Earlier on in the day I’d got a text off Jinksy, the Wellington was going to be first destination. On the bus into town I got a text off Steph saying that there was only 65 tickets left in the Kop. I was on my way up to the ground to get my Norwich ticket anyway so I hopeful that by the time I got up there, they would’ve opened the end two blocks in the Tilton. Now I’m not going to go into too much detail with the ticket office. There’s a rant brewing with that place. The weather was muggy and although rain wasn’t forecast, I wasn’t going to take the chance. I felt overdressed with what I’d got on but I certainly wasn’t overdressed. Tickets purchased and yet another person messed about by the club later, I was in the Wellington. I was soon joined by Jinksy. Russell had come down from upstairs, him and J.k. were up there. We talked about the upcoming Mayweather v McGregor fight. Now none of us were going to watch it but we were all intrigued to the outcome. We all concurred that it was just for the money and that all the pre fight “banter” was fake. I used to love watching the boxing until Sky started putting it on pay per view. It will happen with football eventually. The Lord Clifton was selling tickets at £15 a pop to watch it. £15 to get into a pub that is free the rest of the time is scandalous in my eyes but I’m sure the place would’ve been full. Now the other subject that stuck in the memory wasn’t so pleasant but certainly funnier. Jinksy and Russell spend a lot of time on Facebook, J.K. dabbles. Obviously I don’t, they’d all seen something that had been put on from the Sunday Sport. It concerned a farmer who had been selling his own urine as cider. Remember the contents origination in Burton? I told you didn’t I? You could just imagine it, “Oi, barman. This cider is a bit warm and flat” “Hey barman, have you got anymore of that warm flat cider?” “Yeah, give me five minutes”. Look out for the sign for it. It’ll be next to the Carling.
Post Office Vaults was next. Steve Whaley was at the bar. He told us that Bournemouth had flown up for the game. Come a long way in a short time that club. Shows how big the gap becomes once the Premier league money starts rolling in. Bournemouth have always been and always will be a small club but here they were flying to games. Shame their fans had stayed at home. I was unimpressed with Crawley, but these lot should REALLY be ashamed of themselves. Not the ones who actually attended but the stay away can’t be bothereds. Hang your heads because you won’t be in the Premier league for ever.
As is the norm at the moment and will be until the transfer window shuts, we talked transfers. With social media and Sky coverage feeding on the tiniest bit of rumour and blowing it up so we’re all taking it as gospel, these conversations are never too far away. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is starting to get fed up to the back teeth with it all. Like every supporter at every club, I want Blues to keep improving. Every player has their own level where they either can’t or won’t push themselves to improve. Especially with the amount of money they’re on, I have very little affiliation with players anymore. So I want better players at the club playing better football. Blues are now back on the upward again after being on the downward for the last few years. We have new though invisible owners who are investing in the playing squad. Money is being spent on transfers and wages again. Couple that with having in Harry Redknapp, a high profile manager and things are changing. Like all supporters, I’m impatient. Maybe not as impatient as some but still impatient. I’m impatient to watch good football. For me, it’s been far too long since I was entertained. Winning is not everything to me. We were in a high position in the league when Rowett got sacked but pulling your own teeth was less painful than watching Blues under him. The transfer rumour circus will only get worse. How? I don’t know but it will. It’s almost impossible to ignore and avoid it but I wish I could.
We moved on to the Clink. It was way too stuffy in there so we settled outside. As settled as we ever get. Forrest Green cropped up. Especially the hill to the ground. A bit like Everest if you’re not used to any kind of incline. We got talking about food. Russell and Jinksy are pescetarians. Something they’ve both become fairly recently. Personally, I could probably just eat meat. Russell is a foodie. He should be the size of a small multi-story carpark. But then the speed walking of Darrell should keep him the size of a Swan Vesta. Quirk of nature. There’s a huge statue just down from the Clink and we spent time working out how best to paint his nose blue and stick a scarf round his neck. If this ever happens, It wasn’t anything to do with us . . . .
Given a good supply, this bloke could score goals. Sign him up Harry!!!!
Spotted Dog was empty when we got there. Spoons joined us, looking knackered. He always does for a night game. I don’t know how he does it to be honest. If you could bottle the adrenaline he runs on, you could probably stick it in a generator and keep a medium sized hospital going for a week. Someone mentioned seeing the couple who had stopped at every station in Great Britain. Some achievement albeit, a little bit barmy. But then, you get an idea for a challenge and you’re away. Could you do it by National Express? Could you do every single bus company? Spoons and Jude spot Eddie Stobart lorries when they are on the motorway. They aren’t the only ones, there’s an Eddie Stobart spotters club. It’s all just a harmless bit of fun. Hobbies that don’t hurt.
I can’t start the match segment without first mentioning how inept the club is. League cup games are the worst attending games of the season, but such is the total chaos outside, getting in to the ground is an absolute nightmare. Here’s one of the many reasons why. Steve had bought his ticket online. It arrived with a letter stating that entrances for the block that he was going to be in, weren’t going to be open and to use entrances 5 & 6. I had bought my ticket earlier in the day from the club shop along with my Norwich away ticket. I was to be in the same block as him. However, on my ticket, It stated that I should use entrances 3 & 4. Both were official and both conflicted. Now couple this with when earlier I first unwittingly went to the proper ticket office because that’s where they sold both the Ipswich and Burton tickets. A young girl had been advised to press the bell for attention as she’d enquired why it wasn’t open and wanted a ticket for the evenings game at the main reception. So the main receptionist didn’t know that first of all, the ticket office wasn’t open and secondly, tickets were being sold in the club shop. If the clubs key employees don’t know what’s going on, how are we meant to know? These occurrences are happening more and more.
I found Steph, Seeley, Justin, Rob, Leo and Robs youngest daughter whose name escapes me. I sat next to Leo. His sister crashed out the lollipops. Someone crunched theirs to bits to Stephs horror, so I did the same. It made Leo laugh, I mentioned that I might just be crunching lollipop and teeth and he laughed even more so I said it might bite my arse on the way out and that just about finished him off.
Blues played well first half. Vassell was causing Bournemouth problems with his pace, directness and tenacity. 1:0 half time and it could’ve been more. The only trouble was, Vassell limped off. Didn’t come out for the second half. The game changed. Bournemouth had nothing to occupy them and thus could just control the game. Especially as they equalised in about the first 10 seconds of the second half. The winner was inevitable. I watched Bournemouth score it sat next to Shane. I’ve known this lad since the 90/91 season. We were both there for the Stoke riot in 92. He motioned towards the young stewards. He wouldn’t have rated their chances that day. I had to agree with him. They would’ve been picked up a used as missiles. Game finished and league cup run over for another season. We walked back to where he’d parked up, declined his offer of a lift back into town and just mooched up through the Bullring and then had to run for the bus. I’m starting to get sick of running.