Yesterday saw the last pre season friendly game for Belper Town. A 5-0 gubbing at the hands of near - neighbours Matlock Town was not the ideal preparation for next weeks start to the season. A fairly even first half saw the two teams separated by a penalty conceded by the stand in keeper Tom Stones (1st choice keeper Andy Richmond was on holiday as was assistant manager Jon Froggatt).
At half time I went into the boardroom for a cup of tea and the Matlock manager was tearing strips off his players for their first half performance. It obviously did the trick as they came out for the 2nd 45 and took Belper apart with another 4 goals. The young keeper looked out of his depth at this level but did make a couple of excellent saves towards the end of the game.
Photographs from the game can be seen here:
I took along my West Ham programmes to the game for Tommy to sign. The 1975 Cup Final and the Charity Shield both had the same player pictures pages in for the Hammers. So Tommy kindly signed across his photo in each programme (left).
Tommy also told a couple of tales from his West Ham days, one relating to Jimmy Greaves and another about George Best. Tommy said West Ham were 2-0 at Old Trafford before Best took over. Manchester ran out 5-3 winners and as Tommy retrieved the ball from the goal after a screamer from George the ref said 'hurry up Tommy' to which he replied "F*ck off, they've already got four "
After the game there was a Question and Answer session with Tommy in the main room. He admitted that the second half had been 'sh*t' and that Matlock deserved the win on their performance. He talked about his expectations of the coming season and admitted that he didn't know the teams in our league so would be playing each game to win. He also said that he would have a better idea when we have played 6 games. I think he certainly endeared himself to the people in the room with his humour and honesty.