Andy's Articles

epsomred

Give yourselves the chance to be heros
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Toffees are becoming a rare thing in my everyday local shops. I don’t think the Coop, Marks, Tesco’s garage or even Aldi sell them anymore. If they were a animal, David Attenborough would make a weepy film them but because they are a sweet nobody gives a fuck.
 

Commando

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Looking forward to your article covering last night's game.
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
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258
Hi, sorry I've not posted a piece for a while but been a tad busy! Maybe have a read of this and any feedback, at all, will be very much appreciated. Andy.

On This Day
Aston Villa v Liverpool
2nd of November, 2019
I had a couple of hours to spare.

This time I had pre-planned and was going straight down to Newport, no ‘passing-go’ and detouring to my house on the way, like a couple of weeks ago.

I mean, I had more time than usual. More time than usual because I was not going to see the Liverpool game – live, as Davie and Dean were, would you inconveniently (lol) believe it, still in Florida on their holly-bobs. I always watch ‘the match’ with them, being former Season Tickets holders, like myself.

So, I rocked-up in Newport Reference Library – for what was it, the third time? Why, well, you would have thought that it was something to do with Liverpool but it was not, not in a direct way anyhow. My purpose was to certainly copy match reports but not Liverpool ones, but in fact, Cardiff City ones. You see, what it is, in my dad’s voice, since July I have begun to fulfil one of my life-times ambitions – that is to try and research the football career of Leighton Phillips; my second cousin.

At first, I just got a brief synopsis out of one or two books and then the net. Yes, I was aware he played for Cardiff, Villa, Swansea and Charlton and even Exeter, plus over 50 times for Wales. This did not cut the mustard for me though – just an A4 sized summary, there had to be more.
So, I started.

I got books on Cardiff City – excellent ones but they did not have results in them like my LFC ‘Bible’ which has every reds result and line-up in it from 1892 to 2008-09 (plus there is no ever so convenient Cardiff City History.net on hand). The more I delved though, the more caught-up I have become, or engulfed more- like in a never-ending whirlpool. Wanting to know now, even individual match goalscorers for games Cardiff were playing when I was actually born (in 1968/69) season. But do you know, I am loving it. Can you imagine if I was researching Liverpool! So, I have spent a few hours copying old 50 year back-issues of the Western Mail and reading about a young Phillips making the odd sub appearance here and there as City strove to gain promotion to Division One with some chap called Toshack scoring in almost every game at the same rate that Mo Salah did in 2017-18! I wonder where that Toshack ended-up!

Anyhow, I got what I wanted and my memory stick was a marvel. This meant I could transfer all the reports I had got onto my pc and read them and cherry pick the ones I want to summarize. It is surprising how many names of past Cardiff players are now tripping off my tongue as easily as me saying the names of our double-winning team. The thing is, in a few years - time, I still won’t have to think too much about the names of our players! (Grobbelaar, Nicol, Hansen, Lawrenson, McMahon, Whelan, Molby, Gillespie, Rush, Dalglish Walsh – now that’s not bad in 5 seconds flat!!).

In my research I have contacted an Aston Villa fans forum and even though I held my hands-up, saying up front that I was a Liverpool fan, the response I’ve got has been nothing short of brilliant. Their fans have provided me with memories, anecdotes and photos and pointed me in the right direction and made suggestions to me which even now I have yet to take-up but intend to, as this project is not just a flash in the pan one – I feel now it’s going to be a long term one as I get wrapped-up in it not only in Leighton Phillips’s story but also the story of the teams he played for but even down to some individual matches which he featured in through a 16 year playing career.

Also, through contacting the Villa forum, I was lucky enough to have met-up, on line, with a lad called Neil. He not only is a Villa fanatic but one that is deeply into researching their history and lo and behold, going to his local library and copying Villa’s match reports. Now get this, he only offered to send me some for Leighton Phillips’ time at Villa, which spanned from September 1974 to November, 1978. I mean, again, in my dad’s voice (see, he lives on), ‘How lucky can I get?’. Therefore, on a regular basis, Neil sends me Villa reports which is just absolutely fantastic. I cannot, as you can imagine, thank him enough. Not only that if he spies anything on Leighton Phillips from past Villa programmes, he sends me these articles as well…. Just a breath-taking act of kindness. Not only that, I have already written-up my Villa chapter (without adding, at the moment any match reports but I will), and he has said that it was an enjoyable read. I just cannot fault him.

So, as you can probably tell, I am quite passionate about this project. One day I might complete it – probably when I am as old as Leighton is now, but hopefully well before that as my ultimate aim is to somehow send it to him so that hopefully it will rekindle old memories for him – that would mean the absolute world to me.

Well, anyhow, back at the ranch so to speak, I got away from the library, then followed my normal routine of having a coffee in Morrisons, as I made a mistake of ordering a bacon roll – which got stuck in between my teeth and deliberately not wanting to know the time.

I was trying to keep calm, calm, calm, like that mannequin dentist in the ‘Bygone’ museum near Torquay which is brilliant, and then you hear the scream of the woman with the open mouth in the chair as blood pours down her chin! Well, I was like that because when I got home it was four o’clock and we were 1-0 down and from what I read, we were playing rubbish!

All my chillingness had gone right out the window. I was gutted. I knew that it would not be an easy game versus Villa having taken a tad of an interest in them because of the way their fans have been to me. Every time I had seen them, they have always tried to play football the right way. They have just been un-lucky.

In this game they appeared to be riding their luck – at last their fans would probably say.

Obviously, I have seen the goal that was not given. Bobby Firmino’s goal should have stood. End of story. VAR – will it ever be consistent? I thought the whole idea of it was that it would be correct all the time. Bobby was not offside when Sadio Mane curled that delicious ball in from our left, with Firmino darting in, behind the Villa defender, to knock the ball in. It should have been 1-0 but it wasn’t.

Villa had scored from a header off a free-kick conceded on the right edge of our area and that was debatable. On side was the VAR decision. So, in effect, we were on the wrong end of two VAR blunders and we were a goal behind.

As in mid-week, I went straight to my lap-top and tuned-in to Radio 5 Live. Commentary straight away. I did not feel so bad when I heard Man City were losing but I urged the reds on even more saying, ‘C’mon’ in about thirty second intervals before I told myself to try and keep calm and not lose it just yet.

I found that Fabinho had not been risked. A wise precaution as he was on 5 yellows and one more and he would have missed the City game next week. Lallana was in that role – his new position and he lasted all game. A plus point. Other than that, it was the usual line-up which reads as easily as one, two, three, four etc.

My anxiety though mounted when I heard that Man City had inevitably equalised against Southampton. Aguero. Of course. It had to be him. He keeps taking a shine off that moment to end City’s 44 year wait for the title, every time he scores for them now, but I think I will always smile when I think back to his goal v QPR when he denied Man United a title they had almost wrapped-up in the March.

It was getting close; we were at last keeping hold of the ball. Slowly, slowly, strangling Villa, as they kept trying to cling onto their lead, which Trezeguet had given them. They were on their feet the commentator said.

Then it was over to the Ethiad. Of - course City had scored, just why did the female commentator say, ‘Would you believe it’ in such a screeching, surprised manner, I’ll never know. It was inevitable. It was a home banker that City would win. The surprise was that it had taken them so long to do it.

Quickly, in mili-second time, my heart was beginning to freeze, just like the Titanic’s hull when she hit that iceberg. It meant that City would be only 3 points behind and if they beat us next week, they would be ahead on goal difference and what made it worse was that we had had an eight- point lead not so long back, on them. I was feeling sick I don’t mind admitting.

‘C’mon’ I urged, again and again, as the gravity of the situation bit home. Liverpool’s title challenge was burning-up there and then not exactly in front of me but it may as well have been as I pictured the words the commentator was saying, in between the annoying score flashes from elsewhere. Why can’t they dedicate just one channel to score-flashes from Exeter to East Fife and have one exclusively to one which concentrates totally on whatever game they are commentating on.

It was what, three minutes to go. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had come on and Divock Origi. They had made a difference and had pepped-up the attack. Now Trent Alexander-Arnold stood over a free-kick which co-commentator Chris Waddle would no doubt would have relished. Trent’s effort though was charged down for a corner. From it, with the Villa crowd still audible, Mane put the ball in and all of a sudden the home supporters went quite and I heard an echoing roar, as though from inside a cave and just waited, waited, tensed-up as I was informed that Andy Robertson had stole in on Villa’s right to score with a header at the back post which went in past Tom Heaton.

It was 1-1 thank goodness and I was immediately relieved as whatever happened next week, we would still be ahead of City.
Liverpool had come back again.

They did not want to settle for that though – oh no!

This Liverpool team wanted all three points.

Another attack by the men in a traditional all white away kit which does not need to be messed about with – looking stunning with black shorts, as any time down the years. With less than a minute of what, four minutes added on, there was an even great, clearer, louder, explosion of noise which boomed out now from the Liverpool fans and instantly I knew we had scored but just needed confirmation.

I got it as I was informed that Sadio Mane had scored with a class header which I saw later appeared to come off the back of his head and go past Tom Heaton on his right post.

What a header. What a significant moment maybe.

I was thrilled. Going nuts if truth be told, in my best ‘Dave Coaches’ Gavin n Stacey, voice. Shouting like a mad-man, ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes,’ over and over as we kept our six- point lead over City. Liverpool had come back from the dead and had somehow managed to grasp a win out of the jaws of defeat…

I spared a thought for Neil and his mates. I bet they were gutted. Villa are a decent club and team with – as I have discovered, just great people following them.

However, I have a burning passion for Liverpool and it over-rides almost everything, again it burnt brightly as any fire work on this day…

3/11/19
2076
 

Commando

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Another great read Andy. You've articulated brilliantly the huge range of emotions that I'm sure every Red experienced on Saturday afternoon. Hope for a win and some nerves. Deflation when Villa scored. Anger when Bobby's goal was ruled out and Sadio was booked after being fouled. Relief when Robbo got the equaliser and hope again. Ecstasy when Sadio got the winner and Love for our mighty Reds that they just refuse to lie down.

All the best with your research into Leighton Phillips. Does he know about your project?

BTW did you have any sweets while listening to the game? :)

Keep the articles coming. It's always good to hear other fans' take on their match day experience.
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Another great read Andy. You've articulated brilliantly the huge range of emotions that I'm sure every Red experienced on Saturday afternoon. Hope for a win and some nerves. Deflation when Villa scored. Anger when Bobby's goal was ruled out and Sadio was booked after being fouled. Relief when Robbo got the equaliser and hope again. Ecstasy when Sadio got the winner and Love for our mighty Reds that they just refuse to lie down.

All the best with your research into Leighton Phillips. Does he know about your project?

BTW did you have any sweets while listening to the game? :)

Keep the articles coming. It's always good to hear other fans' take on their match day experience.
Hi, thank you very much for reading the piece and also for your comments; much appreciated.

Every time we play I feel as though I may not be able to write something but then it just comes out!

As regards my project, I will continue my research and then maybe, if I can, contact him at all, I will do so sometime after Christmas now.
However, I was wondering, as he was part of the Villa team from 1974-1978 if it maybe worth posting something on our Forum, asking for memories of Our experiences playing Villa in that period - like the time they beat us 0-5 in 1976-77!!! I mean, they thrashed the future Champions of Europe!! It would be just great to be able to slip something about my beloved reds in there!
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Hi everyone, sorry that it's taken a little while but i've been a bit busy and tired but here is a little-write-up of that game from Sunday. Would mean a heck of a lot if anyone at all could possibly read it and maybe even give me some feed-back. All the best, Andy.


Magnets All Round
Liverpool v Manchester City
Sunday, the 11th of November, 2019.


As I pulled-up at the car-parking spaces allotted to the visitors to the flats, I saw the orange BMW but more significantly, 7 – year-old Kelsey.
She and her dad, Dave, were fresh from their, ‘once in a life-time’ holy-bobs to America and the Universal Studios and Disneyland. Wow!
She was grinning and could not wait to give me my present, as she handed me, the one thing I had requested from their holiday; a fridge magnet. It had ‘Florida’ on it with a dolphin. It meant something. They had not forgotten me!

Quickly we went up to Dean’s flat, number six. Top floor, as it was still, just about light, on early Remembrance Sunday evening. I had deliberately put the TV on at a quarter to eleven, just as my dad would have done. Afterall, by rights, I should have taken him to Sheila’s on this day.
Instead, on the way through I had just popped-in to see mum, because I felt like it, not because I had to. I was glad that I did as she was so pleased to see me, giving me a Welsh ‘cwtch’ which our manager, Jurgen Klopp could not have bettered.

I had a cuppa, snaffled some of those delicious chocolate Malted Milk biscuits and generally tried to cheer her up. She is 80 going on 21 – believe me. ‘I’m going to get a perm this week’ she said, with a twinkle in her eye. I had to laugh. It’s that sort of thing which keeps her going – love her.
So, Dean was wearing his white away top. So smart. So traditional. Nike take note. He too looked well for the holiday and I found that they had not drunk to excess. Saving themselves for their jaunts around the various theme parks as they stayed in a villa in which the 9 of them were never crowded.

Presently I handed Dean and Davie a magnet each. The rectangular one in which Jordan Henderson is lifting the European Cup, won in Madrid, don’t you know, with every red all around him in utter joy. It was a memento of my recent visit to Anfield and Davie said, ‘Magnets all round!’
So, this was it. Or so it felt like it. I had burned with a deep feeling of desire the like of which I had not felt since the end of the 2018-19 season when Liverpool had finished League runners-up to Manchester City by a single point.

On this day, Liverpool could help wipe that hurtful memory out and I had thumped the steering wheel hard as I had come along the M4 motorway and travelled along the leafy, ‘Western Avenue’, a short cut to Dean’s flat. I was absolutely desperate for Liverpool to win; for revenge almost. That’s how much it meant.

The situation was that Liverpool stood 6 points above Manchester City. A draw did not even come into my thoughts. I wanted a win. Full-stop.
There was no change to the expected Liverpool starting 11. Alisson in goals, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson as wing backs, Dejan Lovren still deputising for the injured Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Djke at centre-half; Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho and captain Jordan Henderson in the middle with the terrible trio up top of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino.

As for City – well, I couldn’t care less. They didn’t have Ederson in goals and Laporte at centre-half, que the violins for a multi-billion - pound funded team, which had been bought by some Arab’s loose change which had fallen behind the hareem sofa.

What City’s billions couldn’t buy was Anfield’s atmosphere and after the exemplary observed minute silence, which prompted Davie to say that it was remarkable that so many people could remain silent so long, the moment finally arrived; kick-off.

I wish someone had told Liverpool’s players.

City camped in the Liverpool half, as they defended the Kop as though their lives depended on it. The ball kept coming back to the visitors and Liverpool hardly got a touch. All three of us were shouting, urging the reds to get stuck in.

Corner. Another corner, then a free-kick, then another one, or that’s how it seemed. Then Bernardo Silva went tumbling down and hit the ball up in the air and Trent Alexander-Arnold could not get his hand out of the way of the bouncing ball, as in a split-second, despite the grey-haired Sergio Aguero’s protests, a penalty was not given.

Liverpool played to the whistle.

Quickly, slickly, transferring the ball from the left of their area, up the touchline to Sadio Mane who ran full pelt to the edge of the City area. Now Liverpool were on the attack.

Sadio Mane did what I urged and beat not one but two light blue-shirted players and crossed the ball into the area. It was cleared but only as far as outside the area and who was on to it in a flash but none-other than the balding Brazilian, Fabinho, who controlled the ball with his right foot and let fly a missile, which zoomed past Bravo at his right near post faster than Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had shouted, ‘Pen-al-tee’ only 22 seconds earlier.

We jumped around the room like three loons, as we celebrated Liverpool going 1-0 up, well, with a pause of course, as we heard through ‘VAR’ that there was ‘No penalty’ and that there was nothing wrong with Fabinho’s fabulous strike.

Still City’s Blue wave came at us, as they were not standing alone, as in their signature song. Liverpool could not get the ball off them as it proved as elusive as that slippery bar of soap which drops in the bath. Just how many times did we howl at Liverpool and criticise them for not getting control of the game? It was just us being realists as we feared so much Man City’s capacity to score goals – against anyone; especially this Liverpool team which had astonishingly failed to keep a clean-sheet at Anfield all season.

Then Liverpool broke with a stunning cross-field ball from the right by Trent Alexander-Arnold, over to the other flank, our near one as we watched it, to his partner in crime (que Scottish ‘Taggart’ accent, ‘there’s been a murrr-dderrrr’) Andy Robertson, who did not need no second invitation to run up the wing, then produced a cross which the running in Mo Salah, on the right of the box, did not need to break stride to glance in, as the ball flew past Bravo’s right, to make it 2-0.

Oh my, we were now dancing in Deano’s flat, Liverpool had been totally out-played and out-fought but not over-awed or out-thought; Liverpool had simply absorbed all the pressure like a sponge and had hit City with two rapier like counter-attacks.

‘Just keep it to nil’ I urged, as Dean concurred at one point. We all knew that if Liverpool could keep City out then they had a chance to re-group at the interval and hopefully come out and play better in the second-half.

The sweets were going down as quick as the cola as we collectively, along with Anfield, went ‘Phew’ when Michael Oliver, the ref blew-up for the interval. Just what would the second half contain?

It was more of the same. The interval may not as well have happened.

City again had all the ball. Suffocating Liverpool and continually threatened to score.

‘Get hold of the ball!!’ we screamed more than once.

Liverpool did keep it for a few seconds as they pussy-footed around with it - passing it back to Alisson through Trent, then Robbo, then Virgil van Djke, then Alisson back to Virgil van Djke, Alisson to Dejan Lovren – it did take the sting out of the game but it was still giving us heart attacks, as one slip and City would have been in.

‘Get at them!’ Dean urged, commenting how weak City were at the back. Liverpool finally heeded all our advice.

There came a three - minute spell maybe when Liverpool properly passed it around, popping it in midfield, like we owned it, like against Spurs at home. With Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum, getting into some groove and then Jordan Henderson drove down our right tram-line and he must have been listening to us, because when he got to the edge of the Kop End area, near the goal-line, he hooked in a delicious, inviting, please head me, cross, to the back stick, and there was Sadio Mane to dive (opps, sorry Pep, did I say dive – well, Sadio did then and he meant it alright) with his head where it hurts, hurtling the ball to the right of Bravo, to make Pep Guardiola eat his words, as Sadio Mane made it 3-0.
We all cheered to the rafters.

No wonder Manchester City were losing it. Kylie Walker their right-back had a go at Andy Robertson who just wound the City player-up even more by smiling at him. Raheem Stirling continually tried to entangle the reds defence in a succession of knots but was un-successful, despite his efforts and diving theatrics.

Liverpool actually got on top for a little while and looked menacing as the whole ground, which included Sean Cox, the Liverpool fan who had been battered to a pulp by Roma thugs nearly two years ago, roared the reds forward, with at one point, a clear rendition of ‘Every Other Saturday’ booming out (God I love that song).

