1 Leg On The Cup: Semi Final Part 3
The second half is only a few minutes old when the ‘did it / didn’t it’ moment came as Juan Mata peeled off in celebration after scoring the 2nd for Chelsea? We had absolutely no idea if it was a goal or not, in fact we thought a penalty had been given when we seen John Terry on the floor with his arms spread like he was appealing to the ref. A moment or 2 later the blue side of the stadium erupted & the scoreboard changed to 0-2.
A more relaxed mood now with the Chelsea fans sat with us, but that soon disappeared on 56 minutes when Adebayor went one-on-one with Cech & looked certain to score! The striker & keeper both ended up in a heap in the penalty area but the ultra-quick Bale was on hand to slot the ball home in front of the Spurs fans! If only he wouldn’t do that stupid love heart goal celebration after scoring! 1-2.
The next 20 minutes seen Chelsea turning the screw & gaining the upper hand, Mata sends in the perfect pass for Ramires, who had slipped Assou Ekotto & was now goal side of the defender & took his chance to put Chelsea further in front with a little dink over Cudicini. 1-3.
With just 10 minutes left , me & the big fella are fairly confident this will be done & dusted within normal time giving us at least a fair chance of catching the 9.51 out of Euston. Step up & take a bow Mr. Frank Lampard! WOW! It’s the only word i can think of & if you’re not sure what i’m on about then go & check it out on the ITV i-Player! 1-4.
However, this was cause for concern for us. On the one hand this will definitely be all over in 90 mins but on the other hand the Spurs fans are now flocking out of the stadium in droves! “i can’t really see anyone heading North can you?” the Rhino asks me as more & more empty seats become visible to our left.
84 minutes on the clock & 85,000 people that will ALL be heading for that London as soon as the ref blows for time! “stick or twist 1 leg?” and by the time he had finished asking the question we were sadly looking for the nearest exit ;-( we hate leaving before time at any game but this was worse as it was the biggest game yet but we just couldn’t risk it…. DAM!
I just had time to buy one of them half & half scarves from the stall outside as we headed for the over ground station. The temporary barriers were in place zig-zagging us to the station entrance and by the time we had to stop we reckoned there was maybe 500 people in front of us.
Everyone in the que was a spurs fan, a very sombre & quiet gathering all with that ‘i just can’t believe it’ look on their face, this was no time for me & the big fella to crack jokes or even be happy yet inside i was still buzzing from the fantastic football experience Wembley had just given me. A big cheer went up from the stadium in the distance & i, along with everyone else thought that was the final whistle until various phones started beeping with the news of Malouda’s injury time 5th goal filtered through! This news didn’t go down very well at all, and we also blended in well with sheer disappointment at missing a goal, although nobody knew that
I’ve said it before but the Rhino IS a logistical genius! I’m still not sure how it happened but at 8.05 we were stood with hundreds of people in front of us & we still had a bit of a journey to do. We got the 2nd train out of Wembley, a tube to somewhere, up some steps, down an escalator to another tube before we popped up at Kings Cross with the hotel in sight!
I just use the big fella like a blocker in American football in situations like this or a tiny child holding on to Mummy’s coat belt & just try and keep up! With our bags now in-hand we were back on the tube for the one stop journey & sat in the station bar with a beer for 9.15! Brilliant!
So after all the perfect planning to get back to Euston on time it turns out the train was delayed by 15 minutes! In fact it wasn’t even there; we had to wait for a service coming in from Piccadilly & for it to be ‘prepared’ before we could depart.
Once we finally boarded the train we found our reserved seats, we had 2 isle seats opposite each other on a table of 4, the 2 window seats were already taken by a young couple & when i looked back at the big fella saying “we’re in these 2” the young girl looked at me and with a smart look on her face said “well this is going to be a bit of a squeeze if YOU’RE sitting here!” laughing quite loudly because she hadn’t seen the Rhino yet i said “don’t worry love, i’ll sit here my mate can sit next to you” the look on her face was priceless when the big fella came into view saying “come on darlin’, budge up don’t be shy” lol lol lol stuck up cow!
Once again though, the Rhino had a cunning plan! We took our new seats in the first class carriage & when the guard came to collect the £30 weekend up-grade charge the Rhino re-negotiated the price to £10 because the train was late & a mess! The guy is a logistical genius
The driver made up the time & we were back in Manchester for just after 1 in the morning where my one & only offspring was there waiting for us bless him. On the way back we jotted down a few questions we want to throw at David Barber next week, if you was going to meet a bloke with such a vast knowledge & experience of FA Cup football, what would you ask him? I’m going to turn the interview into a blog & post it next week sometime if all goes well…. i’m quite looking forward to it