A Proper Match

15 08 2007

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Bradford City 2
Carling Cup Rd. 1

Wolverhampton is, to me anyway, a pleasant place. I was at Uni there and it was a very enjoyable time. Whilst I was there football took a back seat, music became more important, although I did still venture back to watch Bangor occasionally. Consequently I didn’t venture into Molineux at all, my desire not to go was further reinforced by a contemptible character on my course. In my 3 years in Wolves Uni I went to watch half a reserve game. During this game I had my first close-up glimpse of Clayton Blackmore’s tanned form.

During my second year I lived across the road from the ground; My childhood desire was realised. What I hadn’t realised in my tender years about this ideal situation was the noise, litter and inconsiderate bastards blocking your way as you go about your daily business. Therefore I wasn’t too inclined to go along to the Wolves. However my attitude softened when I came into contact with the man that is Matthew Wood esq. He showed me the true beauty of Wolves fans.

Matt invited me along to Wolves and what better occasion than the Carling Cup’s early rounds? I arrived in Wolverhampton to find slate grey skies and a chilly breeze, luckily there was little rain. A quick look around familiar haunts and everything was still so familiar 7 years on. I had to wait for Matt in our old local the Royal London. I had Liverpool’s European match to keep me company. It did seem a rather odd time to be playing, Wednesday afternoon but then who am I to argue with the TV companies. Matt arrived a little after half time, we watched and uneventful second half and went for food.

Matt’s flat is across the hall from Robbie Keane’s old flat. Keane is still revered in Wolverhampton despite the fact he only played in the first team for a couple of years, so this building may become a shrine in days to come. After a change of garments we were off on a leisurely stroll to Molineux. Most of the journey represented a trip through my conscious memories. West Park, Crowther Street, Molineux Way. The sun also came out to match my disposition.

Matt told us we were near the away fans but we weren’t that close although the were audible on occasion. I had to swap seats with Matt to ease my legroom, unfortunately there was a view-obstructing barrier, what you gain fate removes the benefit, a metaphor for capitalist society? There was a degree of interest for the passing Welsh football fan in this match; Freddy Eastwood, Rob Edwards and Wayne Hennessey.

Wolves kicked off and attacked as you would expect a team from a higher division to do. However their efforts proved rather fruitless. Eastwood looked good in flashes but had a tendency to tread on the ball. Keogh, the other striker, seemed to want to walk the ball in. The rest of the team followed suit so all Bradford really had to do was get their players behind the man in possession. Due to this a stalemate ensued. 0-0 Half Time

Half Time’s “entertainment” was a fan form each team attempting to score past a line of static defenders. At least there weren’t any ball jugglers in sight.

The second half went well for Wolves in the first 10 minutes, they scored twice. The second one was a rather good shot from just outside the area. I had to wait for the replay to see it as I wasn’t paying attention at the time. I was looking at the goal but not watching it. Unfortunately Wolves have taken to playing the drr drr drr drr bit from Ring of Fire after every goal they score. It disturbed my solitude like a scally on a crime spree. They had these people ASBOs. Wolves carried on with some nice football. All was progressing calmly toward the final whistle, Wolves attacked and defended well, then Bradford scored. The nerves entered the fray.

Most of the fans around me seemed to be affronted by the Bradford fans cheering. Even a 8 or 9 year was “giving it the big one”. The edginess continued until the final whistle blew. Then it was off for a few beers and another jaunt through my memories on the way home.

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