The fact that I’ll probably carry on boring people into comas by writing this garbled rubbish, is beside the point. Much as I really wanted to head up to Glasgow for the Scottish Cup final, and have looked at doing Non-League playoffs somewhere, you’ll be relieved to hear that this will be the last account of a trip to a game for a couple of months. However, I’ll probably be compelled to write some rubbish over the close season, so apologies in advance. I view my blog as ‘car crash’ writing. You know you really don’t want to look, but you just can’t help yourself. First and foremost, I will warn you that I’m planning on doing a summary of the season. Mind you, as it’ll be in the close season, it’s more likely to be a summery. See? Car crash writing. Heading down from Moor Street on the Chiltern line to London. I was surprised to see an inordinate amount of Tottenham fans travelling down from the Midlands. Several from Brum itself in fact. There was also a smattering of West Ham too, but Spurs greatly outnumbered them. Due to differing kickoff times? Possibly. Hitting Marylebone, I walked the short distance to Baker Street and the Met Bar. About half a dozen Burnley fans were in there as it was them who Spurs were playing. Although not together in one group, all the Burnley fans were wearing old replica shirts. If I’m being totally honest, it looked quite effective. Beats doing fancy dress to a game any day in my opinion. Although I didn’t see any ‘plastic’ Liverpool fans, my beer was served in a plastic beaker. At least it was a decent pint. Pint drunk, I headed onto the underground.
Coming out of the station at Euston Square, I passed several Man City fans on their way to West Ham. I so want them to win the Premier League and not the plastic Scousers. Hitting the underground again at Euston station itself, I iook the Northern line up to Kentish Town. Touching down, I hadn’t quite got the timing right. I was too early for The Grafton opening. Even if it does advertise as opening at 11 o’clock on a Sunday according to its website. I wondered around the area for 10 minutes, before going back to the pub dead on midday. I’d been to the pub twice before, the second time with Steve when they were holding a beer festival there. Things have definitely changed since either visit and not for the better. It’s nowhere near as good as it was and if I’m being totally honest, not worth a visit anymore. Now the fairly nearby Tapping The Admiral was a different story altogether. It’s actually quite similar to how the Grafton used to be. I hadn’t been in the Admiral before, but I wish I had, and at some point in the future, will be going in there again. It was brilliant.
From the excellent Admiral, I caught the overground from Kentish Town West to the next stop of Gospel Oak. I could’ve walked, but by taking the train, it saved me at least 10 minutes. That doesn’t sound a lot, but when you’re on a schedule and you haven’t got Daryl or even JK chomping at the bit to move on to the next place, it’s a good chunk of time. The Southampton Arms is one I’ve waxed lyrical about before. Last time, I took a couple of photos. This time, I didn’t take any more, but trust me, there will absolutely, definitely be a next time, so I might just take some then. Will I take the same route as this time? Well I’d miss out the Grafton but would definitely do the Admiral again and just out of pure convenience, I’d probably do the one stop hop between the two pubs. No trip to Kentish Town is complete without going in the Pineapple. A fantastic little community back street boozer. Although only dropping in for a quick half, I got chatting to an ex-traveller by the name of Terry. A colourful character who belied his 80 odd years, and someone I could easily have talked to untill closing time. A house dweller for the last 40 years, he’d encountered ‘Zulus’ on a trip to St Andrews to watch Chelsea in the 80s. It truly was a wrench to leave for my train to Elstree and Borehamwood. Touching down, the rain had started. Not heavy rain, but enough to annoy. Borehamwood is similar to Welling in that it’s a linear town. Thankfully, it still had a failsafe Wetherspoons.
One thing that the chain has that is unique to it, is the carpet. No two carpets are the same. This one belongs to the Hart and Spool. Really? You need another clue to why the design and why I took a photo?
