21 September 2012

DEN OF INIQUITY

Another trip to Millwall for Albion - it seems like we've played them every year for a decade. Thinking back about trips to The New Den, it's a mixed bag. For example, we clearly recall a Boxing Day match up with Baz Savage leading the line. There was no sign of the moon walk that day, we assure you.

We've dug out a match report from the first season of TSLR. It was not going well for Mickey Adams, in fact, he'd just been sacked.

"I was awoken from my drunken slumber to an amazing number of missed calls on my phone. I haven’t been this popular since I won the Withdean Wager some seven years ago.

Being more hungover than a 10-year-old boy the morning after a Michael Jackson Jesus juice party prevented me from returning my calls that thoroughly but, when I finally managed it, I was sobered by the ridiculous news that Micky had been sacked on a Friday night. Bizarre timing it may have been but I wasn’t really shocked.

Got down to the Den with relative ease – there was no mob of Burberry clad souf Londoners to ruin such an exciting day. Although, I was ready and willing to run.

There was Albion everywhere, eager to share their opinions on the departure – the ‘mutual consent’ topic being the most interesting. Sales weren’t affected although many thought it out of date so I referred them to our premonition piece in which Uncle Dick was holding a Micky Adams shaped P45.

A few people were still unaware of the news, which is probably exactly how the Albion board intended the news to creep out. I’m told it was done via the medium of text message; anything that outdoes the Argus is good enough for us.

Balloons in the Albion end have been severely underrepresented this season and it was a joy to blow a few up and circulate them amongst the Albion following even if a couple of killjoys took to stamping on them before they could enter the field of play and disrupt the game.

Ah, the game. As soon as they mentioned that Rob Styles would be refereeing, there was a collectively disappointed sigh from the whole ground. Shoddy football as per usual but we defended well for once in the first half despite the anticipated barrage from the second worst side in souf London.

To be honest, we should’ve gone in to the break a goal in front but Birchall missed an open goal that could even have been converted by Paul Kitson walking wearily on his Zimmer frame.

The second was better, we kept the ball slightly better and looked frantically dangerous on the counter. Millwall created less in front of goal and were suitably stunned (as we all were) when Virgo scored a goal for the first time since the Crewe match back in the glory days of that first month of the season.

Cue mentalism all around as Albion fans grappled with each other until the restart was imminent, as were the nerves. I don’t think that the home side had any chances but I was nervous as fuck until that final whistle blew.

Now, the last time I was at Millwall, they let us each have a departing train to avoid clashes between fans. Thus, this time and feeling lairy, we filed neatly down their little away fans tunnel (of seagull love) to the station and found that we had to see these weird specimens of people they call, “Millwall fans.” What they don’t have in qualifications, they make up for with scars and noise.

Safely back with the tourists outside London Bridge, it was time to get hungover all over again.

They gave us football for days like these."

TSLR041 will be on sale at the New Den tomorrow.

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