Eighty five minutes of this game were abject, the kind of performance you want to wrap in a lead blanket and bury at sea. Seriously, I’m not even going into it, other than to say Lew Carey did brilliantly to keep us in the game and a bloke called Church scored the goal for Bishop’s Stortford, which is the most outrageous case of nominative determinism we’ll get this season.
But then the 86th minute struck and it made everything – the 85 minutes of toil, the Trophy defeat at the same venue just a week ago, the hours and hours spent on the motorways getting to both games – instantly worthwhile.
The goal itself was nothing outrageous. Sub Freddie Parker poked a nice ball through for Joe Taylor, who in turn played it into the path of second sub Iffy Allen. Allen shot low and hard, the keeper got his sizeable frame in the way, but the ball rebounded back off Iffy and trickled into the net.
However, the reaction from the Bishop’s Stortford keeper Jack Giddens, played by Zed from Police Academy, was off the charts.
Reminded by some loudmouth oik in the away end that he’d faced precisely one shot on target and conceded precisely one goal, Giddens totally lost the plot. With the game still being played out in front of him, he turned round, arms thrashing all over the place, delivering a volley of invective that it’s safe to say would appal a bishop.
It was hilarious. Honestly, better than any BBC sitcom of the past 20 years. The laughter from the away end drowned out the rumble of the jet engines from nearby Stansted.
Now safely inside the keeper’s head, the away end continued to torment the raging shot-stopper for the remaining five minutes and, if Lewes had managed to score a second, I’m 99% sure we’d have been there to witness the first recorded instance of internal goalkeeper combustion. He was angrier than the sun.
However, the best was yet to come. The final whistle blew and Angry Anderson went to collect his belongings from the goal, greeted with an almighty cheer from the travelling support. He turned round to give the Lewes fans one final piece of his tortured mind… and dropped his water bottle.
The cheer almost lifted the corrugated iron off the away-end roof. He didn’t even stop to pick the bottle up, but stomped off towards the dressing rooms and quite likely carried on going until he fell off England and into the sea, screaming about how lucky we were to a bemused salmon.
I never want to go to Bishop’s Stortford again. But when Bishop’s and Giddens come to visit our place in March, I’ll be there. With a water bottle in hand.