End of Season Tour “A Success” Despite No Wins and One Arrest

26th May 2017

The Middle Rispley end of season holiday/tour to Cyprus was hailed by acting manager Jamie Chalk to be a huge success, despite a loss, an abandoned game, and Aaron Noble being mistakenly arrested for indecent exposure in an Aiya Napa nightclub. 

With hindsight it could be said that it was something of a mistake to base the team at the Cypriot party resort of Aiya Napa, but with the trip arranged by Mark Winters’ brother at local travel agent Cheaptrips.net, it offered the best deal.

Nor was the first game of the trip an outstanding success. The fixture against a local Cypriot 3rd division club was arranged via email, with it seems both parties communicating via Google translate. This resulted in the awkward situation of Middle Ripsley FC turning up at the address given, only to find a local park rather than a stadium, and fixture arranged against an U21 women’s team. To be fair, both sides seemed game for going ahead with the match anyway, but the officials said such games were not allowed under FIFA rules, and he’d report both clubs if they played.

As it transpired the referee vowed to report the club to FIFA anyway for an off-the-field incident. Angrily, he failed to believe that the MRFC hired team bus blocking in his car, and driver Ben Lewis being unable to remember where he’d put the keys for three hours while the squad chatted to the women’s team in a nearby bar, was the unfortunate accident Ben claimed.

The second game, also against a Cypriot 3rd division side, a male one this time, ended in a disappointing defeat. The extreme heat of the afternoon for a game didn’t help, and was no doubt a contributory factor to the 0-2 defeat. Much blame though must also be attributed to the decision to accept an invitation from the women’s U21 team they’d met three days earlier for a tour of the local clubs the night before. Ben Lewis was also unhappy to find his goalkeeping kit had been removed from the kit basket after losing a bet the previous night, and he had to take the field wearing a mankini.

Reports of the rest of the trip are sketchy, with Jamie Chalk issuing a “what happens on tour stays on tour” directive, but suggestions that most of the squad had a good time for the rest of the week can be taken as you see fit.

Most regrettable was Aaron Noble being arrested for indecent exposure in an Aiya Napa nightclub. In truth it wasn’t his fault. With him being slightly worse for wear than his teammates, he fell victim to a prank which saw him glued to toilet seat, semi-dressed, in a cubicle of the women’s toilets, with the door wedged open. Fortunately the police, after initially arresting him, let him off with a caution after realising he was stuck rather than just resisting arrest.

Despite that incident, he insisted the week was a great bonding session, no pun intended, and Middle Ripsley will be fired up for the new season.

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Ryan Earnley Poised to Quit Middle Ripsley For New Life in Japan

14th May 2017

Middle Ripsley were shocked to learn that Ryan Earnley has quit the club to go and live with one of the female presenters who covered his performance in the home match with High Hill Rangers. 

It turns out that not only did Ryan click with one of the presenters, 23 year old Mizuki Kashikawa from Nagoya, but her contacts at her TV station have also offered him trials at a number of Japanese lower division clubs across the Aichi prefecture.

Jamie Chalk to Decide on Manager’s Job

10th May 2017

Jamie Chalk has been offered the manager’s job after his caretaker stint in the role, but is undecided after being offered extra shifts at the gasworks. 

Jamie has been the player/manager since ex-boss Danny Jackson was sacked after headbutting a reporter from the Wrackhoughton Argus three months ago, and was expected to take the role full-time.

The offer of some extra work at the gasworks in Formley could change that though, as the Middle Ripsley manager’s role is not a high-paying position. It is however hoped that the offer of the club car to take home at weekends could clinch the deal. 

Middle Ripsley 1 High Hill Rangers 0

6th May 2017

The Rippers signed off for the season with a 1-0 victory, watched by a crowd of 253, including a small film crew from Japan who’d come to see Ryan Earnley. 

Ryan, who in a case of mistaken identity has become famous on youtube and social networking sites, was at first reluctant to be involved, but seemed quite taken with the two female presenters, to the extent that he missed the pre-match team talk by chatting to them instead.

For the rest of the squad, with the sun out, the day certainly had something of an end-of-term feel, and that probably explained the lack-lustre first half. The most exciting moments were provided by Ryan Earnley, acrobatically tipping two shots over the bar. The second of these, from on overhit bouncing through-ball, provoked an angry reaction from Jamie Chalk who clearly felt Ryan was playing up to the camera that was recording his every move.

