I can only think that at Tonbridge on Saturday the fourth official came over all a bit Macbeth. Not in a ‘killing the king on the basis of advice from three witches and his wife’ kind of a way (women eh?). More in the form of experiencing delusions or hallucinations, except rather than him asking “Is this a dagger I see before me?” It was a case of “Is this Richard Graham’s elbow I see before me?”
Well no you fool, it was not. Two football players bumped into each other and as a result of your myopia a player who has never been sent off in his career was facing a red card for no good reason at all and the mighty Saints were down to ten men in the third minute of the game.
And yet it had all started off so well. The god of hangovers had looked benignly down on the Friday’s wine fuelled fox and given her a bye on the hangover front, domestic tasks had been allocated to Mr TLF prior to departure for Tonbridge, job application half written on the train followed by an entertaining walk to the Longmead Stadium with several fellow Saints supporters. One of them asked if I might just be the lost fox. I think it was the map I was clutching that gave it away….well maybe. I did suggest that as a woman I wasn’t much good at map reading, but they were all far too sensible to bite on that one. Mind you the gent who I conferred with to check my map reading and get him on board to overrule a planned turn to the left did then confess he had forgotten his glasses; not the best vote of confidence I have ever had. Still a pleasure to meet Pete and John who seem to combine away games with the good beer guide, which seems a very rare example of male multi-tasking.
I quite liked Tonbridge’s ground, although admittedly that was not really from an architectural perspective. More down to the heater in the ladies loo, the San Miguel on draft in the bar AND the selling of the king of bacon snacks behind said bar. The minute I saw them I knew that defeat was not even a possibility, although that early sending off did undermine my confidence a wee bit. But in the players and the fries I should have trusted. A rock solid, gutsy performance from the team meant a very creditable draw and a replay on Monday night.
Perhaps the fourth official had heard me bemoaning my fortnight of football famine (I do love a bit of alliteration) and had just sent off our man to give Tonbridge a chance to eke out a draw and earn a replay (I understand a good sense of humour is rife in Tonbridge so I am sure they will appreciate that little bon mot), so that we could get in another home game in double quick time. Monday wasn’t ideal timing to be honest. It would mean negotiating a long planned early dinner with some friends, but getting to Clarence Park for the second half was a dead cert.
Yep. I know, what a daft thing to say. And anyone who follows football or likes a bet will be shaking their heads now – what a fool, heady on the performance from the weekend and the aroma of bacon fries she had forgotten that a dead cert does like to give you a good kick up the bum, blow a large raspberry in your face, flick the Vs for good measure and then let you down. And so it proved, as the fourth official of fate decreed that not only would the Fox miss dinner because of last minute work demands but also the second half, so in other words THE WHOLE GAME.
Still I only missed a 4-0 win.
In the FA Trophy.
Against a team a league above us.
So no big……..
But anyone thinking of coming between me and my attendance at the game in the next round, against Cambridge might want to think again. Otherwise it will be me coming over alla bit Macbeth. In a bold, bloody and resolute kind of a way.
Match 1 Stats
Tonbridge Angels 0 St Albans 0
Bacon fries consumed 1 packet
Lager consumed 1 pint Stella, 1 pint San Miguel (branching out)
Domestic Tasks completed by Mr TLF 3 (including washing machine fitting)
Inappropriate use of apostrophes by away team 1
Match 2 Stats
St Albans 4 Tonbridge Angels 0
Grumpy texts sent to Mr TLF bemoaning situation Er one or two
Length of rant when got home 15 mins
This week’s TILT (Thing I Learnt)
Cable ties. Very expensive in Kent, apparently.