to Chris Oram on the edge of the area who faked to shoot, cut back slightly, then unleashed a drive that fairly rocketed into the net. From there….it was all downhill. Kev 'Britney' Speers was like a forgetful fisherman, he just couldn't find the net; the midfield made headless chickens look positively calm; whilst the defence looked as shaky as a nervous jelly. Luckily this was the Ship Inn we were playing, who were even worse. The second half was no better, with Bere's only moment of class being their second goal when John Close picked out Nick White perfectly at the post and he slotted the ball calmly into the corner. As the midfield flooded forward it was only a matter of time before the Ship caught Bere on the break. A magnificent save from Paddles kept one shot out but he could do nothing about the goal itself and Bere had to endure a tense final few minutes. Another three points, but a great improvement will be needed for the arrival of the runaway leaders next week.

Bere Regis 3: West Quay Marina 2

I can see the headlines now….'West Quay Crumble at Fortress Regis!!', well actually they really say 'West Quay Not Invincible' but that's not the point. West Quay arrived unbeaten for two years. West Quay arrived as current Div 1 champions. West Quay arrived as runaway leaders with ten wins out of ten. They left with their tails between their legs, humbled by a team who finally did everything right. In perfect playing conditions Bere looked championship material as they soaked up all the pressure that West Quay could bring to bear, then broke in true 'Arsenal' style to cut the West Quay defence to ribbons. A first half that will be remembered for years saw a defence more secure than a Heathrow Terminal, a midfield more creative than an Enron accountant and an attack that sparkled more than Bungy's new BMW (who said farmers were poor!). West Quay had no answers to the questions that Bere were posing and their opening goal was a thing of beauty. A sweeping cross field ball from Nick White found John Cleall in acres of space. Quick feet found him some extra space and the time to look up and find Britney hovering at the back post. A quick shimmy left the defender deader than Elvis and he gave us the finish the move deserved. 1-0 at half time and Bere were in dreamland. The second half soon woke them up as West Quay found another gear and soon equalised. For the next quarter of an hour West Quay showed why they were top of the league as Bere chased shadows, but they never gave up and were soon giving as good as they got. When the mainstay of the West Quay defence was hurt trying to scythe Britney down Bere were starting to get on top and the last thing they wanted was the resulting wait for an ambulance. However, this never put them off and from the restart Bere looked like winners. As a substitute, Dan Vater had been hopping about like a grasshopper on speed on the sidelines. When he finally got his chance he took it in style, latching on to a hopeful through ball, rounding the keeper and slotting the ball into the empty net. Even when West Quay equalised with a penalty soon after you just knew it was Bere's day and who would you bank on to score the winner but the irrepressible Rob White. A long ball over the top gave Rob the chance to show his pace (maker!), winning the chase for the ball and lobbing the keeper with impudence. The celebrations were something to behold and there was no way that Bere were going to let it slip again, epitomised by Bungy's scything tackle two seconds from the restart that had the referee reaching for his book and the opposition player counting his blessings, both of them just to make sure they were still there! When the final whistle sounded it was good to hear West Quay sporting in defeat as they conceded that Bere were the better team…how right they were!!

