Yuk. Where’s the paracetamol?
Anyone expecting a sensible report should probably turn away now. This was one of those games. Sometimes, when you’re child free and your friends are egging you on, there’s only one way to go. You vaguely think to yourself ‘what will I write tomorrow?’ and ‘I hope work will be ok’ and then you do it anyway because, damn it, going to the pub with your friends after a reasonably comfortable 1-0 win is FUN. Without the win, though, the returns diminish. There was some football played last night, and most of it by us.
Let’s go back to the beginning though. There was a train strike on, but to say it was beginning to bite would be a lie. In fact yesterday was one of the most comfortable days of travel I’ve yet had. I had to go to meetings in London in the day. OK, so I had to get a cab to Brighton and then a Thameslink to somewhere in London that was miles from my office but the train I did get was less busy than normal at least. On the way back I managed to get a Gatwick Express that actually lived up to its name (normally they should be rebranded the Gatwick Snail) and therefore managed to arrive at the Park and Ride at Sainsbury’s in plenty of time for the first bus. This allowed me to have one of the Chicken Vindaloo pies for dinner (a triumph, 10/10) and start in on the Harvey’s. Then the leader of the cheese eating poker school appeared for the first time this season with family who were over from Australia (who would provide the neutral’s view later on that would confirm my own thoughts on the game) and things went rapidly downhill. Not for the Albion you understand. Just my liver.
The Albion were doing just fine. Wolves looked, well, distinctly average and we settled on the ball and began to force set pieces. An early free kick from Knockaert out wide missed everyone and had to be tipped over. A corner somehow evaded the tiny touch needed to put it in. Then, still with less than fifteen minutes played, we recovered the ball out in left midfield and Bong was set off on an overlap. His tempting cross was met by Baldock who stuck away an excellent header and we were one up. Stockdale had to make a similar tip over from a similar wide ball in, but from open play, and that was that. “Fancy a half time pint?” asked Steve. Did I ever.
After that stuff happened. Things. Bits. Incidents. I remember Wolves going through and shooting just over under pressure. I remember us coming close from a corner. And I definitely remember us sitting back in the last ten minutes, inviting Wolves on and making it squeaky bum time all over the WSU, and not just because of the vindaloo pie. But we held on for a just about deserved victory.
The neutral’s view was that we had dominated the game, that our wide players and centre backs were excellent and that Murray was pretty ordinary. I realise that’s hardly Gary Neville-like analysis but it chimed with my own thoughts. Another of our poker friends thought Skalak had been excellent and he certainly put himself about. Everyone agreed Wolves were average.
So, then, all hail train strikes. Well, all apart from Paul Barber and Tony Bloom. The usual post match beer queue in the WSL failed to appear. I checked my train app, expecting us to have to get a night bus with the students (or a cab) but, instead, there was a train every 15 minutes back to town. No one was on it. We STROLLED on. We got a seat. Thanks RMT.
Then to the pub and that’s where it started going really wrong. I won’t bore you with the details. I need another coffee.