That was an afternoon full of various different emotions. Imagine the five stages of grief, in some random order, without anybody dying. That’s how I’d describe it.
It was the first of two weeks down south, as I was seeing family in Farnborough, so thought I’d tie it in with watching their home game against Weymouth.
The unwritten rules of media, specifically report writing on football, is to get to a game around 90 minutes before kick-off to have time to prepare your notes, get the lineups and meet with other media people. However, the motorways of this country can be a bit of a bugger sometimes, and yesterday a bugger is what they were. From door to door, we anticipated the journey to Farnborough to take somewhere between two hours and two and a half. 10am to get there around lunchtime and a bit of time to relax before heading out the football? Haha, yeah.
Maybe I’m over-exaggerating, but I didn’t get there until 2pm, which may sound like a lot of time to you, but I felt like Benny Hill (ask your Dad). It was a four-hour journey that should’ve taken two. I’m sure we’ve all been there.
There was extra security deployed at the ground, presumably because of the incident at the Chippenham game in the week coupled with the people deciding to be bandwagon-jumping dullards and cause some type of shit that ruins everything for everyone.
Some grounds, understandably, don’t have a designated press area. Last week I was freezing my nips off in Warwickshire (see Cold confusion for more details), so to have some tables and chairs felt pretty good for once.
We got the lineups, and I was about as confused as I was in the week when I was doing research on the topic. Lining up for Weymouth was a Jared Thompson, a Jordon Thompson and a Ben Thomson. Nightmare-ish stuff for a reporter and an easy banana skin. Thankfully, Jared Thompson played in goal so that lowered my worries slightly.
The Weymouth fans arrived. I would say in their droves, but it looked as if there were only a handful, and they stood in the top corner of the main PRE stand for the first half, belting some chants out. I was quite surprised it wasn’t met with “There’s only one of you singing.”
Then, after the usual tunes of Republica’s Ready to Go and Insomnia by Faithless had been blasted over the tannoy, we were ready for action.
However, as it was Armistice Day, we paused to hold a minute’s silence before kick-off. As you probably saw or heard from many different headlines and news outlets yesterday, the minute’s silence was ‘impeccably observed’. Cliches and all that.
Weymouth began the game strong as Jack Turner was at his best to deny multiple attempts from a goalmouth scramble in the fifth minute.
Farnborough grew into the game, but the visitors drew first blood with Brandon Goodship getting a bit lucky and capitalising on a defensive error from JNW. His effort trundled in off the post.
Somehow, Weymouth went into the break 1-0 up. Reggie and Connor hit the post once each, and Folivi was inches away from poking the ball home. Was it going to be our day? It didn’t look like it.
I’m not sure how many oranges Spencer fed the lads at half time but Weymouth barely got a look in throughout the second half, it was complete one-way traffic. There were more chances than you could shake a stick at, with pretty much everyone apart from Jack Turner or Mike the kit man having a shot on goal at some point.
Just before the hour mark, Folivi was taken down in the area and both the linesman and the referee failed to spot what should’ve been a penalty. I can only assume they were adjusting their contact lens. In the same passage of play, the ball went out for a throw-in but Weymouth carried on, which the referee also failed to spot. Thankfully, lino on the far side was astute, otherwise the referee would not have heard the end of it from Spencer.
Folivi was taken down ten minutes later, and this time a penalty was awarded. Penders confidently converted it and levelled the scoring.
After a bit of huffing and puffing, we…. didn’t score. Jordan Norville-Williams’ free kick in added time hit a hand and Penders stepped up to take it again. This time, though, Jared Thompson guessed right to save it.
Just can’t score from open play sometimes. We could say it was ‘just one of those days’ but I used up the cliché earlier with the ‘impeccably observed’ minute’s silence. Also, one of the days seems to just be every day.
Ah well. I’m sure both sets of fans acted appropriately and responsibly…. oh.
Hopefully the individuals that are responsible for the alleged incidents are held to account and swiftly banned.
Now it’s the long journey back up North, where I will be until Saturday, trekking back down south to Hemel Hempstead.