I don't much enjoy trips to OMT. There's nothing wrong with the venue - in fact the facilities at Merchant Taylors are excellent. They have a palatial clubhouse and the best changing rooms in the league. There are 2 excellent astros and one has a covered grandstand above the pitch..
I don't like going there because I can never find it. I'm not helped by the fact the the "special destination" category in my car has a schools section which appears not to include public schools. When going to Merchant Taylors, even though the school and grounds are extensive that's a real issue and I'm thinking of complaining to Audi. It's like having a Golf Club section which doesn't include courses of 9 or 18 holes - ridiculous!! So on Saturday I was late and had to fine myself because i had stipulated at the start of the season that anyone arriving late for the pre-match briefing would be fined. So I became the first offender - which was embarrassing.
However it turned out that I wasn't as late as the coach who managed to rock up 10 minutes later than me and - worse still - had to summon a lift from Moor Park tube station. Large obliged which I would comment is the first useful contribution he has made to the 2's in the many weeks he has been ferrying Crazy Horse to and from matches. The other observation I would make at this stage of the report is that our regular travelling band of supporters now routinely numbers 3 in that Little (he appears to have lost a bit of weight in the last few weeks) and Large (no comment required) have now been joined by Mrs Ed (who I hope will not mind me referring to her as Liz as that is her name). So that's now Little, Large and Liz and we now have our own mini version of the Barmy Army.
I was late partly because, on the way, I had to stop to release the seventh fieldmouse we have caught in the house this week (do Pep or Jurgen ever have to do that I wonder?) - he/she is now enjoying the freedom of Bagley Woods rather than our spare bedroom. However I now realise it could conceivably be the same fieldmouse which has simply returned each time I've released it, because all the naturalist advice is that you should release mice at least 3 miles away or there is a very real risk that the animal will return whence it came - not many people know that.
Then I got stuck in a 30 minute traffic jam and then I couldn't find the school so I was steaming by the time I got there.
This is stockbroker country even though it's only about 3 miles from Watford which is, in my humble view, an armpit of a place. On the other hand Northwood/Moor Park is choc full of massively imposing detached houses and several golf courses. Although there are loads of signs declaring proudly that everything is ever so private and identifying the make of the many burglar alarms I have found, to my cost, that directional signs in this part of the civilised world are as rare as hen's teeth. Suffice to say it took me as long to complete the last 3 miles of the journey as the previous 40.
When everyone did finally get to the pitch the crazy gang (L, L, and L) settled down in the sheltered stand, coddled themselves in blankets and tucked in to their flasks of gin and vermouth, smoked salmon canapes and strawberries. On the other, exposed, side of the pitch the coach (newly arrived) and I endured the full force of the elements. So regular were the periodic drenchings we suffered that I actually thought I had been nominated in one of those charitable initiatives where someone makes a donation to see you being soaked by a bucket of ice cold water and the whole event is videoed. I think that's what happens - anyway it certainly happened to me several times on Saturday.
The game was interesting. We had a goal disallowed when Henry - bless him!! - confessed to a man in a yellow shirt that he might have kicked a ball on its way into the home goal - which led the man in the yellow shirt to reverse his decision. Hen - as I've said several times before is a "thoroughly decent bloke" (to quote Harry Enfield) and we definitely wouldn't have him any other way. I just wish I had had my criminal lawyer's hat on and I would definitely have told him to go "no comment" - which is advice that has secured the entirely undeserved acquittal of many persistent and dangerous criminals over 20 years of practice. But I didn't - which just proves again how retirement can dull the senses. Some of my readers may consider that is entirely amoral but in the real world it is just playing by the rules of the game. However I can understand now how many people consider criminal lawyers to be the scum of the earth but, let me tell you, that is totally unfair.
Crazy Horse then plundered two goals for us although at that stage, as Bonk will be happy to attest, I was in total meltdown so I've no idea how he scored. Anywhere else in the League that would probably have been job done but this was at OMT. That's the second reason I don't like this trip - because OMT have a habit of behaving like Lazarus. Here the game is never won till it's done and the home side, as they have done in previous seasons, came back from the dead to even things up amidst a welter of bad karma as Liz later opined. I think she meant there was a lot of appealing.
Happily the final minute brought the award of a short corner and Boy Band slid in at the far post to notch the winner. I thought we deserved it but I would say that wouldn't I.
Reading 2's at home next week - should be a cracker.