Sergio Aguero went off and Jesus came on and with about a quarter of an hour to go, City finally scored. The ball came across from Liverpool’s left and there was Bernardo Silva, to shoot low and hard, to make it 1-3.
We all looked at each other – in fear.

City still had time to get something out of the game but Liverpool, with James Milner on in place of the exhausted Jordan Henderson, somehow kept City at bay, despite those corners which were played short and popped into the box. City should have scored from one of them and it was a miracle they didn’t.

I kept looking at the time and as the ball flew across our six-yard box for the umpteenth second I just desperately wanted the game to end, there and then, just like I had at the break.

Anfield’s crowd kept the tired 11 red-men going, being their 12th man as they hung-on, despite having a two-goal advantage. After all is said and done (in my best Nessa, ‘Gavin and Stacey’ voice!) it was Manchester City we were playing against – probably the best side in the world.
At the end, I just felt relief.


It had been such a tense and enthralling, emotional game that we had all been magnetised to it…

12/11/19 1815.
 
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andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Hi everyone, sorry that it's taken a little while but i've been a bit busy and tired but here is a little-write-up of that game from Sunday. Would mean a heck of a lot if anyone at all could possibly read it and maybe even give me some feed-back. All the best, Andy.

Magnets All Round
Liverpool v Manchester City
Sunday, the 11th of November, 2019.
As I pulled-up at the car-parking spaces allotted to the visitors to the flats, I saw the orange BMW but more significantly, 7 – year-old Kelsey.
She and her dad, Dave, were fresh from their, ‘once in a life-time’ holy-bobs to America and the Universal Studios and Disneyland. Wow!
She was grinning and could not wait to give me my present, as she handed me, the one thing I had requested from their holiday; a fridge magnet. It had ‘Florida’ on it with a dolphin. It meant something. They had not forgotten me!
Quickly we went up to Dean’s flat, number six. Top floor, as it was still, just about light, on early Remembrance Sunday evening. I had deliberately put the TV on at a quarter to eleven, just as my dad would have done. Afterall, by rights, I should have taken him to Sheila’s on this day.
Instead, on the way through I had just popped-in to see mum, because I felt like it, not because I had to. I was glad that I did as she was so pleased to see me, giving me a Welsh ‘cwtch’ which our manager, Jurgen Klopp could not have bettered.
I had a cuppa, snaffled some of those delicious chocolate Malted Milk biscuits and generally tried to cheer her up. She is 80 going on 21 – believe me. ‘I’m going to get a perm this week’ she said, with a twinkle in her eye. I had to laugh. It’s that sort of thing which keeps her going – love her.
So, Dean was wearing his white away top. So smart. So traditional. Nike take note. He too looked well for the holiday and I found that they had not drunk to excess. Saving themselves for their jaunts around the various theme parks as they stayed in a villa in which the 9 of them were never crowded.
Presently I handed Dean and Davie a magnet each. The rectangular one in which Jordan Henderson is lifting the European Cup, won in Madrid, don’t you know, with every red all around him in utter joy. It was a memento of my recent visit to Anfield and Davie said, ‘Magnets all round!’
So, this was it. Or so it felt like it. I had burned with a deep feeling of desire the like of which I had not felt since the end of the 2018-19 season when Liverpool had finished League runners-up to Manchester City by a single point.
On this day, Liverpool could help wipe that hurtful memory out and I had thumped the steering wheel hard as I had come along the M4 motorway and travelled along the leafy, ‘Western Avenue’, a short cut to Dean’s flat. I was absolutely desperate for Liverpool to win; for revenge almost. That’s how much it meant.
The situation was that Liverpool stood 6 points above Manchester City. A draw did not even come into my thoughts. I wanted a win. Full-stop.
There was no change to the expected Liverpool starting 11. Alisson in goals, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson as wing backs, Dejan Lovren still deputising for the injured Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Djke at centre-half; Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho and captain Jordan Henderson in the middle with the terrible trio up top of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino.
As for City – well, I couldn’t care less. They didn’t have Ederson in goals and Laporte at centre-half, que the violins for a multi-billion - pound funded team, which had been bought by some Arab’s loose change which had fallen behind the hareem sofa.
What City’s billions couldn’t buy was Anfield’s atmosphere and after the exemplary observed minute silence, which prompted Davie to say that it was remarkable that so many people could remain silent so long, the moment finally arrived; kick-off.
I wish someone had told Liverpool’s players.
City camped in the Liverpool half, as they defended the Kop as though their lives depended on it. The ball kept coming back to the visitors and Liverpool hardly got a touch. All three of us were shouting, urging the reds to get stuck in.
Corner. Another corner, then a free-kick, then another one, or that’s how it seemed. Then Bernardo Silva went tumbling down and hit the ball up in the air and Trent Alexander-Arnold could not get his hand out of the way of the bouncing ball, as in a split-second, despite the grey-haired Sergio Aguero’s protests, a penalty was not given.
Liverpool played to the whistle.
Quickly, slickly, transferring the ball from the left of their area, up the touchline to Sadio Mane who ran full pelt to the edge of the City area. Now Liverpool were on the attack.
Sadio Mane did what I urged and beat not one but two light blue-shirted players and crossed the ball into the area. It was cleared but only as far as outside the area and who was on to it in a flash but none-other than the balding Brazilian, Fabinho, who controlled the ball with his right foot and let fly a missile, which zoomed past Bravo at his right near post faster than Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had shouted, ‘Pen-al-tee’ only 22 seconds earlier.
We jumped around the room like three loons, as we celebrated Liverpool going 1-0 up, well, with a pause of course, as we heard through ‘VAR’ that there was ‘No penalty’ and that there was nothing wrong with Fabinho’s fabulous strike.
Still City’s Blue wave came at us, as they were not standing alone, as in their signature song. Liverpool could not get the ball off them as it proved as elusive as that slippery bar of soap which drops in the bath. Just how many times did we howl at Liverpool and criticise them for not getting control of the game? It was just us being realists as we feared so much Man City’s capacity to score goals – against anyone; especially this Liverpool team which had astonishingly failed to keep a clean-sheet at Anfield all season.
Then Liverpool broke with a stunning cross-field ball from the right by Trent Alexander-Arnold, over to the other flank, our near one as we watched it, to his partner in crime (que Scottish ‘Taggart’ accent, ‘there’s been a murrr-dderrrr’) Andy Robertson, who did not need no second invitation to run up the wing, then produced a cross which the running in Mo Salah, on the right of the box, did not need to break stride to glance in, as the ball flew past Bravo’s right, to make it 2-0.
Oh my, we were now dancing in Deano’s flat, Liverpool had been totally out-played and out-fought but not over-awed or out-thought; Liverpool had simply absorbed all the pressure like a sponge and had hit City with two rapier like counter-attacks.
‘Just keep it to nil’ I urged, as Dean concurred at one point. We all knew that if Liverpool could keep City out then they had a chance to re-group at the interval and hopefully come out and play better in the second-half.
The sweets were going down as quick as the cola as we collectively, along with Anfield, went ‘Phew’ when Michael Oliver, the ref blew-up for the interval. Just what would the second half contain?
It was more of the same. The interval may not as well have happened.
City again had all the ball. Suffocating Liverpool and continually threatened to score.
‘Get hold of the ball!!’ we screamed more than once.
Liverpool did keep it for a few seconds as they pussy-footed around with it - passing it back to Alisson through Trent, then Robbo, then Virgil van Djke, then Alisson back to Virgil van Djke, Alisson to Dejan Lovren – it did take the sting out of the game but it was still giving us heart attacks, as one slip and City would have been in.
‘Get at them!’ Dean urged, commenting how weak City were at the back. Liverpool finally heeded all our advice.
There came a three - minute spell maybe when Liverpool properly passed it around, popping it in midfield, like we owned it, like against Spurs at home. With Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum, getting into some groove and then Jordan Henderson drove down our right tram-line and he must have been listening to us, because when he got to the edge of the Kop End area, near the goal-line, he hooked in a delicious, inviting, please head me, cross, to the back stick, and there was Sadio Mane to dive (opps, sorry Pep, did I say dive – well, Sadio did then and he meant it alright) with his head where it hurts, hurtling the ball to the right of Bravo, to make Pep Guardiola eat his words, as Sadio Mane made it 3-0.
We all cheered to the rafters.
No wonder Manchester City were losing it. Kylie Walker their right-back had a go at Andy Robertson who just wound the City player-up even more by smiling at him. Raheem Stirling continually tried to entangle the reds defence in a succession of knots but was un-successful, despite his efforts and diving theatrics.
Liverpool actually got on top for a little while and looked menacing as the whole ground, which included Sean Cox, the Liverpool fan who had been battered to a pulp by Roma thugs nearly two years ago, roared the reds forward, with at one point, a clear rendition of ‘Every Other Saturday’ booming out (God I love that song).
Sergio Aguero went off and Jesus came on and with about a quarter of an hour to go, City finally scored. The ball came across from Liverpool’s left and there was Bernardo Silva, to shoot low and hard, to make it 1-3.
We all looked at each other – in fear.
City still had time to get something out of the game but Liverpool, with James Milner on in place of the exhausted Jordan Henderson, somehow kept City at bay, despite those corners which were played short and popped into the box. City should have scored from one of them and it was a miracle they didn’t.
I kept looking at the time and as the ball flew across our six-yard box for the umpteenth second I just desperately wanted the game to end, there and then, just like I had at the break.
Anfield’s crowd kept the tired 11 red-men going, being their 12th man as they hung-on, despite having a two-goal advantage. After all is said and done (in my best Nessa, ‘Gavin and Stacey’ voice!) it was Manchester City we were playing against – probably the best side in the world.
At the end, I just felt relief.


