It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I have owned more replica football shirts than is maybe necessary…or indeed healthy. Or that most of those shirts have been purchased and worn during what is allegedly known as my “grown-up” phase. Most of them are of course in the blue of TATTPIB; with hideous collars, without hideous collars, grim v-necks, grimmer v-necks, with fancy piping, sans fancy piping and various sponsor labels (including one that looked like a large unnerving alien Walkers Crisp with the yellow velour style material yelling “I will attract all the dirt at every game you attend and no amount of washing will make me clean again”). There’s a smattering of England shirts and then a collection of foreign shirts which I always justify buying on the grounds that it is my holiday souvenir so not technically “another bloody football shirt.” Shame I often go to Greece, not Barcelona…
Where it departs from its predecessors is how my new SACFC away shirt (had to be the away shirt; yellow always makes me a look a bit ill) came into my possession. First it had to be ordered and then its arrival last week was announced via a text from the Shop-meister, Ian. The informality, friendliness and first name world of SACFC continues to make it easy to survive my TATTPIB cold turkey (I am sure Radio 5 had never mentioned them as much as they do now we are in trial separation). It is also a good positive to hold onto when I’m pining for a big screen replay having just missed a goal.
Speedy acceptance and induction into this first name informality does though lead to some foxy bemusement. I replied to said text by enquiring after the whereabouts of my season ticket. “Steve will have it on Saturday“, was the response. Coolio. Course he will. I’ll just get it off Steve, no bother. Then it struck me, a bit like a lack of video replay. I didn’t actually know who Steve was.
On match day I am pointed in the direction of the Board Room, which as any fule would kno is where you collect your season ticket from. And there I met Steve, the Club Secretary. Oh that Steve (ahem). He recognised me straightaway and handed over the season ticket. Oh alright, of course he didn’t recognise me, he sussed it – slightly crazed looking woman with a blonde fringe and new non-league glint in her eye, must be TLF.
I’m not sure how many Club secretaries hand over season tickets throughout the leagues but maybe a few more should think about it.
From Steve’s programme notes it turns out I am not the only fox hanging around Clarence Park. Not only has this nocturnal visitor been digging up the penalty spot, he has also adopted a rather extreme response to the two consecutive home defeats. There was no corpse, but the tell-tale sign of a few tufty feathers strewn around the centre circle indicated that this vulpes vulpes was taking pre-match lucky snacks to a whole new level. A whole pigeon – that’s just greedy. But then again we did win, so the pigeon’s sacrifice was a noble one.
A good all round performance I thought. A bit more zip about it, a well worked goal followed by a Frendo special in the free kick department (the first one I have witnessed) saw Saints safely into the 3rd round Qualifying of the FA Cup.
I know that the club would like an antidote to the murderous, digging fox’s nightly visitations. (I think this Lost Fox is safe…at least while I’m losing money at the raffle with depressing regularity, and also not doing anything objectionable to the penalty spot). Looking at the inter-web (like a team based in Milan but online. BOOM BOOM) no one seems convinced that any of the myriad of anti-fox devices are mega effective. Clearly an invitation to the Quorn Hunt might scare the little beggar off, but if that lot galloped over the hallowed turf I think we would be looking at more than just running repairs to the penalty spot. Maybe foxes and saints just have to stick together.
St Albans 2 BillerickAAAAAAYYY Town 0.
Number of times opposition’s name was mocked. Quite a Few
Raffle Tickets purchased 10 Prizes won 0
Losing Golden Goal ticket purchased 1
Sightings of Gavin and Stacey 0
Bacon Fries consumed 1 Packet
Additional Bacon Item bought from Andy’s snack van and cooked to crispy perfection 1 (I thought it might help us win – honest I was only doing it for the team)
Lager consumed 2 pints Stella.
TILT The magic of the Cup waned a little today, when I discovered that it means certain rules apply: