I was in proper holiday mode, and feeling sluggish, I caught the bus into town, full of passengers in sales mode. I don’t understand the clamour to join the inevitable scrum, that goes bargain hunting, in my experience, you never really return with anything that you actually want and/or need anyway. I bumped into Badge, getting on the bus, I’d just got off, on his way to Walsall, for an afternoon at the Black Country Arms, an excellent pub. I met up with J.K. and Jinksy in the Wellington, before being joined by Steve and Paul, who with no trains running, (No, not a strike) had had to catch the bus, along with people who had flown in to Brum airport, and their luggage. Jacob came in, he’d spent Christmas in Brum, followed by Paul Mason and Jackie, and then Taffy. Thanks to Paul, I now know that the tram has been extended to Rotherham, and unloads at Cathedral in Sheffield, oh the beauty of being in the same division as the Baggies, and sharing information. I finished way before the rest, so made off for the Woodman, it was so nice to have the city German market free again, Darrell, Rich and Rangers Ian were already in there, as was Nigel from the Welly, I got him to stamp my Camra form, before settling in to a conversation on playing Sunday football, something I used to do, in what feels like another lifetime now, and as I looked round, and thought of some of the other ale trailers, couldn’t imagine them playing. We moved on to Dig Brew, Jack was in there with his Grandson, neither me or Jack, can understand how we came to real ale, relatively late, both of us advising Jack’s Grandson not to drink anything else, though to be fair to his Grandson, he looks to have a good couple of years, before he’s legally able to. The choice was go to the ground early, or have one last one in Clink, going to the ground early, was never really a viable option, Spoons and railway Nick was in there.
I know I repeat myself far too much, especially when it comes to a certain ex manager, suffice to say, I really wanted to win this one. Stoke have a squad that should be walking the league we’re in, watching us play them, with no disrespect to other clubs in our league, is similar to being in the Premier League, you recognise most of their players. Stoke with he, I won’t mention yet again, are under performing, the first half, was no different, except for one glaring miss, we made the better chances, though Mags goal, was an absolute screamer from outside the area. Andy, the Stoke supporting Warwickshire fan, and his Brother Chris, absolutely despise the v necked jumper attired one, almost as much as I do, though at least I don’t have to put up with his negativity anymore, Andy claims that the majority of the Stoke support, want the Bromsgrove mercenary out, judging by the lack of noise from the away end, it seems to be an indisputable fact, the pottery lot, aren’t happy. 1:0 at half-time, I had a portion of very nice, cottage pie from the cookhouse, before settling in for the second half, whenever we were losing at half-time under him, we spent the first ten minutes of the second half, pressing the opposition, Stoke did that, I couldn’t stop myself from glancing at the time on the big screen in the corner, every minute, it didn’t make for comfortable viewing, the usual ten minutes, stretching a lot longer, he sent on a small bloke called Crouch, we sent on Boggle, a lad that has been having difficulty locating a bovine posterior with a certain style of stringed instrument, if I had been impressed with Maghomma’s strike in the first half, then Oma’s goal, made it look like a scuffed effort from six yards out, he hit it with such power and precision, that Jack Butland, knew he was beaten as soon as the ball left Boggles boot and didn’t bother even attempting to stop it, it was one of those things you watch happen, but don’t actually believe. It was a truly wonderful feeling coming out of the ground, knowing we’d done the double over Stoke, but more importantly for me, over the manager who played the most boring, unambitious, functional football, I’ve watched since Ron Saunders was boss.
I went back to the Spotted Dog, but bailed early, and got myself off home.