Attack of the 4ft Scallies

28 09 2006

Caernarfon Town 4 Bangor City 3
Loosemoore’s Challenge Cup

Well where do you start with this? The League Cup may be derided by the majority but you can’t say that this match wasn’t exciting, some might even say that it was life-challenging.

On the way I pondered likely outcomes, as we’d beaten them easily two weeks before I travelled with the confident air of a person with confidence. The rain appeared to be getting heavier, so heavy that the doors on the bus were wobbling. Was this a bad sign? Might the game be called off? This was a thought that stayed with me even as I was walking to the ground.

Walking through Caernarfon on a wet Wednesday is an experience, it’s eerie. The lack of any familiar faces was a little worrying as the negative thoughts continued; the lack of a long-row of cars for a local derby didn’t fill me with hope. I eventually caught sight of the working floodlights and it filled me with relief. I hadn’t encountered anyone but it was still half an hour to kick off. I checked out the supporter’s club but there were no familiar faces there. So it was into the ground and find some shelter.

Now I had to find something to do to fill 20 odd minutes in driving rain. Apart from fishermen and golfers football fans must be some of the best people to deal with boredom. If people are anything like me they descend into a reverie that could take them anywhere but usually revolves around the idea of owning the club after a major lottery win and acting as player-owner. After going to the toilet I still had roughly a quarter of an hour. Luckily not much later Dewi appeared to end my daydreaming.

After all the rain something interesting appeared, a film crew. They moved slowly toward us, interviewing a couple of people as they went. They stopped at Dewi and interviewed him in both English and Welsh. I was now anxious for the very intense glare of the spotlight to spread the message of the Jet Set. I now appreciate why some people look bemused when interviewed; my brain refused to work and words turn to ashes in my mouth. When asked about the Welsh assembly’s involvement in football I probably came over as an incoherent buffoon. Couple this with the bright light making me squint and the wind creating an interesting hairstyle and I must have looked like Boris Johnson on one of his not so good days. I must only have about 6 and a half minutes of fame left.

 

In the game Bangor started off well, so well in fact that they were three up after 28 minutes, and also had several near misses. This was surely too good to be true as there was still 2/3 of the game to play and we’ve not beaten Caernarfon here for ages. Despite that I speculated that it may be 8 or 9 nil by the end. Then the Cofis scored, not to worry a mere consolation. Dick thought otherwise as he said quite preciently “I’d hate if they won”. Dewi and I laughed it off and went for a pasty. Whilst we were in the queue the Cofis scored again. Our groans were met by a young scally taunting us “We’re goin’ to win 5-3”, as scallies are want to do and a taste of what was to come. Meanwhile back behind the goal, the Cofis equalised, a bad day for Dick as an unwanted prophecy was beginning to take shape.

Now something began to stir behind the opposite goal, some of the young ruffians were on the move. Had someone broken wind? It was not long before all of them (about 50 or 60) were following and they were heading in our direction. The notes of “Ride of the Valkyries” were forming in my head as they came closer and closer. How would this band of ruffians intent on assault and pillage be stopped, who would dare turn back this foul-mouthed rabble?

 

Nobody? Except one middle-aged steward. Off they went with their heads bowed in shame, unable to carry on with their song about defacation upon Bangor. We were saved.

Unfortunately reality intervened as the game had continued unabated, the fact that we had 3-0 up and that it was now 3-3 sank in, what a great day so far.

The story didn’t end here unfortunately as in the second half Caernarfon attacked quite a bit and forced Havard into action. An hour’s a long time in football. The time when we were laughing at Caernarfon’s inept goalie and the fans’ incomprehensible chanting now seemed a very long time ago. Nerves became frayed as every attack became a possible knock out blow. Caernarfon then scored but it was offside, cue laughter at our end – will we never learn? Bangor then scored, also offside as the cheers died in our throats, cue laughter that their end. Caernarfon then scored their inevitable goal, as I waited for the referee’s whistle the Cearnarfon players were celebrating so we were fianlly behind. We hit the bar and had other near misses but there were no more goals.

 

At the end the young ambassadors from the Royal Town invaded the pitch to surround Havard, in order to wish him well for the season no doubt or maybe apologise for throwing coins at him earlier. As we were leaving several of the more intrepid member of this expeditionary force ventured in our direction making incoherent threats. The fact that it’s hard to take threats from people that are half your size seriously obviously hasn’t dawned on some in Caernarfon, it was hardly Luton-Millwall Mk 2. There probably won’t be anything in tommorrow’s Daily Post about it. This was an exciting match for a neutral, unfortuanately I’m not so it was irritating.

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