I
It had been such a tense and enthralling, emotional game that we had all been magnetised to it…

12/11/19 1815.
I am sorry Admin lads - for some reason I could not put spaces into this piece before I posted it. On my original copy I did put paragraphs in. Sorry lads - Andy, i did try....I've had the same problem before.
 

Hope in your heart

Loyalty and patience, two undervalued concepts.
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I am sorry Admin lads - for some reason I could not put spaces into this piece before I posted it. On my original copy I did put paragraphs in. Sorry lads - Andy, i did try....I've had the same problem before.
No problem, I've put them in, and cheers for your article. ;)
 

Commando

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I felt as nervous as I did Sunday reading this one Andy. I haven't really thought too much about Sunday's game since watching it, but now I've had a blow by blow to read I find that I'm a wreck again :D

You were correct about the perfectly observed silence. In the past while watching from home I'd sometimes wondered if the TV station had muted the sound to make sure that it was silent. But having experienced it in the ground a few times now I can say how impressed it always makes me feel that thousands of fans who in a short while will be bellowing songs and insults can be so respectful.
I was made up with "Every other Saturday" getting an airing too. It's my fave after YNWA. Keep the articles coming Andy. (y)
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Hi, I have not long completed writing an account of the game so if anyone is at all interested, maybe have a little read. Any feed-back, comments, whatso-ever, would be very much appreciated. Cheers, Andy.

Lucky 13
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Saturday, 23rd of November, 2019.

So, I got-up late, even though it was a Saturday morning; I still wanted to be out of the house and down Newport by about half-nine but some stupid, forgetful idiot, forgot to set his alarm.

It was to be the story of the day – being tripped-up.

Then, when I got to Newport, and passing it’s impressive tall, golden, crimbo tree, which reflected beautifully in the mini-water pool there, along with the red, green, colours from the top of the cinema, I managed to get a car-parking space, on Level 4. I was prepared to struggle go to the top – a bit like Liverpool.

Then, despite having a vital cuppa in a flask, I realised that I had left the house without my ever so precious eyes – visualising my silver LFC glasses case on my bedside table! It meant a quick dash to a pound shop, passing shoppers on the way. So, that was two bits of karma not going my way – not a good omen.

Having got to the reference library, the French guy there, let’s call him ‘Claude,’ with the flowery, 1970’s style shirt and silver glasses and beard, who would not have looked out of place in a ‘Pink Panther’ movie alongside Peter Sellars; kindly put the micro-film on the spool for me and I got transported back to 1970, with a Severn Barrage on the agenda and more football going to be on screen due to the forth-coming Mexico World Cup. However, I just checked the exact date, early April and it was just as well –for Claude had put on a ‘South Wales Argus’ micro-film – not a ‘Western Mail’ one!

A swift look at my watch told me that it was something nearing eleven – four hours to kick-off.

I called, ‘Cluade’ over and he apologised, and in the meantime I checked social media; a new-fangled thing for me you understand, with Twitter & Facebook, which I am becoming increasingly addicted to as much as singing ‘Bobby Firmino’s’ song in my head and out loud at times of stress and also joy.

Then Claude came back, and put the relevant wheel on and away it span; like an old-fashioned loom- ah, now that was better. ‘Concorde’ and, ‘Apollo’ flashed by in the blink of an eye and what was that – Cardiff City. Bingo! Presently I got the hang of using it and not only that, managed to transfer Cardiff match reports onto my stick, which only cost me £6 and was worth its weight in gold.

Why all the effort – well, because I am trying to write about Leighton Phillips’s career (as I may have mentioned before) and I just needed more detail to add to his story. Cardiff nearly gained promotion to the top flight in 1969-70 don’t you know but of course I was keeping an eye out on anything LFC related and nabbing it but there was not anything there.

I got nearly everything I wanted bar a Cardiff report for one of their last two games, in which Leighton featured – would you believe it. So, that was strike three! No glasses, in-correct paper and now not able to get all the info I wanted; - the omens were not good, especially as Liverpool were due to play their 13th League game of the season in, what was it, a quick check of my phone, two and half hours.

No wonder the nerves were starting to creep-in – being in the library had been a minor distraction.

Morrisons. Coffee and a quick secret bite of one of their steak pasties and a read of the preview of the game, which was now going to start in less than an hour; the count-down to kick-off had well and truly begun.

Then, it dawned on me that I had only left my ‘stick’ in the micro-film machine! Agh!! That was a school-boy error, like Trent giving the ball away on a wayward back-pass (as if he would do that – oh yes he would, I hear you all say, as it’s nearly Panto Season). So, I may have lost it. All that work and hassle down the swanny. I wonder if I do ever get to finish my ever-growing 40 page - plus piece, that Mr L. Phillips may realise the effort I put in but I won’t be bothered really, as it’s keeping me out of trouble! I am hoping that ‘Claude’ picked-up my stick and that I can para-phrase one of my late dad’s sayings; ‘How lucky can you get, And-rew’, as I can hear his voice now.

By the time I nearly, miraculously completed the two-speed Mirror crossword puzzle, (what, do you seriously think, being a red, it was The S** one), I had about ten or so minutes to shoot to Davie’s.

‘The boys are all here’, I could have sung as Davie and Dean – my two Liverpool mates and brothers in arms on more than a few dozen visits to Anfield to say the least, had the tv set-up. Carly was there too – Davie’s wife and I chatted to her about the fact that me and my brother discovered this week that we will have to take another hit on my dad’s house. I just can’t wait for it now to be all done and dusted and when it finally is, Anfield is going to be my first destination – maybe for a ‘Legends’ game me thinks, if I can’t get a ticket for a competitive one.

Well, baby Kelsey was also there. Looking angelic as ever. As she was told to make way on the sofa for ‘Uncle Crouchy’, this did not stop her though from giving me a requested ‘cwtch’ and with a pile of sweets in the bowl, we were ready to begin.

Liverpool, wearing that beautiful, traditional, white top with black shorts – Nike take note, stamped their mark on the game in the first ten minutes against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace. It was the usual culprits; just for the record with Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson – despite injury doubts – that’s the spirit lad, old Gordon Wallace, Braveheart, would be proud of you, Vigil van Djke and Dejan Lovren. In the middle was Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum who can’t stop scoring for Holland, having hit a hat-trick in mid-week against Estonia. Up front was Sadio Mane, Bobby Firmino and, and, despite seeing pictures of Mo Salah in a training top, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but Mo was on the bench.
Palace, well, there was Zaha and, and, well, I was not that bothered, but we did have to contend with that atmosphere their fans could produce and that was worth half a man extra at least.

Liverpool though quickly went off the boil and became cold, like me leaving my tea and just trying (trying, being the word), to type something decent, as Palace began to look dangerous and Trent Alexander-Arnold did not help matters by knocking the ball out of play, with one of those over-hit, way-ward, needless back-passes, which I mentioned earlier. It seemed to sum-up how dis-jointed Liverpool had become.

It was a sign of the times that every two minutes it seemed even I was digging into the sweets – mind, they were, ‘lush, or even ‘cracking’ in my best Nessa (Gavin n Stacey) voice. Especially the ones with the soft white bit in the middle, surrounded by a pattern not dissimilar to the one found on a Twirl bar.

‘We got them from ‘What’ Carly said, as we all got ever-increasingly concerned. Get on it; ‘What’ - is the way forward!

Out of the blue Fabinho put a ball from the centre-circle, by-passing the midfield, and there was Sadio Mane, on it in a flash; he only had to stroke it either side of their keeper, Guaita and the net would have bulged. Sadio though put it over. A superb chance created by, now, I know this is going to be controversial, arguably one of Liverpool’s top five midfielders of the last decade.

Palace also had an effort which skimmed the base of Alisson’s right-post. Close, very close. Also, they had corner after corner as is their want as Deano said, ‘that is their game.’

Sadio Mane had another chance. A half a one maybe, if my memory serves me but, even by his standards at the time we thought he should have scored – especially the form he is in.

A foreign commentator was annoying us almost but not quite of course, as much as Liverpool’s lack of zest. He was babbling on and on and on, in some Arabic or Egyptian language. He never came-up for breath! I know our commentators can be annoying but it was a relief in the second-half to hear an English voice, as Deano thankfully found another channel.

Palace scored. A header. It had been coming if truth be told. We had been penned-back and then Trent Alexander-Arnold pushed Zaha with the top end of his little finger nail and Zaha fell down like a sack of coal. What a joke of a free-kick. The ball was floated in and Palace scored. A legitimate goal I thought. The reds could not have listened to me because I distinctly recall saying, before Palace took the set-piece, ‘If they score here, we are
in the sh*t’.

As if by a miracle though - VAR intervened. The replay showed, now get this all-you Liverpool hating commentators out there, that Dejan Lovren was clearly shoved in the back and fell legitimately, with good reason, to the ground, just before Palace scored.

No-goal. End-of.

So, 0-0 at the break, somehow. We reflected that yet again we had been crap. Crapier than normal. But we were still in the game, and that’s all that mattered.

Carly had to un-fortunately leave us, as she was working, what I can only imagine to be, an horrendous split-shift. What thoughtless imbecile invented that nightmare of a shift – it’s even worse than afternoons and that’s saying something. ‘Put lots of scent on’, I said to her, as she prepared to go out and put her face to the grind-stone, which she was dreading.

More sweets were put in the bowl, as Fudge, bless her, Davie’s dog, let off one of her famous pongs which Dean jokingly said could be bottled and used to clear the enemy’s trenches!!

At the start of the second half a new Liverpool emerged. An invigorated one. The one we all love. They actually began to pass the ball forward – quickly. It made a difference.

