A fun packed day out to Cheshire, enjoyed by all on Saturday I am told, with a good game, lots of red and yellow cards, some deserved, some maybe not so deserved, extra time, some nervous moments and a replay to look forward to after all was said and done. My spies tell me that we seem to have misplaced our shooting boots a little bit of late and that maybe cost us, with enough chances to have won the game, although to be fair Runcorn won the woodwork hitting competition 2-1 so they will be feeling aggrieved a bit. We started like trains I hear, then faded a bit, had more long spells on top as the game went on, but always had to be careful of the Linnets on the break. Good wide men and very much a shoot-on-sight policy are their trademarks by all accounts. A nice flat pitch as well, be a bit different tonight methinks.
A very good and game mascot as well, though not so good in his stint as goalkeeper when the subs were shooting in, and anyway it was not clear what exactly he was supposed to be. Pobably a Linnet we all assumed, a small finch with a very melodious song as I’m sure you all know, but Linnets don’t come in lurid shades of green and yellow as I recall, more brown with a dash of red. Still we nitpick here. I have always been a fan of the football mascot and the Runcorn chap seemed well behaved, unlike some of his colleagues over the years. Who can forget Cyril the Swansea Swan pulling the head off Millwall’s Zampa the Lion, or Robbie the Bobby of Bury removing the lugs from the Peterborough Bunny? And most famously of all that lupine lunatic, Wolfie of Wolves and his fight with the Three Little Pigs at Bristol City? All over a penalty competition. Which he won of course. Only a town like Hartlepool though could take their club’s mascot, the infamous H’Angus the Monkey, put him in a suit and tie and elect him as mayor, and keep him in office so long the authorities had to abolish the post to get rid of him. But can you remember his name?
In the international football world Northern Ireland were more than a bit unlucky to go out, and I rather suspect the Republic will be equally unlucky tonight. England did OK against the Germans, but Germany in a friendly is a bit different from Germany in a tournament. I suspect all it showed is that Southgate can pretty much pick who he likes from his available players, they are all much of a muchness. Anyway the Irish might have the right idea. Don’t think it will be much fun for anyone in Russia next summer. It would probably rate above Afghanistan as a summer holiday destination, but not by much.
And it was Stuart Drummond who went from the pitch to the mayor's office.