Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Match 18 - Sheffield Wednesday

It would appear that there are two versions of what happened tonight. There is the version given by Geraint Williams in his post-match interview, and seemingly supported by the radio interviewer, that the players gave 100% in tonight's game. Sadly those who phoned, emailed, and sent text messages to BBC Essex had the same view of the game that I did. There were some absolutely dreadful performances out there. Gerken made us feel nervous all evening. The defence never looked like holding out for very long and it's thanks to Wednesday, for being the poor side that they are, that we only lost by one goal.

Mind you, the first quarter of an hour was uplifting. The first thing that made it all feel different was the choice of ends for starting the match. For the first time in simply ages we kicked off towards the Tamdown stand. It felt like things were going to be different. Then our goal celebrations were dampened by the uncertainty of whether the ball had crossed the line. Have you ever tried to start cheering again after your first attempt has started back-pedaling down your throat. For a few moments it wasn't clear whether we were in the lead until the linesman starting running back to the halfway line. Too late for most of us - we had to resort to celebratory actions without the words. However, after going a goal up the self-destruct button was pushed and by half time it really was all over bar the shouting.

Actually the shouting in one part of the ground was the most controversial part of the night. One foolhardy shirtless (yes, shirtless) Wednesday supporter in Terrace 2 kept Block A entertained for the first half. A curious set of circumstances then led to his ejection from the ground. The un-funny half-time roaming microphone carrier decided to invite all-comers from Terraces 1 and 2 for the crossbar competition. Our shirtless wonder didn't need any further encouragement and saw his chance to grace the hallowed turf. He wasn't really interested in the crossbar compo, and he didn't retreat more than 10 yards from the corner flag - preferring instead to engage in more bare-bating with the home fans. That was enough for the stewards who escorted him from the ground before the second half started.

There followed a lengthy period of chanting from both sets of supporters in favour of the ejectee, which resulted in a negotiated settlement whereby he was allowed to be reunited with his shirt and he disappeared into the depths of Terrace 2 for the rest of the evening. A victory for common sense? Hardly. The half-time safety announcement was forgotten so I have to conclude that we were at serious risk of danger for the next 45 minutes. Except that we weren't of course. There was no chance of the football creating any real enthusiasm after all that.

I think our fate is well and truly sealed now. I'd like to see us display our sense of humour when the away supporters taunt us with the predictable: 'Going Down, Going Down, Going Down'. We need to reply to the same tune: 'So Are We, So Are We, So Are We'. Or maybe someone will come up with a more original chant that we can take with us to our new home.

Let's cheer the Cardiff crowd on Saturday and remind them of their recent glory in reaching the Cup semi-final. Perhaps they will forget where they are and we will sneak a few goals while their minds are at Wem-ber-ley! We need to employ every tactic at our disposal now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The pain of going to Norwich and being taunted with 'Going Down' - why do we do it? Oh well next year its possibly Carlisle on a Tuesday night.......