In a flash, the ball was played into Sadio Mane, in the middle of the area. He turned and in one swift, ballet dancing twirl, which could have been over-layed by anything Tchaikovsky composed, he let fly with a left-foot shot, which hit the inside base of Guita’s right post and rolled along the line to hit Guita’s bottom right post, before ending-up inside the white goal-net!

It was 1-0 to the whites.

I of course, leapt off the sofa, shouting ‘Yeah’s’ in an annoying fashion, about 5 times for good measure before sitting back down. All Liverpool had to do was defend for the next 40 minutes and the game was theirs.

Well, they actually nearly scored again, but could not capitalise.

‘We need a second’ Davie urged, telling the men in white shirts.

It did not come.

James Milner came on for Jordan Henderson, with one eye no doubt on Europe and Napoli in mid-week. Divock Origi also came on and he added pace, for the ‘Ox’. Still though Liverpool reverted to their first half showing and went into a defensive, dangerous, shell.

Palace came at Liverpool in droves. It was just a question of time – not ‘if’ they would score against us.

With about five minutes to go, Palace came down Liverpool’s left and as all our players went to the ball like little school kids in a play-ground, Zaha got control of it in the middle of the area and shot low past Alisson’s right, to make it 1-1.

This time VAR had no answer to Zaha.

There were no complaints from us three. It had been coming – again.

Liverpool though surprised us. They quickly shot into tenth gear, as though propelled by that fuel Doc Murdoch used in the DeLorean car, in the first, not to be meddled with, ‘Back to The Future’ film, as they went up field and won a corner. There was a goal-mouth scramble as Palace’s Alamo goal was bombarded with shots, the last of which found its target.

Bobby Firmino shot accurately from the left-edge of the six- yard box and the ball snuggly, lovingly, cwtchingly, magically, nestled into the bottom left-hand corner of Guita’s net before anyone could sing, ‘Si Senor’!

More jumping around like loonies. Well, we are, when it comes to Liverpool. So much happiness and joy in those fleeting seconds – if you don’t get it; you don’t get football.

It was 2-1 to Liverpool with less than 6 minutes on the clock and that was including injury-time.

Somehow, the whites held-on. Again, they had won. All what had happened before in the day had seemingly been a bad omen but not this time.

It had been lucky 13.

