Match reports for BRFC 2003 -2004 season

Saturdays

Bere Regis 1: Cranborne 3

A disappointing way to end a promising season in which Bere have showed that they are only a couple of players away from a league winning team….Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane! Given that Cranborne have won the senior league with their first team this year and there was more than a hint of first team players starring on this day this was a decent enough performance. In fact the only crap performance came from Mr Lumsden as he missed the team photo with a late rush to the garage to defuel…if you know what I mean. He did, however, just about make it for the kick off and with the wind very much behind him and the whole Bere team they tried manfully to build up a lead. Despite the gulf in class Bere matched Cranborne ball for ball and kick for kick and had the better of the half, with one memorable move ending with Andy missing the goal by mere inches. Bere rightfully took the lead midway through the half from a penalty that could have been given for one of two rash challenges in the space of a few seconds, yet Cranborne still protested (must be Man U fans). However, you knew it was not going to be Bere's day when, only minutes after Bere taking the lead, the scores were level when a Cranborne forward tempted Dean into a challenge in the area then fell over his leg. Dave was left with no chance from the penalty and Bere went in at half time with no advantage and a mountain to climb.

Cranborne dominated the second half, as expected, but still found dogged resistance from a team that, unlike Rebecca Loos, would not simply lie down and take it. The midfield ran their socks off, none more so than Stu Moorse in his last game for Bere before his move to University life…late nights….drink…women….just like Wednesday night training then! Wayne and Andy gave the Cranborne defence no time on the ball, with Wayne also showing them an occasional trick or two. Meanwhile the defence were busier than Ron Atkinson's press agent keeping the Cranborne's forwards at bay. Despite all this effort, Cranborne just had that little bit too much class and Bere were undone by two class finishes. The first was a smart cross shot from the edge of the area that had a little bit too much pace for Dave to get down to. The second was late in the half and a classic as a short corner left the Cranborne player in acres of space at the edge of the penalty area and he whipped the ball into the top corner with aplomb. I shall leave the season with a classic moment of comedy from one Mr Dave Ramsey. Admiring one of his goal kicks just a little bit too much Dave managed to walk straight into the goal post on his way back to goal. It is no wonder our supporters come back year after year to watch one of the most entertaining teams in the league!

Bere finished the season in a disappointing fifth place, just missing out on Europe yet again! On the bright side, with all the money the manager has saved in not getting sent off or even booked this season (1000-1 odds at the beginning of the season with BetLewis), he should be able to bolster the squad for next season, or at the very least buy the first round on presentation night…….

Dorset League Division Three (North and East)

  

Pl

w

d

l

f

a

gd

Pts

Linthorpe

20

15

1

4

78

23

55

46

Wallisdown Sports

20

13

3

4

69

42

27

42

Cranborne Reserves

20

12

4

4

53

27

26

40

Allendale 'A'

20

12

2

6

50

40

10

38

Bere Regis

20

11

3

6

53

22

31

36

Handley Sports

20

7

3

10

49

59

-10

24

Child Okeford

20

7

2

11

54

64

-10

23

Sturminster Marshall Reserves

20

5

4

11

32

67

-35

19

Shaftesbury 'A'

20

5

3

12

41

69

-28

18

Milborne St.Andrew

20

5

2

13

23

54

-31

17

Stickland United

20

3

3

14

25

60

-35

12

 

Sundays

Hamworthy Lions 11: Bere Regis 3 (Cup)

This game marks the end of an era as far as Sunday football is concerned for Bere Regis. Nick Macklin finally retired from the management of a Sunday side that he has nurtured through ups and downs, thick and thin, win or lose, in sickness and in health for more years than he cares to remember. He has brought them from the backwaters of Sunday football all the way to Division One and kept them there, all this with a squad that would make a skeleton look positively porky. Whilst many teams that Bere have played have been chock full of Combination players and glory hunters, Nick has always stuck with the Bere faithful (apart from the odd yank!) as can be seen from the current crop of youngsters shining through and ready and waiting for next season. Some are born managers, some are made managers, some just pick it up because nobody else wants to do it, Nick is a combination of all three and will be sorely missed when the whistle goes next season.

As for the game itself, it was a bit of a mismatch as the Lions established their place in the Cup final. Yet the game almost epitomised what Nick was all about. As the rain lashed down Nick still managed to get thirteen players on the pitch for this thrashing. As the goals rained in, Nick was still there on the sidelines urging his team on. And after the final whistle had blown on his career, he was back behind the bar at the Sports Club for the end of season drink.

As the curtain closes on one managerial career they will open next season to another…with a very hard act to follow…….

Dorset Sunday League Division One

  

Pl

w

d

l

f

a

gd

Pts

Sandford

14

11

2

1

60

20

40

35

Hamworthy Lions

14

10

2

2

55

23

32

32

Poole Wanderers

14

8

2

4

49

40

9

26

Hamworthy RBL

14

7

3

4

30

21

9

24

Longfleet St.Marys

14

7

0

7

40

32

8

21

Bere Regis

14

4

0

10

27

47

-20

12

Bovington Challengers

14

1

5

8

22

52

-30

8

Windgreen Corfe Mullen

14

0

2

12

19

67

-48

2

Semaphore Arms, West Quay Marina Club and Wimborne RBL withdrew before the start of the season.

Weld Arms have withdrawn from the League.

Bere Regis 1: Handley Sports 0 (Cup)

Aaah…the magic of the cup. In competitions like this form means nothing and so it was proved by Bere scraping a victory despite having knocked ten goals past this team already this season. The conditions may have had something to do with this as well as, on a day more blustery than John Prescott getting a parking ticket; both teams struggled to master the gale force wind. Bere played with the wind at their backs in the first half, hoping to pile on the goals and have a trouble free second half. Handley had not read the script, though, and were soon coming up with their own, a horror film with plenty of gore….rating XXXX! First Coxxy was knocked out of the game with a thigh high tackle that turned both Kev's leg, and subsequently the air, blue. Worse was to come from a Handley player who had obviously forgotten his medication that morning given his behaviour for most of the half. As Stu Moorse just nicked the ball he was almost sliced in half by the kind of challenge that took us back to the days of Paul Moss, a player who lived by the maxim 'If it moves kick it, if it don't move kick it till it does'. Thankfully, after a quick John Thaw (Inspect 'a' Moorse…do keep up!) no bones were broken but Stu could not continue and Bere were forced into a substitution. Even more thankfully, Bere had already taken the lead by that point. A long throw by the paperboy wonder Al Moorse (all those Sunday supplements certainly make the muscles grow) caused all sorts of problems in the area and the ball fell to the one man who never misses, except when it's his round, Rob White. He duly obliged with a precision header and Bere had that precious goal. Once again chances came and went for Bere. Andy could only find the keeper when clean through and Spivey showed us why he is such a class defender by spooning the ball over the bar from mere yards out, but Bere had the lead at half time and, with the best defence in the league, surely that would be enough.

The answer in the second half was yes, but only just! Naturally the game was pinned in Bere's half by a ferocious wind, but Handley could not breach the ramparts of a defence safer than Gordon Brown's wallet. Despite a reshuffle at half time due to Kev's injury, the back four of Spivey, Rogerson, Moorse and Miller limited Handley to two chances in the half, just to keep Dave Ramsey interested in goal. One chance in particular he had to become very interested in when the Handley forward was clean through, but Dave neatly whipped the ball off his toes and Miller was there to pick up the pieces. In fact, Bere came closest to scoring as that perennial goal hound Shaun Cope forced the keeper into an error and toe poked it past him, only to see the ball rebound off the post.

Bere's win puts them on target for the semis, with two more wins needed to guarantee a place in the final. Stickland should be the required lambs to the slaughter next week, but with an injury and suspensions list growing faster than Neal Percy's hair nothing is guaranteed…..

Stickland Utd 1: Bere Regis 6 (Cup)

Despite being Moorseless and Percyless, Bere still managed a convincing win against the bottom of the league to take them within touching distance of the final. The game was over as a contest within the first five minutes when Bere soon opened up a 2-0 lead. Stickland's keeper was shakier than an alzheimers' convention, spilling two simple pickups for first Andy then Wayne to take advantage. Stickland glimpsed some light with a 25-yard floater that found the top corner, but Bere's defence soon pulled the shutters down on that hope and Wayne once again found his shooting boots on his favourite ground to pick up his first hat trick of the season. A bit of opportunism near the Teflon keeper gifted him a second, then Rob White tempted yet another defender into a rash challenge (will they never learn!) and Wayne dispatched the penalty for his third.