Semaphore Arms 3: Bere Regis 2

'Pride comes before a fall', they say. 'It's a funny old game', they say. 'Don't play an army team on a swamp of a pitch in the wind and the cold, even if they are bottom of the league and you have just beaten the champions', they say. Alright they don't, but they bloomin' well should do given Bere's latest lacklustre performance. Having endured the third degree to get into the camp (thankfully, they never found Galer's loaded weapon) there was little time to warm-up before the game. What was even more worrying was the sight of Semaphore employing a double sweeper system….and that was just brushing the water off the pitch. In such conditions Bere never looked comfortable and Semaphore were on top from the word go. Despite constant pressure Bere actually managed to take an undeserved lead when Britney tiptoed his way through the puddles and the Semaphore defence and drilled a shot into the bottom corner. Who knows what would have happened if, soon afterwards, Rob White had buried a gilt edged chance. A perfect glancing header from Bungy sent him clear, but Rob was confused when the keeper slipped in the mud and fell flat on his arsenal shirt. Like a certain Liverpool forward he made 'Emile' of it and, still determined to go round the keeper (who by now had got up, cleaned his kit and was busy reading the paper), he was driven so wide it was remarkable that he could even see the goal let alone hit the side netting, as he eventually did. From thereon in, Semaphore took the game by the scruff of the neck (and the Bere Regis players) and did not let go. They equalised just before half time in a goalmouth scramble and then increased their lead early in the second in a goalmouth scramble. They increased their lead even further late on with a thirty yard belter that screamed into the……not really, unsurprisingly it was yet another goalmouth scramble. With ten minutes to go Bere finally threw caution to the wind and let them have it. This resulted in the one decision that the referee gave Bere in the game, a penalty that Nicky Rooney slotted home with the confidence of the young. Despite a finish more furious than a Hollywood star in the wrong magazine the final whistle came too soon and Bere's rise up the league was halted in some very muddy tracks.

The Boxing Day Extravanganza

Old Gits 3: Young Whippersnappers 2

Come wind, rain, hail or snow (well maybe not snow….or hail …or even too much rain!!) the Boxing Day match will prevail. Despite a pitch as sodden as the veteran players, the training pitch was declared fit (well fitter than Pip Evans anyway) and the battle commenced. Once again the young pretenders came for revenge and once again they were defeated, though it was a mighty close thing. In fact it was the youngsters who took the lead early on; taking advantage of the time it takes for the pre match whisky to warm the Old Gits' limbs Nick White pounced on an inviting cross to glance the header home. Neat, incisive passing and boundless energy gave the youngsters the advantage until a couple of heavy downpours and some even heavier OG players churned up the pitch to a mud bath that was perfect for a good wallow. As Dacre and Oram commanded the midfield, Gale, Spivey and Evans secured the defence and Jimmy 'Gandalf' the Green weaved his magic spells on the wing it was only a matter of time before an equaliser…and it was a thing of beauty. Dacre took the ball from defence through several tackles and wall passes to finish with a clinical precision. Half time could not come too soon for the youngsters, or for Pip as, tormented by young White, he had resorted to falling on his backside to put the young feller off, which surprisingly seemed to work!

The second half started much the same. Some call him the next Rooney, some call him Nick White and some call him things I dare not put to print, whatever you call him he still keeps scoring as, with Pip neglecting to fall, he composed himself and fired the YW's into an early lead. This was when Bere's secret weapons were brought to the fore……the Price boys. Graham has always had a reputation (I mean the football one!) so it was no surprise when he flew in at the back post to equalise late on. The real surprise was Poomy, a man who has hid his footballing light under a bushel for many years and, indeed for most of the match. With more misses than Henry the Eighth during the game, when the magical words 'Winning Goal' were uttered he was a changed man, probably because he knew the bar was open. Receiving the ball with his back to goal he turned on a sixpence and rifled the ball in off the post for a memorable winner, well memorable for him as he retold his story late into the afternoon. The youngsters may have the next Wayne Rooney, but in the end it was Wayne Poomy who won the day!!


Handley Sports 2: Bere Regis 0

You know its not going to be your day when your keeper pulls out ill at the last minute. You definitely know its not going to be your day when you have to start the game with nine men because two turn up late. You definitely, definitely know its not going to be your day when the conditions are awful, your team misses a million chances and the opposition score two scrappy goals. But you still come back next week to do it all over again.

Bere Regis 4: Kingston Lacey 6

If ever there was a game of two half's…this was it. I think we will dwell on the first to protect the innocent. Despite the loss of an early goal Bere dominated and the brace of goals from Shaun Cope to take the lead simply oozed class. A tap in from Squint extended that lead and then came the 'piece de resistance' from Dacre. A free kick came within range of that left foot 'Hammer' and Earle simply blistered the shot past the keeper. So far, so good…4-1 up at half time and the feeling that if Bere lost this then the manager was a monkey's uncle. However, five unanswered goals past a defence as fragile as Pete Townshend's and it was game over. Kev was last seen on the Bovington road asking for directions to Monkey World.