The very excitable film crew had even more reason to be excited shortly into the second half, when a long punt upfield caught in the wind and dropped over the head of High Hill central defender. Jordan Henley was alive to the chance and was able to poke the ball past the advancing keeper to put Middle Ripsley ahead.

Unfortunately Jamie Chalk again reacted angrily to Ryan’s reaction to this goal. He felt him running to the camera to celebrate it, had crossed the line, and immediately substituted him for Ben Lewis. Ryan walked off still doing a heart shape with his hands direct to camera, with him still quite happy to not let them know he wasn’t the goalkeeper they thought he was.

The match was decidedly low-key after that. Matt Draycott went closest to making the score 2-0 heading over from a corner, but most fans seemed content to have a beer in the sun and look forward to the summer. The fact the Mark Winters seemed to be also sipping from a pint on the sidelines now and then didn’t go unnoticed, but nobody seemed to mind.

Results elsewhere meant that despite the final day win, The Rippers remained in 9th place, in a season which promised promotion and threatened relegation at various times. One can only wonder what next season will bring.

Hamble’s Biscuits Superior Division (East) Results – Week 30

Final League Table 2016/17

 

Brewery Lane to Host Hamble’s Biscuits South Central League Cup Final

28th April 2017

Brewery Lane has been chosen by the Hamble’s Biscuits South Central League committee to host the League’s Cup Final, after the usual venue of Bremington’s Hadwell Road was ruled out after it was double-booked for a car-boot sale. 

Brewery Lane was partly chosen because it is roughly halfway between the two finalists, Lower Ripsley and Eaton & Pixley United, and partly because the Rispley Vale Brewery next door have sponsored the final as a promotion for their new beer (Valiant Ale, 8%).

South Central League (East) Semi Final Results
Eaton & Pixley United 1 Xavier Tiles Villa 1
Lower Ripsley 6 High Hill Rangers 2

Replay
Xavier Tiles Villa 1 Eaton & Pixley United 4

Club Statement of Behalf of Embarrassed Ryan Earnley

27th April 2017

Ryan Earnley has asked the club to officially deny he was the goalkeeper who missed the last-minute open goal in Saturday’s match, after being besieged online after the clip went viral on youtube. 

The miss, which not only cost his side a point, but also resulted in a bruised scrotum after his shot rebounded off the post, was by the Bremington goalkeeper.

This has not however stopped a large number of the one million plus viewers of the clip assuming it must be the Middle Ripsley custodian, setting up a tribute site on Facebook to him, and more embarrassingly setting up fake twitter accounts in his name.

It’s really bad” said Ryan, “as the twitter account keeps making statements about a whole manner of things. It’s embarrassing enough that people thinking I missed that chance, but I’ve been stopped at the street asking me to shut up about whole range of things, from an old woman having a go at me about saying pensioners get too many benefits, to the group of teenage girls who harangued me outside Poundland for saying I hoped One Direction would up.

Middle Ripsley 2 Bremington 1

22nd April 2017

The Rippers guaranteed Superior Division (East) survival in a dramatic game that saw Mark Winters score a very rare brace, while Bremington missed a penalty and a last minute open goal, to end their promotion hopes. 

A noisy contingent of around 150 fans made their way down from Bremington at the business end of the season, but it would be The Rippers’ fans cheering at the end.

In fact they were cheering at the start too, with Mark Winters opening the scoring after only 18 seconds. This was the second fastest goal scored in Middle Ripsley’s history, albeit a tardy 13 seconds slower than a goal scored v Old Rasputanians in 1896, when the Rasputanians’ keeper was spotted walking behind the goal at kick off, to get a light for his pipe.

There was an element of good fortune about this one too. With the ball in the Bremington keeper’s hands after an over ambitious early high ball, there looked no danger. As he went to kick it upfield though, he pulled a thigh muscle and missed the ball completely, allowing the loitering Winters the chance of an empty net tap-in.

This prompted a fine spell for Middle Ripsley, among the best of the season, going close several time before Winters again found himself in the right place at the right time, to nod in a corner on 26 minutes after a powerful Jamie Chalk header had bounced down off the crossbar.

At half time, with scores elsewhere going their way, the away side found a second wind and really took the game to the home side. With the Scratching Shed turned into a splash of blue & white by Bremington’s travelling fans as their team attacked the goal at the end, it looked just a matter of time before they pulled one back.