The second half was more of a procession than a contest as Bere piled on the pressure and a couple more goals to improve their goal difference, should it be needed. A highly dubious goal from Shaun Cope certainly caused some fun and games early on. Despite the linesman's flag being raised again the referee, quite rightly, adjudged Shaun onside and whilst all players stopped (including Shaun) a quick bellow of encouragement from Rob White urged Shaun to play on and hammer the ball in between the keeper and his near post. Bedlam ensued from the Stickland players, yet the referee stood firm and Bere were 5-1 ahead. Bere were now in cruise control, allowing the likes of Spivey and Rogerson to try their luck at a couple of corners only to slink back with a couple of headers that troubled some cows in a nearby field more than the keeper. Shaun Cope had the final word as he won a sprint with the keeper and looped the final goal of the game perfectly into the goal from fully 25 yards out.

Two wins out of two and Bere have only to beat Allendale next week for a place in the final. Unfortunately, Allendale have already inflicted Bere's worst defeat of the season and have all the potential to do it again. Those of a nervous disposition look away now…….

Bere Regis 2: Allendale 3 (Cup)

Gutted! Absolutely completely gutted! More gutted than a haddock at a fishmongers' convention! More gutted than a Sumo wrestler in a pie eating competition! A season that promised so much has ended in disappointment at the hands of an Allendale team brimming with talent. As that famous old sage John Cleese once remarked 'It's not the despair that's killing me….it's the hope!' and, unfortunately, that is precisely what this Bere Regis team keeps giving us. A 2-0 lead at half time gave us hope. Wayne Cope had latched onto a towering goal kick from Dave Ramsey and poached a goal out of nothing. Rob White had been bundled over in the box and Shaun Cope had rifled the penalty into the top corner. Hope was springing all over the place.

Then came the second half. Admittedly, Allendale had a force six at their backs but Bere had handled this kind of pressure before with no problems and for the first fifteen minutes the story looked the same. Then a catalogue of errors starting with a mix up between defence and keeper for a corner and ending with a missed clearance from that corner and Allendale had grabbed a goal and a lifeline. Sensing blood, Allendale brought on a couple of substitutes who were obviously used to playing in a higher league and soon they were rampant. The equaliser came soon afterwards as a long free kick fell kindly to an Allendale player whose miss-hit shot somehow squirmed under Dave Ramsey and crawled into the net. By now, Bere's morale had sunk lower than a snake's belly button and it was no surprise when Allendale took the lead with a looping header from a wicked curling cross. There was still a little fight left in some of the players as they strived for an equaliser, but apart from a tricky header from Andy that flew high over the bar Bere had few chances. As the saying goes, Bere were left with two hopes, Bob Hope and no hope and Bob has just left town.

Yet another season passes by with no trophies to show, yet this season Bere came within touching distance of a place in the final. Maybe next year……

Sundays

Broadstone Con 2: Bere Regis 2 (Cup)

A few Division 2 sides sprinkled into this Cup competition gave Bere the chance to test their mettle against some different faces for once. Twelve good men and true were found at the Rec that morning and, although some had only turned up to watch (serves you right Sweet) they all had a part to play in this thrilling encounter. Despite the lack of Bere's big guns for the game they still had enough in their armoury to fire off a few shots. They certainly needed a few battle hardened veterans in this game as Broadstone had sharpened their studs especially for the game. The tackles were, like David Beckham, thick and fast and loose and Bere seemed to be the only ones who realised that there was a football there at all. In the end, since Broadstone were kicking everything then the law of averages meant that they would kick the ball at some point and this rare occasion resulted in them taking the lead. Sean Pettitt pegged them back with a classy equaliser but Broadstone edged ahead once again. Texas Tom was on hand to save the day, though, to salvage a point for Bere and keep some kind of cup hopes alive.

Bere Regis 0: Hamworthy Lions 3 (Cup)

This season, Bere have seen more of the Lions than a Longleat park keeper. With both sides missing key personnel, though, this was the closest encounter yet and, if the manager had not been let down at the last minute once again, we may have had a close encounter of Steven Spielberg proportions. As it was, Bere had their own UFO (Unidentified Footballing Object) on the pitch, utilising one player whose scuffing days were thought to be long gone. Sometimes, however, the wise head is needed and it certainly helped the youngsters put in a creditable performance that had the Lions rattled. The defeat may mean that Bere are out of this Cup competition, but it is ironic that such a show of pride would be against the Lions.

Bere Regis 3: Broadstone Cons 2 (Cup)

A deserved victory against Broadstone may not be enough to progress Bere any further in this Cup competition, but it will certainly give them encouragement for next season. Once again, the stalwarts were there to give their all and this week they got their reward. Youngsters like Nick White, Al Moorse, Tom Bennett and Pete Macklin have shown this season that they can compete with the big boys. Old hands like Kev Cox, Dean and Adam Rogerson, Earle Dacre and Wayne Cope have proved that last year was not just a flash in the pan. Old, old big hands like Paddles has shown that there is life in the old dog yet and last but not least, the obligatory US keeper that most teams now seem to favour, Kevin 'Britney' Speers, has shown us that soccer stars can play a bit of football as well when they put their minds to it. The sum total of this smorgasbord of talent certainly showed Broadstone the way with three delicious goals and a dash of football mixed in. Sean Pettitt and Earle Dacre chipped in with one each, whilst Britney decided that he had tired of saving them and, having swapped with Paddles, wandered forward to poach a goal himself.

With one more game left in this mini league of the Cup there is little chance of progressing any further, but this victory has left Bere with something to savour out of the competition.

Saturdays

Stur Marshall Res 1: Bere Regis 1

It must be the generous nature of this likeable bunch of lads that makes them gift wrap points to the lower teams in the league as, once again, Bere squandered a hatful of chances and allowed Stur Marshall to equalise whilst still on their half time snooze. Despite the absence of their rock at the back, as Spivey went off to relive his youth watching Jethro Tull (the group, not the inventor of the seed drill…he's not that old) he was hardly missed in the first half with Dean Rogerson acting as the Deputy Headmaster and giving a lesson in the art of heading. Neal Percy and Stu Moorse were on top form on the flanks, tormenting the defence like a mongoose with a cobra. The only thing missing was the finish as chance after chance went begging. The one goal in the half came from Stu Moorse's devilry once again as he tempted the last defender into the type of tackle that would easily make Roy Keane's memoirs. Shaun Cope duly dispatched his fourth penalty in two games and Bere were one goal to the good at half time with the wind behind them…ready for the onslaught.

Unfortunately, Stur Marshall had not read the script. From the restart they strolled through Bere's defence as if they weren't there (which they weren't) and equalised. For the next forty four minutes controversy raged, the referee whistled more than a builder at a Miss World contest and Bere's chances of a trophy this year fell flatter than a hedgehog crossing Brands Hatch. The first player to see red was from Stur Marshall as a sly punch to Rob Whiter than White was spotted by the referee. Yet still Bere could not score as the Stur linesman was waving his flag like a royalist in Jubilee year. Eventually, Stu Moorse snapped and had the audacity to comment under his breath about the linesman. Unfortunately he had lucked upon a referee with hearing keener than a bat with a hearing aid and he was off for an early evening stint at the shop. Bere huffed, Bere puffed, but ended up going we, we, we were robbed, all the way home.

Despite this setback, Bere still retained second place and victories in the last four games would guarantee that they remain there. Stranger things have happened, but not very often!!

Bere Regis 0: Allendale A 3

The down side of playing in this league is that you get to play the reserve sides of the big boys and sometimes you get to play some very good players. The up side is that when you do, you do not actually look too bad. Especially when you consider a distinct lack of Rob White, Tony Lumsden and Andy Curtis for various reasons ranging from babysitting to Spanish plumbing (no that's not a disease!). In the first half Bere gave as good as they got and, at times, a bit more. Allendale were certainly the best football team Bere have played this season and a joy to behold with a pass and move football that had Bere in a spin. Yet the defence held true for most of the half and when the midfield and attack cut loose they were unstoppable, especially Stu Moorse, slippier than an eel in a Vaseline factory as he writhed his way through the fragile defence. Despite this, Allendale struck first with a goal more suspect than a Leicester player on holiday as the attacker handballed not once but twice on his way to the goal.

At 1-0 the task looked difficult and Kev Cox steeled his players for the mountain to climb. Whippet showed the way as he ran to the pitch and attacked with gusto, unfortunately it was his own players he attacked…with snowballs from the remnants of a very deformed snowman (obviously reliving his childhood in the mountains with the other yetis!). If only Whippet was as talented on the pitch as he is with a snowball. Alas no, as within minutes he bundled over an Allendale forward in the area and Bere were soon 2-0 down. As shown by the amount of smokers in the team, Bere are no quitters and they pressed harder than a dry cleaner on overtime. Kev Cox himself missed two gilt edged chances with one touch too many in the six yard box and a wayward header just when Spivey was steaming in behind him ready to slap the ball in off that famous forehead. Allendale finished the game with yet another dubious goal as a shove in the penalty box went unnoticed and the ball was struck firmly into the net from the edge of the area.

