Wednesday, 30 November 2016
We’re on our way, we’re on our way-how we got there I don’t know, really I don’t.
The patrons of the Software Europe Stand are, ahem, the senior citizens of Sincil Bank. I started by the players tunnel which is where it’s always been when my Dad first brought me then I progressed to the Sincil Bank terrace with my mates then back with Dad again as my son joined us with his little stool to stand on and later in the Coop stand, then glistening and new. Now, like a lot of older supporters I suspect I’m more or less back where I started.
The fans in the stand are older couples, maybe with a nice blanket to keep off the chill. Granddad taking the boys out of their Mothers way for a couple of hours while she gets the housework done, professional people. But we all have our part to play don’t we?
Last nights match was going the way we expected, City imperious, the professional gladiators, sword glistening under the lights, Wrexham some poor bloke with a net. When Whitehouse scored it was surely the first of several?
Then fate interceded. Raggett lunged into a tackle. Wrexham were incensed. We were all stunned when the referee produced red. I’m not going to comment on that, the professional observers said justifiably so. Fair enough.
What would City do? There was a full hour to survive. They formed their wagons into a circle. They were going to tough it out. Now it was the Imps with the net and that’s a good analogy though I say it myself as they used it to great effect and said to Wrexham, if you want to beat us you’ve got to get out of our suffocating net first.
Wrexham were galvanised though, their impressive band of supporters, 75 on a night like that, raised their Welsh voices Wrexum, Wrexum they shouted in that funny way they have. But City were not for bending. On and on it went. Thirty minutes, twenty, ten. City had been running for that long with the red light on the dashboard they must surely splutter to a halt?
Cowleys elite troops had given it everything. The fans in the Coop stand, the Stacey Westers were giving it their all, non-stop as usual. The kids in the corner screaming their heads off, although this could only be heard by dogs and bats it was that much of a screech. The folks behind the windows in the boxes, the tea ladies.
General Cowley, or was it Sir Laurence Olivier looked round for help. His archers had loosed their arrows, the cavalry had charged, the infantry were dug in. What had he got left? Dads Army that’s what. He turned to the stand behind him, fixed us with a steely glare and commanded us to fall in behind him. COME ON, he implored. Come ON!
We did. Creaking limbs rose to their feet, the stand roared. Walking sticks were waved, prosthetic limbs, ear trumpets, anything that could be waved, anything that would make a noise and they shouted the Imps home.
And do you know what? It was Wrexham who were all of a sudden the taunted ones as City started to play neat little triangles around them, come on then, what have you got?
Nothing more was the admission. The referee, formerly not a favourite of the crowd it has to be said blew at precisely four minutes of the allotted added time and there was pandemonium. In the stands, on the pitch in the bars, in the dressing room presumably, on the radio.
Was that the night City took the league by the scruff of the neck? It certainly felt like it.