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The Killing Moon (All Night Version)


bickster
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Highly unusually, this one is by me!

Having received the news over the weekend that Blandy wouldn’t be making it to the game, it falls to me to write the Match report. Because I’m going and no-one else is! So I apologise for this reports crapness before we start, they aren't my forte!

As some of you may know, I live in the same village as Stevie G, in fact a mere couple of hundred yards away as the crow flies (I live in a rented three bed semi before you all start) but as it was, I kicked off the evenings proceedings in a Formby pub called The Railway(its handy for the station - otherwise its f**king crap) where the staff are ignorant and don’t give a shit and the surroundings rather.......I was going to say bland but that would be doing a disservice....to a valued member of VillaTalk.) In its favour it does have hand pulled beer even if it is the obligatory Landlord and Black Sheep. Here I met my Liverpool supporting mate Toby and his father-in-law Pete, we chatted away over our couple of pints, and we seemed in agreeable mood, the three of us agreeing who would probably win (and it wasn’t Villa). To say I feared the worst is an understatement, I wasn’t alone, let’s face it!

Anyway, after a couple of pints of Black Sheep we set off for the ground. We jumped o the train and got the Soccerbus from Sandhills to Stanley Park and went straight into the ground. Having left my Liverpool supporting chums, I began to wonder about the game, how many we’d get beaten by, surely we couldn’t be as bad as last year, please no Martin, not 5 again, last year, more than any other year, that was too much to bare. And let’s be honest the omens weren’t good, we’d lost our previous two, ok one was away in Europe by a solitary goal and we didn't look too bad, but against Wigan...........and Redscouse might have lost on the opening day but they did batter Stoke 4-0 in midweek. Oh what was I letting myself in for?

Ah sod it, it’s still the Villa. Right so I get into the Annie Rd end and have a good 30 mins to spare so I mill around downstairs for a bit, contemplating a bet (but never quite managing the courage, come on, we aren’t going to win this! I’d be throwing my money away! ) and soon enough I bump into Andy and Glynn, old mates. Glynn set off from Cardiff at 12 sodding 30, now that’s dedication for you! he picked up Andy at half 3 in Brum and he’s been on the M6 ever since. Now even this pair are wondering why they bothered, in fact Glynn says it seemed like a good idea at the time and at the time it seemed like we were signing Wesley bloody Sneijder and he doesn’t know why he bothered. But hey ho, we’re here so......let’s support the team

I say Goodbye to Glynn and Andy and take my seat. We sing a bit (that’s what us away fans do!) about various things, the usual plus Steven Gerrard and his lack of conviction. On the pitch the game of football has started but I’m not sure we’re all aware because quite frankly for the first 15-20 mins or so, it seems like we’re in Mafeking not Anfield but slowly, the men in white seemed to get a bit of a foothold in the game. We had the odd attack and it was sort of OK, well hey we weren’t being outclassed that’s for sure. We should be 2 down by now surely? To be honest they had their chances early on in the first half and we did ride our luck, one particular game of bagatelle is still fresh in the memory even now but even that never seemed like it was destined to go in.

We weathered the early storm and I thought we started to get more of the play, the odd foray into opposition half, we were coming into this, then all of a sudden Petrov (for I think it was he) got felled heading for goal in Ash range. Now Ash range isn’t always certain and sod knows what went on, it was down in front of the Kop (and I couldn’t see that well) but a FK was taken and YYYYEEESSS! we scored, apparently it was an own goal. Me? I couldn’t give a damn who scored it, we were ahead .....At Anfield! It won’t last long, we’ve been here before lads and lasses, we know the score don’t we, we’ll mess this up, one way or another.

But as the half goes on, confidence grows, amongst the faithful and the team, we are keeping them at bay now and that cliché about not wanting the half to finish, is most definitely right, we’re doing the right things and they aren’t. It’s coming close to half time, we win a corner and we most definitely aren’t in a hurry to take it, the ball is laboriously worked its way towards the corner flag, we’re wasting as much time as possible here, hoping that the ref will blow the whistle as the ball hangs in mid air but he doesn’t. He waits until Curtis “what shoulder injury?” Davies pops up and sticks it in the sodding net, 2- f**king 0, at half time, at Anfield. No bloody way ho-sodding –sway. YEEEESSSS!