Slipping back to third it looks like Bere have only one more chance to retrieve the runners up spot by beating Wallisdown Sports away next week.

Wallisdown Sports 1: Bere Regis 1

Given the current rules on the content of reports such as this from the DCFA I could not possibly comment on the referee in this game as, unlike Premiership managers, my pockets are not deep, as many would testify. Suffice to say that if any team can get this man to referee for them then they will be lucky indeed. He is a complete and utter asset.

Yet Bere started this game as well as they have started any this season, out from the blocks faster than Dwayne Chambers after a visit to his pharmacist. They completely and utterly dominated the first half with some clinical football, strong in the tackle, quick with the pass but, unfortunately, wayward of shot. Chances came and went and even the likes of hotshot Mahoney and dead-eyed White found their shots ballooning off worse than Richard Branson in a hurricane. They both blamed the bouncy balls, next time they should know to wear sports shorts. It was left to the effervescent Stu Moorse, currently on a streak hotter than one of Gloves' cars, to put the ball into the back of the net as he planted a delightful finish on the end of a pinpoint cross from Wayne Cope. A free kick from Rob White came within a hair's breadth (one of Spivey's as well!) from making it 2-0 and Wallisdown still had no answer.

A second half dressing down must have occurred because it was a different Wallisdown that showed up for the second half. More fired up and appealing for everything they began to dominate the game. Bere still looked the more likely to score though as the defence remained rock solid, with Britney, our stand in keeper, staking his claim for the US keeper's spot ahead of both Howard and Friedel. Any other day and Mick Mahoney would have found the corner not the keeper. A bit more confidence and Andy Curtis would have struck first time and the game would have been assured, as it was it remained on a knife edge until the referee decided to make his mark. An arbitrary decision to send off the next player who swore meant that Mick Mahoney received his marching orders and Bere were down to ten men. Still the defence held strong, with White and Spivey showing that age is merely a state of mind, until they wake up the next day and can't move. The breach was finally made when Whippet, in one of his kick anything moods, made the fatal mistake of doing this right on the edge of the area. The referee pointed to the spot and, despite Bere's protestations that the foul was outside the area, the penalty stood and Wallisdown levelled. Bere could not raise their game enough to get a winner and the game ended with honours equal.

It was interesting for Bere to then go and watch the end of a game on a nearby pitch and hear the kind of language that would make a docker wince. It's a funny old game…….

Stickland Utd 0: Bere Regis 4

After a few bad weeks this game was just what the doctor ordered, a game against bottom of the league with a squad so packed there was just no room for the manager (unfortunately, he still insisted on coming along!). On a pitch stickier than a stick insect in a glue factory Bere did not play their best football of the season, but they did have their moments. Wayne's moment came when he controlled a wickedly bouncing ball on his chest and volleyed a beauty just under the crossbar. Squint's came when he received a sublime through ball from Neal Percy and hammered it into the net to put Bere two goals in front at half time. Many other chances came and went as Bere found their momentum and, on occasions, sliced Stickland open with surgical precision. Wayne, Andy, Squint and Stu all missed some decent chances, even Spivey lumbered up from the back to try to break his duck for the Saturday side only to power his header straight at the keeper. Yet it stayed at 2-0 until half-time.

Once again Bere's second half performance did not match their first, as they ambled around for the first twenty minutes of the half. Dean set the tone with his first clearance of the half as he let rip with the ball and a certain part of his anatomy at the same time. There is a certain advantage with playing with the wind behind you, but that does not mean that you should generate your own. Stickland braved this foul play and attacked with gusto, yet could not find a way through. Against the run of play it was Bere who extended their lead with a bizarre header from Wayne Cope. One of Al Moorse's legendary long throws ballooned off of Wayne's head and looped into the net as the keeper succumbed to pressure from Squint's jump. With the game all but won, Kev Cox introduced Adam, Whippett and Shaun Cope to liven things up again. This had the desired effect as all three provided a bit more energy and impetus to the attack. Shaun Cope certainly found the right spaces but still has to find his shooting boots again. Whippett was, well, Whippett and was up and down the left wing like a bees' wing, terrifying both defences and almost scoring with the kind of kick volley that has made Jackie Chan such a legend. Adam created the final word as he teased and tormented three Stickland players by the corner flag, he is always best with a bit of grass to play in, and winning a corner in the final seconds. He then whipped in a vicious cross that was only half cleared and Rob White was on hand to unleash an unstoppable volley that fair tore the net off.

Back on the winning trail again and back in second place this may be just what Bere need as they start their cup run next week. The only cups Bere have had any interest in the last few years is a nice pair of D cups, this year things could be very different….

Sundays

Bere Regis 1: Hamworthy Lions 5

Given the fact that this replaces an 11-1 drubbing earlier in the season due to the Lions fielding an ineligible player, I suppose that this could be deemed an improvement. I am sure that Nick would look on it slightly differently, though, as his team were once again erratic in their performance. Despite the fact that the Leicester three have had more games than Bere in the past month, at times they were more than matching the Lions, no mean feat against a team that will probably end up as league champions. At other times, the Lions just passed their way through Bere to claim yet another goal. The one shining light was a superb finish from Stuart Moorse with his right foot, a sight rarer than a Man Utd clean sheet.

Whilst the Lions were closing in on Sandford at the top of the league with this victory, Bere remain safe in sixth place with only the cup games left to play.

Saturdays

Bere Regis 4: Milborne St Andrew 0

Revenge is a dish best served cold…..although not this flipping cold as an Arctic wind whistling in from the East chilled players and supporters to the marrow. It also had quite an influence on the game as the first half was mostly played in Bere's half. With the wind squarely behind them Milborne's long punts upfield kept Spivey, White, Miller and Moorse busy at the back, even more so when we discovered that Dave Ramsey, our erstwhile keeper, had borrowed his boots from Robin Cousins, falling to the ground more easily than Emile Heskey on roller skates. Despite this encampment it was Bere who scored the only goal of the half when Shaun Cope, currently on a streak more golden than a certain England captain's prize assets, was put clean through on goal…no contest. One long shot that thumped against the crossbar (Dave had it covered!) was all that Milborne had to show for their possession and Bere knew that the game was there for the taking in the second half.

This was not Bere at their devastating best I must say, but they strolled to victory all the same thanks to that goal scoring demon Sean Cope. There were occasional flashes of brilliance from our midfield playmakers, but none of these gave rise to Sean's three goals in the second half. The first came from a precise through ball straight into Sean's path from a Milborne defender of all people. The hat -trick goal came from a penalty earned by that notorious dribbler Stu Moorse, tempting the defender into a challenge rasher than a Danish bacon lorry. Sean's piece de resistance came from an immaculate through ball by Bere's supersub Adam Rogerson, always a crowd pleaser, which Shaun dispatched with the same ease as his other three goals. Seven goals in two games, surely this kind of form will see him as a main contender for Dorset's Golden Welly, like Europe's Golden Boot but you can fit more drink into it.

Bere remain third in the league, but only three points behind Cranborne in second with two games in hand. Kev Cox will need all of his notorious coolness under pressure to steer Bere to runner's up spot!!

Handley Sports 0: Bere Regis 3

If you fancy a game of 'alternative' football then look no further than the backwaters of Sixpenny Handley for a leisurely afternoon stroll. The first signs of this surreal afternoon came with the 'alternative' team talk from Kev Cox, and I quote, 'I cant think of anything to say at the moment, so lets give it ten minutes…'. Winston Churchill eat your heart out!! In the football match itself the strangeness continued when none other than Andy Curtis fired in his first goal of the season. Yes the same Andy Curtis who has been so unlucky in front of goal he could kick himself…and miss that too. Just to prove it was no fluke, he did it again soon after from another immaculate pass by Wayne Cope. Meanwhile the defence were complaining of boredom as Handley's first meaningful shot on goal did not come until the 80th minute, so amused themselves by watching one of the locals taking their Shetland pony for a walk around the pitch. You should have seen the size of her pooper scooper!! Bere Regis were 2-0 up at half time playing against the wind, so think what they would do with the wind behind them.

The second half started brightly enough as none other than Mark 'One shot' Miller was in the right place again at a corner and drilled the ball home. However, things went downhill from there as both teams seemed more intent on kicking each other than the ball. With the game degenerating into a humdrum affair Kev brought Adam on to add some punch to the attack, unfortunately he misunderstood and soon found himself in trouble with the referee. Bere were certainly not their normal flowing selves, apart from the occasional move, and in the end both teams were glad to hear the final whistle. If Bere had attacked the Handley defence with the same gusto that they attacked the sausage and chips in the pub afterwards then it would have been a far different story…..

