The only problem with starting a two month alcohol sabbatical in mid-January, was that you’d forget the joys of setting off for Nottingham around quarter to seven in the morning, to stand packed like sardines in a tin can, and watch middle aged couples tut and scowl as they went about starting their winter holidays by having fat balding blokes fart in their face, and drink cans of fosters squeezed onto a totally useless two carriage train bobbling down the Robin Hood Line.
I’d offered to drive long before the Stags had sold more tickets than the number of whom will be at the next home league game, such was my desire to keep to my health kick push.
Three non health kick friends had arranged for me to play taxi and for a lift into Notts around half seven, and even offered me £10 each for the pleasure, this was probably more than the SSA were pricing at, and I wasn’t even offering any bingo or maximizing profits with an arm twisting raffle, but what I did offer was door to door service.
After the morning’s Moober work, I and Bez would travel down at 11 o clock, simply park at the train station and make our way to the ground, no beer, no pubs, no fuss.
Driving into the World’s Worst City proved more of a challenge second time around, as some twat firstly decided to knock Bradley Wiggins off his bike at a roundabout, then with the road into Notts at it’s busiest of the week, some roadworking idiots blocked off a full lane of the ring road.
So with about an hour to kick off, we made it into the ground for our earliest ever entry to a football ground. This was after a good sniff from a drugs dog who no doubt tomorrow will be heading to the priory for his recovery session.
With little else to do, for probably what will be the only time at Mardy Lane, we found our allocated seats.
The Stags had lost at Newport the week previous, and all of us were hoping for a bounce back from that, and start to catch the Gimps at the top of the league, who were starting to drop points.
We were all looking on a different formation, given that Ben Turner, signed from Burton in the transfer window, was a ‘week away’ from being a footballer again, or so we were told.
After the first six minutes of this match, he is probably still a ‘week away’ from that target.
Lee Mason, was to be the referee and as the teams ran out, he followed both Bish and Walker who ran to the away following, and for a moment, I honestly thought he was going to clap us and run away, I waved at him anyway, just because he appeared to be up his own arse, and that was before the game began!
Little did we know then, that it would turn into the Lee Mason show, what the first half didn’t turn into was a football game, County started well, and you could see the upturn the new signings have brought them, especially up front as they broke quickly, and didn’t let us settle.
Turner could have seen red after six minutes, but Mason probably realised with 4,000 odd shouting ‘hand ball you twat’ as 45 year old striker Mackail-Smith played basketball before Turner chopped him down, that he had missed something in the build up, and showed him just a yellow.
Stead played his usual game of chatting the referee up at every given opportunity, even holding his cock as the much maligned official went off at half time.
By which time, the Stags were deservedly 1-0 down at the break, and it should have been more, shocking performance and surely it couldn’t get any worse.
The half time entertainment was provided by me chuckling every time the announcer would read birthday requests out, I swear none of the poor buggers were under 90.
It did improve performance wise for ten minutes of the second half, as Flitcroft went 4-3-3, and we looked to get back in it, sadly it fizzled out and followed much the path of the first half.
Some fans started to drift away, and as the final whistle blew, I just wanted to be out of the damn place.
Mansfield Town at the time, were second in the table, lost five games all season, and yes have just put in a shocker of a performance to their local rivals, but are very much in the promotion hunt.
Will these dick heads do the same if on the final day at MK we have secured promotion, something dearly lacking in our most recent history?
Will they tell the players to ‘fuck off’ if they have just secured an amazing place in the clubs history.
Jorge Grant must have been elated to see his clapping the support, responded with a wanker sign thrown back at him by people who claim to be Mansfield Town ‘supporters’.
We took over 4,000 to this game, as mentioned up top, the atmosphere was flat, the performance was flat, and yes my mood is flat at these actions.
If I compare two recent away days, give me Stevenage over this any day of the football season, 300 people all behind their team, yes even when we were losing. If there is a small piece of positive to come from this game, then maybe the one game a season tourists who were saying how shit it was, stay away in future and leave it to those who want to back the team come rain or shine.
With that I was off to sit in traffic for an hour to get the hell out of the place.
Am I alone in getting bored of these ‘Nottinghamshire’ derbies ? The only good one away from home in recent times, was the Friday night 2-0 win, a good sing song, everyone getting on, and a good drink had by most.