Enormous Easter

24 03 2008

“GIGANTIC GOOD FRIDAY” 21/4/08

Colwyn Bay 3 Cammell Laird 1
Unibond First Division

 

The weekend’s football extravaganza began at Llanelian Road. For the start of such a pivotal weekend in human history I expected more, I expected to feel history being rewritten. Unfortunately, the only thing I felt were my internal organs freezing.

 

The match pitted Colwyn Bay against the Welsh Premier All Stars or Cammel Laird as they’re more commonly known. At least 5 of Lairds’ players had played for Welsh clubs. A couple of rumours I heard today insinuated that the few who hadn’t already would be next season.

 
One Lairds fan had a rattle but rather disapointingly he wasn’t wearing a flat cap. What would he throw into the air if Lairds scored? During the game it became evident that there would be no rattle rattling or hat throwing as Lairds looked slightly off the pace. Cammel Laird were good last season and made the Bay look terrible. This season it was different even though Lairds were second in the league and Colwyn Bay stuttering near the play off positions.
Even the presence of Wayne Rooney’s relative on the bench didn’t inspire them into total football.

The presence of a celebrity by association seemed to excite the local teenagers. All manner of questions were considered, although they mostly concerned Wazza’s money. Most of the teenagers ventured to obtain the goss by asking the person in qusetion as he warmed up. They probably planned to sell the information to a newspaper.

 

The match experience was ruined by the cold but I’d thought I’d stick it out. Aside from the lack of feeling in my toes the main things I remember from the match are; the Bay taking a 2-0 lead, ex-Bangor player Alex Hay making it 2-1 with a pen and then Colwyn Bay scoring their third. After the third Colwyn Bay goal I left for the warmer climes of Llandudno.

“SCINTILATING SATURDAY” 22/4/08

2:00

Llandudno Junction Reserves 0  Connah’s Quay Nomads Reserves 1 (As I left), in Some Cup or other

Civilisation was moving inexorably towards zenith so I tried to kill time by going to another game. I chose Junction because it meant that I could manage to get back home in time to watch Bangor on TV. The fact that it was free was also an attraction.
When I arrived only the goal posts seemed aware that a match was due to be played. When someone actually turned up I enquired whether Junction were actually playing; “It’s the Reserves today” he breezily replied before adding a hasty rejoinder”…but it should be a good game though!!” as if I was contemplating leaving. Jesus, I must have looked like a groundhopper. Luckily I know the manager of the reserves, from a previous occupation. The only reaction my presence elicited was mild surprise followed by a jovial conversation. He also assured me that it should be a good game.
At first there were more players that spectators but by half time there were enough spectators for one team. As the temperature was reminicent of yesterday I left just before half time for the pub to recuperate. I arrived back to find that there were now enough spectators for three 5 a side teams.

To be brutally honest the whole match was deadly dull. The youthful promise of Connah’s Quay met the battle-harded experience of Junction. The result was predicable; realtive artistry met relative brutality. The biggest indicator being the amount of “full-blooded” challenges made by Junction.
The more physical approach had it’s comeuppence in the the goal they conceded. A couple of minutes prior to the goal there was a spot of finger pointing and gesturing by both teams after a bad tackle from a Junction player. The main gesticulator was Junction’s seemingly young and brash (the haircut, ooooh dig that haircut, and that arrogant strut) Number 14. The target; Nomads’ no.8. The free kick resulted in a corner. The corner was in the process of being taken and the no.14 followed the no.8 everywhere. Then his arms sprung forward in a pincer movement, he continued to follow his target. The ball flew over and the no.14 continued moving like a 1950s robot but the no.8 had broken clear of the embrace. He carressed the ball with his head. The ball bobbled past the dispairing lunge of the left back on the line. Ho ho ho. On that bombshell I left.
5:15
 
Carmarthen Town 2 Bangor City 1
Welsh Premier League On the Television!!!!
 