Bere Regis 3: Ship Inn 0

Nowadays, referees are about as easy to find as your average weapon of mass destruction. Once again, Bere were let down at the last minute and had to rely on the goodwill of whoever happens to be standing on the sidelines. This time it was the most unlikely of saviours who cannot be named for security reasons, social security that is, although the phrase 'poacher turned gamekeeper' may give regular readers a bit of a clue. Nevertheless, he was good enough to step into the breach in this vital relegation clash and, once a whistle had been found, battle commenced. With the wind against them in the first half Bere struggled to find any kind of rhythm and it was the Ship who had the best of the early exchanges. In fact, they had a very strong case for a goal when the ball flew off Spivey's head onto the crossbar and down, where Mark Gale was on hand to clear. Despite frantic claims from the Ship that the ball had crossed the line, both linesman and referee could not be sure and the game remained goalless.

The second half was, like Mark Gale's newly acquired belly, all Bere. With a decent breeze at their backs they kept the opposition penned in with some very slick football. When Bungy powered in a header that almost tore the net from the goal there was no looking back. John Close was the next to add his name to the score sheet. No stranger to lost causes, he is a Spurs supporter after all, he chased after a long punt up field and, with the keeper hopelessly out of position, lobbed the ball into the open net from fully 30 yards. The icing on the cake came from the deadliest US import since the Cruise missile, as Kev Speers took the keeper on and beat him convincingly. The Ship were well and truly sunk! Bere even had time to showboat with a string of passes easily into double figures until the ball came to Spivey the showstopper….Have It!!

December 2002

It rained, it poured, the old man snored and nobody could be bothered to get up in the morning, or the afternoon for that matter. In a period when the rain hit Biblical proportions the only way Bere were going to be able to play would be through the use of Moses as grounds man to part the puddles, and even then he would need to perfect the miracle of marking the lines. Despite this, Bere managed two games in the month but will be looking forward to a busy Spring schedule next year…


Bere Regis 1: Poole Borough Res 1

Another point gained for the Regis, but they certainly left it late! In a game in which Bere had the better of the chances they were constantly trying to gain parity from a tenth minute fluke. An attempted clearance from Dave Ramsey in goal struck a Poole player and it dropped nicely for him to place it into the empty net. From that moment on, Cope and Moorse dominated the game for Bere and on a better day Mr Webber would have feasted on his plateful of chances. The game was also not helped by a referee who looked like he had been placed in a roomful of shovels and told to take his pick. Showing the decisive instinct of a startled rabbit he generally gave the decision to the team that shouted loudest and Coxxy was obviously having an off day. Despite throwing everything at them in the second half to gain the equaliser it looked like Bere would lose again, until Sean Cope worked his magic. With two minutes left, the dynamic duo of Moorse and Cope clicked again and Copey controlled and slotted home like he was born to do it. Bere remain mid table and will start to pray for rain when the suspensions of some key players arrive in December. It would appear that there is lots of rest for the wicked after all!


Hamworthy Lions 3: Bere Regis 1

Mud, mud, glorious mud, there's nothing quite like it for making you cold, wet and miserable on a Sunday morning. In the absence of the manager, who was on the longest pastie run in history (you can get Cornish pasties at the local shop now Nick!) it was left to a combination of Gale and Spivey to get a team together. It was a comfort to both that there were enough players for two substitutes that morning, especially to Mark who had to bow out of playing with a stomach bug. This caused him to make more runs from the sideline than he ever does on the pitch, especially brave considering that the team were playing at Turlin Moor where they cannot even spell sanitation let alone apply it.

