I thought I had got this Valentines Day gig sorted.
“Darling how would like to take a stroll with me in Clarence Park? Taking in some of the fine sights of this fair City and perhaps enjoying a beverage or two in a quiet little clubhouse I know.”
“No I don’t want to go to football.”
Oh well. So much for trying to combine some valentines day sentiment with my first home game in four weeks (priorities people, priorities). Instead it was a pre-match tour of the ground for TLF courtesy of HatBoy inviting me to gatecrash his son’s class outing. I didn’t look like part of the Year 5 cohort (still not really sure what year 5 is in old money) and Ryan (offspring of Hat Boy) was doing his best to not look like he was in anyway associated with his Dad’s slightly eccentric friend but I think I got away with it. And obviously I did the decent thing and let the kids go first when we checked out the dressing rooms and the physio room….and then showed a steady turn of speed when the tour guide advised us that next stop was the bar. Eccentric I maybe kids but don’t come between TLF and accessing the draught Stella.
Returning to the romantic theme that I started some ramble ago and then forgot about, there wasn’t a lot of lurvvve lost on the terraces. Ray was on form. The linesman really wasn’t. And that can only end badly for the latter. And it won’t just be mindless swearing. Oh no. That sort of average and usual abuse, being told that we will looking forward to making his acquaintance again Next Tuesday etc the unfortunate man with the flag could ignore. He is used to that. What you get with Ray is always very loud, but it is also well delivered and bordering on the disappointed parent, “Oi! Lineo! I’ve told you, you’re getting it wrong.” “Oh my God you’ve got it wrong again.” And then we can all join in, “See Lino Ray is right why don’t you listen to him!?”
It wasn’t just the officials breaking hearts (see what I did there?) Basingstoke’s keeper, on loan from Championship side Reading, was having a blinder and the reason that the mighty Saints were only one up at half time. Romance was still not at a premium during the interval either, unless a conversation about films, which ended in my preference for seeing the Paddington film, “I really fancy Paddington” being mercilessly misinterpreted counts. To be honest it’s the wellies – 50 shades of red….
The second half saw Basingstoke equalise early and that’s the way it ended up, despite both teams giving it a good go. No reflection on the football but the TLF attention span did start to dwindle and so TLF’s third law of economics came into play: Slight boredom + tipsy fox = boost to club shop profits. Justified on this occasion as a Valentines Day gift to myself. Turns out I spent too soon – as I returned home to topnotch dinner and pink champagne cocktails. Cooked by a man whose team had got tonked 4-0 in the FA Cup (no Cup romance there).
Ooops….Happy Valentines day Mr TLF.
Match Stats St Albans 1 Basingstoke 1
Bacon fries consumed 1 packet.
Lager consumed 2 pints Stella, 1 bottle of the now officially christened “German beer”. Yellow losing raffle ticket investment 10 very yellow ones.
And two goalden goal losers just for consistency.