I was due to play for my college first team on the Saturday but snow had fallen over-night and the game was pending a pitch inspection at 11. Eleven came and past and at ten past I received confirmation that the game was off, a shame after the morning sun had done its best to thaw out the pitches. Embarrassment had been delayed for the opposition; the magic of the Durham University Inter-Collegiate Cup had drawn us, Hild Bede A, against Collingwood college G. Yes G. That's Collingwood's 7th team.
The cancellation meant that I wasn't to miss Saturday brunch; the finest meal in college which allows you to choose seven items of a full English fry-up. Its actually six items and a croissant or a crumpet and I made the huge mistake of attempting to choose seven normal items. Beans were sacrificed for a hash brown and ultimately, my breakfast was ruined. Can't win them all.
Today was Durham City day, the first time we were to attend a Saturday fixture and so this meant one thing; pub. At home, the pre-match pub trip completes my footballing experience and so at 1.30, the eight of us piled into the Queen's Head, a pub we'd found was en route to the ground. The lunchtime kick off was on and Jack Pepper a.ka. Sergeant Pep, Doctor Pep, Pep Guardiola etc. wasn't happy; his beloved Norwich were 1-0 down to the Villa. Ben and his brother, who was visiting for the weekend, both support Reading, both wanted a draw to keep Reading away from the Premier League summit and along with Pep Guardiola, were delighted to see Michael Turner flick in a late equaliser. The rest of us weren't bothered, it was all about the Citizens for us.
Somehow we made it into the ground ten minutes before kick-off which gave Toby the chance to try fulfil his life-time ambition of owning a Durham City scarf. We were instructed that there wasn't a club shop, but items were for sale behind the bar. The bar itself was large and cheap, but sadly they had no scarves in stock. Toby was gutted and so I bought him a programme, price £1.50, to cheer him up. The glossy non-league programme also came with a classy photocopied handwritten team sheet, which was great in helping us learn the names of our non-league heroes.
The team was a lot different to the one we'd seen two weeks ago against Penrith. In two weeks, new manager Adam Furness had brought in nine new faces and released three. Six of the new signings were unknown to us but we knew three. Both Spencer Brown and Johnny Giles are university students, with Furness managing our university side. Johnny is actually a fresher in our college, but was out through injury. Spencer also wasn't to feature. The final name I recognised would be wearing number eight; the name of Olly Hotchkiss was one I knew, potentially because he's a Leeds academy product or potentially because I'm the world's biggest Football Manager player.
|Pale blue socks, green jersey and ridiculous side-burns. He must be non-league.|
Both Leeds and Durham had lost which made for a pretty sad day. The KFC went down a treat though; we tucked into our Boneless Banquets and Big Daddy meals whilst discussing the football, university and the things we'd like to do to Katie, the girl who served us our food. We'll be going back there again if the food is as good and the service as beautiful.