One More Pint – What Did I Miss At Newcastle United?
Following on from my last article about leaving early and missing memorable goals (or not as the case may be) we have this different theme. A few rare occasions where I’ve managed to miss some early goals too, almost:-
Saturday 14th November 1992
Charlton away at Upton Park. Of all the moments I’m about to mention this is probably the most surprising. Why? Well we left for London on the Friday!!! We kipped on the floor at a mate’s girlfriend’s flat near The Angel. However, we missed the first goal cos Bilbao wanted to squeeze an extra drink in at the bar literally 2 minutes’ walk from the ground. When we got to the turnstiles they only had 2 open and the queues were horrendous. We heard the roar that day while stood in the queue. Only just made it onto the terracing in time for Newcastle’s 2nd goal in what turned out to be a 3-1 win.
Tuesday 28th December 1993
Chelsea away the following season. Controversy beforehand was all about Chelsea charging £25 for tickets. Seems like small change now. The other problem that day was the snow. We stopped half way there just to check the game was still on as progress down the A1 was slow to say the least. Anyway, the bus eventually got stuck in traffic in West London so we all piled off the bus and started running along the King’s Road as the game had kicked off about ten minutes ago. We missed a certain Gavin Peacock scoring, or so someone led us to believe, he was playing in blue by now though. The only goal that day was actually scored by Mark Stein. So again the roar heard while outside coupled with further pain of having to hump the old Toon Travel flag to the top tier of that stand seemed like our Everest. The attendance that Christmas holiday for the current European Champions (ludicrous to think possible then) to look back proudly on was 23,133.
Friday 5th February 2010
More recently Cardiff and a 5-1 home win. Another occasion I got in just in time to see the second goal after 5 minutes!! I think I was late getting the bus and subsequently getting to the boozer, coupled with Friday night revellers causing congestion. That’s my version of events anyway and I’m sticking to it. That game was my last in the Leazes middle tier where I’d sat since it first opened. Three of us thought ‘bollocks we’re moving to Level 7 ASAP’ – best decision we made, well until we got moved to Strawberry Corner!!
Man City at home again. We didn’t actually miss the goals but very close to doing so. This was one of those moments where you appear into the jowls of the stand and the pitch opens up in front of you. The first thing we saw was Gareth bloody Barry slotting in their first. By the time I’d walked up the stairs to my seat and turned around to discuss what had just happened, that nice Carlos Tevez was sliding in a second. I’ll blame another late drink by Bilbao for that one, or it may have just been the climb up the stairs that saw me off that time, if not a last minute wee on reaching the concourse.
Well sometimes, if you’re not one of those who gets there early, you run the risk of heavy traffic, crowd congestion or more stairs than you realised. My personal view is that if Bilbao fancies another drink and it’s only 15mins to KO tell him you’ll just see him inside the ground!! Since I’m now in the Strawberry Corner I’ve pretty much arrived in plenty of time as I leave the boozer around the same time as before but it’s obviously a lot less distance and height to travel than Level 7. (Ed: Lateral Thinking!)
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