Still, another three points and Bere are still in the hunt for second place, although Cranborne are matching them point for point. 

Shaftesbury A 0: Bere Regis 4

On a filthy wet and windy day in January this game, believe it or not, was all that Dorset football had to offer. Most of the players were hoping that this game would also be postponed as they huddled in their cars waiting for the off with the rain lashing and the wind howling. Yet, when the whistle blew to start the game in the Shaftesbury gales on a pitch with more bobbles than a Christmas cardigan, Bere mysteriously transformed into a team once again. The twelve good men and true that made the long journey north played their little hearts out and were rewarded with a famous victory. The Shaftesbury team itself was bristling with talent as, with other games called off, they called in the big boys. Yet Bere rose to the occasion and were worthy winners. They laid the foundations in the first half with a battling performance that was crowned with a memorable first goal. Tony Lumsden received the ball on the edge of the area then turned and shot all in one fluid movement to find the top corner of the net. Despite a few scares, one being a memorable goal saving header from Young Al Moorse who came from nowhere to save a certain goal, Bere finished the half still ahead.

The second half was, quite simply, magnificent. It was just like watching Arsenal at the top of their game as the defence kept Shaftesbury at bay and the midfield broke forward like lightning at every opportunity. For the second goal, Neal Percy cut loose and ran through the midfield like a will o the wisp before releasing Adam Rogerson to slide the ball under the keeper. For the third goal it was Stu Moorse's turn on the opposite wing to shine with a twisting run and inch perfect pass picking out Andy Curtis who slotted home. All this time Mick and Squint were bossing the middle of the park to such an extent that Shaftesbury looked about as enthusiastic as a puppy who's just lost his Andrex (I am open to any sponsorship offers…). Even when Shaftesbury did manage to get past this committed midfield they had to run the gauntlet of Whippett, just back from his snowboarding holiday and playing like a Yeti with attitude. As soon as a forward received the ball Whippett was sliding in to get either ball or man with not a care as to which was first. Bere were so much in control that Rob White was even allowed a little comedy moment as he was caught in two minds as to whether to head the ball (never a good idea with Rob, might spoil the hair) or kick it and ended up doing neither, looking about as co-ordinated as a Neville brother. Luckily the centre forward was laughing so much he fluffed his shot completely. One more goal for Bere gave us the icing on the cake as Stu Moorse slid in at the back post and Bere were home and dry, or away and wet given the conditions….but happy.

As a result Bere moved into second but had the ominous task next week of taking on the top of the league to try and close some of the gap.

Bere Regis 1: Linthorpe 2

The less said about this the better as Bere gave their most disappointing performance of the season when Linthorpe were there for the taking. Yes Linthorpe were runaway leaders of the league, yes they had already beaten Bere once this season, but if this is the best that the league can offer then I'm the Queen of England. In the first half, Bere were not only mentally still in the changing rooms, they were at home with a nice cup of cocoa watching Grandstand (or more likely Men and Motors looking at their faces). Two slack goals conceded by a lacklustre defence, one when Whippett tried his first ever backheel only to give the ball straight to a Linthorpe player, and Bere had got what they deserved.

The second half was a more rousing performance with the wind at their backs, but the damage had already been done. Linthorpe never got out of their half as Bere unleashed an onslaught the like of which is only seen when Whippett goes for a haircut. Bere threw everything but the kitchen sink at them yet somehow their defence prevailed. The keeper was outstanding, had trials with Celtic apparently, the goal was charmed, especially when Spivey hit the post, and Bere ended up as pointless as Coxxy's charm school lessons. The only consolation was a goal from Stu Moorse/Tony Lumsden, they are still arguing over who got the final touch! A mighty cheer from Linthorpe greeted the final whistle as they knew they had guaranteed the title, whilst Bere merely slunk off with their tails between their legs. Valentine's day may be another week away, but there were a few broken hearts at the end.

Bere were now back to third in the league again, but their destiny is still in their own hands…all they have to do is win every game!

Bere Regis 5: Shaftesbury A 2

Bere are back in winning form again….just!! A very different Shaftesbury team lined up against Bere this week from the one two weeks ago and throughout the first half Bere's class showed. Shaun Cope had a hatful of chances, and a very big hat at that, but still managed to miss them all….he was not alone, being joined by Wayne, Neal, Stu and others. When Shaun did finally hit the target it was from the penalty spot as Stu was upended in the box and this time he made no mistake. Shaftesbury almost had a chance themselves as their forward finally beat the offside trap, but once again Al Moorse showed his immense potential as he sprinted to get level then timed his tackle to perfection. Bere should have taken heed of this warning.

As Bere ambled out for the second half they were full of confidence and almost scored again from the kick off but for a saving tackle. A beautiful sunny day, some lambs for the slaughter, what could possibly go wrong. Then the roof fell in! A seemingly innocuous cross was not cut out and Rob White nodded the ball into his own net under pressure. Two minutes later and brimming with confidence Shaftesbury struck again as Stu Moorse was too busy berating Spivey for not marking to notice his own player ghosting in at the back post and he lashed it into the roof of the net with glee. Bere were in tatters and the crowd were turning ugly (well, uglier than normal anyway!). Unhappy with Kevin Cox's management of the side there were shouts of 'Cox out', luckily this was not taken as an order as the players much preferred playing with 'Cox in'. This did indeed galvanise the side though and Rob White took it upon himself to save his manager and the team with a match winning performance. Rob loves to go down in the box and, at the first opportunity, he jinked his way into the area knocked the ball past the defender and left his foot there to be scythed down for a clear cut penalty. Once again, Shaun Cope obliged from the spot and Bere were level. Rob White was now rampant (what a horrible thought) and mesmerised his way around and through six players to get in a scoring position, only to spoil it with a shot lamer than Mick Mahoney. Al Moorse gave Bere their last scare as he tried a bit of trickery of his own, was tackled and the forward tried an outrageous 40 yard lob over Dave that was a whisker away. A minute later Bere were in front as Rob White, playing as an out and out forward, latched onto a through ball and calmly rounded the keeper to slot into the empty net. Miller interrupted the Rob White show for a while with some skill of his own as he turned the last defender and hared in on goal, only to be hacked down for Bere's third penalty. The crowd yelled for Miller to take it, but nobody was going to deny Shaun his penalty hat trick and Bere were 4-2 up. The final word was left to the White Wizard as he threw more dummies than a petulant baby to give himself a shooting opportunity on the edge of the area, then lashed it into the bottom corner.

A 5-2 win and the crowd were back smiling again. Bere were still in the race for second and helped themselves to some well deserved jars in the bar, though nobody was going too close to Rob as he relived his last goal for the hundredth time…..

Sundays

Bere Regis 1: Poole Wanderers 6

The joy of victory was short-lived. One week later and Bere were well beaten by a Poole Wanderers side that always aim to entertain. The first half was an evenly matched affair and Bere were actually first to find the goal as Sean Pettitt towered above a static defence to power a header home. Unfortunately, Bere then had the first of several reshuffles as Paddles had to be withdrawn with a back problem and was replaced by Britney in goal. This obviously had an effect as just before half time Wanderers equalised.

The second half was a different story as the Wanderers came out firing on all cylinders, whilst Bere were distinctly two-stroke. It is likely that this second half will be seen on the next X Files episode as Mulder and Scully try to discover where the midfield disappeared to. Poole Wanderers took advantage of this space and were soon scoring more easily than Lord Brocket in the jungle. None of the goals would feature too highly in any 'Goal of the Month' competition, but you don't get points for style in this league!! To add injury to insult, Dean Rogerson pulled his hamstring and, with no subs left, ended up as the third keeper of the game for Bere, with as much mobility as a sloth on crutches.

However, with only two games left and a healthy lead on the second bottom team Bere can feel safe in the knowledge that they have survived another season in Division 1.

Longfleet St Marys 4: Bere Regis 2

Yet again an air of disbelief wafted around Nick Macklin as he watched his young stars throw it all away for the second game in a row. Leading both 1-0 and 2-1 thanks to goals from Sean Pettitt and Wayne Cope you would have thought that they would have got something from this game. However, with the space in front of the defence left emptier than Tony Blair's promises by the midfield the defence were left, like Jordan's plastic surgeon, with their hands very full. 2-1 became 2-2, became 2-3 and then 2-4 before any Bere Regis players realised that the best form of defence is actually defence. Once this was realised Bere once again got back in the game and could have claimed a share of the points with better finishing. It is hard enough kicking your heels waiting for games as Bere will have to do in this diminished league, but to do it on the back of a defeat makes things worse.

