Tuesday, 4 January 2011

From Euphoria to Heartbreak as 2011 begins

Happy New Year!

Well it was to begin with anyway, but 3 days into it and we're left licking our wounds after Warrington produced a storming comeback to level the game yesterday despite being 2 goals down, but in truth we never seemed in control of the game and could have ended up with losing the match.

All this after a last minute win at Prescot Cables on Saturday which saw the Blues extend the lead at the top of the league to 6 points, thanks to a late winner from Stuey Jones, who popped up with another important goal this season - which obviously sparked scenes of delight - gutted that I couldn't make the game on Saturday, but I was still doing a jig when the tweet came in on the moby!

So, lots of studying the table on Saturday night pointed towards a healthy start to the new year, and then thoughts turned to Monday with the visit of Warrington. Appeals went out to volunteers to help assist with teh removals of the covers, bearing in mind it took 3 hours for almost 20 people to lay them down a couple of weeks ago, and a fantastic response saw around 50-60 people attend, and the covers were removed in a very short space of time.

So, onto the day yesterday, it began a busy one, arrived at the ground at 1pm with my first mission to look after former player Arthur Albiston, who was our guest 'Legend' of the week, now I know there has been talk of some of the guests we've had down at the Exacta not qualifying for the 'Legend' tag, but this is more of a fun term that we're using it as, remember we want to see the former players enjoying their day too, and "Former Player of the Week" just doesn't sound right, so we'll stick with the 'Legend' term for now!

Hopefully looking to get Daryl Clare & Stuey Rimmer up soon, they would have been here for the Woodley game on Dec 8 had the weather not conspired to go against us, but we'll keep on trying, it's all down to availability of course.

So, having led Arthur up to the Legends Lounge, he then reeled off some classic stories about the players he featured alongside, such as Billy Stewart, Graham Barrow, Gary Bennett, and Stuart Rimmer, whilst playing for the great Harry McNally, and I wished I could have stayed with him as I could have enjoyed those stories all afternoon but plenty of other things to do unfortunately.

We had a visit from a student reporter from Leeds Student Radio, who had previously done a feature on fan owned clubs last season, and came down to the Deva to do an interview with me as CFU had been building up its presence at the beginning of last year, so it was good to see Kev Kirrane again, and set up a few interviews with him, with a player, although when I appealed to the lads in the changing room for a volunteer it was like one of those times at school when nobody wants to do it and they all volunteer someone else - quite funny really!

Then aproached Grenville Millington to an interview with them, which he gladly accepted, with him claiming that he was one of the biggest names in football, as he spelt out Millington with his fingers referring to his long surname!

Neil Young & Chris Pilsbury then followed, as Kev got a good few interviews in, but whilst all this was going on, Paul Wheelock showed interest in speaking to Arthur Albiston, so a quick sort out for that one, then a quick Happy New Year to Gary Talbot who was inside the Legends Lounge.

I couldn't believe how quickly kick off time was approaching, and it was time to get revved up for the game, which after 2pm I pretty much normally am, but with everything going on, I was nearly caught cold, as I realised the players were just about to come out, and I needed to be down at the touchline to go and fetch the mascot off the pitch, so raced down and then did the job, and then up to my usual place in the main stand - by the door, as mentioned before since doing this role, I feel the need to stand as I'm feeling every strain of the game, and would end up annoying the person next to me by heading every ball that thelad are heading on the pitch!

Delight of course then when we scored after 5 minutes, and all thoughts were turning towards a comfy home win, but the performance wasn't great in the first half, and I think many thought the same at half time. Before the bad news came though, the second goal for the Blues as George Horan followed up Steven Beck's earlier goal to make it 2-0, and at that point we felt it was safe.

Now I can't remember if Michael Wilde's chance came before the Wire made it 2-1, but that one where he grabbed hold of the ball in the middle and went on a mazy run, and almost, almost went on to score what would have been one of the goals of the century but the ball just ran away from him...and unfortunately the rest is bad news.

Warrington had shown signs of getting back in to the game, but up to this point had not taken advantage of their chances, that changed however, and it was soon 2-1, thanks to a series of errors at the back, and all of a sudden the complexion of the game changed, and a frenetic end to end finish saw the vistors turn the screw on us, and deservedly got their equalizer with just a couple of minutes left on the watch, so so frustrating when at 2-0 we should have shut up shop, but we didn't.

It could have been so much worse of course, with another attack from the men in red, and a low ball from the right should have been hammered home, but it was a cross reminscent of Anderton's for England in Euro 96 against Germany, and the Warrington lad could only smash it into the stand rather (thankfully) than the home net.

The final whistle followed, and disappointment took over for the next few hours, and reflections on how poor we'd played, and probably got more than we deserved result wise, but it still remains the case that we'd played badly in 2 games and come away with 4 points, and if the story was the other way round, ie win at home, draw away, then it would be classed as promotion form, so if there is a positive to take from the games over Christmas & New Year, then this is it!

Still fed up this morning though as I write this, and still can't make up my mind on whether the Chorley result yesterday is a good one or not, but ours certainly should've been better - simple as that.

Onto the Trafford game next week now, and how we'd take a repeat of the 6-0 home game on September 8th hey?

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