Flint, where it’s at!!!

31 10 2009
Flint Town United 0 Bangor City 1
Welsh Cup 3rd Round

A Welsh Cup day was upon us again, what a lovely phrase!!! Over the years these days have become synonymous with revelry, frivolity and much laughter. The memories of Welsh Cups past lay heavily on our recollections, everybody seems to make more of an effort to enjoy the day. It’s as if we expect them to be better days, more enjoyable, more drunken. To be fair they usually are.

I met the other adventurous handsome heroes in Llandudno Junction and the atmosphere was building, gradually. We arrived in Flint with plenty of time to have another good Welsh Cup day, the chips were hot, the beers were cold and the cobwebs were numerous.

After paying 20p to enter Flint’s social club there was yet more beer and Arsenal versus Spurs to keep us going. I was so deep in discussion about the perniciousness of the market economy that I almost forgot to leave for the ground in time. We arrived just before kick off.

Watching football in Flint’s ground puts one in mind of the Vinnie Jones opus “Mean Machine”; the environs hint at a prison compound. Having said that, the brutal chic  is different from the railing and livestock backdrop we usually see at Bangor away matches, Cae-y-Castell actually looks like a place where football is played.

We were attacking the end with less trees in the first half and were nearly behind early on. Smithy came out and smothered the ball, in the manner of a soldier protecting his comrades from a hand grenade. Then Smithy collided with Brewie, in the manner of Hulk Hogan dispatching Ric Flair over the ropes. A few minutes later Brewie left the pitch. A few minutes later Flint’s fans cheered for some reason. We didn’t know why, the ball was clearly not over the line. We saw this very clearly from our position. Then we scored and celebrated as such. Then the goal was disallowed. Then we heard the ridiculing laughter. Then we went quiet. Then Football Genius scored, a header, BANG!!!!!! Then we laughed, life was good!!!

The second half was rather uncomfortable, but in a comfortable way. We could have scored a couple; we hit the bar twice and there were a few breaks that looked promising. Due to the nature of the scoreline every time Flint had the ball in our box we clenched, each time could have been THAT horrible moment. To release tension fans will try to find a safety valve, this time we chose the opposing keepers’ idiosyncrasies. He cried; “Left!!!”, we cried; “RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT!!!!” He cried; “Alan!!!” We Cried. “ALAN!!! ALAN!!!! ALAN!!!  STEVE!!!! STEVE!!!! STEVE!!!” Mash cried; “DEMIS ROUSSOS!!! THOMPSON TWINS!!!” It was all very juvenile but it helped to ease the tension and in this credit crunch nervous tension can lead to terrible health problems.

The final whistle meant relief and another trip to the clubhouse. As we found in Aberystwyth, positioning is everything when you’re hungry. This time we had a man by the split in the curtain. Les, the inside man, steadily supplied us with contraband peanuts and sandwiches. A cunning steward spotted what was happening and cut off our supply. Quick-footed Les was Indiana Jones for a split second, he narrowly avoided the snap of the curtains shutting. Draws and Bangor fans don’t seem to mix, we just can’t keep a lid on our exuberance. They had to do the draw behind closed curtain. News filtered out through the door, we’d drawn Ammanford!!!! No, no, no, no, we’d drawn Aberaman. We left Flint happy, on a train.

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