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Cold confusion

We all love November, don't we? It's wet and it's cold even when the country isn't coming off the back of a storm.


For every 4-3 thriller that we have (see Hard Wood blog for more details) there'll also be a game like this. Ah well.


Speaking of, I was back with Walsall Wood today as they faced Coleshill Town in a league fixture. At this point in the blog, I would insert my rather uninspiring attempt of taking a picture of the match, but my eyes started to glaze over as I sat, freezing my nips off. So you'll have to excuse this image from the depths of the internet.



I don't want to be a proper old moaner, but some people seem to have this pre-conceived idea that reporters and journalists have this luxury life of sitting in with the Prawn Sandwich brigade or some other plush hospitality away from the fans. Well, I can absolutely say that yesterday proved otherwise.


Apologies if I've put anybody off the reporting aspect, just painting a realistic picture of what it's like. You win some, you lose some.


I'd arranged to meet the chairman at the club and go down to the game in the car with him. However, things got a little confusing as I arrived at the ground 15 minutes before he did. So I did what anybody would do in that situation and went into the bar briefly. Except, there were a load of adults and children in there, so I wasn't entirely sure what do. It looked like a party, so I went to the hospitality suite where I normally go for home games to do my report, and it was decorated with balloons and banners.


So it was a party then. Therefore, I went outside to try and find some cover, standing under the turnstile shed to shelter from the rain. Shortly after, the chairman messaged me and said to wait in the bar.


I have to say that confused me even more. I went into the bar, looking around to try and figure out what was going on whilst trying not to draw attention, given I'm not even sure I was supposed to be there.


Nonetheless, five minutes later I decided to leave the bar and then saw the chairman roll up, and I hopped in the car.


Strange start, but we then began the trek down to Warwickshire, which was pretty stress-free. We had a chat about Man United, who were playing Fulham in the early kick-off, the FA Cup, and the game away at Hemel Hempstead Town in the FA Trophy in two weeks (keep your eye out for that blog, folks).


We arrived about 14:15. It's a nice little ground, with a bit of space around it too, so the ball boys will probably have to do a bit of sprinting to return any stray balls. Although nowadays, the coaching staff just tend to hoof a new ball from the sidelines if one goes too far away.


I went and got a cheese burger. I don't why, because the options on the list were quite extensive, and out of all of the things I could have had, it was probably one of the most standard cheeseburgers you could've asked for.


Oh well. Before I knew it, it was time to take my seat in the stand. You don't stand in the stand, you sit in the stand. It probably would've been better for me to stand, though. The seat was wet, but in a strange turn of events the bloke next to me offered me his hat to wipe the seat down, so I used that. Hopefully he didn't wear it afterwards.


As I was looking at the lineups I noticed something odd. After Harry Harris resigned from managing Walsall Wood a few weeks ago, Joey Butlin, who plays as a striker for the club, stepped in as interim manager until a replacement was found. However, no replacement had been announced yet, and Butlin was in the starting lineup. I was messaging my editor about what do with the report, and tried to speak to the chairman. It's not very often that you go to a game where it's about to start and you have no idea who the manager is.


When I was speaking to Joey last week I found out that his Dad was with him in the dugout, who I also spoke to before the game. I couldn't quite make it out, but it looked like his Dad was the man on the touchline for Walsall Wood against Coleshill too.


The game started, and it was a normal start. The first ten minutes of Walsall Wood games tend to be a bit lacklustre and then both teams grow into the game. However, the first offered nothing. At this point I would normally include some analogy or witty remark, but literally nothing happened in the first half. I think there was one chance for Coleshill on the 18th minute when the keeper parried an effort off the line, and Walsall Wood had a header on the brink of half time, but I really can't remember much other than that.


By this time, I was looking at the other scorelines of the day, and saw that after, 30 minutes, Aldershot Town were 3-0 up at League Two Swindon Town in the FA Cup. Apparently they'd scored them all after nine minutes, which is pretty good going.


The teams came out for the second half, and it was much of the same for the first bit. Walsall Wood dominated but couldn't convert chances. Then, somehow, Coleshill scored two goals in two minutes from somewhere and that was pretty much the game over. They extended their lead with a good strike curled in off the post with twenty minutes to go, and somehow it was 3-0.


Walsall Wood had more problems with a red card five minutes from time, and Liam Riley-Stewart had a very ambitious effort from the right hand side outside of the box that somehow flew in after added time.


I don't know how it ended 3-1, but that's football. We went back into the bar briefly and caught up on the day's results. Manchester City battered Bournemouth 6-1, Wolves lost in the 100th minute to a penalty that shouldn't have been, but most notably, Aldershot Town progressed to the FA Cup Second Round after beating Swindon Town 7-4. So many goals that you need brackets (ask your Dad). As a fan of Farnborough, Aldershot's rivals, it would take a lot for me to admit a good result for Shots, but I think I would, begrudgingly, have to. Going 3-0 in ten minutes is good at any stage, let alone against higher-league teams in the FA Cup. That would have been good in its own right, but to go seven goals up is unbelievable and unfortunately for me will probably be talked about for a while. I wonder if Swindon had another ten minutes, would they have had a few more goals to claw it back to 7-7? Is it even worth thinking about?


Mad day. Utterly mad. See you all next week for a Farnborough game.


Tom.

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