The one consolation is that Bere know there is no team that they need to fear when the Cup competition rolls around. All they have to fear is fear itself…and Nick Macklin if the midfield ever disappears like this again!

The Boxing Day Extravaganza

Young Whippersnappers 7: Old Gits 5 - MATCH VOID

How unfortunate for the young whippersnappers that, following their first win for many years, the match has been declared void but…… rules is rules. A random drink and drugs test was conducted after the game by that impartial adjudicator Rob White (a man who has always been good at extracting the urine) and the Young Whippersnappers were found to have no trace of either drink or drugs, obviously 'The Gloved One' was one of those not tested. Under the strict rules of the Extravaganza this is not allowed and so the game has been declared null and void.

This shameful incident did not detract from the thrilling spectacle on the day as the Old Gits showed that they still have something to offer the young whippersnappers, besides the usual Werthers Originals and a soft lap to sit on. They certainly did themselves no favours, though, by consuming bottles of both whisky and vodka in their pre-match warm up. I am not sure that this was the kind of team spirit employed by Clive Woodward! Sure enough, with the wind at their backs the Young Whippersnappers came flying out of the blocks and were two goals to the good within five minutes. Stu Moorse had shaken off his groin strain, as young men often do, and got his brace quicker than a buck toothed dentist. Luckily, two old veterans finally surfaced from the changing rooms to shore up this leaking defence and add a bit of shape. Pete 'I wish I had not brought my boots' Whittaker gave us a better shape at the back, whilst Pip 'I'm glad I brought my inhaler' Evans gave us a much more well rounded shape in midfield. As a result, the Old Gits found themselves back in the game, although still under the cosh. It was good to see Mickey Percy back in a Bere shirt showing a touch of class in a midfield more packed than a Chippendale's Y-fronts. It was also good to see Bungy 'The Daddy' Brown back ploughing his furrow next to him and proving that he had not lost any of his touch…still a donkey! What was not good for the Old Gits was the awesome sight of Pete 'The Fat Cat' Macklin in the youngster's goal. A few less than kind remarks, mostly from himself, stung him into action and he made a couple of top class saves from the Old Gits front two, although admittedly Pricey's shot was about as powerful as one of his punches. With Rob White matching the Fat Cat save for save the half time score remained at 2-0.

A bit of oiling of the joints at half time in the Old Gits changing room and they were a different team at the start of the second half. Before the effects of the vodka could wear off they went straight for the jugular with some success. First Bere's newest Old Git, Adrian Moore, opened his legs and showed us his talent, as David Coleman would say, with a surge of pace and a perfect finish. Then Bere's newest striking talent, Darren Spivey, showed us why he is wasted at the back (and in the bar) as he pounced on a loose ball in the box and smashed it into the net to level the scores. The youngsters were rattled and should have been behind when Spice Boy Price was through on goal with only the keeper to beat. I never thought I would see the day when Price Boy was criticised for not shooting early, but this delay allowed Adam 'Rio' Moss to recover and with another precision tackle this star of the future saved the day again. This proved a turning point as the youngsters soon reasserted themselves. Adam, Stu, Mick and Neal started pulling some strings and before you could say 'Is the bar open yet?' the youngsters were 5-2 up.

There was still time for another comeback from the Old Gits in a game that had more twists than a Chubby Checker concert. Dr Dacre gave us another surgically precise finish to pull one back and with Pip playing the Zidane role (I never thought I would ever write that!) the Old Gits were piling on the pressure. Spivey popped up from nowhere to score his second (a suspicion of handball, but if its good enough for Maradona!) and make the game interesting. With seconds ticking away a long punt upfield from Rob White left two on two at the back. Spivey timed his header to perfection, Moore lashed it into the top corner and the Old Gits were level again. That was when they made their fatal mistake. Instead of calling for the end of the game (the timekeeper could be easily bought) they played on for the winner. Having said that, they almost got it as Rob 'Schmeichel' White popped up for a corner and just skimmed the bar with his header, ending up with a bloody nose for his pains. The Whippersnappers had seen enough by now and finished the game with a classic goal. Neal Percy tricked his way down the right and found Sean Cope on the edge of the area, who dived to power a header in off the crossbar. Despite time being called the Old Gits battled for the equaliser (I told you the timekeeper could be bought) but one final goal from the youngsters and the lure of the bar proved too much to resist.

This could be the end of an era…..although the Old Gits still won the drinking at the end. Some things never change!

Saturdays

Bere Regis 6: Child Okeford 0

It's been a while since the Bere faithful were treated to any kind of football, let alone a treat such as this. With more postponements than Virgin trains the Bere team had enjoyed an unusually long festive break. This did have the advantage of allowing Rob White to recover from his groin strain (Newlyweds…all the same!), although Dean was absent to do a spot of caving (Yes I'm sure he found one big enough!!). The disadvantage was that in the first half Bere looked rustier than Neal Percy's razor. The defence were all over the place, whilst the forward line couldn't find the net if their life depended on it and after one particularly bad miss from Sean Cope murder was a distinct possibility.

The second half was a different story. Sean Cope suddenly discovered where the net was with a blistering finish from an inch perfect Stu Moorse cross and from thereon in Bere just got better and better. Stu found the net himself soon after, robbing the defender and finishing with aplomb. Bere were now purring like a cat in a milk factory and cutting Okeford apart at will. A slight aberration from Mick Mahoney caused a few anxious moments as he chested an Okeford player to the ground in retaliation, but thankfully the referee showed good judgement and Mick was lucky to only see yellow. He responded by letting his feet do the talking and Bere were off again. Sean Cope poached another, whilst Miller came on to pop up in the area and keep his goalscoring ratio at a goal per shot, Owen eat your heart out! Sean Cope then rounded off a well deserved hat trick with the best of the lot. With a speed of foot to match Fred Astaire on fast forward he found some space on the edge of the area and drilled a precise shot into the bottom corner. There was still time for one more as Rob White lined up a free kick on the edge of the penalty box and fired one towards the top corner. Despite an outstanding save from the keeper he could only push it onto the bar and back down to that goal predator Stu Moorse who eventually forced it through the keeper and into the net.

Look out Div 3 N & E…Bere are back!!

Sundays

Bere Regis 1: Sandford 6

A hastily rearranged game for Bere meant a hastily arranged side and a result that showed it. Earlier in the season Bere had come close to a creditable draw in the away fixture, but Sandford showed their quality in this game and gave the home team a proper caning with six of the best. Bere's solitary goal came, once again, from the Earl of Dacre with his right royal left foot, finding the corner of the net more easily than finding Saddam in a foxhole. As for the rest of the game, I shall spare the blushes for most of the home team by praising the Sandford eleven. Especially a centre forward, who oozed class, epitomised by the final goal as he teased the defence before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

The Christmas break could not come soon enough…….

Bere Regis 2: Bovington Challengers 1

Bere's first game of the season was a defeat against the Challengers so it was good to see how this young team (and Paddles) has improved in such a short space of time. It is not often that the manager feels inclined to praise everyone, but with a true team performance such as this he had no choice. Obviously, everyone remembers the goal scorer and once again Texas Tom Bennett continued his good form to get both the goals, both being one-on-ones with the keeper which is becoming a bit of a trademark for the lad (one I am obliged to say from a sublime through ball from Kev Cox - do I keep my place in the Saturday team now Kev?). But to come back from 1-0 down at half time shows great spirit against a well disciplined side such as this and with the team now safely ensconced in sixth place they are starting to eye the teams above rather than below them now.

Saturdays

Cranborne 2: Bere Regis 0

After a storming start to the season, Bere seem to be going through a spell where any mistake is punished and the team can't get a goal for love nor money. Injuries hit hard this week, with no Rob White, Marc Miller or Stu Moorse through various bodily injuries, whilst Squint was lost to a lack of MOTivation. Unfortunately, Spivey was also slightly under the weather after a tummy bug on the Friday that saw him experience more flushes in one day than your average menopausal woman sees in a year.

Nevertheless, once on the pitch the team still managed to make a pretty decent game of it against a team that were just off the back of a 5-1 thrashing of Stur Marshall. Infact, Bere had much the better chances in the first half, the most memorable being a weaving run from Shaun Cope that saw him beat four players before skewing his shot just wide. Meanwhile, his brother Wayne was playing puppet master in the middle of the park, pulling the strings for all Bere's best moves and leaving the Cranborne team, like Cliff Richard's groupies, chasing shadows. Despite all this, it was Cranborne who scored the opener as an immaculate free kick to the back post left Whippett isolated in a heading contest and by the time he had got all his hair out of the way to head the ball it was already in the back of the net.

