The rain, oh the rain

23 02 2008

Bangor City 0 Port Talbot Town 0
Welsh Premier League

As Billy Connolly once said; “It’s not the wrong weather, it’s the wrong clothing.” At first I didn’t worry about such matters; Llandudno was fine and it looked fine further afield. I thought a jumper would be ok. Spots of rain began to appear on the bus windscreen near Llanfairfechan. I immediately thought about cold remedies. Then I remembered that my jumper hadn’t been washed before. I began to picture a multicoloured t-shirt. Ineeded some protection and settled on a lovely child’s rain poncho. It was blue and only a pound, what more could you ask for? I’d be dry and cut a dash.

The poncho made an earlier than expected appearance because we were attacking the St. Paul’s end in the first half, again. I joined the hardy souls against the wall but I was not met with the hushed tones of admiration as I’d anticipated. I was met with laughter. How could I have misjudged my wet weather style so badly? Why was there a gap in between my mind’s perception and reality? I now felt unable to offer sartorial advice in the shop.

The game didn’t help my mood; the wind definitely inhibited our attacking. Unfortunately it didn’t inhibit Port Talbot’s approach. Foul, foul, foul, moan, moan, moan. Their Number 5 looked like he should have been supervising doors not playing football. It was the shaven head that put one in mind of Saturday night altercations.

However, even with the atmospherical and physical problems we created more of the chances. Smithy began to hobble after a challenge from their striker and this was a worry. The situation may have been more stress-inducing if Port Talbot had actually managed a few shots on target though.

The Poncho not only proved to be less than stylish but it was also less than effective. Splits rapidly developed. The splits not only reduced the ponchos’ efficiency but they helped the wind to inflate it. It was the worst pound I’d spend for a long while. There was something with a greater efficiency though, the Port Talbot trumpeter. He didn’t fail to annoy me. Any sign of encouragement his team provided resulted in a brief flurry of notes. A hunting scene came to mind, was he trying to encourage the mad dogs in his defence to run towards the other end? 0-0 half time.

Even without the wind we still looked more dangerous than them but we didn’t manage many shots on target. When we managed it on one occasion the ball’s progress was halted by a marvellous save. Every other attack was unsuccessful. Even when we went through their defence the shots never arrived. The anticipation of their lumbering no.5’s “attempts” at tackling won’t have helped our strikers’ composure. The sound of stampeding hooves from behind followed by the trepidation of his large frame looming into one’s peripheral vision would be enough to shake anyone’s steely resolve.

Smithy performed manfully whilst carrying that first half injury. A stretch for the ball at their strikers’ feet was one save too far and he had to go off. Peter Hoy donned the green jersey and produced some wonderful saves. Every save raised a cheer.
In the end, thanks to the circumstances, it was a point gained. This seemed to be an opinion shared by the Port Talbot fans; one unfurled a giant flag in the European style. They seemed ecstatic. For some reason the trumpeter was silent.
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