24/11/19 2224
 
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andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Hi Admin guys, can you please possibly delete the second one of these and put in paragraph's for me! I again was not able to do this once I posted the piece onto the Forum.
Thank you ever so much, Andy.
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Hi lads and lasses, just wrote this piece so if you get a few minutes, maybe have a look. Any feedback will be ever so appreciated. Andy.
No Fat Lady Singing Yet.
Liverpool v Brighton
29 November, 2019.
I thought that I would take advantage of the time and do a bit more ‘Crimbo shoppings’ – especially as I will not be around to do it next Saturday. Even if it meant clearing out half my wages; you know how it is! As though something was trying to tell me that I was spending too much, I managed to get my card blocked after failing to recall my number twice – correct me if I’m wrong but don’t we get three goes at it? Thank goodness it’s contactless!
A quick cup of coffee in Morrisons and yet more petrol – just where does it go as I only drive as far as Newport and back, if that, in the week and a hop and skip over to Davie’s; scene of many reds games.
I knew the Liverpool team before-hand; thanks to Facebook. Just gutted about Fabinho being out for up to an estimated 8 weeks…. Just what are Liverpool going to do without him? Well, we were doing well before he came into the team, about a year ago now so, maybe his loss may not be so bad but, we all know what a class player he is and has been over the last 12 months. Just Boss.
When I got there Carly – Davie’s wife answered. A least this time she did not have to shoot-off to work mid-way through the coming game – how horrendous. Dean was there and Davie of course; the two lads I’ve known for at least 15 years from going to Anfield and now watching Liverpool with them has become something laid and embedded in stone- not for no reason Carly has called us, ‘The Three Amigos’. She gets much valued, raw entertainment from us as we watch the reds; as we display the full spectrum of emotions; from anger to despair and sometimes joy and no wonder she laughs at us and sympathises and supports in equal measure.
There was someone missing though! A little girl. Kelsey. Just, where was she? The blond straight hair and angelic face was not to be seen. Always she wants to be by the side of her best friend, Davie. I scanned the room, and, and then, there she was, hiding, crouched down, between the back of the sofa and the wall! A bundle of happiness and joy – a radiant smile on her face.
Tea, sweets – soft ones, and then, the boys made me aware that Man City had just drawn 2-2 at Newcastle. Well I was absolutely delighted. We all were!! However, I sounded a note of typical, idiosyncratic caution, ‘It won’t mean anything if we (Liverpool) don’t win today’ as I tried to excitedly work out how many points Liverpool could possibly be ahead of City, ‘if’ and it was a big ‘if’ Liverpool managed to negotiate their way past Brighton.
Liverpool lined-up in the usual order with Alisson in goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson as full-backs – wingers, Virgil van Djke and Dejan Lovren as the centre-halves, Jordan Henderson as captain in the middle with Gini Wijnaldum – so which one of them was doing Fabinho’s job? With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as presumably the attacking driving force from the middle. Mo Salah, Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane were up top. Not a bad team – in fact half of them make it into my ‘Liverpool team of the decade’ but that’s another story.
Brighton came and started well, as the home crowd loudly chanted sang out ‘Justice for The 96’ so that whoever watched the game, knew that everyone associated with Liverpool FC, was still fully behind the families.
Liverpool were playing better than they had been for a while and soon got into some sort of attacking groove. I have to say now that I can’t specifically recall too many efforts except that I think Bobby Firmino had a good chance and that Sadio Mane cut in from our left and delivered a great ball into the area. As Carly said, ‘He is playing brilliant’, or words to that effect. Quite.
The home team got a free-kick on the left edge of the Brighton penalty area. A bit way out but Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped the ball into the 6 - yard box and there was Virgil van Djke to head the ball into the top left-hand corner of Ryan’s net.
In a flash it was 1-0 to Liverpool.
Virgil ran over to the right and celebrated as we four also went ‘Yeah’s’ realising the possible significance of the strike.
The sweets were going down – especially those Marshmallow ones I’d got from ‘Home Bargains’ for under a quid. Well worth it people! Especially nice with a sip of tea in a cup which had ‘30’ on the front of it. I joked that it was my cup, with Carly saying that I looked younger than my age – ow, mind I did slip her a fiver before-hand! Carly was wrapped-up in the game as much as us though as she at one point began to sing along to the Kop booming-out, ‘Poor Scouser Tommy’; just a fab song and one I made a point of learning years ago when I got my season ticket; I too could not help but also sing along!
I was still moaning though. Moaning at Liverpool’s sometimes slackness of a pass here or there or not being ‘on it enough’. Maybe I was showing my age. Mind, we all were not happy – it was just our desire to see Liverpool win, win, win – a slogan for any Klopp Election Campaign, backed-up by results; not crappy empty promises.
Brighton were dangerous, no doubt about that, especially with that nippy Connolly getting through on a few occasions. A second goal was needed – fast.
Liverpool had three shots smashed in on the trot, as Brighton defended for their lives and at some point, the reds gained a corner, to the right of Ryan’s goal. Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped it into the box, signalling before-hand with a lofty arm held gesture. There was someone to head- butt it powerfully into the roof of the net. I did not know who had scored but was very grateful; it was only Virgil van Djke again!
Love him. Love him. Love him. Do you think I expressed my emotions enough there! He had single-headedly given Liverpool a massive advantage in the game and possibly in relation to the table.
‘All we got to do now is keep a clean-sheet’ Deano said.
Liverpool though tried their best to ignore Deano, especially when Dunk found himself clear, in the six-yard box and all he had to do was dink the ball home at Allison’s left near post and Brighton would have been back in the game.
There would have been nothing wrong with the goal had Dunk scored. It was just that Liverpool were just annoyingly, dropping-off the pace, yet again; which is always a danger - was it no wonder we were being so, so critical.
Half-time. Goals being shown from the other games as Davie got the tea’s in. Typically, British. You can drink any other drink but you can’t match a cuppa. End of story! Love it.
Liverpool nearly put the game to bed with a few more efforts ranging into the Kop End in the second-half. They just could not seal it though. To completely calm our nerves. Mo Salah was trying but everything he was doing seemed to end-up with the ball bouncing off him. The front three were not firing as even Sadio Mane went off the boil.
At one-point Davie said, ‘It’s like they have been told to play like this (Liverpool) by Klopp, to conserve their energy’. I think that there was a grain of truth in what Davie said. Liverpool it seems do just the minimum to try and win. As though they see the long-term not the short-term. As though almost, they have been told to pace themselves. If this is the case at all, it does not do anything for our emotions watching the games at the time but who can argue as somehow Liverpool had been picking-up the points at a rate un-known in modern times. Didn’t some manager (I wonder who!!) say that the season was ‘a marathon, not a sprint’?
Liverpool were holding all the cards as the time ticked on and the screen annoyingly kept flashing to other games with not score updates but near misses. ‘Get the game on’ we urged, more than once in anger, as Chelsea nearly went two-nil down to West Ham. ‘Liverpool is all that matters’ I shouted, as I watched us through a small square screen.
Jurgen Klopp had made two changes with Salah and Bobby Firmino having gone off. He still had one up his sleeve as in my head as I figured that Joe Gomes was going to come on with five minutes left. However, events on the field led Klopp to making another forced choice.
Brighton played a long ball over which floated to near the left edge of Alisson’s area. There was immediate danger and Alisson instantly made a decision as he ran out of his box and put his arm up to touch the ball as an attacker zeroed in on goal with Dejan Lovren behind the Brighton player. We all knew it was a straight red.
Liverpool, from being fairly comfortable had now gone to being a bag of nerves.
No wonder before-hand I had shouted down Davie’s jingoistic comments about possibly lifting some trophy or other before May in my most vocal dad voice. ‘Why, don’t you believe in us Crouch?’ I’d been asked. In my response I said ‘No, not yet’ as I am too old to believe yet and now, my scepticism was nearly being proved right.
Alisson went off and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was sacrificed as Adrian came on. Not a bad deputy we all agreed; recalling that he had come in and did very well at the start of the season. ‘Three game ban then’, we all concurred matter-of-factly but as it turned-out, wrongly, as to the length of Alisson’s absence from our League campaign.
Adrian must have had a chat to every single reds player - maybe even arranging details of a ‘Xmas lads night out without the boss’ because he took an age to actually get into his goal – our goal, the goal which every Liverpool fan wanted him to defend with his life if need be. Brighton were not hanging around though, as soon as they got the nod, they took a quick free-kick and deservedly made Adrian pay for his pathing-about, as the ball rolled into the right-hand corner of his goal. 1-2.
Liverpool were from that moment on in danger of letting the lead slip in the game and their potential increased lead at the top of the table. It was that serious and we all knew it.
Brighton were on the front foot with about at least ten minutes left with Liverpool needlessly down to ten men thanks to sloppy play – as I did not hold Alisson completely to blame for the near disaster which was potentially un-folding at a nervy Anfield.
The visitors had a few pot-shots which Adrian saved and pushed away but on one of them he failed to keep hold of the ball and it spilled behind him and with our hearts in our mouths, Adrian managed to grab the ball at his left near post, before it trickled over the goal-line.
It was that close…
‘Game management’ I softly said, as Liverpool had a rare foray up-field as Origi got hold of the ball and then Liverpool naturally wanted to attack and score and kill the game off in one fell swoop but the attack came to nought when if they had used their heads they could have kept the ball in the corner and wasted a minute or so, as Deano suggested.
The ball kept coming back but do you know, Liverpool – European Cup winners in June when they had to keep their nerve in the final, somehow managed to I can only imagine, draw strength from that adversity – the same strength they have shown to win games 2-1 for the ump-teenth time now, somehow; perhaps winning ‘old big ears’ that night has given them that extra one per-cent which is currently making the difference, as they again, held on and won…
It was relief. Relief that Liverpool had not let their chance slip to increase their lead.
As I began to shut Davie’s gate, in the dark evening, I said to him, despite Liverpool now holding an 11 - point advantage at the top, ‘I won’t believe that we are going to win it until the last two minutes of the season and no one can over-take us’.
I love Liverpool too much for my heart to be broken again – no wonder I am so sceptical; afterall, there is no fat lady singing yet…
1/12/19 2176
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Hi lads and lasses, just wrote this piece so if you get a few minutes, maybe have a look. Any feedback will be ever so appreciated. Andy.
No Fat Lady Singing Yet.
Liverpool v Brighton
29 November, 2019.
I thought that I would take advantage of the time and do a bit more ‘Crimbo shoppings’ – especially as I will not be around to do it next Saturday. Even if it meant clearing out half my wages; you know how it is! As though something was trying to tell me that I was spending too much, I managed to get my card blocked after failing to recall my number twice – correct me if I’m wrong but don’t we get three goes at it? Thank goodness it’s contactless!
A quick cup of coffee in Morrisons and yet more petrol – just where does it go as I only drive as far as Newport and back, if that, in the week and a hop and skip over to Davie’s; scene of many reds games.
I knew the Liverpool team before-hand; thanks to Facebook. Just gutted about Fabinho being out for up to an estimated 8 weeks…. Just what are Liverpool going to do without him? Well, we were doing well before he came into the team, about a year ago now so, maybe his loss may not be so bad but, we all know what a class player he is and has been over the last 12 months. Just Boss.
When I got there Carly – Davie’s wife answered. A least this time she did not have to shoot-off to work mid-way through the coming game – how horrendous. Dean was there and Davie of course; the two lads I’ve known for at least 15 years from going to Anfield and now watching Liverpool with them has become something laid and embedded in stone- not for no reason Carly has called us, ‘The Three Amigos’. She gets much valued, raw entertainment from us as we watch the reds; as we display the full spectrum of emotions; from anger to despair and sometimes joy and no wonder she laughs at us and sympathises and supports in equal measure.
There was someone missing though! A little girl. Kelsey. Just, where was she? The blond straight hair and angelic face was not to be seen. Always she wants to be by the side of her best friend, Davie. I scanned the room, and, and then, there she was, hiding, crouched down, between the back of the sofa and the wall! A bundle of happiness and joy – a radiant smile on her face.
Tea, sweets – soft ones, and then, the boys made me aware that Man City had just drawn 2-2 at Newcastle. Well I was absolutely delighted. We all were!! However, I sounded a note of typical, idiosyncratic caution, ‘It won’t mean anything if we (Liverpool) don’t win today’ as I tried to excitedly work out how many points Liverpool could possibly be ahead of City, ‘if’ and it was a big ‘if’ Liverpool managed to negotiate their way past Brighton.
Liverpool lined-up in the usual order with Alisson in goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson as full-backs – wingers, Virgil van Djke and Dejan Lovren as the centre-halves, Jordan Henderson as captain in the middle with Gini Wijnaldum – so which one of them was doing Fabinho’s job? With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as presumably the attacking driving force from the middle. Mo Salah, Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane were up top. Not a bad team – in fact half of them make it into my ‘Liverpool team of the decade’ but that’s another story.
Brighton came and started well, as the home crowd loudly chanted sang out ‘Justice for The 96’ so that whoever watched the game, knew that everyone associated with Liverpool FC, was still fully behind the families.
Liverpool were playing better than they had been for a while and soon got into some sort of attacking groove. I have to say now that I can’t specifically recall too many efforts except that I think Bobby Firmino had a good chance and that Sadio Mane cut in from our left and delivered a great ball into the area. As Carly said, ‘He is playing brilliant’, or words to that effect. Quite.
The home team got a free-kick on the left edge of the Brighton penalty area. A bit way out but Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped the ball into the 6 - yard box and there was Virgil van Djke to head the ball into the top left-hand corner of Ryan’s net.
In a flash it was 1-0 to Liverpool.
Virgil ran over to the right and celebrated as we four also went ‘Yeah’s’ realising the possible significance of the strike.
The sweets were going down – especially those Marshmallow ones I’d got from ‘Home Bargains’ for under a quid. Well worth it people! Especially nice with a sip of tea in a cup which had ‘30’ on the front of it. I joked that it was my cup, with Carly saying that I looked younger than my age – ow, mind I did slip her a fiver before-hand! Carly was wrapped-up in the game as much as us though as she at one point began to sing along to the Kop booming-out, ‘Poor Scouser Tommy’; just a fab song and one I made a point of learning years ago when I got my season ticket; I too could not help but also sing along!
I was still moaning though. Moaning at Liverpool’s sometimes slackness of a pass here or there or not being ‘on it enough’. Maybe I was showing my age. Mind, we all were not happy – it was just our desire to see Liverpool win, win, win – a slogan for any Klopp Election Campaign, backed-up by results; not crappy empty promises.
Brighton were dangerous, no doubt about that, especially with that nippy Connolly getting through on a few occasions. A second goal was needed – fast.
Liverpool had three shots smashed in on the trot, as Brighton defended for their lives and at some point, the reds gained a corner, to the right of Ryan’s goal. Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped it into the box, signalling before-hand with a lofty arm held gesture. There was someone to head- butt it powerfully into the roof of the net. I did not know who had scored but was very grateful; it was only Virgil van Djke again!
Love him. Love him. Love him. Do you think I expressed my emotions enough there! He had single-headedly given Liverpool a massive advantage in the game and possibly in relation to the table.
‘All we got to do now is keep a clean-sheet’ Deano said.
Liverpool though tried their best to ignore Deano, especially when Dunk found himself clear, in the six-yard box and all he had to do was dink the ball home at Allison’s left near post and Brighton would have been back in the game.
There would have been nothing wrong with the goal had Dunk scored. It was just that Liverpool were just annoyingly, dropping-off the pace, yet again; which is always a danger - was it no wonder we were being so, so critical.
Half-time. Goals being shown from the other games as Davie got the tea’s in. Typically, British. You can drink any other drink but you can’t match a cuppa. End of story! Love it.
Liverpool nearly put the game to bed with a few more efforts ranging into the Kop End in the second-half. They just could not seal it though. To completely calm our nerves. Mo Salah was trying but everything he was doing seemed to end-up with the ball bouncing off him. The front three were not firing as even Sadio Mane went off the boil.
At one-point Davie said, ‘It’s like they have been told to play like this (Liverpool) by Klopp, to conserve their energy’. I think that there was a grain of truth in what Davie said. Liverpool it seems do just the minimum to try and win. As though they see the long-term not the short-term. As though almost, they have been told to pace themselves. If this is the case at all, it does not do anything for our emotions watching the games at the time but who can argue as somehow Liverpool had been picking-up the points at a rate un-known in modern times. Didn’t some manager (I wonder who!!) say that the season was ‘a marathon, not a sprint’?
Liverpool were holding all the cards as the time ticked on and the screen annoyingly kept flashing to other games with not score updates but near misses. ‘Get the game on’ we urged, more than once in anger, as Chelsea nearly went two-nil down to West Ham. ‘Liverpool is all that matters’ I shouted, as I watched us through a small square screen.
Jurgen Klopp had made two changes with Salah and Bobby Firmino having gone off. He still had one up his sleeve as in my head as I figured that Joe Gomes was going to come on with five minutes left. However, events on the field led Klopp to making another forced choice.
Brighton played a long ball over which floated to near the left edge of Alisson’s area. There was immediate danger and Alisson instantly made a decision as he ran out of his box and put his arm up to touch the ball as an attacker zeroed in on goal with Dejan Lovren behind the Brighton player. We all knew it was a straight red.
Liverpool, from being fairly comfortable had now gone to being a bag of nerves.
No wonder before-hand I had shouted down Davie’s jingoistic comments about possibly lifting some trophy or other before May in my most vocal dad voice. ‘Why, don’t you believe in us Crouch?’ I’d been asked. In my response I said ‘No, not yet’ as I am too old to believe yet and now, my scepticism was nearly being proved right.
Alisson went off and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was sacrificed as Adrian came on. Not a bad deputy we all agreed; recalling that he had come in and did very well at the start of the season. ‘Three game ban then’, we all concurred matter-of-factly but as it turned-out, wrongly, as to the length of Alisson’s absence from our League campaign.
Adrian must have had a chat to every single reds player - maybe even arranging details of a ‘Xmas lads night out without the boss’ because he took an age to actually get into his goal – our goal, the goal which every Liverpool fan wanted him to defend with his life if need be. Brighton were not hanging around though, as soon as they got the nod, they took a quick free-kick and deservedly made Adrian pay for his pathing-about, as the ball rolled into the right-hand corner of his goal. 1-2.
Liverpool were from that moment on in danger of letting the lead slip in the game and their potential increased lead at the top of the table. It was that serious and we all knew it.
Brighton were on the front foot with about at least ten minutes left with Liverpool needlessly down to ten men thanks to sloppy play – as I did not hold Alisson completely to blame for the near disaster which was potentially un-folding at a nervy Anfield.
The visitors had a few pot-shots which Adrian saved and pushed away but on one of them he failed to keep hold of the ball and it spilled behind him and with our hearts in our mouths, Adrian managed to grab the ball at his left near post, before it trickled over the goal-line.
It was that close…
‘Game management’ I softly said, as Liverpool had a rare foray up-field as Origi got hold of the ball and then Liverpool naturally wanted to attack and score and kill the game off in one fell swoop but the attack came to nought when if they had used their heads they could have kept the ball in the corner and wasted a minute or so, as Deano suggested.
The ball kept coming back but do you know, Liverpool – European Cup winners in June when they had to keep their nerve in the final, somehow managed to I can only imagine, draw strength from that adversity – the same strength they have shown to win games 2-1 for the ump-teenth time now, somehow; perhaps winning ‘old big ears’ that night has given them that extra one per-cent which is currently making the difference, as they again, held on and won…
It was relief. Relief that Liverpool had not let their chance slip to increase their lead.
As I began to shut Davie’s gate, in the dark evening, I said to him, despite Liverpool now holding an 11 - point advantage at the top, ‘I won’t believe that we are going to win it until the last two minutes of the season and no one can over-take us’.
I love Liverpool too much for my heart to be broken again – no wonder I am so sceptical; afterall, there is no fat lady singing yet…
1/12/19 2176
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
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258
Sorry Admin lads, still had a problem inserting paragraphs to this and also just posting 1 article not 2! Any chance you can possibly adjust it for me? Much appreciated, Andy.
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Hi everyone, if you get five maybe have a little look at this;) Andy.

