It hardly looked like the venue for our usual gladiatorial-footballing-David-v-Goliath-type friendly encounters but the lads were there .. I was also delighted to use my new phone camera with its in-photo photo feature...#boysandtheirtoys. Sadly they were till not sporting their newly sponsored shirts .. .there is still time before the big kick off. After being caught by the gate lady trying to sneak in without paying our £2 admission we took our ashamed heads to the side of the 3g pitch however we would have to be strong as there was not even a barrier to lean on! We could fall over at any time. There was no time to play our favourite pre -season game of 'Who-he ?' Before Callum Anderson had slotted home a shot that had been turned away by the keeper...we think . In truth we were still amazed that they had a programme with a team list. . albeit one using a team list from the Bay's weekend in Scotland. Shame it was one of the opposing team 's list and not ours. Still it was the thought that counted.
There was further excitement for the Boy Mark and I as our new season tickets were hand-delivered by a young lady from the committee: don't get that from that lot in the Big City! I even received the greatest accolade: she knew my name...fame at last! I later suggested to my wife that I framed all of my Bay season tickets in an Andy Warhol-style tribute picture but she wasn't so keen on the idea. Funny things women...
There was more excitement when Silly Andrew arrived: late because he too had gone to the wrong ground. The three planks re-united!
Julian the photographer then began filling us in on all the new arrivals. New winger Nathan Jack looked strong but nippy: time will tell whether he becomes the new Robbie Bird. Arrivee from Team North, Mark Bertram looked comfortable in the midfield and there seemed to be good cohesion within the team. Kempster on the other wing looked stronger, fitter and most importantly; well-tanned. Up front Watling had a new friend in Chris Hughes - ex-Billingham Synthonia according to Julian - and they seemed to be linking up well. In the 36th minute, Whitley were 2-0 up. The three Amigos stopped chatting in time to see the ball bounce off Jack and in to the net. None of us saw what happened beforehand (surprise surprise) but the rumour was that the keeper pushed a cross from the right onto Nathan. Our lack of concentration had been down to Silly's sad news (for him anyway) that Yohan Cabaye had signed for Crystal Palace.
|Half-time team-talk: Phil Brown style.|
As the second half began, the rain began to fall. At first a hood up helped protect us, however we decided that it was time for the portable roofs....soft nowts that we are.Sky Sports style Silly Andrew
While we were away, the Bay must have scored but Silly didn't seem convincing when arguing that the score was 3-0 and when the tuft-headed Goss netted soon after we were still convinced it was 3-0. Looking bright on the right side of midfield/wing he found himself in a few good positions but preferred to selflessly pass to team-mates who were not as well placed and chances were missed. There was another goal for the big man as he turned in his second goal of the game, taking a couple of touches before lashing a cracking shot from just inside the penalty area. Mark and I were pleased whatever the score, although the shine was taken off the Bay's defensive display by a lovely lobbed finish from a home forward, the Harton forward with a finish that was as cool as a cucumber in the Arctic.
The overall display was encouraging for the new season although the Bay will definitely play tougher opposition.
Big match action video: