… and other sporting cliches such as it’s only yet half-time, all to play for in the second leg, the lads needed just a bit more luck in front of goal, etc. etc…
Travelling back from Belfast yesterday from a pensions seminar with @porawe and others, I finally pitched up for the game (or, at least, the second half of the first half) at the Sports Bar in Stirling, a late-running train having made me miss a connection for Perth. This was a slightly surreal experience since, despite the name, and no less than at least 300 TV screens scattered around the pub,* the staff were getting ready for Stirling’s Friday night disco crowd and all the sound from the TVs was off in favour of some bangin’ tunes. Still, at least that meant I missed the probably rather inane ramblings of Neil ‘Colin’ Warnock and Aidy Boothroyd (and where indeed, @kmflett, was rising star Robbie Savage?), to say nothing of the Sky commentary team (whose cliche-ridden post-match interviews (which I heard via the technological magic of my son’s mobile phone pressed up close to his TV set) owed all to standard pre-prepared patter rather than the evidence of the game just witnessed). Safely esconced in a more or less private annexe I could, and indeed did, supply my own commentary where there was no need to apologise for language used in the heat of the moment… (And a serious ‘thanks’ to the staff and other customers for their indulgence of the madman in the corner!)
It is indeed only half-time and, while we may yet come to regret missed opportunities, especially in that first half period subsequent to Bellamy’s departure when we had something like 70% of the possession and Cardiff could barely get out of their own half, I’m confident enough about the performance the mighty Royals put on to think we can do a job down in Cardiff: certainly the Cardiff players know they took a beating last night and, although they may well play better at home – they surely couldn’t play any worse – I reckon we should still have their measure. Certainly the start will be absolutely critical: a good one will add to the existing pressure on the Cardiff players who will have to come out and play a bit of football on Tuesday night rather than hold out for another 0-0. And the prospect of the god-like genius that is Jimmy Kébé finally being unleashed in those circumstances in this year’s play-offs is a mouth-watering one (as well as his replacement, @Hal_RK played last night).
I’m missing the second leg, too – another story involving a train and a work trip. It’s probably a good omen – and I’m definitely hopeful.
* I may be exaggerating a little