20/8/19 Blues v Barnsley, No Hiding From The Bogey Men.

I used to love night games as a kid, they had this aura about them, you’d notice different people around you in work uniforms, whether they were suits or donkey jackets. The urgency and expectation seemed heightened. I dislike them these days, unless I’m on a day off, now I’m one of those people that would’ve been rushing to finish work, squeezing what they can take their time with on a Saturday, into less time with a night game. I finished at 4:30, gratefully getting dropped off, before rushing around my flat, giving my phone a quick blast on charge, and grabbing a wash, so I didn’t smell like an old dog that really needs to go to the vet’s for the very last time, I’d set out what I was going to wear, before going to work, to save time, and then it was out to catch the bus, finding out where everyone was going to be. Getting off in town, I felt myself relax into football mode, meeting JK, Steve and Pete, in the Head of Steam. One of the topics of conversation at the moment, is the goings on at Bolton Wanderers, the latest being the postponement of their last game, to protect the youth players that find themselves, being played, as there just aren’t enough senior players at the club, a postponement that wasn’t sanctioned. I have a huge problem with unscrupulous football club owners, I feel that punishing the club is hurting the wrong people, I have no idea about legal procedures when it comes to finances, after all, I’m on minimum wage, and have never ever been on very much more, but surely these owners who appear to have no qualms in using clubs for nothing more than their own personal financial gain, should be, not only banned from having anything at all to do with another football club, any sports club, but any business at all. They are committing nothing less than financial vandalism. With Kilda shut on a Tuesday, we took in The Woodman instead, Jinksy and Paul were already in there, Paul being careful with his alcoholic intake as he continues with his recovery, was on coke. (No, not Columbian white dust) walking to Digbrew, we chatted about the fallout concerning our perspective conditions, it was 18 months to the day, since my accident, and I’ve learnt, and possibly am learning, to adapt. I’ve never seen myself as being the smartest person in the world, but I honestly don’t know what, and how much, damage happened to the thing between my ears, my powers of recall aren’t what they were, but I don’t know whether that’s an age thing, it could just be down to deterioration, same as the rest of my body. Digbrew had Pop on still, so had that, as I chatted to Aida and Ian, who were in there. Digbeth is an area of Brum, and the Custard Factory in particular, where there’s always something happening, and it’s usually something artistic based. A Bollywood style film was being shot, but a break in it, enabled me and Aida to scoot through to Clink/Beer. It’s shutting down soon, but thankfully, it’s going to be reopening as a real/craft ale outlet.

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“Aunt Pol told me, that it was in my best interests to put this in my blog, by order of the. . . “

I remembered the 70p I owed, but the barman hadn’t, and impressed with my honesty, called it quits, giving me a fiver back from the tenner I gave him, when it really should’ve been £4.50. I got in the ground with Dave Moyna, before taking my place.

We’ve never really had the best record against the men from Yorkshire, but recently, they’ve had the hex over us. With 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 defeat, from our first three games, and in that order, even at this early stage, it was important, and maybe, indicative of how our season was going to pan out. It seemed like the players had been reading the stats regarding this game as well, as there looked to be a panic in their play, none of the fluidity of the Bristol City game, the whole of the first half carried on in a similar vein, into the second half, it was as though The Clot had advised them to persevere with it. In the preceding couple of days, there’d been a post on the Small Heath Alliance forum, concerning a girl whose Father had unexpectedly passed away, she’d asked if us fans could join in with a minutes round of applause on the 50th minute, as her Dad had been 50 when he died and when alive, had  been staunch Blues, the minute was impeccably observed, and was followed by a heartfelt rendition of ‘Keep Right On’, for reasons unknown, it perked, both the atmosphere, (Which, up to that point, had been flatter than a sheet of A4) and the Blues players. A juicy cross, the type that the Juke eats for breakfast, or in this case, a box of After Eight Mints, was stood up, 1:0 Blues, least we weren’t going to end up with a stale 0:0 draw, or worse, a 1:0 winner for the bogey team. The Clot sent Gary Gardner on, and I’ve got to admit, I just expected us to shut up shop, and grind out a 1:0 victory, but if anything, it was the other way round, we went looking for more goals, and one duly arrived after a lovely little bit of skill, plus finish, from Giménez, for his first goal in the royal blue. (Dark blue and yellow) It was to be his last, worth while, contribution, before he was given a standing ovation, and replaced by the,  on loan, Montero, who then proceeded to light St Andrews up, with some jaw dropping wing play, not seen since Chris Burke was plying his trade at Blues, so much for shutting up shop, and it almost made you forget how turgid the first 50 minutes, or so, was.

Coming out of the ground, I saw Jinksy, and also saw Aida, before Aida turned to go home. The Spotted Dog had whatever happens in there on a Tuesday evening, so most of the pub was turned over to that, instead, we went outside to the beer garden, and joined Ian, chewing over what had happened. I could’ve easily have stayed in there till closing time, but common sense working for a change, dictated that I get off home, I was happy, a couple of beers and a win, my ageing body never feels tired, mind is wired, as usual, I’d swear at the alarm, the following morning.

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