Good day on Saturday gone. Very tight, competitive game against a tough side who you could tell are used to winning over the past few years, but in the end we just had enough to squeeze past Stockton Town. So we play one game and here we are in the last sixty four, seems a bit harsh on some of those who have been playing since September, but we don’t make the rules. My old dad used to say that as he slaughtered me at some game or other. Except he did make the rules. I digress, but do these exemptions for last season’s successes help clubs to prosper? Maybe, I’m not sure. It might be that those early season games get you into the swing of things. In any event there were some parallels between Saturday’s game and last season’s first game in the Vase, against Bridlington at home you might remember, some time early in September. Both went to extra time, and both times we scraped through. Mind, a midweek replay down at Stockton would have been a bit less daunting than last year, when we faced a long journey and a late night in Bridlington, which was not a very popular possibility with certain parties, as I recall.
We should also have a word about the Stockton fans. A noisy bunch, though good natured. And keen supporters of the bar as well as their team, which always goes down well with the club hierarchy, rubbing their hands in the clubhouse. One chap was particularly voluble, and at great volume, which you could imagine might annoy some people. Turns out he was a twin, but his brother couldn’t be at the match on account of having sustained a broken jaw. A few people nodded at this, not approving of course, but not surprised either.
In the wider football world it has been International week, including the long awaited meeting between England and Scotland. Three good headers and some inept defending by the visitors took England past the Scots, although the bold boys from over the border were game, and kept going, but didn’t seem to have read the bit about trying to put the ball in the net. I am sorry to have to say it, but it was a poor game between two poor sides, and that is about the long and short of it. No doubt England will make their way through the qualifiers; but come a sunny day in Murmansk in the tournament itself it will all go wrong. Including the sunny day. Enjoy your football.