The Jet Set review of 2010/2011

12 08 2011

Simply last season was the season that stuck to the script entitled “A PERFECT SEASON”.

Every box was ticked. European glory, YES!!!!!, a fifteen match unbeaten run , YES!!!!, Ups, YES!!! Downs, YES!!!!, Luxuriating in the knowledge that your club would win the match after 15 minutes, YES!!!!, Knowing that your club could be 3-0 up and go on to lose 5-3, YES!!! Ins, Outs, Failing hope, YES!!! Scoring last minute winners, YES!!! Conceding Injury Time equalisers, YES!!!! Matches cancelled 20 minutes before kick off when you’re already at the away ground, YES!!!! Matches cancelled due to Siberian snow flurries, causing your team not to travel, which caused the rival owner to have a go at your club because they were “chickens“, YES!!!!, Having stupid discussions with idiots on message boards, YES!!!!, Suffering insults from south Walian players on two separate occasions, YES!!!!.

It was all there.

My season started in July, when I was staring at  a computer screen. I read that Chris Jones put the ball in the Finnish net, as the song says. This goal led to genuine hope of progression in Europe for the first time in years. One week later the Racecourse was expectant and the players didn’t let us down.

Honka scored first but Dave Morley equalised in the last ten minutes. Our first season defining moment happened in the last 3 minutes when Chris Jones volleyed the goal. The feeling was literally indescribable and reduced even the most erudite philosophers amongst Bangor’s crowd into quivering wrecks unable to comprehend what their eyes had seen.

Your humble narrator was overcome by glory fever and the next thing I knew I was sitting in front of a computer the following Thursday “watching” and listening to Bangor play in Madeira.

My success-addled brain struggled to deal with the vagaries of trying to keep in touch with my team’s progress in European competition without the aid of television. The combination of a Portuguese commentator and European success meant that I was lulled into believing a false impression.

My working knowledge of Portuguese is somewhat lacking so I failed to understand that what I thought were edited highlights on the radio were in fact the events of Bangor’s match. When I checked UEFA’s website it came as something of a shock to find out that Bangor were losing 7-1 by the 80th minute. This was rather annoying, By the end of our fourth  week in Europe I had a Maritimo scarf for the club shop. We were fluid again, good possibilities were the only thoughts worth feeling.

The second season defining moment was the casual meander through Wales on a fifteen match unbeaten run. Jamie Reed is thought by many Bangor fans to be the primary cause of the winning streak. And this would be a valid assessment as Jamie provided several great moments during the run; the winner against Neath on TV that convinced Bangor’s diehards of the distinct possibility of a glorious end to the season, then there was the last-minute double against Aberyswyth against a backdrop of irritating teenagers.

At this point I can’t forget to mention the hammering of XXX XXX XXXXXX. It was a defeat so total that Bangor could lead 4-1 and still concede another 2 after relaxing. It was a glorious feeling turning up at grounds and knowing that no matter what happened we’d still win. The days were all glorious and never-ending, they beautiful times were being experienced by beautiful people. The glory was ours, people confidently worked out that we’ll have won the league by Valentine’s Day, these were days my friend, oh look they’ll never end.

Then we went to stodgy Airbus on a unseasonably warm December night. Airbus huffed, puffed and dived  to protect a 1-0 lead, the plan worked going into  injury time. The blue intellectuals were crestfallen, the run was ending, the season was over.

Then Bangor equalised. The slumped bodies, and broken wills, of Airbus’ finest journeymen spoke more of a Bangor victory. The Strutting Saltney Scallies weren’t even flies on the back of our elephant. We were still  fluid, only thinking of the good possibilities. The season was a chain of increasingly beautiful events, with a few ugly ones for good measure.

Just before Christmas the games in hand of Bangor’s rivals gave a fifteen point lead at the top of the league. The rationale amongst the blue army intellectuals always knew we wouldn’t remain unbeaten but most of us were dreamers so we let ourselves ride the waves of glory. Unfortunately the rational were proved correct during the next stage of the season.

The third season defining part was Bangor’s unsteadiness over the next ten games. We only won one league game and a couple of cup ties. It wasn’t so much the dropping of points that became a little frustrating it was the manner of the points dropping.

We nearly, and should have, beaten XXX XXX XXXXXX, we were winning against both Llanelli and Port Talbot going into injury time but drew both matches 2-2. We suffered a few capitulations as well.

The uneasiness wasn’t helped by the reaction of message board morons but then which situation is  improved by a braying pack of twats? “Fifteen points lead and you’ve blown, ha ha ha” they said as if we hadn’t worked out this point for ourselves. If this wasn’t bad enough the twats were actually pleased XXX XXX XXXXXX were now going to win. Then the Piece-de-resistance, Rhys Griffiths had a go DURING the Bangor v Llanelli match “Blown it” he said. To be fair to him it very much looked like we’d blown it. We were stuck in neutral again, with our hopes and dreams in tatters. The glorious cup victories over Haverfordwest (we won 6-3 after going 3-1 down) and Connah’s Quay, in the semi final,didn’t produce much succour. We were drifting and the only possibilities were unpalatable.

Then we had the last and  most glorious part of the league season, the last ten days. These days represent everything a football fan dreams of, this was a time when every hope came to pass. Let’s start at the beginning…….

On Thursday 21st of April everything was lost. Bangor and XXX XXX XXXXXX both had three games left but two of their matches were at home on the plastic and two of our games were in south Wales and 48 hours apart.

At 7 pm on Friday 22nd of April it all looked so bad, why couldn’t we just end the season to get it over and done with? There was no way we’d win all our games, 2 maybe but not all three. There was no way XXX XXX XXXXXX would lose a match and allow us to overtake them and become champions. Couldn’t we all give up now, wouldn’t that be easier?  At 9:25 Neath had beaten XXX XXX XXXXXX on the plastic, the dream was back on!

We travelled to Port Talbot in hope but not in certainty, the hopes became reality in the dust of Port Talbot’s area. When the dust had cleared we knew that Bully had stabbed the ball into the net. Bully scored a fantastic second to finish off the job. Then the pressure returned in a big way, would we be able to Handle it?

The fraught nerves lastly roughly 10 minutes on the Easter Monday in Neath. When Garside scored a double in a performance of great fluidity. Trundle’s goal worried us for a little bit but we held firm. We’d been worrying about our ability to last or even play in a fluid manner again but now here we were, if we beat XXX XXX XXXXXX in the last game of the season we’d be the champions!

We were fluid again, only thinking of the good possibilities.

Then we come to the pinnacle of our story, the day to end all days. The day when football beat the facsimile, the fabled beat the phoney, the real beat the fake. That day in April saw the forces of good vanquish the forces of evil for at least 12 months and it was truly a remarkable day, from the segregation for XXX XXX XXXXXX legitimisers to the packed terraces to the sunshine, it was all special, and lo it came to pass that Craig Garside scored the winner, and lo all the glory was Bangor’s and so the blue hordes invaded the pitch in double-quick time. The glow of glory lead to an intoxicating fuzziness and then you realised what the previous nine months was all about. There was a definite narcotic element to this feeling that will keep me going for months, if not years, to come.

Bangor also played a Cup Final but less said about that the better.

The last detail worth mentioning about this season, Bangor City have developed a bit of a friendship with Port Talbot and this was a very welcome development in the present epoch of “Moronic Banter” . What’s more fantastic that people being brought together by football?

Bangor’s season in sentence; Better than thought possible.

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