So Easy again, I could become bored of this

1 01 2008

Caernarfon Town 0 Bangor City 4
Welsh Premier League

It was 12:00 on New Year’s Day and I was on the train to Bangor nursing a hangover. Where else would I be? To most people New Years Eve must always be the prelude to anti-climax. (First of all there’s the weeks of deciding upon a fancy dress outfit. Then you have the stress of deciding where to go. Then you have to get a ticket. Then you may be subject to a frenzy of anticipation; “IT’S GOING TO BE GREAT!!! IT’LL BE THE NIGHT OF THE YEAR!!!!”. Then the night finally arrives; the drinking, the hugging and handshakes at midnight, the dancing, the singing and the drunken buffoons you can’t stand shouting inanities.) With me the feeling’s a little stronger.

I seem to feel like this every year. Basically I have come to hate the alcohol-induced jollity of it all; shaking hands with people you don’t know, giving best wishes to people you’d normally cross the road to avoid, watching loudmouth twats getting lairy then telling you to cheer up “It’s New Yer for Fuck sakes!!) etc etc. The high spirits of this particular night are followed by a grey nothingness in my head as I’m forced to contemplate another year of this and that.

Also it’s the end of Christmas. After weeks of excitement at seeing long lost friends, receiving presents and turkey & cranberry sandwiches it’s over so quickly. Your friends return to their well-paid jobs after remembering why they moved in the first place and you won’t see them for 12 months now. The quiet solitude of the train gives me ample time to ponder the direction of my life. Luckily the journey is short.

The train pulled in and now I have somewhere to go, I have a purpose again! I also had about 4 minutes to get to the bus stop. This didn’t prove difficult; the bus was due to leave from the Regency, across the road. There was only one thing missing; the bus. Some usual faces were also waiting and so we waited a little longer. It took about 5 minutes before we realised that the missing bus would remain missing.

After a short conference we decided to try and make our own way to the Oval. A couple of people went off to Wetherspoons to wait for a lift. Another followed. I waited a few more minutes before I also headed in that direction. The grey sky intensified my foreboding and this intensified my hangover. After a quick call to Nige the gloom partly subsided, I would have a lift!

We arrived at their clubhouse and after five minutes something magical happened, my hangover was nearly eradicated. A Cheese and Onion role of magical properties was my panacea. After half an hour of convivial company the sheds around the Oval became our shelter. Dewi bounded over, he’d made a snap decision an hour ago to drive from the Wirral.

The Cofis had a different keeper today but he also wore another team’s shorts; Wrexham this time. This keeper did rather better than the other one, in the first half anyway; it was goalless. In fact he made some good saves. Having said that I did gain the impression that it was only a matter of time before we’d be ahead; we’d had most of the play and more dangerous attacks. Les hit the bar. Sion, Limbo and Walshy went really close too. The goalie had also picked up an injury; he spent the last 10 minutes of the half hobbling around. Rather uncharitably this gave me more confidence for the second half. 0-0 Half Time.

There was a strangeness about today’s half-time passage to the other end. We weren’t menaced by hooded teens, “Shit on, Shit on, Shit on the bastards below!!” wasn’t heard. As I passed the tunnel the Cofi goalie was about to receive treatment. He didn’t look too healthy. His lifeless legs flopped limply over the sides of the treatment table in the style of a rag doll without stuffing.

Remarkably the goalie reappeared for the second period. The course of the half must have led to him to reassess that particular decision. It was only a few minutes old when Sion scored. Then shortly afterwards the Cofis had a man sent off. A bad tackle on Stotty was the cause. Unfortunately for Thomas the challenge was in the area. It was even more unfortunate that he was a Bangor Lad. The keeper saved Limbo’s pen. Several minutes later this didn’t matter because Sion scored again. He bared his midriff momentarily so the thought police struck, a yellow card was held aloft.

A second Cofi left the field when he stupidly indulged in a touch of brutality near the halfway line. A couple of minutes after the bath water had turned a deeper shade of brown Sarge put us 3-0 up. He celebrated by running past us in a nonchalant manner. Stotty made it 4-0 with a marvellous curling shot from just inside the area. We were cruising for the second time in a week against the canaries. Stotty scored again but it was ruled out due to an offside flag. For anyone regaining consciousness after a first half attack of narcolepsy the sight of Cofi supporters drifting out would have removed the uncertainty about Bangor‘s position in this match.

I may be a little perverse because I felt a little unsatisfied AGAIN, it was a little too easy AGAIN. A last minute goal would be the perfect way to win. Am I asking too much for a bit of drama? As Huw and I left for his car our trip to Caernarfon was finally complete; we finally heard the familiar strains of “Shit on, shit on, shit on the bastards below” entering the cloudy New Year sky. So the GCSE dodgers were up the road all along, so near, yet so far. Maybe their Asbos prevented attendance? They didn’t appear to be very happy.

Their main form communication consisted of threats to passing motorists. How many of these motorists actually found the 14 year olds in their delightful combinations of caps and hoodies threatening is a moot point. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to be a question that they’d contemplated. It is question perhaps best answered in the same manner as Huw; a chuckle.

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