The game itself was surprisingly watchable as both teams avoided the puddles and tried to make a game of it. As the Lions dominated the midfield Bere defended like tigers, with Rob White shouting the odds to his defence instead of his bookies for once. In a tight first half chances were few and far between and almost all in Bere's half. The closest moments came with a couple of penalty shouts from the Lions which were waved casually away by a lenient referee, one being a lunge from 'Chopper' White that was about as clean as Cherie Blair's flat purchases.

Bere were happy with 0-0 at half time, but this was short lived. Within minutes of the restart the Lions were ahead when they finally sprang the offside trap and finished with ease. This is not a team of quitters though and Bere pressed hard for an equaliser. Late on, a rare corner was whipped in by Nick White and it was thrashed into the net from a most unlikely source, Kev Speers. His first goal saw the kind of celebrations that those American chappies do best….. a simple handshake and the cry 'jolly good show' is the done thing here Kevin! With ten minutes left, Bere tried desperately hard to hold on to this draw but Lady Luck has found another suitor at the moment and two smart finishes in as many minutes left Hamworthy home and dry and Bere away and wet and muddy. A last minute penalty rubbed salt in the wound, but it was worth it to see Pete Macklin's interpretation of where the centre of the goal is as he stood so far to the right it was a wonder he could see the other post let alone get to it. Thankfully, the striker showed him by aiming straight for it and Bere escaped with just the 3-1 defeat. Things could be worse, we could be playing cricket in Australia!!

November 2002


Bere Regis 8: Milborne St Andrew 0

In a game almost as one-sided as an Ashes test, Bere seized the opportunity to improve on their goal difference with both feet. Strikes from Dr Dacre, Squint (2), Stu Moorse and Ricky (2) gave Bere the points and the added bonus of their first clean sheet of the season. If only all Saturdays were like this!

Poole Royal Mail 2: Bere Regis 4

After the mismatch of the previous week it was good to get back to a real game of football and Bere certainly had their work cut out. Despite a beautifully timed volley from Dacre Bere were 2-1 down at half time and needed a rethink. A tactical switch to 3-5-2 gave them more options in midfield and they soon made this count. Lee Webber showed us how to finish; Gary Watts showed us the slowest shot in the history of the game, whilst Ricky Cummings gave us a master class in the art of penalty taking. Thankfully this goal-scoring blitz took the spotlight away from Dave Ramsey showing us that he is a keeper of international class by allowing a cross to loop over his head and into the goal. Next thing you know he'll be after Whippet's ponytail.

Holt Utd 4: Bere Regis 1

Perhaps it was the long nervous wait before the game that did it as Bere arrived so early they even had time for a proper warm up….two fags instead of one! The real reason, though, was that Holt took their chances and Bere didn't, with the exception of Wayne Cope who took full advantage of the chance for his first goal of the season. It looks like mid table glory again this year.

Poole Royal Mail 6: Bere Regis 2 (the Cup run)

In the furore and frenzy of a Cup game you need somebody who can take the heat out of the game in a cool, calm and collected manner. An ice cool Swede, or maybe one of those French tacticians. Unfortunately Bere have got Kevin Cox who is about as cool as a chilli pepper and as calm as Victor Meldrew on speed. It is unlikely that Poole Royal Mail will ever deliver four letters as quickly as Kevin does and within 5 minutes he had seen red and was off for an early bath. From that moment on it was more damage limitation than a game as the Royal Mail stamped their authority on the game. Goals from Lumsden and Cummings showed that Bere had not given up completely, but as the Mail delivered in front of goal Bere would have to wait another year for any chance of silverware.

Bere Regis 3: Stickland Utd 4

Stickland have been local rivals for years and with their team riding high in the league there was even more incentive for Bere to put one over on them. The teams were well matched and the crowd were anticipating a classic, only to be spoiled by a referee whose knowledge of football is on a par with Whippet's knowledge of a barbers shop. Having sent a Stickland player off for something inconsequential he evened things up by sending off Steve Thurston for something equally trivial. When Stu Moorse beat the offside trap by some distance he still managed to spot an offside somewhere, as if that one goal would have made a difference! Bere did manage to score three somehow courtesy of Moorse, Cope and Cummings but it was not enough to gain their deserved share of the spoils.


