I was left wondering last weekend what’s worse to witness on a Satday? A 2-0 home defeat? Or a 2-2 home draw with the opposition scoring their equaliser in the sixth minute of stoppage time?
Once upon a time this kind of philosophical debate was neither here nor there. I went to the home game that my team was playing and sometimes I went to the away game too, and I took the result and lived with it (wept/sulked/celebrated with excess lager). Now of course, with this foolish inability to abandon the saints or the foxes it was inevitable that sooner or later I would chance upon a Satday where both teams were at home and I would have to make a choice. Not always my forte. Mr TLF suggested finding a third team to follow on these occasions (everyone’s a comedian these days). I did consider tossing a coin or asking you lot to decide (yeah right).
In the end I waited for the stars and the fates to tell me. And lo there came not one but two signs. First I spotted the club’s owner Lawrence Levy in the Meze Bar in St Albans (he very decently said hello and I introduced Mr TLF as “a man who doesn’t come to Clarence Park often”).Then as I took a shortcut to the train station I saw Eamesy who promised me he was just making sure that the Stella was shipshape; now there is a man who knows how to prioritise. And on that basis my destination had to be Clarence Park.
Sod’s law did of course then decree that at Clarence Park it would RAIN and that we would lose. The first half we hung on, but in the time it took me to get from the bar to the terrace for the second half we were 2-0 down. Oh well I thought as defeat became inevitable…at least Leicester are winning…HA! Insult to injury and to Mr TLF’s now very unwise treble.
But on reflection my choice of match didn’t seem so bad – my expectations were low from about the 48th minute. Imagine if I had been at Lesta, planning in the 95th minute how I could bore Mr TLF when I got home with details of the game and 3 home points…and then BOOM, one free kick later and it would have been a big sulk on a long journey home. Plus of course there is no Stella at Lesta.
And if I had gone there would I have had chance for a good conversation with our billionaire owners? Nope. While at Clarence Park it was a second conversation in a week with our owner, whose enthusiasm for the beautiful game and the mighty Saints came through in spades. From the Meze bar menu to the financial challenges of non-league football and how to meet those challenges to how brilliant our fans are; a really welcoming and interesting conversation. Fortunately I was only one and a half pints through my regulation Stella ration so I might even have been vaguely coherent. The reality is that a game at Clarence Park, no matter what the result is never an afternoon wasted…well I might be a bit wasted when I leave.
With no international break for the Conference South, there was a quick chance for Saints to get back to winning ways at Boreham Wood on the Monday. When I realised that we are talking Elstree and Boreham Wood I did get a bit excited – film studios! Star Wars! Some film and telly glitz! Maybe some some element of Strictly sparkle might give my Monday night a bit more than a SEVERRRNN.
But no. The high street has as much glamour as Ann Widdecombe, the ref was as generous to the mighty Saints as Craig Revell Whosit and their punctuation is shocking.
A gutsy performance from a team that played the whole second half with 10 men but sadly nil points for the yellow and blue army.
St Albans 0 Chemlsford City 2
Goalden goal tickets and raffle tickets: See illustration above
Lager consumption 3 pints Stella (consistent)
Pre-match snacks: Another bacon cob winner from Andy the Burger (ATB) and 1 packet bacon fries
Boreham Wood 2 St Albans 1
Lager consumed: 1 can Stella and 1 half time bottle San Miguel. Shame on Boreham Wood for serving Carlsberg in San Miguel glasses….that is NO way to manage expectations
Pre-match snacks: 1 packet bacon fries from the very fine London supplier of savoury snacks and Stella; Temple Stores