Well that’s my away debut successfully negotiated with the mighty Saints overcoming Chatham to make it into the first round Proper of the FA Cup. I’d love to know what it would be like in the first round Improper. Maybe the balls are square or the game follows a different set of rules or there are large levels of impropriety or…maybe I shouldn’t continue flogging this rather weak joke.
Sadly it couldn’t be the full away game experience which ought to entail starting with an 11.15am beer and the early train along with the hardcore support. Instead my unshakeable commitment to unpacking a few more boxes, or more realistically the fear that an early start would lead to me rolling back home a little (or more likely a lot) the worse for wear for a romantic meal with Mr Lost Fox, meant a later train. And thus sadly no opportunity to sample the ‘delights’ of Chatham (pop. 70,540). I did still have time to contemplate my pre-match preparation and was getting somewhat nervous as a brief sweep of the newsagents of St Albans left me empty handed in the bacon fries department. Coming off the subs bench were Marks and Spencer’s bacon rashers. The packet proudly announces that they are “full of flavour”. Really? Full of a flavour maybe but not a porky one. Fortunately a high quality scotch egg signed for a reasonable transfer fee from the Sourced Market at St Pancras upped the ante and gave the whole thing that hint of class that the FA Cup deserves.
First half saw us at the far end of the ground, on the grassy terraces with a dismantled shed/pile of concrete providing useful emergency facilities for those who had been drinking for awhile.
To be fair the purpose built ladies facilities weren’t bad. Shame the light wasn’t working (Note to self. Pack a torch for future away trips). The game wasn’t a classic and as I bemoaned a second half that was petering out I had to be reminded very sternly by John, exactly what I had said before kick off, ‘that I wanted the game over and won. I didn’t care about being entertained.’ Suitably admonished and recognising that A win is A win, I briefly admired the quality celebrations that were unfolding in the Saints end, before the aforementioned meal popped back into my head and I made a hasty exit. By the sounds of it celebrations were still going on by the time I was back in St Albans.
As if that wasn’t enough football action for one week there was a Monday night game to contend with. A welcome return for Smiths bacon fries (accept no substitutes) but to be honest after the magic of the Cup there was a bit of an after The Lord Mayors show kind of a feel to the evening. I know that puts me back in touch with my inner churl again but St Albans have not made it this far in the FA Cup since 2002 so a bit of a hangover for both players and fans was likely. Although I do accept that the league is our bread and butter (cliche alert) and of course a win is a win and 3 points, is 3 points (yep obviously), no matter if the game is a bit sluggish and it is all a bit COLD.
And that wasn’t the high point of the evening, let me assure you. Not only was I in the good company of Davie Mac, Richard and & Co; there was the small matter of my first raffle win. Yes I know I could have bought about 6 boxes of Celebrations with my raffle ticket spend to date but let me remind you…..A win is A win.
Match stats Saturday:
Chatham 0 St Albans 2
Away Club Raffle Tickets purchased 0…Raffle loyalty
Bacon fries consumed 0 Those things were not bacon fries!
Lager consumed 1 pint M&S imitation Stella (not bad to be fair)
Match stats Monday:
St Albans 2 Hitchin Town 1
Bacon fries consumed 1 heavenly packet
Additional item from Andy’s snack van 1 high quality bacon cob
Lager consumed 2 halves (cheers chaps)
Raffle tickets purchased 10 Prizes won 1 YEEEEEEESSSSSS!
Losing golden goal tickets purchased 1 (1 minute off for effs sake)
Wise words from the crew – don’t look at your golden goal ticket when you pull it out of the hat (well Tupperware box to be fair). Keep it folded and put it in your pocket. Check it when the first goal is scored. You don’t think about it and your interest is retained. Hmmmm. I’m not convinced but if it leads to win, I will withdraw my cynicism.
Raffletastic Mrs Fox