Windgreen 8: Bere Regis 2

Awful! Pitiful! Dire! Pathetic!....and those were some of the better descriptions from a performance so bad that the manager went and hid under a tree rather than be associated with such a motley crew. Okay, so the team had more players missing than the Kosovan touring squad, so the referee was as competent as the cowboys who built Paddles' new house and it was raining all kinds of domestic animals. There were no real excuses for the worst team performance this commentator has ever seen. The defence was non-existent leaving Pete Macklin more exposed than John Leslie and Angus Deayton put together. The midfield couldn't string beads, let alone passes. The only man who could hold his head high was Andy Curtis after two memorable goals and a tirade at the referee that would make Eminem blush. The abiding memory will be the sight of Kev Cox, infuriated by a supposed elbow, holding a Windgreen player by the shirt and giving him a damn good kick up the backside. If only Nick Macklin had done that to all of us before the game we might have won!!

Bere Regis 1: Sandford 3

What Bere wouldn't give for that little bit of luck right now. After the tripe that was served up last week it was a shame that this week's Sunday dinner was spoilt by three bad defensive lapses. The first was a poor clearance from the normally reliable Spivey that picked out the Sandford forward and he drove a perfect shot into the bottom corner. The second was a bit of indecision from Paddles, who took his eye off the ball and missed it completely, giving the forward an open goal to stroke the ball into. The third was late into the second half when a mishit volley went through the legs of both Gale and Macklin before bobbling into the back of the net. In amongst these howlers Bere did actually play some good football and were eventually rewarded with a sumptuous goal that put all the others into the shade. The words 'White' and 'fantastic goal' often appear in these pages together, but this time we are looking at the new and improved 'Nick' version, not the old and clapped out 'Rob'. A free kick, 25 yards out, and without a moment's hesitation Nick stepped up and curled a beauty that the likes of David Seaman (or even a good keeper) could only watch into the net. Yet another defeat, but Bere can at least hold their heads high from this one.

Semaphore Arms (turned up): Bere Regis (didn't) - the Cup fiasco

The thrill of the Cup, the lure of silverware, the chance to pit your wits against Dorset's finest in a one off game where winner takes all……or staying in bed after drinking far too much the night before. Which would you choose? So would I!

Bere Regis 3: Longfleet St Marys 6

Henry the Eighth was nothing compared to Nick Macklin in a bad mood and heads were soon rolling from last week's non starters. His search for a new team of reliable players began with Lee Webber and some familiar faces in less familiar positions, starting with Luke White as referee as he manfully stepped into the breach when the appointed referee failed to turn up. At 3-0 after 15 minutes it appeared that Bere had not turned up either, although the finishing from Longfleet was exquisite. However, as the players started to get used to each other Bere began to play their way into the game. Some delightful work on the right between Nick White, Webber and Oram saw them slice through the opposition with a surgeon's precision. In the end it took a bit of 'Bungy power' to deliver the first goal as the keeper appeared to have gathered a cross before Bungy rattled his cage, his rib cage that is, and John Close pounced on the loose ball. Longfleet pulled further ahead with a breakaway goal, but Bere had time for one more before half time as a pinpoint 'cross' from Webber found Bungy in front of goal and he stumbled it into the net.

Bere scented blood in the second half and went straight for the jugular (that's a vein Bungy, not a man who throws and catches balls!). One goal would make things interesting and that one goal came from our very own 'fox in the box' (or is it 'pig in a poke'), Bungy Brown. A tempting cross from the right was pounced on with glee and Bere were right back in it. As the seconds ticked away Bere had to gamble and, after two good opportunities came and went, Longfleet put the game out of sight with two incisive breaks. First another 25 yard screamer left Paddles flat-flippered and then a straight race for the ball saw him just pipped at the post. For Bere at the moment, life is crueller than a scorned butler.

