Saturday, January 28, 2017

Up For The Cup

Back in ancient times, when I was at primary school, you could get a special FA Cup poster magazine, that opened out into a giant poster where you could fill in the results of all the FA Cup games, from the third round all the way to the final. It came with little rectangular stickers with the badge and name of each club. Hey, there was no internet then, you had to find something to do with your time. The cool thing was that there were enough stickers for the top division clubs to get to the final, but only enough for the fourth division as it was then to get to round 4. And after the first year, they didn't do stickers for the non-league clubs at all, so if anybody got unusually far in the competition, you had to use a lot of the blank stickers that came with the chart for just that purpose.

This made it extra-special when Telford United got to the fifth round in 1985 - you can cheer especially hard for a blank-sticker team; it just emphasized how much they'd surpassed expectations! And now Lincoln City have done the same thing, so I think they deserve extra commendation, especially since a lot of the people I was at primary school with were Lincoln supporters. In those days they were the closest we had to a local team who were in the league. Come on you imps!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Good game, good game

It looked like Leicester were going to walk all over Derby at the start, when the Derby defenders somehow contrived to put the ball in their own net under no pressure at all, but then they came back strongly for a well-deserved 2-1 lead at half-time, only to concede an equaliser at the end when they'd got tired. Fair result, and great atmosphere in the stadium, despite the rain!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Football aggro

I've been feeling run down this week, and decided I needed a change of scene at the weekend, just to wake myself up a bit. So I had a look around the internet for a cheap hotel somewhere in the Nottingham kind of area for Friday and Saturday nights, and after considering the B&B right next to the place I used to live in Beeston (but rejecting it because it doesn't have wifi access, which is sort of indispensable in this day and age), I checked out the Travelodge website and found that their cheapest hotel in the east midlands was the one on Pride Park. Ooh, that's a good place to visit, I thought - next to the train station, I can see the sights of Derby and Nottingham and maybe Beeston too at the weekend! So I booked a room there for the two nights, nice and cheap too.

Then shortly afterwards I got an email from Derby County football club (who send me emails now and then, I'm never sure exactly why) with pre-match information for the big Friday night FA Cup game against Leicester! Wait, I thought, have I really just booked a hotel across the road from the Pride Park stadium on the night of a big local derby? How does the Travelodge still have rooms available? Are all the Leicester fans going home after the game? I know it's not far, but I would have expected a fair few of them to book rooms at the hotel and stick around after the game for a drink and a fight with the Derby fans.

Oh well, since I'm there now, what else could I do but buy a ticket for the match myself? My subconscious mind obviously remembered that the game was happening on Friday night, even if the rest of my brain didn't. So I'll be there, in the Derby section, if you want to watch out for me on the telly. And if there's a riot and the stadium or the Travelodge get demolished, well, it was nice knowing you.