Someone was bound to try a bicycle kick.
By David Barber - Monday, 21 May, 2012
The superfan saw a great Wembley Final yesterday.
Five more games, including two Wembley Finals at the weekend, have taken me up to 233 for the season and 6,284 all told. My best in a season is 240, so I have that in my sights.
The results, with attendances in brackets, were: Southall 2-4 Indian Gymkhana (50), London FC 4-4 Paddington Rangers (3), Camden Lions 5-1 Albion Reds (10), Blackpool 1-2 West Ham United (78, 523) and Luton 1-2 York City (39,265).
Yesterday’s Conference Premier Promotion Final was great entertainment. I would put it in my top six of the season. If I am ever asked what makes a ‘good’ game, I just say: “It’s a good game if both teams are clearly trying to win”. Most games are like that.
I was in the front row of the press box behind a section of Luton fans and they were in ecstasy after scoring after about 90 seconds. Several orange balloons bounced off my head as the club that lost last season’s Promotion Final to AFC Wimbledon on penalties – after an 89th-minute Hatters header had hit the woodwork – enjoyed the best possible start.
The Luton support was amazing. I think someone said they had 30,000. I remember the ref whistling after noticing an assistant with his flag up and the players couldn’t hear it – not even the ones closest to him – because of the deafening din. At half-time a mention was given to a Luton supporter who had followed the club for 82 years.
York, Wembley winners the previous weekend in The FA Trophy, weren’t put off their stride by that early setback and levelled on 26 minutes. There was controversy about the Minstermen’s winner, scored very early in the second half. A long throw from the right was flicked on by a York head and their No.17 stole in behind the defence to turn the ball past the ‘keeper. He may have been offside.
Luton attacked with increasing desperation as the minutes ticked away and two of their players were helped off with a bloodied forehead and nose respectively after lunging in bravely near the goal-line. By the end my hands were so cold that I couldn’t grip my pen properly. But we’ve been promised some warm weather during the week.
I have watched football in Florida and on the Caribbean island of Barbados but the hottest conditions I have experienced were at a Kent League fixture at Ramsgate about ten years ago. That weekend the temperature in Kent was touching 100 degrees. I was sitting in the shade but those poor players…
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