BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"FOUR NIL, AND YOU STILL CAN'T SING": Boring boring Tottenaham

The Bargoed boys looking excited

After the sterling performance against Spurs in Ninan Park, we set off on the RAMs bus with a little bit of hope of a classic cup upset in the replay. The trip started off well with lots of ‘socialising’ going down on the bus, as only the RAMs know how. It started to go down hill when we reached the M25.

Police ensure our safety, to the extent of even following us into the toilets!

Because of the shenanigans in Cardiff, draconian measures were imposed by the forces of law and order to, as one copper put it, “ensure our safety”. First off, we could not buy tickets, we had to buy a voucher which had to be exchanged for a ticket at the services. This is designed to stop people travelling by train and encourage people to travel by bus. Once tickets were exchanged, we had a police escort into White Heart Lane and were shunted straight into the ground where we could savour the delights of p*ssy lager… which quickly ran out.

City hit the back of the net... shame it was disallowed

We hung around for a while then headed up to our seats. As usual City fans were singing their hearts out, drowning out any mutterings coming from the home end. The singing and smiling continued 27 minutes into the game, till spurs banged in three in about 10 minutes. The Spurs fans woke up for a moment but went back to sleep, then after the shock of the goals flying in City fans perked up again and chants of “Three nil, and you still wont sing” echoed around the ground.

"Shall we sing a song for you?"

Half time was a bit dismal, with the bar closed and any hopes of an upset well and truly dashed, but back to our seats for the second half and City’s instrumental version of ‘Men of Harlech’ (which is basically ‘Da da da – da dada’) kicked off and seemed to go on for about half an hour without stopping. Spurs looked on in amazement, ‘What on earth are these people doing?’ was written across their faces. Almost everyone in the city end joined in, mainly because there was nothing to entertain us on the pitch; it was hard to believe this was the same team that was top of the league only a few weeks ago… or even the same team that gave Spurs a run for their money ten days earlier.

The fourth goal by substitute Defoe (how can you compete with a team that has players like that on the bench?) was neither here nor there, it was all over before half time.

After the game I was expecting us to be kept in for half an hour, so I was a little surprised that we were let out of the ground straight away. It merely meant that we were kept standing in the street for an hour though. Lat time we were up there, 4 years ago in the Carling Cup, the police had walked us through a park to get back to our buses, at which point we were subjected to bricks flying out of the dark from Spurs fans lurking in the dark. This time there would be no repeat and we were eventually marched two miles in a different direction ‘protected’ by hundreds of coppers carrying shields with batons drawn. No doubt they will say it was for our own protection, but pushing people around and shouting ‘keep moving ya Welsh bastards’ hardly backs up that line. The last time I saw that many coppers in one place was the G8 in Scotland, it was well and truly over the top.

The usual escort out of town was impressive, with the voucher business forcing people on to busses we had 30+ busses winging their way through north London with all traffic stopped to clear the way for us. Eventually we pulled into the services to sort out ‘refreshments’ and plodded on back to the valleys telling our selves “its only the FA cup, it’s the league that is important”, but if they don’t pull their fingers out, we are going to have problems there as well!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home