Number 9, come in! Your time is up!

It’s been so long since I saw a football match that I seriously cannot remember what it’s like. As far as remembering the last one I watched…suffice it to say that that is lost in the mists of time. Of course, it’s bound to be mentioned on this blog. And it would definitely have been with Nicktor.

Nicktor I also haven’t seen for a long while. Too long a while, truth be told. When he suggested we go and watch an FA Cup pre-preliminary round, I jumped at the chance.

My only problem was whether there would be a bunch of brouhaha nonsense regarding masks and antiseptic poison. I shouldn’t have worried. It was all fine. There was a bit of one-way traffic in the ground, and we had to scan a Q Code for track and trace but, basically, it was like going to a game of football.

An added bonus was that it was a new ground for Nicktor. He’s closing in on his Century of Grounds and I’m sure number 100 will be cause for a celebration of some sort. I have no idea how many grounds it is for me though I’m probably approaching double figures.

Before the game, of course, we had to have a catch up over a pint. Nicktor suggested the Six Bells but I wasn’t sure if it was open. I suggested the Albion because I knew it was. I think we should have opted for the Six Bells in retrospect.

The Albion doesn’t have food except for Saturday nights which forced us to have jumbo sausages in rather stodgy rolls at the ground. Of course Nicktor would have had his normal burger, but they didn’t have any.

The last two paragraphs make it sound like the night wasn’t a resounding success. It was.

Obviously there was the chance for a massive catch up given the time between chats and there was much to catch up on. The new house for a start. I had been thinking that the actuality of selling, purchasing then moving to a new house was a mere wisp of a dream on Dawn’s part but, it seems, the wisp has become a reality.

Not that they’ve moved yet. They are in one of those very British chains and Nicktor thinks it’ll be around Christmas. Clearly he’s overjoyed.

I think Guildford City Football Club was a bit overjoyed tonight. Nothing to do with property though. More to do with the sign below.

Not that it was a massive crowd. They had restricted the total amount of tickets to 150 because of plague precautions. We also had to buy them in advance. I think there were a few non-GCFC fans in the stand. Obviously we weren’t the only football desperate souls.

I didn’t think there were any travelling fans from Canterbury given the distance but there were a few cheers from the stand when they scored so maybe they were there just well hidden. I have to say, it’s a bit difficult when fans don’t wear their ‘colours’ to know who they are or who they support. Still, it does tend to limit the violence somewhat.

The game was interesting though the pitch was annoying. Nothing to do with the grass or the markings or the goals or anything like that. The main reason it was annoying was because the pitch had an eight lane running track separating us from the action.

I guess in non-plague times, fans might be able to stand on the track but, tonight anyway, we were about half a mile away from the action. This was further exacerbated when it started raining and we moved to the covered area of the stand where a massive steel upright blocked some of the view.

Something it didn’t block was the clownish antics of the Guildford City striker. He could run. That much was obvious. So much so that Nicktor insisted on calling him Forrest Gump.

Possibly the greatest moment of the game came late on when the striker was heading for the goal, one defender between him and glory. Two other Guildford City players were backing him up, but he didn’t need them. He side stepped the defender and could see the open goal mouth. Glory was his. He fell over.

The other attacker, following in support, fell over him and the ball dribbled safely into the goal keeper’s gloves. Given the striker had proven time and time again throughout the game that all he could do was run, this moment of comic delight was the cherry on the top of a very high mountain of cream on a massive doughnut.

Still, it was all a lot of fun and, hopefully, we’ll repeat it next Tuesday at some other, obscure football ground. Hopefully one without a running track. Mind you, I do wonder that possibly the striker could have used the one at Guildford to great advantage.

I almost forgot to mention the result. Guildford City won 3-2 and, therefore, go through to the next round.

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