It’s half time and I really don’t know what to do with myself, I am like the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof, I can’t settle, there’s no-one around, well there is, lot’s of familiar faces but none that I know to speak to apart from the odd nod in their direction, so I head back for the stands. I see the lad I used to stand next to and a few other people, I exchange pleasantries (who wouldn’t) but we all know the onslaught is about to come. We know that 2-0 up at Anfield means sod all with half a game to go, we know we’re about to be disappointed but it’s fun while it lasts

Second half kicks off and again we don’t look quite right, not quite together, we appear to have made the same old mistake we always do in such circumstances, we appear to be happy to park the bus in front of goal and we’re no good at it, we cave in, we always do, don’t we? Liverpool are coming on strong, pressing and pressing, soon something must give. We know this. It’s like a universal truth, it’s undeniable. And soon enough (ok it took them 25 mins) they score, we know what’s coming next, the script is pre-written, it was just nice to dream for a half and the natural order will be resumed but we’ve scored two at Anfield and even now we can only lose by the odd goal in five, heads held up high in the morning. No problem. Even the Kop seem to think it’s the case as we hear them for the first time this half, the Anfield squeak is underway.

The Villa goal is being laid siege to after their first goal, it can’t be long now................it’s been ages since they scored but Villa get a break away (actually its about 3 minutes) to relieve the pressure and that’s all that can happen because its Nigel Reo-Coker who is almost clean through on goal and he falls under the weight of a Liverpool challenge, in the box, nah that won’t be given, it was no better an attempt than the one he went down for ten minutes previous. But the ref (who has seemed in a different place to the rest of us all game – that’s both sets of fans) thinks otherwise and awards a pen! Up steps Ash and he slots it away 3-bloody 1, no, wake me up I’m dreaming! (well actually I’m bouncing up and down but hey ho, I’m hugging the fat bloke next to me and everything is Rosy!)

Now I’m starting to believe, really believe. We can do this! Time creeps on and with a couple of minutes to go the nerves start jangling more than ever and once more the Villa goal with the magnificent ex-red Friedel in between the sticks is laid siege to once more. But to no avail, there’s four minutes of injury time ..... but even this lot can’t score two in that time, they’re at the wrong end of the East Lancs. for that! And as I run out of the ground at the final whistle to catch the soccerbus back to Sandhills and get on the first train back to Formby, I smile inside. I’ve got that warm glow of success running through me, it’s such a joyous feeling, except I can’t share it with anyone, I have to be magnanimous, I’m outnumbered 100’s to 1. I get back to the pub and order 4 pints of Landlord (2 for me and one each for Toby and Pete who are on the train 15 mins behind.) We have a couple and discuss the game. By this time I’ve seen the opinions of many reds on Face book on my phone and I’m passed caring how bad they feel, I feel sodding great

So great, that as I was passing Stevie G’s house, I felt the need for a piss, Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! I’m a bad person.

Ratings:-

Brad - 8.5 hard to fault, some REALLY fantastic saves

Shorey - 6.5 a decent performance but still a tad indescisive

Davies - 8 -Storming performance, dodgy shoulder? are you sure?

Cuellar - 8 - again, assured tonight,Davies and Cuellar might have legs as a partnership

Beye - 7 - did ok, better from him, defended well and signs he is understanding the system

Ash - 7 - good, nowt special, but still did well. I'm expecting that injury to be clear by morning

Petrov - 8 - played really well, true captain's performance, often heroic and started switching play a la Barry

NRC - MOTM - 9 - Well played, I am not your biggest fan, you still can't pass (apart from the one diagonal crossfield sid-esque one) but today, you were immense, you took the ball again and again and again

Sidwell - 7 - Much better, a much improved performance

Milner - 7.5 - did what he does well, often shocked the team in red by running up behind them and nicking the ball. Keep eating the coal!

Gabby - 7 - You ran yourself ragged, you competed for everything, can't really fault you, well played, you were on your own up there,- you did well son!

Sub

Heskey - 6 - didn't do much wrong, didn't have much chance to shine either

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A really really good read..... having said that, David Sullivan could have written about how he made his fortune and I'd still enjoy it.... today is a day when someone is going to really have to try hard to wipe the smug grin from my face...!!

Good read though Bicks... knowing that you took a leak up Gerard's house makes it even more satisfying!!

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Great report Bicks - I hope you weren`t in full view of SG`s CCTV cameras as I can just imagine the Formby Times Headlines:

"Serial slasher attacks innocent Stevie`s grand Formby Mansion - Police seek unkept old man with inadequate todger !!!"

Cheers - UTV

PS should have gone the Freshie for a decent pint !!!!

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PS should have gone the Freshie for a decent pint !!!!

Yer right there mate, the Railway is awful (they even have a deliberately fast clock to call time with) and as the Freshie is two doors away from mine, I'd have much prefered it, but I was intruding on other peoples habits!

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