October 2002


Kingston Lacey 2: Bere Regis 3

One win under the belt, the opposition turning up with only ten men, Wayne could not be a happier manager if he was sharing a lift home with a South African woman. Bere soon exploited the one man advantage as Lee Webber opened the scoring after a free run at the keeper. When Earle 'ghosted' in like a Brummie Casper for a power header, the game looked as good as over. What Wayne could not have predicted was the arrival of another player for Kingston and a Bere defence as solid as John Major's marriage. Luckily, Ricky added a third just after the break because two scrappy goals near the end for Lacey almost gave them a share of the points. Bere held out, though, and gave the fledgling manager a 100% record in his first two games.

Bere Regis 1 Shaftesbury 8

A small club like Bere cannot keep young, new managerial talent for long and it was only a matter of time before Wayne, with his 100% record, was tempted to pastures new with improved money terms. The fact that it was overtime at work is neither here nor there, Bere were in dire straits and they needed a Mark Knopfler. Step forward Kevin Cox, combining the grumpiness of Fergie, the enthusiasm of Keegan and the sheer animal magnetism (mostly wolverine!) of Sven surely Bere had found the perfect manager. Well even if they have they are still some way short of the perfect team. Having said that, they were up against the runaway leaders who deployed more talent than a playboy convention. 4-0 down at half-time, the player manager pulled one back with a penalty early in the second half but this did not herald a comeback and Shaftesbury ran out easy winners in the end.

Allendale 3 Bere Regis 2

A closer game this week, but Kev was still left as pointless as a condom in a monastery. Led by the ever inventive Stu Moorse Bere played some extremely good football and took the lead thanks to none other than….Stu Moorse. Unfortunately, Bere's defending ability is some way short of their attacking ability and Allendale equalised just before half time, then cruised ahead when Bere let in two sloppy goals. With five minutes to go a wicked cross from Kev Cox forced an own goal but it was just too little, too late.

Bere Regis 5: Kingston Lacey 2 a.e.t.

The cup run starts here and what an exciting game for the neutral. There was Stu Moorse's elegant Giggs-like dribble and finish for starters. There was a main course of three more goals in normal time, the usual one from Ricky but also a precise side-foot finish from, of all people, Miller right at the death to equalise and force extra time, but in the wrong goal of course! For dessert, there was the sight of Bere's superior fitness shining through (well done Earl, trainer extraordinaire) as they struck three times in the second period of extra time. Lee Webber scored two then unselfishly passed up his hat-trick (the wuss!) when Bere were given a penalty, giving Ricky the chance for his second which he did not refuse.

A thoroughly deserved first win for Kev and Bere are on their way to Hamworthy!


Witchampton 3: Bere Regis 1

With the lure of the Woolpack proving too great for the manager (Nay, Mr Wilkes!) it was up to Paul Moss to take over the manager's role for a tricky away tie. Johnny Cleall did manage to drag himself out of bed for this grudge match against his Saturday team-mates, but other absences meant that Bere had to make do with a defence and keeper whose average age made Seaman look like a spring chicken. Sure enough the defence soon creaked when Bere fell behind to an almighty defensive mix up as Galer and Paddles showed about as much understanding as Bungy with a crossword. Bere did play some pretty football at times, but the direct route from Witchampton was bearing more fruit and a 25 yard screamer made it 2-0 before half time.

The second half was all Bere as they pricked, prodded and poked the Witchampton defence, but with no real cutting edge. As the game wore on, desperation forced Bere into an unfamiliar 1-2-7 formation and left themselves wide open to the inevitable swift breakaway. At 3-0 down the game was dead and buried, as was Chris Oram (well, nearly!) in receiving a tackle more hazardous than a dip in Barrymore's pool. A late flurry as a result gave Bere their consolation goal as a superb deep cross from Adam was met perfectly by John Close but Bere were still left pointless in the top Division.

