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Kingstonian 2-3 Dagenham & Redbridge

Kingstonian dressing room, before kick-off. Mr Chapple addresses the team:

"Excuse me gentlemen, can I have some quiet please? Thank you. Now most of you know that I have some good connections within the FA. Well after I was at the FA Cup draw last weekend, I got talking to some of my good friends, and I've struck the most amazing deal. So long as we reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup, the FA have guaranteed that we will not be relegated. So whilst we'll be starting with exactly the same eleven as last week, the performance can be far worse and it won't matter a jot. But here's the difficult bit. If anybody finds out about the deal then it's off, so whilst we can let the other team win, we have to try to look like we're trying. And here's my plan:"

"For the first twenty minutes or so, when you get the ball, half the time give it to one of our players, but the other half of the time either kick it straight off the pitch or give it to one of them. If anybody asks what's wrong then blame the pitch. Sammy, during this time you'll be required to be kicked up in the air at least once every five minutes. The referee won't do anything about it, but that's another part of the deal that we've struck ok?"

"Geoff - as soon as you feel that we might be starting to play better, you're to totally miss the ball when it's cleared from a free-kick. Colin, you're to ensure that Mark Janney is near you so that when a pass is played to him you're able to get your body in between him and the ball. But just when everybody is expecting you to clear, you're to stumble over allowing him a clear run at goal. Gavin - you're to make a good attempt at saving, but Janney has said that he'll put the ball to your left, so please dive the other way. That will make it one-nil to them."

"Just afterwards Geoff will send a free-kick in to the opposition's penalty area and Derek and Eddie Saunders will be close to the penalty spot. Derek - you're to call for the ball, but Eddie, you're to ignore him completely, thus putting him off enough so that he heads wide."

"Sammy, another part of the deal which involves you being kicked up in the air every five minutes is that, the next time you get into their penalty area and there is an opponent within ten yards, you're to drop to the ground as though you've been shot. The referee will show you a yellow card and your own fans will start to abuse you for the outrageous cheating. But don't worry - when we survive relegation next May they'll have forgotten about that ridiculous dive."

"Those of you who are supposed to be defenders - although this will be the sixth consecutive game that you will have played together - you need to make it look as though you've never met before. Just before the break Junior McDougald will pick up the ball, and you all need to be totally out of position so that he can have a clear run on goal. Gavin - despite the fact that you will have just made a good save from Danny Shipp - you're to allow this shot to go in making it two-nil."

"Geoff, although you've been in the form of your life of late, you in particular need to conserve your energy for the upcoming Southend match. So I want you to do just one thing all match. After their second goal has gone in, you're to run around two of their players and shoot well from 25 yards. Their goalkeeper will save the shot and - Eddie Akuamoah - you're to try to get to the rebound, but Tim Cole will get there first. He'll give us a corner, and from this - Derek - you're to head the ball against the bar."

"When you come in at the break I'll have to shout at you all, just so that anybody who is walking past believes the charade that we're playing. But secretly, if we're two nil down I'll be happy. But the second half will be somewhat different, so listen up carefully."

"One of the FA assessors will be watching in the second half, so we have to make it look really convincing. Gary, you're to send an early cross across the face of goal, which Sammy and Eddie Akuamoah will try to get to. Ensure that neither of you does, and allow the goalkeeper to dive onto the ball."

"Eddie Saunders, just a minute or so after this, Gary will send a free-kick into the box. You'll receive the ball on the penalty spot, and despite the fact that we're trying to get it in the goal, you're to shoot sideways so that the ball goes towards the touchline."

"Another part of the plan involves one of their defenders, Ashley Vickers. Geoff, you're to send a free-kick into their penalty area somewhere in the region of one of our players. The deal we've struck is that Vickers will ignore his goalkeeper's call and head the ball over him and in. The plan also says that Vickers will look upset, but secretly he'll be quite content, so if you want to say thank you then feel free."

"The next such free-kick will be taken by Geoff, and the movement is quite complicated, so pay attention. Sammy and Eddie Saunders, you're to try to get a shot in at the far post, but the final shot needs to be deflected up. Mark, you're to head the ball sideways, and Phil is to hook the ball in at the far post. We've ensured that their goalkeeper will be over the other side of the goal, so there should be no problem getting the ball in."

"Gary - at this stage our supporters will feel like we're really back in the game, so you're to destroy that feeling immediately please. You will get the opportunity to kick one of their players in the midriff when the ball is on the ground, so please take the opportunity. You'll get a yellow card and will thus be suspended, but taking the momentum out of our play is absolutely vital to achieving our ultimate aim. And if we get the suspension out of the way now, we can be sure that you'll be available for the far more important Southend match."

"With two minutes left, one of their players will cross the ball in from the left. Eddie Saunders, you need to be covering the left-hand post so that when the shot comes in you can clear off of the line. Now at this stage everybody will believe that the game is going to end in a draw, but we know better."

"With one minute left - I'll give you the signal - one of their players will cross the ball in from the right. Junior McDougald will pick the ball up at the far post, and Derek, I want you to be close to him. But instead of tackling, make sure that he manages to go behind you. Gavin, McDougald will shoot straight, so make sure that you dive to one side or the other, and the rest of you need to make sure that you make annoyed gestures when the ball goes in for anybody who's watching."

"Because they've scored, we'll get to kick off, but please make sure that they get the ball back within two seconds. I know you'll look silly, but this is an important part of the plan. They'll ensure that we get a couple more chances during injury time, but Sammy and Phil will need to miss both of these."

"Now Mark, at the end of the match you are the only one who is to even acknowledge the supporters. Please don't believe all of the propaganda you read in the programme about getting more people down here. The fewer that come, the more money we save on the stewarding bill, so we need to do everything possible to make them feel unwanted. The rest of you should sneak off down the tunnel as quickly as you can. It might be an idea to put an ashamed look on your faces though, because we'd like the supporters to at least think that we're trying in these league games."

"When you come in I'll have to shout at you all again. But so long as nobody has picked up an injury which might keep them out of the cup game next month I'll be happy. I'll be having a chat with the press later on so that I can tell them how disappointed I am in your display, and how I'll need to get the cheque book out soon. But nobody has to worry about that - the bank account is overdrawn so there's no danger of any new players coming in. And as long as we stay in the FA Cup who really cares about league games?"

Sat 16th Dec 2000
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Football Conference
OG, Wingfield
Dagenham & R3
1Gavin Kelly
2Mark Beard
3Colin Luckett
4Derek Allan
5Eddie Saunders
6Mark Harris
7Gary PattersonCautioned
8Geoff Pitcher
9Sammy WinstonCautioned
10Eddie Akuamoah
11Phil Wingfield
12Ronnie Green
13Adrian Blake
14Mark Boyce
15David Bass
16Mark Jones
Man of the Match
Gavin Kelly
Gavin Kelly
Match Report By
Gary Ekins