Yeah, that’s right, Eastenders is filmed here. Amongst better programmes obviously. Universal also have their British studios very near here too. I had to be quick taking the photo. Not because of the rain, and not because I was chased away by security either. I was in fact, actually chased by a couple of script writers who wanted me for a major roll in the soap opera. Luckily, I was able to give them the slip by jumping over a nearby garden fence and pretending to be a gnome. (I’ve still got the fishing rod, but I ate the mushroom in a ‘fry up’ when I got back home.)
So here I was, last game of the season……or is it??? I hadn’t seen Solihull Moors play since they played Blackpool at home in the First round of the F.A.Cup. That was three and a half years ago. If I’m being honest, I prefer to watch the Moors away. Firstly, it’s usually a ground tick off, secondly, getting to the Moors ground at Damson Lane isn’t the easiest for me, plus there’s a lack of real ale choice in Solihull. Other than trying to squeeze one more game into the season, and it was just another ground tick. There wasn’t any other reason to do this game.
I don’t really mean that of course, it’s just humour. Well, a pathetic attempt at it anyway. As for the game, initially Borehamwood went at Solihull but the Moors soon settled and started making inroads into the home defence. Awarded a free kick deep into the Borehamwood half, Solihull swung the ball over to the far post. It was met by a rock solid header. 0:1 to the Moors. It sent the 150 plus away supporters, many in fancy dress, into raptures. From then on, it was little more than a training exercise for Solihull who were much the better side. A second goal arrived just before halftime after a sumptuous through ball was gleefully put away. 0:2 going into the second half. I’d had the chance and choice to get under cover in the seats as the drizzle fell. Although being an idiot/traditionalist meant that I don’t/won’t wear a coat to the first/last games of the season, and I was slowly getting wet, I don’t get to stand at a game as much as I would like, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to feel proper terracing underneath my feet. The wimps/sensible ones, joined us behind the goal for the second half. Ignoring the drizzle, they wanted to be closer to the goal that Solihull were attacking. With the way the game was panning out, it was inevitable that the Moors were going to add to their tally. It was just a matter of time and how many. It turned out that it was only to be the one, and from the penalty spot. The onetime Blues fringe player Adam Rooney, dispatched it easily. So the last game of the season finished 3:0 to Solihull Moors………or is it the last game? It definitely was the last ground hop of the season, but I still have designs on another game. The Moors are now in the playoffs. Because they finished 3rd, they now have a home game. As it’s a 12:30 kickoff on a Sunday, I can’t see me going. If they win, although the final is also on a Sunday, it is a 3 o’clock kickoff and it’s at West Ham’s ground. Now that appeals. It’s also being played on the first Sunday in June. Being in June also appeals to me. With Blues’ season starting in July and also with probably doing a couple of Scottish League Cup ground hops even before that, sad I know, signs of addiction definitely, but that’ll mean that I’ll be on course for doing a game in every single month of the year. Not an amazing achievement by any standards, but it’ll do for me.
I walked back to the station, took the overground back to Kentish Town, underground back to Euston and passed the same, but now downcast, Man City fans that I’d passed earlier heading in the opposite direction. At least they hadn’t lost, and the Premier League trophy was still theirs to lose. I really really don’t want Liverpool to win the league. They may play great football under Jürgen Klopp, but it’s truly wasted on the chicken emblazoned zombies that ‘follow’ them. All they care about is winning. Style is meaningless to them.
Arriving back at Baker Street, I watched the last bit of Everton’s defeat at home to Brentford with a pint in the Allsop Arms, before getting the train back to Brum from Marylebone.
Update: Maybe if I won the lottery and didn’t have to waste my time by having to work to pay for things like rent and bills, I’d be able to write these accounts of games I go to quicker, and so before events make what I do write, obsolete. What am I wittering on about? Hearts lost the Scottish Cup final to Rangers 2:0, and Manchester City did in fact win the Premier League. With any luck, Real Madrid will now beat Liverpool in the Champions League final to add to them missing out on the Premier League to City. While I’m at it, Blues will definitely be playing Sunderland and Burnley next season, it’s just the playoff final between Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town to sort out. Personally, I don’t mind going to either place, as I like them both.