Saturday, 1 November 2014

Bedlington Terriers (a) FA vase

My first blog as the Bay blogger coincides with the first round of the FA Vase - away to Bedlington Terriers. The long trip from Whitley to Bedlington was attempted by the daring duo of TheBoyMark and myself. Our first trip together since an extremely dull defeat at Dunston meant we were not confident of winning although last weekend's  2-1 win away to the might of Guisborough offered a bit of hope.
We had visited the home of the Woof Woof Terriers (who let the dogs out) earlier on in the season and had enjoyed the last twenty minutes that night when 2 sendings off and three goals had woken up a forgettable game. Bedlington had the finest of score boards (that looked totally out of place) and we were looking forward to seeing it in glorious technicolour action again.
At the moment an imminent operation on a hernia (not saying who but it isn't TheBoyMark) means that we get to watch games from the relative comfort of the main stand seats, just as long as as I don't jump up too quickly. There was a heated discussion amongst ourselves and a couple of old guys supporting Bedlington about the fans who had decided to take their place in the main stand in front of us but then decided to stand: what did they think this was? The Premiership? Go and stand anywhere else we thought but they never moved.
1-0 get in!
There was excitement as new boy Adam Reed, signed from Darlington, took his place on the wing (although TheBoyMark was annoyed that the team didn't line up as per the fancy Facebook page graphic..."Reed is on the wing not Robinson..." Although we both agreed that the Twitter and Facebook pages had stepped up a notch and would become an even bigger part in our bay-following career. Well done guys, keep up the good work!
There had only been a diving header from Robinson to get excited about when a Robo flick ended up at Bird's feet who then found Watling. No mistake! The jumping celebration did nothing for the hernia.
As the second half opened up it became increasingly obvious that new boy Reed wasn't having the best of games. The bay fan I had talked to outside the portacabin toilets was even less impressed than us but as Mark reminded me it was only his first game and he was out of position - according to the bible Facebook page! The floodlights finally came on to cheers as money was found for the meter and the game stepped up a gear. A Robo penalty conversion got us on our feet and sparked the scoreboard into life with a great goal celebration that continued for the next ten minutes - it seemed like a rogue Whitley fan had jumped into the control booth as I had never seen a home scoreboard so excited to see their team go further behind in a game: it is touches like that that make the Northern League such a welcoming place! However, our Bedlington mates just blamed the "two old guys who run everything in the ground". A few minutes later it was Watling again as the scoreboard carried on enjoying the Whitley goals. With the score at 3-0 new boy Reedie took a rest but we started worrying as Bedlington seemed to wake up and scored...although we were too busy checking on Championship scores to notice so according to us there was no goal! The best goal was saved til last as Wato delightfully lobbed the keeper from the edge of the penalty area for his hat trick. Through to the second round of the vase in spectacular fashion.
There was a moment of nostalgia for TheBoyMark as we left the ground: he compared the packed crowds pouring away to his beloved Bolton Road in Blackburn (who had also won: 3-1): even down to the blue and white scarves he sighed.
The drive home was livened up with the delights of Green day (Welcoming us to paradise) and AFI as we discussed that there had been no Chow...who would have thought that the Bay would have been so clinical in his absence?
A visit to a Foo Fighters tribute band beckoned to TheBoyMark while fixing a broken shower door was waiting for me but when I took my shoes off to relax with a cup of tea, I noticed the reason for our victory:
 A sign of old age? Will I always have to wear odd shoes to games?

@WhitleyBayFC, @markburg3ss

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