A moan, Craven Cottage and a win

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

As you know, or gathered I went to the Fulham game (if I didn’t then there would be no point of this article), so this is where my moan point will be focused on.

What annoys me is the pointlessness of things. We all stand at the away end, as we do at all the away grounds and like at all the grounds an announcement comes over the tannoy “Anybody caught standing will be ejected from the stadium”. But this announcement doesn’t just comes once, or twice, or even three times, but four or five. As the idiot announces this warning, everybody laughs, but nobody moves. The stewards just stand there or stand there and smiled, what was the bloody point? An exercise in vocal dexterity, was it done to take the p*ss? Or a requirement of the pointless?

At half time I said to the steward, “What was the bloody point of that declaration?” He then looked at me, straight-faced and said, “It worked, I didn’t see anybody standing,” and then he turned to his colleague and asked, “What about you Bill?”

“Nothing…” he then looked back at me and said, “I hope you weren’t standing, as it is an offence to stand?”

His mate, a bit chubby, reminded me Hardy, the other half of Laurel. “Are you a double act?” I asked.

If looks could kill… anyway, I muttered something under my breath and moved on. Somebody who overheard us, mumbled, “Wayne Kerr.” I presumed it might have been the first guy’s name.

To my second moan; what is the bloody point of those bag checks? Whether it is at Wembley or wherever some just quickly pat your bag and say “go,” others do a medical procedure and wastes everybody’s time. I am presuming the last category is new to the job and wants to impress somebody who might be watching them. My son-in-law – a Fulham supporter – told me he went in with his bag, it wasn’t even searched (and his bag was bigger than mine). He had a bottle of water in the bag (it could have been anything). I am presuming that they think terrorists don’t go to football matches, but saying that; the previous day (Saturday) I went to the theatre (Harold Pinter play if you are interested) and the security was even worse… terrorists don’t even go to the theatre it seems either. Thank God; at least I am going to the right venues (but concerts are out).

Anyhow; as I said, or hinted, I went to the Fulham game with my son-in-law, who is a Fulham supporter (the last game he went to was Fulham v Oldham/ FA Cup) and he didn’t think they (Fulham) would even win this match (they didn’t; I hope I ain’t spoiling the ending for you?).

Sunday morning I went to my daughter’s house and we (her husband and I) left at 11.30. As he often goes to Fulham (about once or twice a year), he knows where to park. We parked in a side street and then went to get our programmes at the Fulham shop. From there we walked into Fulham’s high street and found a pub (The Distillers, near where I used to work in the 70s; a company, funnily enough, called Distillers C02, now pulled down… how things change).

Had a good meal and a glass of wine. Once finished we then made our way back to the stadium. We separated and went in (to our allotted areas), but made arrangements to meet at the Johnny Haynes statue afterwards (he was the first £100 a week player in the 60s, as much as they get today!).

Went in and saw Martin, his dad, Steve, Terry, Colin and others. Chatted and then I went to my seat to stand (after all, what is the point of having a chair and then sitting on it? It doesn’t make sense!).
They came out, we roared like lions, clapped, shouted, sung… and that was only the warm-up. They then left so that they could come back out in an orderly fashion 15 minutes later. Then the cheers started and echoed all around the stadium again. Once the noise rescinded, the players got into position, and we waited… finally, the whistle was blown and, you guessed it… the roar was repeated all over again.
I predicted we would win 3-1, and yes, we did score three goals, they – Fulham – just didn’t score one. I suppose that is something, even though Llorente scored, it was just the wrong end. That was their first goal. Fulham had nine shots on goal in an impressive first half.

The hosts thought they had doubled their lead five minutes before the interval, but Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header was ruled out as the Serbian was adjudged to be offside.

The second half came, and we sat (that is the treat at away matches, to get to sit on the seat we paid to sit on, and the law dictates we should, but only at half-time).

We responded in the second period and drew level six minutes after the interval when Dele Alli ghosted in behind the Fulham defence to head a pin-point Christian Eriksen cross past Rico.

We who had already lost Dele Alli to a hamstring injury looked set to concede further ground on league leaders Liverpool, but Winks stooped low in the 93rd minute to head past Sergio Rico from close range. And that was all that was needed.

Winks’ last-gasp winner means we are in third-place with a seven-point cushion over Arsenal in fifth in the battle for Champions League places.

We won, and that is what counts. To be honest, as the seconds ticked away I thought somebody would score. The score was set at 1-1 (up to that point), but we haven’t drawn this season, and we weren’t going to start at Fulham. But luckily for us, it was us that scored.

When we got that goal the away end erupted, everybody got pushed I went arse-over-tit and ended up in the next row, then people fell on me. Did wonders for my back and leg, but I survived to tell the tale (just).

Next up will be Chelsea in the league Cup, second-leg. With Alli injured, it won’t get any better, at least for a while…

After the game, I made my way to the Johnny Haynes statue and waited for Rob. We then walked to his car, or I should say that I walked gingerly as my foot, back and knee were killing me.

Bumper to bumper drive out of Fulham to the Motorway (M4), then a smooth drive through the roadworks and 50-mile signs. Finally, we got back at 8ish. As I got out of Rob’s car, I tore my new Spurs coat on a thorn(only just bought it). I left it with my daughter in the hope she could fix it. Anyway, I had a cup of tea and then went home.
Got home about 8.40, a few jobs and bed (I had to get up early; gym at 5.30).

There is never rest when you support Spurs. Next up will be a trip to Stamford Bridge tomorrow evening.

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In the 90's, I was a writer for many of the top Spurs Fanzines (The Spurs, Spur of the Moment, MEHSTG and many others). A Spurs loyalist since the 60/61 season and now a season ticket holder (Premium). I run a Spurs Facebook page (“Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ voice” and co-run another one with Don Scully called “Tottenham Hotspur FC: Inside Track”). There is also a Spurs Twitter account (@HotspurVoice). I travel with Spurs to away games (including Europe). I have my a Blog (My blogging travels with Tottenham Hotspur Premium). The articles that appear on the blog also appear on SpursWeb and other applications.


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