I used to support Brighton and Hove Albion, when I lived in Brighton ie through the 50s and 60s. I was a keen supporter, often travelling also to away matches. I remember Bradford City as a football team we could never quite beat. In fact I still remember the time we did manage to take point off them with a 3-3 draw. It was September 1964 (I didn't remember the date exactly; I had to look it up. I hope my memory isn't going.). Anyway, Bradford are still (or more precisely - again) in the bottom division. Yet last week, they achieved what no other club has managed - they beat a Premiership team and progressed to the final of the League Cup (now called the Capital One Cup). And they did it in style and fully deserved it. Congratulations to them!
So. buoyed by this success, and feeling guilty about my unfulfilled New Year resolution of the last three years, I thought it was time I went to see AFC Wimbledon play. AFC are currently struggling a bit. They have been bottom of the division, the same division as Bradford, so in practice bottom of the League. They are currently second from bottom, so not yet much progress. They have made amazing progress through the divisions to reach the League itself, but there is a fear (not among the supporters I might add) that they have advanced to their level of incompetence.
On Thursday, they were playing Port Vale, who are top of the division. Before the match therefore, a draw would have seemed a good result. Sadly, although they filled us with hope for most of the match by leading 2-0, AFC's resolve crumbled towards the end and their lead was overtaken, resulting in the draw we had initially expected and not a win after all. Anyway, a good result to take one point and I thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgia of the match, reminding me of those days at Brighton - standing on the terrace, mingling with visiting fans, within touching distance of the panting, shouting players, and indeed the sheer physically of the play (with very few fouls awarded), not the namby-pamby, highly-paid, glossy, almost non-contact game of the Premiership (which teams I can't actually afford to go and watch). I shall have to go and watch AFC more often . . .
Here they are, as seen from the terraces.