Four Hours
Liverpool v Everton
4TH of December, 2019

I had four spare, un-expected hours to take; how better to spend them than watching my beloved reds.

As I drove to Davie’s, I said the line-up to myself, as you do. Adrian in goals, Trent-Alexander Arnold, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Djke, Dejan Lovren at the back. With Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the middle with Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane up top. I mean, Klopp very rarely changes this right?

Oh, how wrong I was.

It was Dean who greeted me at the door, with the ‘Oh Oh’s’ in the festive window on a fogyish December night.

Quickly he told me that Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri were up top with Sadio Mane. At first, I did not believe him, thinking he was pulling my leg, I believed Davie even less as he is prone to try and joke about the side. However, it was no joke; Klopp had mixed things-up and we all agreed, it has gone stale of late.

Not only that, Adam Lallana was in the middle alongside James Milner – who would be captain and also Gini Wijnaldum, but my, what a strong bench though! We hoped the changes would do the trick.

With the soft sweets so easily being tucked into Liverpool started on the front foot, attacking the Anfield Road End which it has been revealed will be up-graded to the tune of another 7,000 seats, so pushing the grounds capacity past the 60,000 mark – cha-ching!

Mane was on top form. Mane was magnificent – aided by Origi who likes Everton. Soon the reds were ahead. Mane teed-up Origi and before you could say ‘Pickford failed to hold the ball’ Origi finished with a sublime touch, rounding Pickford and slotting the ball without breaking stride, into the bottom of Pickford’s goal and Liverpool were away!

Of course, I jumped off the sofa with baby Kelsey having also got off, as I celebrated!

In the blink of an eye Mane also played a sublime defence splitting angled pass through to Shaqiri and in one fell, left foot swoop, the ball was nestling into the bottom corner of Pickford’s goal. It was 2-0 to the reds and it was as though Shaqiri had answered our question – ‘Where is he?’.
‘There he is!’ – I pointed at the large TV screen, as ‘Shaq’ celebrated. It was only about twenty minutes gone.

A rout was on the cards.

Liverpool were playing like they could – with fast attacks and nice one-touch touches and generally enjoying themselves. It has been a while. They were free-flowing.

‘Keep a clean sheet and we’ve won’ Deano announced as we three had dreams of a 5 or 6 - niller.

However, Everton had not read the script and they got a needlessly given away free-kick and from it, Keane beat Lovren and shot home from close range, into the bottom right-hand of Adrian’s goal. 2-1.

It was sickening.

That was another clean-sheet gone in a flash. No wonder we all said about getting that strapping centre-half from Napoli; the man-mountain that is Kalidou Koulibaly.

Carly – Davie’s wife, who had earlier gone to a supposed meeting which had been nothing but a time - wasting exercise, had put out a box of Milk Tray – could she have been the equivalent of the suave, posh Milk Tray man! It was a dangerous thing to do, oh so tempting, so tempting, ‘Oh sod it’ I thought as I put a square one into my mouth – well, it was nearly Christmas!

Liverpool though soon got their two-goal advantage back as the ball was played out and Trent Alexander-Arnold was running with the ball down our left. Inside of him was Mane. Without breaking stride, Mane shot the ball with his left peg, at full pelt, past the right of Pickford, near the post for possibly one of his best ever Liverpool goals and he has scored a few crackers. 3-1.

It was just fan-tas-tic and a real joy to watch – a line which I have not written too often this season.

There was more though…

Dejan Lovren played a long ball from inside his own half and completely cut-out the midfield. Origi was onto it in a flash and controlled it first time over his head and smashed it into the top left-hand roof of Pickford’s net to send the red fans into a frenzy of joy which ‘Father Crimbo’ himself could not have left under the tree.

It was a stunning goal from the Belgian who likes Everton – having re-launched his Liverpool career in the same week last year, with a 96th minute last gasp winner.

No wonder the Kop was in good voice as ‘Mane Christmas’ boomed around the ground on more than one occasion, along with a few lines of ‘Shankly’s Best’.

For the sake of repeating myself – it could have been 6 or 7 not just 5 or 6.

We were all enjoying it. The half had seemed to go on forever mind and it extended into the break for us though with a sucker-punch at the tinniest tail end, as Everton were allowed to cross in from Liverpool’s right and there was the dangerous Brazilian, shaven-headed, Richarlison, to fire into the bottom left-hand corner of Adrian’s goal, with a flying – un-marked header.

It was 4-2 when it should have been 4-0. I hoped that Davie’s new found election slogan for the Klopp Party, of ‘We don’t do clean sheets – only three points’ was going to come true again.

As two of Davie and Carly’s three girls rummaged through old, old, photo albums, to which there was a snap of a cheeky chappy blond lad who was the spit of the oldest Kayla, and Davie appeared to be talking to himself whilst making the half-time cuppa, we hoped that Klopp was going-off on one at the boys in red at our defensive lapses and also telling them that they just had to manage the game and get the three points.

The Liverpool players must have taken heed. They kept the ball more. It was the key. Trying to stamp out any possible Everton comeback.

Before we knew it, an hour had passed as Liverpool tried to hit Everton on the break – content to sit back. Still though I was on the edge of being very nervous. I mean – really? Yes, definitely, as even though we were two goals-up, just as the Dairy Milk were going down to the dangerous second layer, in an instant the game could have turned dodgy, with an Everton goal.

Deano summed it up, ‘It would be torture’, if Everton had scored it.

Jordan Henderson came on and Liverpool got a tighter grip.

Liverpool could have made the game even safer when all of a sudden Henderson, with almost his first touch, played in Sadio Mane and as he ran alongside Gini Wijnaldum, Mane should have scored, but Mane could only put the low shot wide of Pickford’s left post.

In an almost carbon-copy move, Henderson again picked-out Sadio Mane and again he could have scored but Mane tried to round Pickford on his right and roll the ball into the net. In the end the move came to nothing.

They were had been Mane sitters.

Everton should have made Liverpool pay as they had a glorious chance but Moise Kean flashed his shot wide of Adrian’s right post.
It was edge-of-your-seats football and with a minute to go, Gini Wijnaldum fired home from the right edge of Pickford’s area, as the ball ended-up in the bottom left-hand corner of Pickford’s goal to make it 5-2.

No wonder the Liverpool crowd had sung, ‘Going down’ to the Blues, as yet another defeat left Everton in the bottom three.
It was a relief once it was over and little Kelsey had long gone to bed having taken her medicine for Scarlet Fever – poor dab and Deano began to wrap-up his newly bought pc, after his other one had crashed recently. However, he had managed to save all the holiday Disney snaps though.