It looked like they’d got their chance in the 70th minute when an ill-advised attempt at a sneaky shirt-pull by Liam Tooley was rather given away when a prior tear in the Bremington forward’s shirt caused it to practically come away in Liam’s hands. Fortunately for Middle Ripsley, Bremington are the league’s worst penalty takers, having missed six of eight attempts this season. This one was hit straight down the middle, but so badly that Ryan Earnley was able to catch it, barely having to move.

That seemed to sap Bremington’s spirit for a while, especially with Scratching Shed regular Steve giving misleading scores from the matches of Bremington’s promotion rivals. A late realisation that both rivals’ games were still 0-0 saw Steve receive a cup old cold tea down the back of his trousers from an away supporter, and sparked Bremington into life, scoring almost straight away. A free kick on the edge of the box could not be cleared, and after pinging around for a few seconds, it was poked past Earnley to breathe life into Bremington’s promotion hopes.

This sparked an all-out assault on the Middle Ripsley goal, but all to no avail until the third and last minute of stoppage time. The Bremington keeper was up for the corner. With several of the away fans with their phones out to possibly record a dramatic finish, a header off the post bounced across the goal, wrong-footing Earnley and the defence, and left the keeper alone at the back post with the seemingly simple task of scoring from four yards.

Already celebrating, he kicked the ball as hard as he could, but just not as accurately. It rebounded hard off the post, catching him unfortunately in a very delicate area, before rolling wide for a goal kick. He’d barely got back to his goalmouth before the ref blew the whistle to end the match, confirming Middle Ripsley will be playing Bremington in next season’s Superior Division (East) too.

It would be little consolation to the Bremington keeper that an uploaded clip of his miss has been something of a sensation on youtube, being viewed over 374,000 times in half a week.

Hamble’s Biscuits Superior Division (East) Results – Week 29

League Table

MRFC Anger as Derby Day Streaker Is Revealed To Be Lower Ripsley Official

17th April 2017

Middle Ripsley were angered today to learn that the elderly female streaker who traumatised Jordan Henley enough to make him miss his last minute spot kick during Saturday’s Ripsley Vale derby, was a Lower Ripsley employee. 

Joan Toombs, 76, has been acting treasurer at the club on an ad-hoc basis for the past 23 years. Interviewed at her home by a reporter from the Rispley Vale Echo, Joan said that she had to do it as going down would be a disaster for the club, and she couldn’t stomach the idea of “upstarts” Middle Ripsley being above her team.

She has since been disciplined by the club. “Not only was it damaging to our sporting integrity” said a club spokesman “but it upset a lot of the children present. And some of the adults too.”

He husband Albert added “I don’t understand it. She’d never done anything like it before. And not even private since the day of Charles & Di’s wedding. Maybe it was that cheap mulberry wine.”

Lower Ripsley 2 Middle Ripsley 1

15th April 2017

Middle Ripsley went down 1-2 at Ducking Stool Lane in a contentious derby that saw two players sent off, two injured, and a pitch invasion by a 76 year old streaker. 

Tension had been building for a while for this derby clash, with comments from both managers about LRFC’s cup run, their poor league position, and talk of revenge for the game last year, when not only did LRFC run out 3-0 winners, but also was the subject of threatened legal action between the two clubs. The legal action itself, a result of an unidentified player from The Rippers’ playing squad smashing a tea urn after an unspecified but unhygienic foreign body was found inside it, was eventually dropped, but relations between the two clubs have seldom been lower.

Lower Ripsley were also keen to gain revenge for their Boxing Day derby defeat at Brewery Lane, when they went down 0-1 to a last minute Alex Peters goal. That had been something of a testy game, and this was no different, and again it was Lower Ripsley’s midfield enforcer, Andy Hacknell, in the thick of things.

Hacknell, the only play to have been sent off more times than Jamie Chalk in Hamble’s Biscuits South Central Superior Division (East) history, was certainly taking no prisoners. Few on the Middle Rispley team thought his decision to charge Ryan Earnley into the net in the 6th minute was anything other than intentional, but that does not excuse Mark Winters’ decision to take revenge by pushing him roughly to the ground, giving the ref no option but to produce the red card.

Despite his reputation for dishing out similar, acting manager Jamie Chalk was furious at the action. As he said after the game “It was stupid. It put us down to 10 men, cost us a penalty, and worst of all, it didn’t even take the bugger out of the game.”

With Earnley re-injuring the wrist he’d hurt in The Rippers’ last match v Formley, Ben Lewis got a very early run out, but his first job was to try to stop a penalty. Hacknell took the penalty himself, scoring low to Lewis’ right, although his decision to offer a two-finger salute to a group of Rippers supporters behind the goal earned him a booking he’d regret later.

