Sunday, 21 December 2014

20 December 2014 - Marske (h)

There were a couple of reasons I was feeling more cheerful. My other love (apart from the Wife, daughters and Whitley of course) Racing Club de Lens had managed to win their final game of 2014 2-0 against Nice on the Friday night, live on BT Sport to leap out of the bottom three in Ligue 1.
The other thing was that I had finally had my hernia operation and if all goes well, in six weeks or so I will be able to get back to playing football, standing at the Bay and generally running around like the other boys and girls.
Tuesday night:Post hernia op and
looking well:
 Whitley 2 Jarrow 1
Lens 2 Nice 0

The boy Mark couldn't make it because of family duties in Leicester (near Coalville in fact!) so it was up to my kind wife to transport me and the chair to Hillheads. Arriving fashionably late i missed the queues and was pleased to find I hadn't missed any goals. By the time I had set the old chair up and sat down there was barely time for a quick look around the ground to work out the crowd before the first Marske goal went in....after that the rest of the match was a waste of time and not worth mentioning. The only sign of any urgency in the ground from those of a Whitley persuasion was when the legend that is Barry the programme collector and Northern Ventures salesman sprinted past us - it was the most dynamic any of us had ever seen him be and it was quite a shock to see such athleticism. Had he heard there was a rare 1975 Whitley Bay programme on offer for sale in the bar?
The memorable aspect of this game was the contribution of the Marske fans, who were annoying but witty. When the first goal went in they began their own rendition of Spandau Ballet's Gold...
At least I could put my feet up!
"You're indestructable, always believing...Because you are, gold...."  They then followed that up with a "Let's all do the Poznan." It was unusual to be joined by so many vociferous away fans in the new stand and all ten of them made a great deal of noise under the tin roof.
The second and third goals were followed by "I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky..." a cover of Bianca Ryan's hit (I have no idea if this is true - just googled it so apologies if you know better). The ref fell over and they sang "Sit down if you love the Marske..." as well as many chants of "Tee...Tee..Tee siders" which at times could have been "Cheese...Cheese..Cheese siders..." which have been better suited to French fans, I thought.
I don't see it myself.....
In the second half I was able to get a better view of them (all ten) as I moved my chair to see all the Whitley second half attacks. Although Whitley managed to put a few passes together and even hit the was still dire stuff.
At the risk of being called a jinx, my last four games had seen four defeats and the only game I had missed was the victory over Jarrow Roofing. The boy Mark had told me that I should not go any more but I have a feeling it would take more than that. A bit of time spent passing to each other would probably be a help to the Bay players and some work on trying to stop other teams scoring against them, rather than me boycotting matches.
The fourth goal was signalled by the hymn "Give me oil in my lamp..." "Twenty seven, twenty seven, keep on scoring, ....Jamie Owens, Jamie Owens keep on scoring in the old Marske way..."
After that their attention turned towards poor old Chowie (younger than me, I will just add) who they thought bore a similarity to Voldemort in Harry Potter. Where they got that from I have no idea but they did (dare I say Teeside and chemicals...?) and continued with "He's coming for you, he's coming for you, Harry Potter, he's coming for you!"
The final attack on the hapless striker was their version of "There's no limits..."
"No, no, no, no, no, no.......he's got no hair...."
By the time the seventh goal dropped over the line most of the Bay fans had had enough. There was shock amongst the nearly 300 crowd. The performance had been dire and the managerless Bay needed something to happen. Prior to the Dunston FA Vase game we had won four games on the trot so what had gone so obviously wrong? The best supported team in the league is being treated to the worst football and something drastic needs to be done.
As the terraces emptied the ten visitors sang "Is there a fire drill...?" yet  Whitley's performance would have put out any fire. Trying to rub it in that they had beaten us in the League Cup the previous May at St James' Park, one of them was asked how many times  they had won the Vase at Wembley? He didn't seem to understand but it was becoming a sad fact of being a Whitley fan. We were no longer the team we were: like Newcastle fans having to look back to 1969 for the last major honour they had won.
My solution is to bring my Mother-in-Law and family to the boxing day derby game against West Allotment....if she doesn't frighten them, I don't know what will: they better shape up!
At least I am getting some fresh air!
Whitley beware: my Mother in law is coming and it is her birthday so you better win!
She may look harmless.....

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