All in all, it had been an enjoyable four hours.


5/12/19 Andy C Legs.
 

Commando

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Another two brilliant reads Andy. I look forward to these write ups after each game. You’re going to have your work cut out in a couple of weeks with the Caraboa Cup game and the Club World Cup games being within twenty for hours of each other. Especially if your scoffing sweets throughout those matches :)
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Another two brilliant reads Andy. I look forward to these write ups after each game. You’re going to have your work cut out in a couple of weeks with the Caraboa Cup game and the Club World Cup games being within twenty for hours of each other. Especially if your scoffing sweets throughout those matches :)
Thank you very much mate - your comments really are appreciated... Not sure if I will write about all the games in December but will certainly try!
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Evening all, just a quick blog this time around about yesterday. Maybe have a read if you get five. Any comments at all will be much appreciated - as usual. Andy

‘Tidy-day’
Bournemouth v Liverpool
7TH of December, 2019.

I am not a betting man in any shape or form but I have always wanted to see the old gee-gees running – live, right in front of me.
On this day I achieved my ambition.

It had been Matt – who likes the odd flutter or two that suggested, amongst a beery cider filled glass, that we actually go. Within five minutes Matt and his mobile had done the trick and we were booked-in. Then, as ever when I am going to do something, I tried to work out if and who Liverpool may have been playing on the day.

I have to tell you now, I hate it when I can’t see or hear what’s going on the pitch, as regards Liverpool.

We were picked-up by Rob, a Man City fan and before anyone thinks that he is one of those glory-hunting ones; he’s not, as he has followed them through thick and thin. We have a little banter but I tend not to rub it in and to be fair, neither does he. Just a decent guy who loves his team – the same as nearly everyone. As for Matt, well he follows Newcastle and is one of the top people anyone could wish to meet – a lad who lives for his family and loves a flutter; it’s his thing.

‘The Crow’s Nest’ in Cwmbran was our staging post. Me and Rob lined our belly’s, with a bacon, sausage bap, trying carefully not to let the egg yolk go everywhere and splatter our shirt and jumpers! It was lush – especially with a free re-fill of coffee, which Matt took full advantage of!

Fast-forward about an hour and we all had pints and were picking teams for our bet. Now, last time out, I had picked Preston and as they had been losing Matt advised that we cash-out. We should have stayed with our gut instinct; Preston won and we lost out on £60 notes. So, I chose Preston – against QPR. The other two teams we picked to win were Middlesbrough and Fulham.

Matt tried to explain the race card to us which we had in a programme like pamphlet. I felt that I would just wait until we got outside and take it from there.

The inside of the grandstand was soon filling-up and by noon we found a spec on the terrace, just a few hundred yards from the finishing post. It was cold, but we were soon pre-occupied by looking at the many betting boards, which illuminated the horses names in red and orange and their numbers and betting odds. There were quite a few spread out as far as the eye could see, in front of the Paddock, where the horses were trotted around before being ridden.

The lush green track seemed to go on for quite a bit and it could be traced as far as the eye could see to our left and then disappear. It did not seem too far but I would not have liked to have walked it in a hurry. It was not raining – dry and crisp, though a tad over-cast, I did not know if that was an influencing factor in the outcome of the races. At one stage a gaggle of about thirty birds flew over the stand and I would not have blamed them if they were heading south to warmer a warmer climate.

There were lots of lads in waistcoats and check coats and also a gang of smartly dressed ladies whom I guessed possibly may have been on a ‘Hen Doo’. They were game though as I observed them putting their money down.
‘Don’t listen to me boys’ Matt said on more than one occasion – and we didn’t!

For the First Race, Matt picked his horse, then Rob did the same. I tried to take on board what Matt had said about the odds, that anything above 5 to 1; go each way. So, I did. Don’t ask me at the minute what horse it was. The one betting stall had good odds and there was a nice-looking girl there manning it. Well there was no other place I wanted to lose my money! When I came back, I looked in the programme and found that the jockey wore red and white! The boys laughed at me – as it was Liverpool colours! They said I had chosen the horse on that basis only.
I went down to the paddock and saw the horses, close-up. Beautiful, powerful, majestic creatures. The only other time I’d got close to them, was queuing-up many a time to go into The Kop, as they had police riders on them; I would always smooth the top of their noses. I looked at our horses and snapped on my mobile, before making my way back-up, having seen the sweep of, the old light cream coloured grandstand.

I was looking at the large screen which tracked the horses as we could not see the flag go up by our naked eye as it was so far away to the left of us, over the hump. Then, when I finally saw the horses running – that was something, the moment I had been waiting for! My horse had taken the lead and was still in the top three as they jumped the last fence. It was magnificent to see them pelt down that turf, grumbling like artillery as they neared the finishing post.

The red horse only held on and finished in the top three! How nuts!!

Not sure where Rob and Matt’s horses ended-up – also rans worse luck. You see, we had all decided to pool everything. Only stake a maximum of £5 a race. So, when I surprisingly came back with my winnings, I gave it to Matt and he slipped the blue note plus some coins into his back-pocket. It was, I am delighted to report, to get rather cramped in there!

Well I can’t recall how it went in minute detail but we did well. Very well. It was just being there. And having that winning feeling helped of course.

We all picked out-right winners – even me, as my horse, with red colours – again, would you believe, won on a photo finish! Immediately thirty smacker-oonies, were handed to a beaming Matt. In-between we had these lush chips – so crispy and tasty, the best I’ve ever tasted, with their jackets still on, as Rob observed. They went down a treat!

I had been well aware of the time and kick-off, despite being wrapped-up in the race which proceeded it. Before we knew it, it was the last race for us and we made our way as close as we could to the finishing-line, to get closer to the action. It was a sight and sound to see. Nothing like watching it on tv and that was the whole point – it was live, in front of you.

It can’t be beaten.

In the flash of a Sadio Mane shot, the horses thundered past us as I tried to capture them on my mobile. We were nowhere in the frame, though Rob lamented that he had fancied the one at 50-1 with the green and white, ‘Celtic’ colours but had not chosen it; it only went and won the race!
We could not complain though in any shape or form. We’d had a great time and had bashed the bookies and was it no wonder I, adjusted Jamie Webster’s ‘Allez Allez’ ditty to put on Facebook, ‘We’ve conquered all of Chepstow, and we’re never gonna stop!’ with a photo of all three of us which Matt had taken.

As the taxi took us back, Matt told me the news that I craved, that Liverpool, ‘Are one-nil up’. The long ball forward by Jordan Henderson, from just by the centre-circle, was played forward, over the top, to the edge of the Bournemouth area and in one flick of his right boot, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had rifled the ball to the left of Aaron Ramsdale, the Bournemouth keeper. It was route one but I could not have cared less.
I could not help express my joy as I shouted ‘Yes’ as quietly, as I possibly could in an almost restrained manner but loud enough for the others to hear.

By the time our winnings were being used to buy the first round, Liverpool had gone two nil-up and I jumped-up in joy. In front of the large TV screen, which was now being watched by little groups of lads who were also watching the news of goals coming in.

Mo Salah was surrounded by a posse of red and black shirted Bournemouth players on the edge of the area but before you could say, ‘hide and seek’, Salah cheekily back-healed the ball and Naby Keita was in like a flash, to shoot the ball with the outside of his right foot, past the left of Ramsdale.

It was a brilliant goal.

‘Keep a clean sheet reds’ I said as we all made camp at a table, as close to the screen as possible.

‘Build a bet’ Matt urged, as we went over the options as to the forth-coming Manchester derby game. So many corners, so many cards, Sterling to score – they were the chosen building-blocks. Then it was, ‘Who was going to have each half’. I said, ‘United’ for the first half but it fell on deaf ears! ‘City, City’ Rob went for and that’s what we done.

Another ‘Yes’ from me with about twenty minutes of the game to go as I looked to focus my eyes on the screen and saw ‘Salah’, who had scored the third. This time a move involving him and Naby Keita had put Salah in and he rounded Ramsdale and shot low into the keeper’s bottom left-hand corner. A lovely confident finish from Mo Salah who from the highlights, looks sharper than he has for a while.

I was content but knew that a clean-sheet was a must, for a change and hoped the white shirted Liverpool would achieve their goal, as our bet went down the swanny with Preston losing at QPR. As I went to the bar though, deep in injury time, I heard a roar and wondered what it meant. Cardiff City had only scored a winner – a winner which meant that Rob had won more money; for the Bluebirds were one of his teams, along with Spurs and Liverpool!

However, as a City fan, his luck was to run-out soon but we all were to go home winners – thanks to a ‘tidy-day’.

8/12/19
1774 Andy C Legs
 

Commando

Well-Known Member
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2,659
Another great read Andy. I, like yourself am not a gambler. But each year Mrs CDO and I have a day out at Bangor on Dee races. It's a lovely little course with an embankment that lets you see the whole race track. It's also not too expensive for the hospitality option.
I take my money expecting to lose it as I know nothing about odds or going or form. I usually do just about enough to not lose it all though.

Keep the articles coming. (If you can manage it with our busy upcoming schedule).
 

andyclegs

Andy C Legs
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
258
Rh
Another great read Andy. I, like yourself am not a gambler. But each year Mrs CDO and I have a day out at Bangor on Dee races. It's a lovely little course with an embankment that lets you see the whole race track. It's also not too expensive for the hospitality option.
I take my money expecting to lose it as I know nothing about odds or going or form. I usually do just about enough to not lose it all though.

Keep the articles coming. (If you can manage it with our busy upcoming schedule).
Thank you ever so much for your very kind feedback and encouragement. It really does mean an awful lot