The blog post title is not a reworking of an old Two Ronnies “Four Candles” sketch. The O’s are Leyton Orient, my nearest main football team, and I’ve been supporting them, through thick and thin, for just over 20 years.
As you can see from the picture, the sky was gin clear. The sun was out and you would think it would be a nice day for watching. Wrong. A strong and cutting Easterly wind made it feel raw and very uncomfortable for all the spectators today.
Today was a big game in the FA Trophy versus Gateshead. The FA Trophy is a knockout competition for non league clubs in the English football system. Orient have made it through to the quarter finals, hence why I purchased a ticket to watch the game.
In the end, it was quite a remarkable game. Orient went 3-0 up, scoring two goals of outstanding quality, and everyone was relaxed, ready to see out the final 30 minutes without any problems…..famous last words.
Gateshead replied, and then to mounting anxiety from the Orient fans, got another. Everybody was getting very twitchy and the Orient players seemed frozen in mind as well as body. Their concentration went and they started to panic and what became a routine win now wasn’t!
Then Gateshead equalised to the dismay and disappointment of the fans and the players. Their eyes were on the prize and they thought it was too easy. A game of football is 90 minutes not 60. I sat there completely stunned, as well as trying to keep warm. I walked away from the stadium at the end, unable to comprehend what I’d seen.
There is now a replay up in Newcastle this coming Tuesday, if it goes ahead. If this bitter Easterly does it’s stuff, then the east coast of the UK will be under a blanket of snow and freezing temperatures. A replay that was totally unnecessary, really. But that’s the ups and downs of being a football supporter. Glad when they win, but not too happy when things go badly wrong, like today.
I won’t be going to the replay, as I probably will need 72 hours to thaw out from today. Bone chilling. But a game of football that warmed people up. Still can’t believe it ended 3-3. But it’s only a game. There are more important things going on in the world.