Bere Regis 2 Poole Wanderers 7

On the back of two defeats and playing one of the high flyers Bere's odds of winning were quoted at 12-1 at Lewis' bookmakers, about the same as his chances on a Saturday night. Despite this, Bere started with the confidence of underdogs and actually had the temerity to take the lead. Nick White, Bere's dead-ball specialist, pinged a tremendous corner into the mixer and Andy Curtis was the first to react with a turn and shout that left the keeper stranded. The joy did not last long! A needless free kick 25 yards out gave Wanderers their chance and a power drive earned the equaliser. The first half remained close but Poole pulled ahead with a gem of a goal, then went 3-1 up just before half time with a jam of a goal. A cross to the far post looped into the top corner in true Ronaldinho style, leaving Dean to head butt the post to add to the comic effect. There was genuine concern from his team mates until they realised there was no need for the kiss of life.

The game was lost in the first ten minutes of the second half as Bere were run more ragged than Cleall's haircuts and before they knew it they were 6-1 down and it was damage limitation time. Poole were playing sumptuous football and all you could do was stand and watch, which is what Bere did. 6-1 became 7-1 as Bere pressed and it was left to Rob White for the final word as he ambled forward for a late corner and gleefully smashed the ball into the roof of the net with a sweet volley.

The manager summed it up afterwards with the comment 'Sorry lads I can't tell you what you were doing wrong, I was too busy watching them.' Welcome to Division 1!!

Longfleet St Marys 3 Bere Regis 4

Playing against the top of the league and the likes of Jimmy Glass (what do you mean never heard of him!), the odds of a Bere win had now lengthened to that of Bungy's chances on a Saturday night. These worsened even further with the loss of Paddles to DIY-hell in a house that has seen more cowboys than John Wayne. In his place stood the terrifying sight (terrifying for our defence, that is) of Pete Macklin. Things could not have started any worse when Bere let in a soft early goal, as is traditional, but unlike other games Bere picked themselves up and started to attack with conviction. On hearing the familiar cry of 'They're all over you', but from the opposition bench for once, Bere redoubled their efforts and were rewarded with an equaliser when Chris Oram gratefully accepted the chance to drill the ball into an empty net after good work from Caaxy on the right. The game become even more surreal minutes later when Spivey headed in from a corner with such pinpoint accuracy that the referee was comparing him to a certain Mr Sheringham, much to the amusement of everyone else. At half-time, Bere were 2-1 ahead and looked good for their lead.

Nick stressed the need to keep things tight early on and not let Longfleet score. This may explain why, in the first 5 minutes of the second half, Adam Rogerson lashed a powerful low cross past his own keeper to level the scores. Next time, Nick, be more specific! This should have heralded an onslaught from Longfleet. What we got, though, was Bere taking the lead from a vicious Rogerson corner that deceived the keeper and went straight in. Even more surprising was when Andy Curtis received a blatant push in the back and Bere had a penalty. With Mark Gale off injured, up stepped Nick 'Ruud' White to slot the ball coolly home for 4-2. That did prompt an onslaught that Bere barely contained. With the skill and awareness of Cleall, White and White and the aggression and sheer pace of Spivey('part rabbit, no hair' as someone unkindly remarked) Bere just about managed, but a late goal from Jimmy Glass (that sounds familiar) caused more heart flutters than Sven gives the average Swede.

When the ref blew for a famous victory the relief was palpable and Bere, like a clumsy park-keeper, had finally broken their duck. Onwards and upwards!!

Bere Regis 1: Semaphore Arms 0

After the glorious victory of the previous week, Bere had climbed to the glorious heights of third from bottom and could climb even further with another victory. Never having beaten Semaphore before this was not an easy task, but there's always a first time for everything. The first half was a fairly even affair, with the only difference being the one solitary Bere goal. A simple up and under gave Kev 'Britney' Speers a straight chase with the last defender, which he just edged. As the keeper loomed it needed the merest touch to lift it over his head and into the net and that is exactly what happened. The fact that this was supplied by the defender is neither here nor there and one day Kev will learn to lie about these things along with the rest of us, hasn't he learnt anything from Bill Clinton!