The Whisperer was understandably upbeat at half time, despite being behind, given the effort being put in by all concerned and simply asked for more of the same. We soon understood why he was so subdued as, coming on for an injured Wayne, he had saved all his venom for the referee. Within seconds he had subjected the referee to the kind of abuse that is normally reserved for the Neverland ranch. Nevertheless, this passionate approach seemed to work as Bere once again had the better of the play and if Triston Gale had a better left foot cross the story could have been different. But as Bere pushed for that elusive equaliser and gaps started to appear it was Cranborne who sealed the game midway through the half. The normally reliable partnership of Cutler and Rogerson decided to do their Laurel and Hardy routine and as Whippet bounced off the ample form of Dean (that's another fine mess you got me into Whippet!) the Cranborne forward said thank you very much and hit the back of the net. Bere continued to push for a consolation and, but for the heroics of the Cranborne keeper, would have got one. First Shaun Cope forced a smart save only for the ball to fall to Mick 'Cannonball' Mahoney. The ball was hit with such power that it would have left Concorde for dead, yet somehow the keeper got two hands on it and palmed the ball over. Not Bere's day at all!

Despite all this, Bere were still clinging on to second place by the skin of their teeth, but desperately needed some goals…..

Sundays

Hamworthy Lions 1: Bere Regis 0

At the beginning of the season, Bere had been at the wrong end of an 11-0 mauling from these lions and they were not going to let it happen again. It was, therefore, unfortunate that after a battling performance in which Bere matched the lions claw for claw they were undone by a bobbly pitch. Just before half time, a speculative shot from outside the area was covered by the US male Kevin 'Britney' Speers in goal. Then, at the last minute, the ball hit a divot and bobbled over his outstretched hand and into the net. Lady Luck has not only deserted us, she seems to have eloped with the Lions. Despite Bere's best efforts, most of them straight at the keeper from Texas Tom, in the second half, Hamworthy hung on for the victory.

Once again, Bere had come second best in a tight game, but with Windgreen to come next week another performance like this should see another three points winging their way to them.

Bere Regis 5: Windgreen, Corfe Mullen 2

This kind of weather may be ideal for England's rugby stars to give the Aussies and the French a damn good hammering (I had to mention it somewhere!), but it was not conducive to Bere's normal free flowing game. However, with a decent squad available and the prospect of three points ahead Nick was still keen to play, forgetting the last time we played this team in conditions like this we were at the wrong end of a 7-1 thrashing. This new younger model is obviously made of sterner stuff!

The first half was a tight affair. With the wind and rain in their faces, Bere were forced to play their football on the ground. Luckily, Pete Macklin was right at the top of his game, giving the kind of centre forward display that mere mortals, and Emile Heskey, can only dream of. Like Graham Price, although he was not scoring he was looking good and it was not long before Bere took the lead, a cracker from Nick White from outside the area. Windgreen equalised with a sweet strike of their own, before Texas Tom decided to do-it-himself and gave Bere the lead again. Windgreen were no quitters and equalised just before half time to leave Bere with some work still to do in the second half. This was accomplished with ease, though, and with the wind at their backs Bere played the conditions beautifully and kept the score ticking over throughout the half. Tom Bennett added his second, Sean Pettitt (on loan from Chelski, or have I got the wrong Pettitt) opened his account with a beauty, then Nick White finished as he started, with an elegant final strike.

Three points for the Regis, Johnny Cleall finally deciding to take his lovely girlfriend up the aisle (no smutty comments please!) and Nick White on the wrong end of a seven ball mauling at pool….has there ever been a more satisfying Sunday?

Longfleet St Marys 4: Bere Regis 2 aet (Senior Cup)

Forget bungee jumping, forget snowboarding, forget even getting in a car with Frenchy, if its thrills and white knuckle adventure that you want look no further than your local village football team. A skeleton squad, no doubt worried about random drugs tests, travelled to Upton Rec in the 3rd round of the Cup hopeful of glory. These hopes were soon dealt a hammer blow as, after only ten minutes, the 'Hand of Gale' intervened on the line and the referee had no alternative but to send Triston off for yet another early bath. Fortunately, the penalty was missed, but this luck would not last and by half time Bere were two scrappy goals down and most probably out.

This Sunday team are a plucky bunch; in fact sometimes they are plucking brilliant, and the second half gave them all a chance to show this. Like the reluctant Welshman they never say dai and with fifteen minutes to go Earl brought them back into the game with a screamer from the edge of the area that had goal written all over it from the moment the ball left his trusty left boot. When Tom Bennett equalised with a couple of minutes to go the crowd went wild (Nick Macklin was even seen to smile!) and the nail biting was extended for at least another half hour. Unfortunately, having just played eighty minutes with only ten men, this was just a bridge too far for the gallant Bere players. Despite another Herculean effort in extra time they were undone by two breakaway goals.

Once again it looks like Bere will have another 'Mother Hubbard' season….the trophy cupboard will be bare!!

Saturdays

Bere Regis 1 Stickland Utd 0

Another win for Bere, but they certainly made hard work of this one. Gone was the fluent football, gone was the one touch passing and in its place were the long ball tactics that made Graham Taylor such a household name. To be fair to Stickland, they hassled and harried Bere in every area of the pitch and with no time to play Bere were forced into such a tactic, but the fans and the manager expect more from this team than kick and rush. The only goal of the game came from that pillar (I said pillar!) of the team Dean Rogerson, who powered the ball into the net from a corner. However, the other match winner this week was a certain young keeper, step forward Mr Ramsey. After Rob White had indulged in the type of wrestling that only the WWF, Christina Aguilera and Tony Blair (with his conscience) can get away with, the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Dave was like a coiled spring as the striker ran up and leapt like a salmon to his left to divert the ball over his bar and give Bere the points.

In the words of D-Ream…things can only get better!

Allendale 1 Bere Regis 4

In previous seasons, Bere have tended to struggle against the young colts of Allendale. No such trouble this year as Bere put them to the sword and put themselves back on track. On a beautiful sunny day Mick Mahoney ran the show in midfield and steadied any nerves Bere may have had with an early goal from a 25 yard strike that was too hot for the keeper to handle. With the defence as solid as a rock there was only going to be one side scoring again before half time and it was Stu Moorse who provided it. Realising that the keeper was about as dodgy as a royal footman he chased in on an easy gather and was in the right place at the right time when the keeper dived right over the top of the ball. Stu ambled across to the goal and finished with his right (yes he has got one after all) foot to make it 2-0 at half time.

The second half started like a dream for Bere when Shaun Cope, that infamous weaver of footballing tricks, found some space in the penalty box, then found the bottom corner to give Bere a three goal advantage. But then it all started to go horribly wrong. A darting run from Allendale's best player gave him the space for a speculative effort that beat Britney in the bottom corner. This was followed by the kind of pressure from Allendale that only Lisa Riley's waistband is used to dealing with. The defence was equal to the task, though, and as Allendale tired Kev threw on the fresh legs of Mark Miller up front to test Allendale's defensive resolve. In the dying minutes, Miller found space in the six yard box, turned on a fivepence (decimalisation you know) and fired the ball into the top corner.

Three more points to the Regis and everyone back to the Pudding and Pie for a well deserved shandy or two.

Bere Regis 2 Stur Marshall Res 2

This season Bere have had one or two hairy moments…and I don't just mean Whippet and Percy. This was certainly one of them as Bere had to come from behind twice (make of that what you will S.T.) to salvage a point. As with Stickland, Stur Marshall gave Bere no time to play and, consequently, Bere had about as much rhythm as Whippet and Coxxy together on the dance floor. Yet Bere still had some decent chances to score, Wayne in particular had the goal yawning in front of him but could only skew it wide from a Mahoney cross so powerful it almost knocked him over. Yet it was Stur who broke the deadlock with a scrappy and controversial goal, as the ball appeared to be behind when knocked back into play. As the ball floated back into the area Spivey executed an acrobatic overhead kick that should only be attempted by players half his age, but it went straight to a Stur player on the edge of the area. His shot was diverted onto the path of a player who looked well offside, but nothing was given and Stur were rejoicing. A sustained period of pressure up to half time, however, paid dividends as Stu Moorse equalised with a tap in from an excellent Shaun Cope pass.

A rocket was duly given at half time (and it wasn't even bonfire night) but this still did not bring Bere out of their lethargy. Soon into the half a break down the right and a pinpoint cross allowed the striker to elude the Bere defence and Stur were 2-1 ahead. Chances came and went and as the clock ticked down Kev tried something radical, replacing both his strikers and giving his own rusty legs (having had more suspensions than Brunel) a bit of a try out. With ten minutes left the gamble paid off as he slotted Shaun Cope through for a race with the keeper. Dwain Chambers would have been proud of such pace (and drugs free as well!) and Shaun rounded the keeper and toe poked the ball into the net. Bere could even have won it as Shaun just clipped the post near the end and then Kev Cox, in the dying seconds, screwed a shot wide when it seemed easier to score.

