I was out with work last night but the guy (my mate!)who sits next to me in the East was there. Here you go! (Thanks Pete).
A soulless, desolate place is Milton Keynes! Or so I’m led to believe, last night was only my third visit to this “new” town. I’d last been there on a training course and prior to that to see Bowie back in the early eighties. I’ve never actually seen the town centre or its environ so can’t comment on concrete cows and concrete jungles. If it is so bad, then luckily the Stadium MK is not in MK at all but on the outskirts of Bletchley, so not a cow or jungle to be seen. So my first visit to Stadium MK. Set amid business and industrial estates, parking was easy, there were fast food outlets nearby if that was your wont, and access to the ground and gates uncomplicated. The oval shape of this stadium lends far more character than those rectangular outcroppings of say The Reebok, Weston Homes Community stadium (or whatever Colchesters ground is called) and The New Den, and on entering you can see that a great view can be had from anywhere in the ground. Must mention what a pleasure to be served an ice cold bottle of lager in a queue free bar!
It’s a shame that MK Dons crowds are that low, that it’s felt there is no need to finish the interior of this stadium by putting the rest of the seats in, it’s unlikely that there will be a need to rectify that in the near future, but if it were ever finished and the place was ever packed, I can imagine quite an atmosphere.
So to the game. Listen! If you were no good at football as a kid, and never played much as an adult, you became a referee, or played rugby, or became interested in stats, formation, strategies and tactics. Dave did at least two of those things (he’s never been a ref as far as I know) so his ability to comment on games is far greater than my own, I can’t watch a game and remember every detail like he does. We sit together at home games and his opinion often differs from my own, in part because I’ve played since I was a kid and still do, that combined with my short sightedness even with glasses on, makes our viewpoints not necessarily opposite, just different. I think that if I had to concentrate so much on the game in order to be able to write this blog, my enjoyment would diminish. I’m lazy, I go along to be entertained and to watch my team win, hopefully.
The first five minutes of this encounter saw five shots at goal, three for MK all on target, two to the Addicks, all off. It looked like this was going to be an entertaining encounter, and the boys in red were showing a fair bit of class early doors. Hamer had to make a couple of good saves and BWP and Hayes both got into good positions without creating too much. On twenty minutes, a tangle of legs just inside the box, had me thinking penalty, and there weren’t too many dissenting voices around me as the ref blew the whistle and duly pointed to the spot. Shaun Williams stepped up and dispatched the pen with aplomb and the franchisees were 1-0 up. The reds got a bit scrappy after this, with players in red shirts challenging for the same ball, communication going missing and the general passing games employed so successfully in the season thus far, going to pieces. Hamer had to make a tremendous save in the latter part of the half, and we went into the break the one goal down.
Second half kicking towards the away fans, we looked lively again and some good combination play saw a few chances for the reds, but Hamer once again had to save smartly to keep us in the game. Jackson and Morrison both had decent heading chances but failed to place the ball on target. Chrissy made a change on around seventy minutes, bringing on Green for the once more ineffective Wagstaff. Green looked lost when he first came on and I wondered whether a mistake had been made. A second substitution five minutes later saw Kermorgant come on for Hayes. Kermits first touch was a free header that went just wide of the post. A few minutes later and Green got into the game with a superb cross, that was headed goalward by his fellow sub, hit the left hand post and went in off of the keepers backside., 1-1. The remaining 15 minutes of the game saw efforts at both ends, with Jackson spurning a glorious chance with a free header going over the bar. Hamer, once more had to make a couple of very decent stops, he’s looking a pretty good keeper to me.
Chrissy made his final substitution with 8 or so minutes to go, when he brought on Hughes for BWP, and was obviously settling for the draw. No-one appeared to tell his team that as we continued to attack and left ourselves open at the back. It was quite a relief when the ref blew up after 4 minutes of added time. All in all not the greatest performance by the boys in red this season, and against better oppo than this we might have been punished, but on the balance of play a fair result I suppose. A crowd of over eight thousand was announced, but for that to be true there must have been for thousand travelling Addicks, somehow I doubt that. Why can’t clubs change “attendance” to “tickets sold” or something? So that I can stop getting annoyed when the number is announced, it’s the same both home and away.
So a reasonable evenings entertainment, slow journey home due to the M1 and M25 roadworks, in by eleven thirty for a cup of tea and a chat with the Mrs, then off to the land of nod.
Thanks Dave, for letting me guest on the blog, hope to do the same again some time. Bye all.