Sir Les (his good side!)

Sir Les (his good side!)

As a toon fan in exile living on the south coast, I relish the chance to see the lads up close and personal, it is slightly different to the home games, the die hard travellers are joined by the rag tag band of lads and lasses that for whatever reason follow NUFC and like me don the black and white stripes and head for the game.

This Saturday had a couple of extra bonuses for me, my son, his mates (all toon fans) Sirles and his good lady plus Solentmag from the UTD111 forum were all going to be there.

The day started well, Sirles arrived promptly after a hard drive, had a quick cuppa then squeezed into a taxi to get us to the train station, Ally (Mrs Sirles) applied her make up expertly and managed to put her contacts in whilst the cab negotiated Gosport’s infamous potholes, Southampton’s idiot council had for some reason decided that engineering works would be a good idea on a Saturday with thousands of away fans transferring from train to bus for a few torturous miles into the city.

My lad and his mates only just made the train and boarded without tickets but had the foresight to bring beer which was distributed and guzzled with gusto.

The ticket collector was subject to plenty of abuse but kept his sense of humour as he issued half price tickets to them, much to my dismay having paid in full.

Anyway we arrived and made our way to Yates’ as usual it was packed to the rafters with black and white shirts, we pushed our way to the bar and started drinking, just an observation but plastic glasses have come a long way in a couple of decades.

Incredibly after a couple of texts we managed to meet up with the lads who had cycled down from Newcastle, I handed over a tenner for the cause and bought Kev that pint I promised, for some reason the conversation centred around having a sore arse.

So on to the game, to be honest the football was the only spoiler of the day, played in glorious sunshine we somehow managed to keep it nil, nil until the forty fifth minute when geordie hearts were broken, a well worked goal from the players in red and white crossed the line, although from where I was sitting it had a sniff of offside.

after the half time break it took only another 3 minutes to make it two nil and at this point Southampton seemed to realise they were a class above us and started to turn it on a bit, Robbie Elliot pulled off some incredible saves to further spare geordie blushes but even his man of the match performance couldn’t stop the flood and as we all are aware of by now the goals kept coming and with our hapless lot looking like they couldn’t score in the bigg market, it was curtains for our weary away fans, to their credit they kept singing and chanting to the end, the Southampton fans even joined in once the third goal had gone in.

The Southampton fans were actually a great bunch, plenty of banter in the pubs both before and after the game although both myself and Sirles noticed a lot of sympathy aimed at the long sufferingTtoon Army, something we found difficult to deal with as we tried to shrug off the disappointment.

The players seemed to give up in the second half and the fans realised this as encouragement turned to exasperation and eventually despair, when the final whistle blew the players were booed off, Santon trudged over and applauded the away section but the boo’s only got louder, the only applause was saved for Rob Elliot who managed to keep the deficit in single figures, he hurled his gloves into the eager crowd and some lucky punters got their away day memento.

Back to the pub we trudged and decided there that the bus back to Woolston was a non starter so we hopped into a taxi and ended up at a one horse town called sholing which Sirles immediately promoted to Sholing Ameobi, with half an hour to wait for the train the nearby off licence was welcome and I added the new experience of drinking vodka and coke from a can to my lengthy list of drinking antics, after some shocking football sirles proceeded to shock everyone by watering the electrical substation nearby, while I entertained the locals with my dance skills, apparently there is video evidence but hopefully that will stay off the internet.

Eventually we hit Gosport and after replenishing bellies with a good old chicken balti we headed to the local boozer and fended off banter from any Southampton fans who thought it would be funny to mention the score, my good mate Alan (solentmag from the utd111 forum) was there and we had an impromptu UTD111 party.

after lots of extra booze we headed home to Gos towers and cracked open the bottle of brandy that Sirles kindly offered as a belated birthday gift.

So finally here we are the morning after, the clocks have gone forward an hour, sleep has been lost and honour has been dented, at least I can head off down the boozer and settle in to the week ahead, its the travelling faithful I feel sorry for, after a bacon butty and a cuppa sirles and Ally face a 7 hour drive north with the echoes of a gutless performance ringing in their ears as they head back to gods country.

All I can say is thank you to Sirles, Ally, my son and his mates, Kev and his cycling heroes, the toon army and those class Southampton fans who made this a memorable day, its such a shame that the football didn’t match the occasion.


What do you think? As ever, comments, opinions and views welcome below.

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