Relief for the manager in snatching the point, but Bere need to be better than this if they are to snatch the league from the unbeaten Linthorpe.

Linthorpe 2: Bere Regis 0

A crunch match if ever there was one…..first against second and with Linthorpe having won all their games so far it was a must win game for Bere five points behind them. As you can see, Bere didn't quite manage it, but did give the kind of battling performance that meant this game could have gone either way. Playing against a team that would look more at home on a basketball court than a football pitch it was always going to be a physical encounter and from the first tackle that saw Stu Moorse upended in the first ten seconds there was no quarter given on either side. With more studs showing than a Chippendale night it was not for the faint hearted, but Bere seemed to be getting the upper hand. Stu flashed a shot just over the crossbar and Linthorpe seemed to be favouring the long ball which was eagerly snapped up by Darren and Dean at the back. However, a quick break down the left and a fortunate scoop over the bar from the alert Spivey showed just how dangerous Linthorpe could be. Midway through the half they pounced on a Bere error and within a couple of passes had the ball in the back of the net. Bere redoubled their efforts, but at half time still found themselves with a mountain to climb.

The second half was much the same as the first as the midfields battled each other to a standstill and both defences more watertight than your average Pampers (yes I am looking for a sponsorship deal!). As the game wore on Bere had to attack more and more and chances started to appear. Stu Moorse once again came close, Mick 'Tiny Tim' Mahoney (with more leg braces than the NHS) cracked a couple of long range efforts just wide and Rob White floated a free kick a whisker away from the top corner. Despite all this it was Linthorpe who sealed the game late on as Dean lost possession on the right and the subsequent cross found their best striker who finished in style. There was still time for a bit more incident as one young Moorse was concussed following a Stu sandwich. It is bad enough seeing double, but with the likes of Coxxy and Spivey looking after you it must be a horrific sight. Then young Alex made his mark on the game after coming on for his very dazed brother by getting a push at a late corner and earning Bere a penalty. Rob White stepped up to take the responsibility and promptly fluffed it. Afterwards we found out that the keeper was an ex-professional keeper (although I must admit it was Scottish!!), but at the time he looked more like a professional Space Hopper bouncing around in a way that would make Tigger feel nauseous. It worked though as he dived the right way and Bere were left ruing all the chances they had missed.

The league, like an unwanted kitten, looks pretty much in the bag for Linthorpe but after the scare Bere gave them they will not be looking forward to the fortress that is Bere Rec in the return.

Sundays

Bere Regis 5: Longfleet St Marys 2

Oh my word, did the boys come good or did the boys come good this week! Like a particularly naughty public school boy (or a rich politician) it was only a matter of time before somebody was going to get a spanking from this Bere team and it was Longfleet who were the unlucky victims. With their tails up from the previous week Bere were awesome and were scoring at will. Be it long range efforts from the likes of Earl Dacre and Triston Gale or close range efforts from Stu Moorse and Pete Macklin, Bere were unstoppable. Needless to say, Nick White was the other name on the score sheet as Bere doubled their points tally for the season and shocked the league to its roots.

Bring on the Sandford…Bere are back!

Sandford 2: Bere Regis 1

There are good referees, there are bad referees, and then there was this one…more shocking than an electric eel, more attitude than a teenager, more biased than the leaning tower of Pisa…what more can I say. The teams were well matched and Bere came close to an upset when they equalised in the final few minutes and could have gone on to win. However, having seen the referee lean towards Sandford all game it should have been no surprise to see him award a penalty from the halfway line for a 50-50 challenge between Britney and the Sandford striker. When Sandford scored what proved to be the winner this was too much for the normally placid Bere manager. Walking off the pitch at the end he could not help alluding to the fact that the referee had given them the points as he walked past him. Alex Ferguson eat your heart out….perhaps Nick will find himself banished to the swings for the next few games.

Hamworthy RBL 3: Bere Regis 1

Guess who was back to haunt Bere in this game, that's right…Casper the unfriendly referee! Once again he pulled up Bere for innocuous challenges, once again he booked Bere for daring to disagree with some ludicrous decisions (no swearing from the players involved I might add!), once again he gave a dodgy penalty decision when nowhere near the play. Perhaps he is a reformed alcoholic with an aversion to all beres, who knows. Either way, Bere had lost the points again and even the opposition gave us some sympathy this week. Let us hope he finds another team to haunt next week!

PS In case it matters to any of you still reading Earl Dacre scored Bere's goal (I expect it matters to Earl anyway!)

Bere Regis 1: Hamworthy RBL 5

After Bere's triumph in the Cup the previous week (that's right, the other team didn't turn up!) Bere had a hastily rearranged game against their previous conquerors. Watching the defence play you could certainly tell it had been hastily rearranged as they showed as much cohesion as Brown and Blair. Having said that, the first half was mostly Bere's. They took the lead through Shaun Cope and should have doubled their lead when Pete Macklin had the goal at his mercy from five yards out. Unfortunately, he appears to have inherited the scuffing gene from his father and skewed his shot wide. The second half, though, was all Hamworthy's. Finding Bere's weakness was the crossfield pass they continued this tactic through most of the half. A back post header brought them back in the game, a hideous piece of miscontrol from Kev Cox gave them the lead and from then on they were scoring at will. At 5-1 Bere had a couple of chances, notably Texas Tom clean through could only find the keeper with a shot that must have stung his hands, but other than that Bere were well and truly beaten.

On the bright side…at least the referee was very good this week!

Saturdays

Bere Regis 6: Wallisdown Sports 0

Wallisdown were the new kids in town. They had stormed through Divisions 6,5 and 4 with ease and, to be quite honest, Bere had their umbrellas out ready for the next storm. Especially when the Bere players arrived to see that Wallisdown had just finished their half hour warm up session. The only warm up Bere get is when they light up their fags!

It was only when the game started that we started to see it was men against new kids. Despite losing the previous week, Bere continued with their pass and move tactics and it soon bore fruit. A peach of a move between Squint and Wayne had Squint bearing down on goal and a precision finish off the inside of the post gave Bere their first goal of the season and a 1-0 advantage. Some stiff resistance followed after this as Bere began to get overrun in midfield prompting a few hastily bellowed instructions from the touchline by ‘Whispering’ Kev Cox. Rob White moved up into the hole, a position he particularly relishes, and Bere once again took the upper hand. A superb cross field pass from the ever improving Mick Mahoney gave Lee Webber a one on one with the keeper..no contest…2-0. Then, the ever eager Stu Moorse sprinted into the centre to finish a wonderful flowing move and make it 3-0 before half time.

The second half saw much the same pattern as Bere wove an intricate tapestry of passes across the green baize that is Bere’s pitch. As Bere showed the appreciative crowd more triangles than a toblerone, the goals soon followed. Lee Webber grabbed his second from another immaculate through ball by marksman Mahoney, Wayne Cope slotted home from an unselfish Andy Curtis set up and everything looked rosy. The icing on the cake came from that effervescent substitute Neal Percy. Taking the ball from deep in his own half he only had his eyes on the goal as he set off on a mazy run that took him past three Wallisdown players before a finish so cool it needed shades.

Bere’s first win was now under their belt and Kevin had the sort of smile that would make a Cheshire Cat seem po-faced.

Child Okeford 1: Bere Regis 3

Against a much fancied Okeford team, Bere continued where they had left off the previous week, with the only real scare being trying to find the place. En route Bere managed to lose a striker and a keeper in the wilds of North Dorset , forget football training on Wednesdays nights, orienteering would be more appropriate! When the team finally did gather they were, once again, irresistible. Old Red Eyed Rogerson slotted in to the back four like he’d never been away so, with this rock solid defence behind them, the midfield played football so pretty I swear there were wolf whistles from the crowd. With the Okeford goal more peppered than a steak it was only a matter of time before the breakthrough and when Wayne Cope was unceremoniously barged in the box (that sounds painful), it was Mick Mahoney who put away the penalty with ease. Before the break, Okeford had the temerity to level the scores with a 30 yard strike of such power and accuracy Dave, on goal, never stood a chance, although he still did his ‘I’ll pretend I’m trying to save it’ dive. Bere never lost heart, though, and almost scored just before half time when a quick free kick from Rob found Webber unmarked in front of goal, unfortunately he could only find the keeper.

