Last nights match was Ebbsfleet against Histon in the Blue Square Premier on Setanta. I’ve been to Ebbsfleet twice to watch Morecambe, but never seen us score there. The first time, we arrive about 30 minutes into the match after high-tailing it from Sally’s Gran’s birthday party in London, and Morecambe were already 2-0 up by that stage. The second time we arrived in Gravesend (or Northfleet, whichever), and watched some rugby in a pub with Sal’s uncle, and turned up at the ground at 2.50pm only to find the match had kicked off at 2.15pm as the floodlights weren’t working. The match was 1-1 at that stage and we lost 2-1 in the end.
Anyway, since then, they’ve changed their name and got take over by a website. Strange (but exciting?) times down in Ebbsfleet. Probably more exciting than last nights match against Histon, in which both teams’ defences nullified each others, and the game was a staid and scrappy affair, enlivened only by Histon’s goal, an overhead kick from the end of the area. The only other talking point that could be derived from the match was the referee dishing out nine yellow cards (including two to one player), in a match that wasn’t particularly dirty or aggressive. According to the commentator, the same ref gave out 10 yellows in his previous match, so perhaps he’s on commission.
I find the commentary on these matches much more enjoyable than standard Premier League commentary, as the commentators explain so much more about the teams and players, given the relative lack of knowledge most neutrals will have about the players and the teams at this level. I certainly didn’t know a lot about Histon, as they joined the league as Morecambe left it, and I was surprised to see they’d gone second. That’s why I love the lower leagues, as once you leave the Premier League, and even the Championship, the playing field is much more levelled – you still have a few rich clubs skewing things, but as budgets are so much more limited, and most transfers involve little or no fee, managerial knowlegde and scouting becomes much more important.