Sunday, 2 April 2017

Saturday 2nd April 2017 - Consett (h)

Like buses, we had waited for a home match for over a month and a half and then three arrived all at once. So it was that the Bay's final three home games of the season arrived in the merry month of April!
My morning had already been spent running the Cragside 10km where I was delighted with a 48:08 finish but bemused to find myself the first placed female in the 45+ age group and that I had changed my name to Liesa. Who knew? Certainly not me!
Arriving at the ground, we could hear a bit of a commotion coming from the 'holidaying' Consett fans who had made an effort for their trip away to the seaside. Unfortunately, the weather hadn't rewarded them much for their efforts. Despite the beach theme, they had sensibly decided against the speedos and towels...for which all were extremely grateful! Encouraged by a continental-style leader with a megaphone they managed to drone out the usual medley of 60s and 70s hits on the PA.
They started off singing a tribute to their own sugary treat, forward Michael Sweet, with a version of  'sensational' 80s pop 'song' : Black Lace's Agadoo that featured the lyrics:
"Michael Sweet, Sweet, Sweet, Will you score a goal for me? (repeat) With the left, with the right, ...." and then I lost track of the lyrics as I carried on my voyage to the furthest end of the ground. Full marks for that though chaps!
 They were almost celebrating soon after the kick-off when their favourite Bonbon was denied by our own children's favourite, the Flynnster, who managed to get a foot on the tooth-decaying-one's shot.
A bad challenge on our own Comet, Haley, saw him being replaced by the young David Hall and the Bay began to settle down. On 32 minutes, the moment all Francophiles had been waiting for arrived! Actually it was probably just me.
Photo courtesy of Julian  Tyley
To you!
Thibault's left foot struck the ball sweetly and it fizzed into the bottom corner of the net! His first reaction was to run towards the Bay tricoleur I'd put up only 33 minutes earlier and after high-fiving me (still haven't washed) he then kissed his nation's flag...which also won't be washed!
TBH: no change really on either front, despite my wife's frequent protestations.
The rest of my good friends pretended not to have noticed as I turned around and had also taken a couple of steps away from me as they sang "Football fwend". Jealousy should never be encouraged I was told, so I didn't rise to their envious taunts.
The choir behind Flynny's goal had grown strangely quiet after that goal and their keepie-uppies with one of their many beach balls was ended when it nestled in one of the bare trees at the the Car Park End.
Just before half time, it was suspension-bound Flynn who shone as he leaped about like a frisky gazelle to keep out Consett with two saves in quick succession.
At half time, the remaining beach balls were shepherded to the Allotment end by the younger members of the touring crowd, presumably while the older ones lubricated their vocal chords.
There was more disaster for the beach ball gang as the second half began when another of their inflatable number ended up over the fence. Matters got even worse for them as the ball looped into their penalty area. Before neither keeper nor defender could react, Kyle Patton had steamed in to score. 2-0 to the mighty Bay.
On the plus side for the holidaying fans, their beach ball was returned. In fact things got a lot better for them as their favourite Candyman managed to beat Flynny's grasping fingers to pull the Steelmen within one goal.
Soon after the Bay had to steel themselves for the fightback. Supermac had to clear off the line when the ball eluded the flailing Flynn's grasp then our super keeper himself had to steal the ball from Sweet's greedy feet.
The home fans in the 313 crowd were more than grateful to hear the ref's final whistle as the visiting fans picked up their beach equipment to head back from Hillheads to their own hilltop forts. The Bay were 7th in the Northern League after an extremely physical encounter that Baldie Bruce was totally the fault of "the worst refereeing display in history". Certainly not an exaggeration there, Brucie!

Shanksy has left!

The man himself in a
 familiar, thoughtful pose!
It was sadly announced over the weekend that the Shankster had parted ways with the club. I would just like to wish him luck with whatever he does in the future and thank him for so many great memories. His goals haul over the last couple of seasons for the Bay has been nothing short of miraculous and I hope he remembers if he comes back to Hillheads how popular he was here and not to do the old 'former player' routine and knock in a hat-trick...
Thanks for the memories Shanks and look after that young family of yours too!

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