More football

18 11 2010
Bangor City 2 Bryntirion Athletic 1
Welsh Cup 3rd Round

We’d like to tell you about Bangor’s first goal. We’d like to tell you about Bryntirion’s equaliser. We’d like to tell you about Reedy’s scruffy winner. We’d even like to tell you how Bryntirion’s goalkeeping kit was another sahde in the spectrum of goalkeeping kits  we’ve seen at Farrar Road season (an all lilac number, last week we saw Bala in a fluorescent Green/fluorescent yellow creation). We’d like to tell you everything but the Jet Set, like vast numbers of citizens in our society, suffers from a televisually-reduced attention span.

We need television to remind us about stuff on a constant basis. “But that’s not a problem with Welsh Premier League football!!” I hear you cry, “Don’t S4C (Wales’ own channel) show a live match each week!” Yes they do! “Don’t they show highlights from other matches on this programme?”. Of course they do.

This week however there was no live match. This week there weren’t even any highlights like the good old days either. S4C  were broadcasting a live rugby instead, all 3 hours of a live rugby. 3 hours? But we thought rugby matches lasted for 80 minutes?

Anyway we’re not moaning because we’re proud Taffies and just like the lovely man on tv said, all of Wales is waiting.

Bangor City 1 XXX XXX XXXXXX X
Loosemores League Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg

A match happened on this evening.

Wigan Athletic 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
FA Premier League

Today we had a plan; we’d go in with the away fans. The away end always promises a livelier matchday experience. Despite the promise of fun our day suffered from an inauspicious start. At Colwyn Bay a  family got on the train and sat by the Jet Set. The head of the family nursed a bottle of Stella, swore in front of his children and encouraged them to articulate racism. We withstood 5 minutes before moving seats. Fotunately the rest of the journey was plain sailing. The West Brom fans on Warrington’s platform indicated that we were reassuringly heading in the right direction.

As we walked the streets of Wigan we failed to any more West Brom fans, this wasn’t as reassuring. On the way to the ground we continued to worry that the game may have been called off as there were no obvious signs of football fans. Then we saw an oasis in the concrete desert, another fan! What joy people gain from the smallest details. With a spring in our step we strode over the bridges near the ground, we  found ourselves in the awe-inspiring surroundings of a retail park. It was ten past two.

This is the trouble with modern stadia, they might look so fresh and exciting when they’re new but they can also feel a bit clinical and utilitarian, a bit  indentikit, few design quirks. We have yet to visit a “new” ground from the last 20 years, or one that’s had bits redeveloped in this  time, that doesn’t utilise the painted girder as a major design feature, and this is just the outside. The vista that greets the football fan when entering the so-called concourse (the place when one now buys bovril and pies) is exactly the vista that would greet you if you were look through the window of a recently built  superstore before the shopfitters have done their magic; girders and breeze blocks. A bit of oak panelling wouldn’t go amiss sometimes. Wigan’s ground makes a feature of thick, pre-cast concrete, and what joy it brings to the connoisseur of architecture.

The Villa v United match was on the tv on the concourse. If you didn’t know that West Brom fans hated Villa before this afternoon, you would have by the end of this match. Villa’s goal was met with tutting then a less than complimentary song or two. We decided to take in the atmosphere of a barely full football ground, bare concrete and girders. Villa must have conceded because a muffled loud cheer came from the concourse.

The match started on time and due to it being this time of year it was preceded by a minute’s silence. The weather grew gradually colder as the first half progressed. First we put our coats on, then the zips were fastened before hats were added. The football tantalised but gradually ran out of steam in the first half. West Brom looked more dangerous and their fans seemed to think so, which was a great deal higher than their opinion of Wigan. It’s “a Shithole” according to the song. “Shall we fill a stand for you?” is a question that doesn’t really require an answer but the West Brom fans still sang it.

The Wigan team looked slightly lethargic, of course lethargy can be confused with a trance-like state. Maybe Wigan had been hypnotised by the rhythmic beat emanating from the twatting drummer in the middle of their ultras. After a while the only noise we could focus on was the bloody hammering on the drum’s skin. The next we remember happening  was half time.

The second half partly lived up to the expectation we had built up, it was a bit more fun. Some blokes appeared around us. The one to our side seemed to suffer from a nervous condition. When ever a Wigan player ran with the ball, and it didn’t matter where the run started, all he could shout was “DO ‘IM!!!”.

After he shouted this roughly ten times the thoughts of the Jet Set were unrepeatable in civil society. It was quite a surprise when he turned to chat with the Jet Set and he was actually a pleasant guy. Mind you his temper would have been kept in check by West Brom managing to halt every attack for about 15 minutes. Wigan mounted another attack. With every pass closer to the West Brom goal the cries of our friend became more and more insistent. The final “DOOO ‘IMMMMMMM” was abruptly cut by a Wigan goal.

The “DO ‘IM”s quickly became “YOU F*****N’ c***TS!!!!!!!” or “SHUT IT YOU F*****N’ c***TS!!!!!!!” or even “YOU RUGBY PLAYIN’ F*****N’ c***TS!!!!!!!” or even “YOU F*****N’ PEASANTS”. Mind you one couldn’t blame him entirely. When a team scores a goal and their fans suddenly become animated after appearing to be fossilised, it’s generally very annoying. When they seem to be gloating it’s doubly difficult to cope with. When teenagers add to this with the moves they’ve learned on Soccer AM it’s enough to shake you to the core. When you add the fact that West Brom looked the more likely to score not Wigan, we could sympathise with our friend. Sometimes all you can do is expel the demons through your mouths. For the rest of the game we willed West Brom to equalise but they didn’t unfortunately. Being an away fan is not always fun. The Wigan fans seemed to have a song based on the theme song from the tv series “Heartbeat”, this sounded slightly more fun.

On the way home we tried to think when gloating became de rigour for morons at football. Why can’t people just be happy internally. They must realise that football being football your team can lose as well as win. They may laugh now but come May they could be one of those crying fans that Sky love. Karma will get them in the end.




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