Despite being a man down, The Rippers were probably shading a competitive game for most of the rest of the match, but the tension had clearly got to both sides, with clear chances at a premium. Lower Ripsley, playing cautiously due to their precious 1-0 lead, were mainly relying on set pieces. Middle Ripley went close with Henley firing just over the bar on the turn, Jamie Chalk going close with a header from a corner, and a rare on-target Ollie Banwell drive being brilliantly tipped over in the 75th minute.

At that stage it looked like The Rippers were knocking on the door for an equaliser, but it went wrong just a minute later. A long ball upfield looked no danger until Liam Tooley fell badly after slipping on a rut in the notoriously poor Ducking Stool Lane pitch, allowing a Lower Ripsley forward a gift of a chance to nip in and make the score 2-0.

With Tooley injured and in pain on the floor, Andy Hacknell made the foolish decision to unsportingly ruffle his hair in congratulation for his part in the goal, only to be promptly booked by the referee, and sent off for a second bookable offence.

Despite just going 0-2 down, the sending off seemed to inspire The Rippers. Sam Hill nearly pulled one back straight away, with a mazy run from the wing, and a shot that was only just tipped wide. From the corner Aaron Noble headed just over, clipping the bar.

The Rippers weren’t to be denied though, with Kieron Sharp hitting a smart 20 yard drive across the keeper in the 79th minute, putting Middle Ripsley back in the match,

The next 10 minutes were one-way traffic, as Lower Ripsley pulled everyone behind the ball, and Middle Ripsley firing balls in from all angles, but the home defence was holding firm.

Just as the game was about to go into injury time though, it looked like Middle Ripsley had got their reward. With the ball pinging around, a sly attempt to shepherd the ball away with arm was spotted by the ref, and Middle Ripsley had the chance to score from the spot.

With Jordan Henley poised to take the spot kick, which would secure Middle Ripsley’s survival and push Lower Ripsley to the brink of relegation, play was halted when a spectator ran from the crowd behind the goal. That the spectator was a naked female was shocking enough, but the fact that she was 76 years old made the event all the more disturbing.

With hindsight, having been accosted by the not too pleasant sight of a naked geriatric female shouting “miss, miss, miss” at him, Jordan Henley perhaps wasn’t in the best state of mind to take the kick, and he looked shell-shocked as he blazed the ball over the bar.

With that went Middle Ripsley’s last chance, and it was the home side who ecstatically celebrated their survival at the final whistle. Middle Ripsley could only reflect on what might have been, while trying to erase the memory of that streaker from their minds.

Hamble’s Biscuits Superior Division (East) Results – Week 28

League Table

Middle Ripsley 0 Formley Gasworks 4

8th April 2017

Middle Ripsley crashed to heavy home defeat after a nightmare start, where they went 0-3 down inside eight minutes, as their mini run of good form came to a halt at home to Formley. 

Middle Ripsley keeper Ryan Earnley got a round of applause from the home fans for not being tempted by a move to high-spending Xavier Tiles Villa, but hadn’t even touched the ball before picking it out of the net.

In Formley’s first attack of the game, with little seemingly on, the Formley forward struck a shot from 30 yards. Goals from such a distance are rare at this level, but it was caught perfectly and curled into the far top corner beyond a despairing Earnley.

Barely two minutes later lightning struck twice. If the first was a shot that’d be missed 99 times out of 100, the second from even further out was greeted with total disbelief, and it rolled in after crashing off all three parts of the woodwork.

If The Rippers were feeling it wasn’t going to be their day, it was pretty much nailed on in the eighth minute. Coming out forcefully to clear a corner, Earnley didn’t spot Kieron Sharp also going for the ball, and only succeeded in punching him in the face. Even worse, not only was the loose ball tapped in following this fumble, but both Sharp (concussion) and Earnley (sprained wrist) had to go off injured.

The game was sealed as early as the 33rd minute, when a very harsh penalty was given for a Jamie Chalk tackle in the box. It looked a clean tackle, but perhaps the very real howl of pain from the Formley midfielder, and boss of Jamie at the Gasworks, prompted the decision to award the foul.

Speaking after the game, Jamie Chalk called the game “a one-off freak result” and said The Rippers were really fired up for next week’s derby clash against Lower Ripsley. “Let’s go there and send those (expletive deleted)s down”, he said, adding “we haven’t forgotten last year, and what they put in our tea urn.” 

Hamble’s Biscuits Superior Division (East) Results – Week 27

League Table