At first, this felt a bit weird. I was watching players on TV that I watched every week but they appeared to be different. I know that TV is meant to put pounds onto people’s figures but this was riduculous, it had actually altered the appearence of several members of our team.

This was one of the most frustrating game of the season. First of all I wasn’t there but I could still see it. I was just a passive observer. The players wouldn’t be able to benefit from my exhortions. Secondly you could see the faces of the Carmarthen players when they scored, their smiles compounded my misery. Usually you don’t get to see their faces in this amount of detail when you turn up to watch. Thirdly we lost and we should have drawn at least today. Bugger.

 
“GRAND SLAM SUNDAY” 23/3/08
 
 
So here we all were, the day the world has been waiting for since creation. The day which will mark a new beginning for the Human Race. The day upon which the Rubicon will be crossed. The day when the big four collide and matter will spew forth creating a new existance.
 
How did I know this was the day? There were bouncers on the doors of one Llandudno bar and you couldn’t get served at the bar for four hours. As soon as you were in the bar you could feel the atmosphere, taste it, smell it (or was that the freely flowing alcoholic beverages?). There were that many people in the bar that you couldn’t pirouette without spilling drinks onto 20 replica shirts.
I found my way to some familiar faces and thought I’d be safe, how wrong that presumption would turn out to be. There must be conditions upon the granting of licences for pubs and bars but today gave me reason to believe that those conditions aren’t stringent enough. There should be a restriction on the number of men that speak above a certain decibel level whilst wearing a replica shirt.
Just in front of me one young man, proudly wearing his United replica shirt and periodically texting when the action became too much to bare, shouted “SNAP HIM!!!!” every time a Liverpool player ran at the United defence. Now I realise that I should have questioned this lover of beautiful football to ascertain exactly how a defender would accomplish snapping a human torso in two because trying to figure out an answer will be like a splinter in my mind for ages.
Just to my right there was a table full of alcohol-fuelled philosophers. They alternated between shouting outlandish theories, shouting tall tales, shouting jokes they’ve read in FHM and shouting crudities at Liverpool Football Club. I wished I was at their table as they seemed to be enjoying themselves plus I haven’t had a good debate about ethics for a few months. Over yonder there was another group who slightly less refined. They just shouted obsenities at the TV screen whenever Liverpool players came into view.
All of the disparate groups continued with their differing behaviours until United scored. Then the United fans rose in unison. “SNAP HIM” and 2 of the philosophers sprang out of their seats and began cavorting together. “SNAP HIM” then decided to try and fornicate with a pool table, the 2 philosophers took to abusing the Scousers around them.
I gazed around this room and I was filled with an overpowering emotion. We live in a world riven by so many social problems yet in this small section of this medium-sized bar there was sense of oneness. Everyone could join together in their hatred for the dreaded “Scousers”. This is, of course, the overiding emotion of all ethnic Mancunians or “Mancs”. What made this oneness even more remarkable was the fact that none of these Manchester United fans were “Mancs” and only a few of the the Liverpool fans were hated “Scousers”. It was a real feeling of transcendence on this very holy of days.
In the second half the room became relatively quiet as Liverpool came more into the match but when United scored two the same behaviour was exhibited. Maybe Sky was right all along, this was a historical day. If you were to look at the United fans’ celebrations you would certainly say so; this is what VJ Day 1945 must have looked like.
To put the day into a nutshell, it will be a very, very, very, very, very long time before I contemplate spending another 2 hours like this again. 2 hours in the company of cunts who know nothing about football, cunts who shout crap at one another, cunts who think they’re funny when they’re just boorish, cunts who think buying a replica shirt and sitting in a pub is enough to make them a fan, cunts who think that by wearing that replica shirt they also have to take on the ersatz emotions of hating the “other”, cunts who think going to see their team play 3 times a season is enough. Days like today are the reason why I detest the Premiership.

