A last minute equaliser is a thing of great beauty. If, and it is a big, not-to-be-sniffed-at kind of a conjunction… IF it is your team scoring it. Then it is a jump and down, until you think you might revisit your pre-match snack kind of a moment. CONCEDE a last minute equaliser and for a split second, or maybe several hours, if you can’t let go, there is no point to life. You could have just had a pay-rise, delivered world peace or just moved to a house in St Albans (I have only done one of these in the last week. Clue: I am no richer and violence still seems to be occurring) but for that moment none of these will console you. For an extra frisson of misery make that an equaliser scored by one of your ex-players, in a game against your local rivals, who currently sit top of the league and you have to acknowledge that Shakespeare must have been talking about football when he said, “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.”
Overly-dramatic and inappropriate quoting of the Bard? Oh probably, but it was my first home game as a genuine St Albans resident; the A414 derby. Yep Hemel Hempstead were in town. Apart from bringing a blue flare (it’s Clarence Park boys, not Camp Nou) their presence also bought out the best chants I have heard this season, or possibly ever, My TATTPIB days saw me witness many a local derby (the joy of living in the Midlands) and while they drew the loudest and most venomous choruses, there was never a great deal of originality, unless ‘sheep shagger’ is a more creative insult than I realise. But at Clarence Park last night, the various deficiencies of Hemel and the superiority of St Albans were illustrated in a variety of ways:
“Have you ever read a book?”
“We all shop in Waitrose la-la-la-la”
“We’ve got a cathedral, we’ve got a cathedral”
“You’ve got pigeons in your loft”
And my personal favourite
“You’re just a town planners nightmare”
Wit and creativity are alive and well on the terraces of St Albans and helping to make up for a slightly disappointing end to the game, as is bonhomie. The only thing better than sharing a hug with a random Scotsman after your team take the lead, is to then share a tot of whiskey from his hip flask. Cheers Davie Mac (and thus no longer random). And that’s after the pre-match beer and chat with Ray who as a life long supporter has some serious St Albans tales to be told. I also note that when Ray’s wife used to commute to London, he would pick her up from the station after work…must introduce Ray to Mr Lost Fox……
St Albans 2 Hemel Hempstead 2.
Raffle tickets purchased 10 Prizes won 0.
Losing golden goal tickets purchased 2 (one was only 3 minutes off!)
Bacon fries consumed 1 packet.
Additional item from Andy’s van 1. A bacon and cheese burger. Now officially known as the last minute equaliser burger.
Lager consumed 2.5 pints Stella (I know it was a school nite but hey these things happen)
Thing I Learned Today
In the unpacking stakes, the box with the hip flask just became a priority.