>A great day out, cool pub before the game, the right result and a woman with a bongo on the train home!
My day started early at 8am with my alarm blaring. It took me a few minutes to realise it was Saturday and then the old feelings began again, the anticipation and the excitement before a game. It was good to be back in the mood of football again and my fry up lined the stomach for the afternoon’s proceedings.
I caught the train at 10am and headed for Waterloo, stuck with a snoring woman sat next to me. I really couldn’t escape if I wanted to. She woke up just outside Waterloo and proceeded to take what seemed like half an hour to get to her feet and leave the train. Ten minutes later and I would have been headed back in the opposite direction!
Free from the trappings of Madge (that’s what I guessed her name was- she looked very like a Madge), I caught a couple of tubes up to Victoria (the station, not a person) and then onwards to Gillingham. My first impressions of the place weren’t good in all honesty. Trying not to offend Gillingamtonians (well I don’t knwo what a person from Gillingham is called!) but the place really doesn’t seem a nice place to live. I walked up towards the away end and found families coming out of their houses giving me “evils” as I passed with the Claret shirt on. This was still early so I decided to try and find a pub.
This task was easy enough and I found a superb little place just down the road, where I found Gillingham and Cobblers fans mixing together with no sign of any trouble. This is what football should be about in my opinion and it was great to see Blue and Claret shirts mixing.
After a couple of drinky poos we headed to the ground and were seated half way up the temporary stand. Why it’s still called a “temporary” stand I don’t know because it’s been there at least 3 years, since my last visit in a 2-1 Cobblers win in the Carling Cup.
On the pitch, Sean Dyche returned to the centre of defence and his experience shone through in a physical game. James Quinn partnered Andy Kirk up front in Scotty’s abscence.
There wasn’t a lot happening early on and Doig’s header from an Andy Holt free kick was the closest either side came in a match that was being slightly affected by the wind. The breakthrough did come mid way through the first half. After a goal mouth scramble, Quinn had a shot cleared off the line but Kirky made no mistake and slotted home his second of the season!
Gillingham’s best chance of the half fell to Dean McDonald. Bunn made a good save initially from a header but then pulled off a second stop to deny McDonald. Bunn was solid throughout and on this showing Lee Harper will have his work cut out in his attempts to get back into the side.
The second half was more of the same scrappyness. Ryan Gilligan came on to replace Quinn and looked sharp, making some good runs to give us a breather to the Gill’s increasing pressure. Pedj replaced Sam Aiston while Doig limped off with a dead leg, replaced by Bradley Johnson.
We looked strong at the back and set for the win but there would be 5 minutes of stoppage time, lifting the home fans. They threatened with a few crosses into the area and a free kick that went narrowly wide but the Cobblers held out for a very good win.
A physical game and one in which we had to battle for the points rather than play pretty football- something that we had to do a lot last season.
Delighted with that and the day was rounded off with a woman on the train carrying a bongo. Nothing much more to say about that but it just made me think what a random thing to be carrying on a train. Now- who can beat that? If you can get a bongo into/onto/through a more random place than a train and prove it I will send you a free carton of Um Bongo. Get Bongoing people!