“MASSIVE EASTER MONDAY” 24/4/08

Neath Athletic 1 Bangor City 0
Welsh Premier League

With the world a different place now a very early start doesn’t make any difference to me. What does make a difference is finding out that the kick off for a match is at 1 and not half 2, especially when you come by this information by chance; I decided to buy some water from a vending machine in Chester station. As I walked over to the I saw someone I recognised as a Bangor fan about to board the train. I hollared and then they informed me. Timing is everything, if I’d have waited 30 seconds to go and get the water…… It doesn’t bare thinking about. Anyway, bang went my sightseeing in Cardiff.
I still nearly misssed the kick off thanks to the engineering work delaying Swansea-bound trains in Cardiff. After a short taxi ride from Neath station I was there, another game, another ground. I had five minutes to spare.
The match was frustrating. Neath scored from their only attack of the half. We, on the other hand, hit the bar, had shots cleared off the line and had a bad referee to deal with. Blackmore also gave us a piece of his mind and it wasn’t complementary.

Now I’m as metrosexual as the next man but some of the players in yellow looked like they would have prefered to be still in the changing room perfecting a brave new look. Several of them looked like refugees from x-factor, did Neath have a boy band? The cherry on top of the bleached cake was the Neath’s goalkeepers’ kit, it was Pink. A kit of such a hue struck me as a little incongrueous in this land of mines and steel works, this domain of virile masculinity. What would they have made of it 30 years ago? Lynching probably. Having said that the Manics weren’t afraid to experiment with their style, were Neath’s players just part of the same south Walian continuum? If they are inheritors of that mantle, more power to ’em!!!
The second half was worse, the ref was pathetic. In hindsight it was probably a bad sign that the officials and the Neath stewards are on such good terms that they indulged in some leg-pulling as the officials re-appeared for the second half. If you were looking for a conspiracy it all began to look a bit fishy when Bangor didn’t seem to get any decisions in their favour; handballs went unpunished, clear fouls weren’t given, non-existent fouls were awarded in Neath’s favour. This is not just the bitter carping of a losing fan, I mean we didn’t play that well but I don’t think the refereeing helped.

Neath were god awful but at least they have a few interesting fans. One kept shouting “EAGLES, EAGLES, EAGLES!!!!!” every couple of minutes, the manner of his shouting made one wonder about his mental processes. After about twenty minutes he became a duo, idiocy in stereo. Sputnic turned up and it was nice to see him and have a chat. This was definitely the best aspect of the afternoon. After the match I walked to Skewen to get the train to Swansea.

5.45
 
Swansea City 2 Bristol Rovers 2
Coca Cola League 1
 

I was down here I thought I’d go and watch Swansea, especially as Lofty was fit again. I bought a programme and I got some kind of noise maker free with it. The ground was about 2/3 full. It was a good game.

 
 
Rovers went into a 2-0 lead and the moaning commenced. Martinez didn’t know what he was doing, one up front wasn’t enough, why wasn’t Duffy playing? Why was it raining? Why was my paper late? Have you seen the cost of houses recently? Why can’t I find an NHS Dentist? It doesn’t take much to set fans off. At first I thought that I may have chosen the wrong area, maybe the moaners all sat in this area. The chorus of boos wasn’t confined to my area thus indicating the moaning was widespread. The Swansea fans seemed to be overlooking the fact that they had created chances too.
 
I’m not saying football fans are fickle but as soon as Swansea scored the mood changed. Instead of moaning the fans started encouraging. Swansea could have scored several in the second half as they played through the Rovers defenced easily.
The stewards in Swansea don’t like people standing and they seem very stern. Several refusniks lasted about 5 minutes before they gave in. I decided to leave to catch my train about 10 minutes from the end, I didn’t like the idea off leaving early, as it’s uaually the province of people with better things to get to, but I liked the idea of spending a night on a draughty platform even less. Just as I made it down the steps I felt the roar. Swansea had scored again.

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9 04 2010
Anger is an Energy « Llandudno Jet Set

[…] The second time that we thought about John Lydon’s line was while reading the WSC Messageboard. Someone posed the Question, “When did you fall out of love with football?” After a while I remembered the precise moment that I did. It’s chronicled in these pages as well; […]

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