The Brewers squad rocked up to Bramall Lane not waving but drooping. They were organised as all Clough teams are, so as not to lose. They lost as all Clough teams do, with just enough time to make pointless substitutions in the last ten minutes.
Two significant incidents occurred following DEM BLADES 3-1 victory over Burton earlier in the season. The first and most painful (for all parties) was a serious injury to Paul Coutts (p.b.u.h). The second came after the game when I was criticised for writing about my broad disliking of the Cloughoutis or in common parlance, the sweet Yorkshire Pudding.
So it was, as I walked to the ground with my big coat, jumper and hat (no scarf), my thoughts turned to me Nan’s pudding recipe which, for me, has never gone wrong.
Everybody would prefer something fresher, but he’ll have to do. Football’s Aunt Bessie, Nigel Clough, returned to Bramall Lane in a remarkably similar situation to when he left, presiding over a team that looks every bit a League One side.
Struggle to pour gravy into them as they usually rise without a dip. Perfectly adequate if you are not interested in impressing.
DEM 90 MINUTES
1 egg – the first half began with the Scotch Egg that I’d hankered for throughout the draw to the Tracker Bars. Mini Tesco. Mini Savoury. Mini price tag. Maximum pleasure.
50g plain flour – in the opening exchanges, I mentioned to the bloke next door that our passing was as overworked as the gluten bonds in a much-meddled-with pudding batter. He fixed me with a stare that said, great point well made – gi us a Scotch Egg? I obliged. “Cheers flower,” he said.
50g Milk – Burton didn’t see it coming. No, not the controversial measuring of milk in grams, but the neat throw-in routine. Baldock threw it. Duffy tapped it around the corner. Baldock drilled a low cross into the box. The ball was met by the milk bottle left peg of Enda Stevens, fine goal, 1-0.
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil or lard – half-time and I was not prepared for Sync’s (FKA G-Sync) big screen birthday message from the manager. He was though. That package comes in at a cool £112 and Wilder will call you any nickname you ask…
…Happy Birthday Mackanator t.b.c…
Method – (win)
Combine ingredients except for oil – lightly whipped up at half-time, DEM BLADES came out with much more air in their puddings.
Pour/smear the oil/lard in the dips of the bun tin and place in a shitting-hot oven – with the batter in the fridge for ten/fifteen minutes, David ‘the lard’ Brooks was held back, heated in the Wilder oven until fizzing hot and raring to go. Finally, the mixture meets the heat and the magic happens.
A loose ball lobbed forward that Billy Sharp neatly flicked to Mark Duffy, who then picked out David Brooks. Brooks feinted but recovered quickly to strike the ball low and hard past the goalkeeper. Excellent counter-attack. 2-0. Game over (in twenty-five minutes).
Bake Puddings for 50 minutes – no room for error now, do not let them drop. DEM BLADES did not look like dropping until the announcer, formerly known as G-Sync, offered his usual “well played…Duff…Bill.” They cringed but they did not falter. The air was not to be knocked out of Wilder’s side, notwithstanding the verbal fist-bump of the dad-dancing, birthday boy.
In the mass hysteria of crap-nickname-gate, as five people a parrot are calling it, Lee Evans hit the bar with a shot, Fleck was denied from a freekick by the Brewer’s goalkeeper and Clough brought on a 35-year-old former Derby player. (Laugh out loud!)
Et voila – A slight crunch on the outside, chewy and firm to the bite. The best things in life are simple, like puddings, DEM BLADES winning at home against an ex-manager and Paddy Kenny. The worst things in life are Simply Red…but that’s for a different blog.
After such an explosive start, if the season ended today and DEM BLADES finished just outside of the playoffs then it would only be fair to describe the season as having sunk like the puddings that are exposed to the cool breeze of the oven door opened too soon.
However, the season has not ended. The oven light is still on. The interior is hot, not quite hot enough but the temperature is rising. As are the puddings. There’s still ten minutes before the timer goes off. Mr Wilder, if you’re listening, keep that bloody oven door shut.
Man of the Match
He will rise again. Paul Coutts.