Posted by sean on August 10, 2009 at 10:32 pm in Bath City with No Comments

Saturday saw the start of the football season and with it, one of the longest trips I ever had to make to watch Bath City.

The journey to Chelmsford, while far away, shouldn’t have taken as long as it did. There were, however, major road works on the M25, which lead to various diversions and traffic jams. We arrived with under an hour to go before kick off – the players arriving later still. Not a good start.

While waiting for the match to start, I went on the hunt for lunch. The burger van, the only source of food, looked very unappetising, offering more chance of salmonella than a decent meal. After trying somebody’s chips, which tasted like they had been leftover from last season, I decided against the burger – I don’t want to spend my 2 weeks off in hospital suffering with some unpleasant illness.

The foul food didn’t put the wasps off, who swarmed around the fans – mainly me. One landed on my nose, while another tried to land on my eyeball. I was amazed I didn’t get stung.

The game started well and City looked like they would start the season with a victory and not a repeat of the 4-0 defeat on the opening day 12 months ago. Then, out of nothing, City’s goalkeeper, Willem Puddy, had a moment of madness, dropping the ball, allowing Chelmsford to score.

Then it went bad. Either he had placed a bet on with Paddy Power on a 12-0 Chelmsford win, or had been on the Bath Rugby boy’s magic powder – he conceded a further 3 goals in 10 minutes. Bollocks. Then, to add to the insanity, he saved a penalty!

One of the reasons Puddy may have struggled was the fact he had to play in a sandpit during the first half of the game. Not only is beach football a lot harder than the regular game, but as a young keeper, Puddy was no doubt tempted to build a sandcastle, when he should be making saves.

Then, at 4-0 down, City then went on to score 3 goals, nearly pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in the entire history of football (probably).

The day almost turned into a total disaster when we got back to the car park to see the coach had wet itself. Could we be stranded in Essex for the rest of the day? Luckily, coaches can leak water, and we were able to make the long trip back home to Somerset to sleep and reflect on a day of very mixed emotions.

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