The second half was all Semaphore as Bere clung on to their lead. They were like terriers at the back, as Louie may remember with fondness, and like tigers in midfield. The few chances that came Semaphore's way were stopped by a solid Paddles or an even more solid crossbar. Semaphore's cause was not helped by the addition of a psychotic substitute who riled several players before hacking Johnny Cleall off the ball and receiving a straight red card. Bere played out the last ten minutes with some comfort and kept their first clean sheet for many a moon.

Bere had climbed another place and could look forward to a trip to the happy hunting ground that is Windgreen, Corfe Mullen. Things were looking rosier than Alan Titchmarsh's back garden.

September 2002


Bere Regis 4: Linthorpe 3

A new season and what a way to start! Pre-season saw Bere's Saturday side manager-less until Wayne Cope decided that if Graham Taylor could be a manager anybody can and jumped into the breach. Players flocked to Bere to be part of Wayne's World and before you knew it Bere had more players than your average chain smoker.

The big questions was, though, could the manager create a team from this motley crew? Well, on this form, the answer is a resounding yes! In facing Linthorpe on his first game Wayne was facing a stiffer test than a trip to Spearmint Rhino. After thrashings in both games last season Bere were in for a rough ride, soon confirmed by a first half in which they had to claw their way back twice to be level at 2-2, thanks to goals from Ricky 'Boomerang' Cummings (yes, he just keeps coming back!) and Shaun Cope. The second half was no different as Bere once again let Linthorpe edge in front, only for Stu Moorse to equalise, despite being more bruised than the fruit in your average supermarket. The final word, though, was Bere's as they continued to play 'sexy' football (the manager's words, not mine, I would hate to be in the shower's afterwards!!). They were rewarded in the dying minutes with a winner from the effervescent Lee Webber, a new signing with the potential to be the next Robbie Hall if he remembers to stay around the centre circle a bit more and perms his hair in the right way.

Watch out Sven, there's a new kid in town…..


Bere Regis 2: Hamworthy Lions 3

After managing Bere's Sunday side since the age of the dinosaurs, Nick Macklin decided to call it a day at the end of last season. However, after a national outcry the like of which had not been seen since Graham Price came out of the closet (only joking girls!), Nick was tempted back for one last shot in the top division. For that is where Bere's Sunday side now find themselves, in a league where there are no easy games and scouts abound on the touchline (must be a local jamboree). Nick had been no slouch himself in the transfer market, with the acquisition of Kevin 'Britney' Speers from the good old U. S. of A. following his startling World Cup performance (watched almost every match!). He also scoured the wilds of Sitterton, a country where they have lost the use of the letter H, to bring in John Close, or did we find him in the pub? Either way, a new look team lined up against some familiar opponents, the Lions who mauled us twice last season as well as ending our Cup run.

Things did not bode well in the first half as, despite a good early twenty minutes, the players gelled about as well as Spivey's hair and went in 3-0 down looking like a beaten team. A little bit of tactical talk from the maestro at half-time meant that a new Bere arrived in the second half. With Rob White pulling the strings like an accomplished puppeteer in the sweeper role Bere once again looked solid at the back, allowing John Close and Stu Moorse to dominate the midfield. The Lions were mildly annoyed when John powered in a header to pull one back, but when Andy Curtis turned and fired in another the Lion's pride was starting to fall. The equaliser was a step too far, though, as Bere's unusual 'fags and booze' pre-season training regime did little to improve fitness levels. As always, there was one last chance for Bere in the dying minutes as a superb reverse pass from John 'Santa' Close gift wrapped a present for Stu. If only his right foot was as good as his left. With the goal gaping in front of him he hit a shot as weak as the case for a war with Iraq and the keeper gratefully gathered it in.

A defeat is a defeat is a defeat, but there were the signs of a promising team in the making once they knew who each other was. With players returning from tours, injury and getting out of bed on time Nick certainly has much to think about for next week. Pity he will be in Yorkshire starring in Emmerdale!!