 After some rousing words from ‘The Whisperer’ at half time Bere were just as impressive in the second half, but the strikers found the net as elusive as finding the ground and Okeford were clinging on like a Scotsman to a fiver. As the half progressed you began to think it was one of those days, until the arrival of Neal Percy from the subs bench. Faster than a hairy whippet and hungrier than David Blaine he was soon terrifying the opposition defence. It was his cross that found Squint lurking in the area for the simplest of tap-ins to give Bere the lead with ten minutes to go. Then, as Okeford pushed for an equaliser, an interception and pinpoint pass from that wily old veteran Spivey gave him a run at goal. Easily outpacing the last defender he slid the ball perfectly into the bottom left corner to ensure Bere of all three points.

 Could this be Bere’s year….if they continue in this form they have every chance!

 

Bere Regis 7: Handley Sports 0

 With Kev Cox away on best man duties (let us pray he was not abusing the man in black this week!), it was left to Spivey and Percy to pick up the manager’s mantle. However, with the way this team is playing at the moment it is simply a case of making sure they all turn up on time and watch them go.

 The midfield quartet soon began to run the show once again, passing the ball around for fun and slicing the ball through for Neal ‘Hagrid’ Percy to run on to, showing more speed than an Eminem concert. It was not long before Bere started the rout as their very own WMD (Weapon of Moorse Destruction!) Stuart tricked a couple of defenders on the left, creating space for Rob White 25 yards out. As the defenders backed off him Rob unleashed a pinpoint shot that scraped the left hand post before nestling in the corner of the net. This was soon followed by another as he ghosted in between two defenders from a sumptuous cross by Greg and finished with aplomb. When Mick Mahoney made it three with a deflected power blast before half time the three points were in the bag.

 The second half saw Bere at their best as the defence simply soaked up the pressure and allowed the midfield and forwards to pick them off on the break. First WMD capitalised on a peach of a cross from the well insulated Neal Percy. Neal then snatched a goal of his own, with a Ronaldhino-style cross-shot that sailed into the top corner. Lee Webber showed his pace (!) for the next, beating the keeper to a precision through ball and finishing with consummate ease. The final act of destruction was left to the effervescent Rob White to complete his hat trick and finish Handley off when Neal was almost cut in half by a reckless challenge from the keeper and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Rob White is no Beckham, despite what he thinks, and he planted the spot kick in the corner to ensure that the match ball was his (for a couple of minutes anyway).

 Another easy win and Bere look set for league glory, lying second with only Linthorpe as the other main contenders.

 

Lyme Regis 3: Bere Regis 1 (Cup)

 There were two cobbs in Lyme this week, the one in the harbour and the one on Kev’s face as Bere were unceremoniously dumped out of the Cup. With Spivey and White away on international duty ( Derby ’s a long way you know), the manager had to switch around his rock solid defence, which caused a few cracks to appear. As they tried manfully to adjust to their new positions, Lyme took full advantage and before they knew it Bere were 2-0 down with a mountain to climb.

 The fact that they almost managed it in the second half owes a lot to their grit and determination and when Mick pulled one back from the penalty spot things were looking up. Unfortunately, like Rio Ferdinand’s drug sample, it was just too little, too late. A dodgy penalty decision near the end gave Lyme another two goal cushion and Bere’s cup run was over before it had begun.

Sundays

Bere Regis 0: Hamworthy Lions 11

For those of you who think the above is a typing error…its not. The less said the better and so I shall say no more. We shall summarise with the manager’s one and only statement on the game to the reporters…No Comment!!

Wanderers 6: Bere Regis 3

Football matches can turn in moments. Moments of skill…..moments of class…..moments of madness………and moments of incompetence so breathtaking it makes you wonder if it is worth bothering. It is true that without the referee there would be no game, but with a referee such as this that would be preferable. With Bere 3-2 up (goals from Kev Speers, Nick White and Bere’s current top goalscorer…own goal) the game was poised on a knife edge. The penalty decision that allowed Wanderers to equalise was so laughable even Robert Pires would have turned it down. The fact that the referee then missed a blatant hand ball from the last defender makes you wonder whether he was Venetian. After that, Bere lost the plot, lost Triston Gale for abusing the referee and, ultimately, lost the game.

 However, after the debacle of the previous week, there were some encouraging signs for Nick Macklin, and not just those that were aimed at the referee!!

Bere Regis 3: Weld Arms 4

This was a game of two halves if ever there was one. There was only one player to blame for Bere’s poor first half performance and that man was Andy Curtis, who wasn’t even playing! It was his wedding do the night before that did most of the damage, as Bere’s players showed about as much restraint as your typical Newcastle midfielder. There was little heading in the first half and even less passing as most of the players tried to muster a trot. The Weld could not believe their luck and soon capitalised on their superior fitness to take a 4-1 lead, Bere’s only goal coming from the admirable Mr Cope.

 Nick’s decision to substitute Dan Vater, once the darling of the crowd, was inevitable as he showed all the attributes that made George Best famous, apart from the football skills. This gave a chance to a new kid on the block…Texas Tom Bennett. Like a young Steve Ives (if ever there was such a thing) he is the kind of player that would not only be the first over the top in the trenches, but would also be halfway to Germany before you could stop him. In the ten minutes (!) of time added on from a referee who was obviously enjoying himself he managed to intercept a poor goal kick and run on unchallenged to score. Within a minute he then pulled back another with a blistering finish from close range that fairly broke the net. At last the Bere crowd had something to cheer and almost urged them on to an equaliser as the keeper tipped one around the post in the dying seconds.

 Another defeat, but at least a glimmer of hope amongst the wreckage.

Windgreen, Corfe Mullen 1: Bere Regis 3

At last, the victory that Bere’s young lions deserve! Windgreen were certainly the type of team that Bere needed to spark their season into life and, with a lot of hard work and effort, Bere put them to the sword. Once again it was Texas Tom who stood tall and took all the plaudits, with another brace of goals from his route one approach. He was ably assisted by young Peter Macklin, stepping out of the shadow of his old man and starting to shine in his own right as he also stuck his name firmly on to the score sheet.

 Having now broken their duck and avoided all the jokes about a triangle having more points, they were looking forward to making the hexagon against Longfleet next week. Watch this space!

Saturdays

Milborne St Andrew 2: Bere Regis 0

The best laid plans of mice, men and managers……

After two pre-season victories and with more people signed on than previous years  there were high hopes for this season. However, Milborne had other ideas and were also parading their new signings on a brand, spanking new pitch, those Russians get everywhere. Playing against the wind in the first half, Bere's new defence found itself busier than Abramovic's accountant. A couple of chances went begging, at both ends, before disaster struck for Bere. Taking Dean on for pace, a bit like shooting fish in a barrel with an Uzi, the Milborne forward snapped off a shot that Dave could only parry straight back to another onrushing player who slotted home. Bere upped the tempo from there and had several decent chances before gaining a well deserved penalty. Up strode Wayne Cope, confidence oozing from every pore, to slot the penalty home. Back slunk Wayne Cope, confidence shattered, after a penalty that was so wide of the mark even Chris Waddle would have laughed at it. Still only 1-0 down at half time and with the wind behind them Bere were still confident of a victory.

There then followed the most one sided half of football you will ever witness, so much so that the referee felt obliged to help Milborne out as often as possible. From the kick off Bere went straight for goal and never stopped. Shot after shot rained down, but with Milborne's goal more charmed than David Blaine it was an impossible task. On a different day Andy Curtis would have been in double figures but, unfortunately, his shooting was about as reliable and accurate as Tony Blair's memory and the base of the post was the closest he got. As Bere pressed it was inevitable that Milborne would get one chance and when they scored with it, you just knew it was not Bere's day. A stonewall penalty denied, offside decisions dodgier than the plants in Gloves' garden, shots missed, headers fluffed, the crossbar rattled….need I go on. Suffice it to say, it was not Bere's day.

Sundays

Bovington Challengers 3: Bere Regis 1

Out with the old, in with the young is the motto for the Sunday side this year as the youth of Bere Regis try to take the mantle from the old timers who have finally hung up their zimmer frames. Luckily, Paddles and Britney were still around to keep the average age hovering around the mid twenties, but with most of the team thinking that Boy George is a DJ and Liverpool have always been defensive and rubbish it was not going to be an easy year.

Army teams are normally fitter than a butcher's dog on steroids and this team were no exception. Yet it was Bere who took the lead when Uncle Sam's finest pressured the defender into a mistake and an own goal. Bere then proceeded to have a ten minute spell from hell, resulting in three goals against them and a mountain to climb. Nevertheless, they donned their crampons (that's crampons!!) and tried their damnedest but the army just managed to hold out. As it was once famously said, 'You never win anything with kids' (Either Alan Hansen or Gary Glitter, I can never remember), but I think this team will soon prove them wrong!