Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Fleet Town 3 - 1 Tottenham Legends

First up - a public service announcement. We have renewed our vows and will be watching Fulham at Craven Cottage throughout the 2010/11 season as well - our fourth year in H7. We have retained our seats after brief flirtations with Johnny Haynes A Block (it's a family area) and P1 (no atmosphere), plus the seat next to Jarrod came free allowing Nicky to move down from Row EE and join us for the season. I hope she knows what she's let herself in for.
It seemed right doing this the night before a EUROPEAN SEMI-FINAL. Sorry it's in caps because its barely hard to believe. The first year we secured season tickets at the Cottage, Fulham stayed up by the skin of their teeth where every goal counted. Now they are in the last four of European competition within three years. Remarkable.
I'm toying with the possibility of going to the final if Fulham make it - away at Basle/Basel was good fun - but money isn't exactly freely available at the moment. I'm considering sticking some money on a Fulham/Madrid final at 11/2 in order to fund a trip should Fulham make it. I wouldn't want to go if Liverpool were the competition - you just know their fans will be all over the Fulham section and leave a sour taste in the mouth. Anyway - there's a long way before any of those kind of shenanigans can be properly taken into account.
Anyway - the headline match! This was held last Sunday and we were attending because a friend of Kat's is involved with Fleet Town. A strange trip down to the ground included passing a sign that read 'Heathrow Airport Closed' - which felt a bit ominous and that we were on part of a dystopian film set.
Anyway we arrived at Calthorpe Park for the fundraiser to be greeted by a pretty impressive sloping pitch, a small grandstand and two small 'stands' with corrugated iron roofs behind each goal. But the sun was out and the people of Fleet were out in force, supporting their local team and hoping for a glimpse at some football royalty.
The link with Spurs comes from Fleet Town's fairly successful manager - Andy Sinton, who seems to have played for most of Fulham's local rivals. The 'superstars' that turned out would have only impressed people with long memories with avid Spurs addictions but the big name Les Ferdinand played the whole 90 minutes with a smile on his face. Espen Baardsen played in goal for the visitors and made some astounding saves - he looked like he could still do a job in the Premier League if I'm honest. David Howells also played (pretty well actually) but you did wonder about the well being of some of the players from the 60s and 70s who turned out on such a hot day. Fortunately they all got through it. Pat Jennings even made an appearance in the stands. The number of small children running around getting autographs from players they had never heard of was rather amusing, but all the participants were happy to oblige. Good on them.
The most tense part of the event though was the post-match raffle which had several good prizes for such a small event, leading me to buy a bunch of tickets because the odds of winning appeared high. Unfortunately lady luck was not smiling that day, but the logic was sound - 3 of the 10 prizes were won by the same couple. I blame Sir Les - he was the one picking out the winners.

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