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Mr Grumpy

By Big Bri

Last Friday in the early evening my world was full of joy and optimism, Millwall were due to play Fulham at the Den and with the Lions home record victory was certain.

In order to watch this game I am sorry to report I paid the appalling Rupert Murdoch his ransom money for a day pass, namely £7.99. I really should have had more sense. Having run Fulham off their feet in the first half I rang my Fulham friend Ron in London and gave him some stick.

From that moment on the Lions were totally outplayed and I am too ashamed to tell you his response after full time.

On Saturday Portsmouth also stumbled on their way to a play-off place by losing by the only goal at home to close rivals Charlton, and on television I watched Eastleigh lose to league leaders Macclesfield.

However all of this mattered little as the big one was still to come, the FA cup semi- final Southampton against Chelsea at Wembley.

On the age-old basis that things happen in threes I was convinced that all the bad vibes had disappeared and later in the year Saints supporters would be walking up Wembley Way for the real thing.

Just after 2pm the doorbell rang and my grandchildren, resplendent in their Saints gear, filed in to watch the match. As a matter of interest my granddaughter favours the away shirt which she feels is far more sophisticated.

Although my grandson freely predicted that Saints would lose, by half time after surviving the Chelsea storm even he was beginning to believe that there was a possibility of success.

However cometh the hour cometh the French bearded chevalier yet again to pour misery on the English with a goal out of “strictly come dancing”.

What feet, what poise and one of the best goals I have ever seen.

Unfortunately for Saints fans it is likely to dominate every cup round up programme rather in the manner that Newcastle fans had to suffer Ronnie Radford’s 30 yard strike for Hereford United In 1972.

After all this misery at least I could rely on table-topping Hampshire to give those mouthy brown caps of Surrey a good hiding.

After dismissing the home side for 211 in the first innings the future at last looked rosy, but in the final analysis to lose by 139 runs having scored a massive 333 in the fourth innings can only mean the wheels came off somewhere in the middle.

It is interesting to note that Surrey played seven players who had grown up in their Academy and their two match winners Ollie Pope and Amir Virdi are aged 20 and 19 respectively.

The only ray of hope for the future was the performance of the new signing Sam Northeast who in scoring a century held the second innings together. It is to be hoped that along with Hashim Amla the middle order will be strengthened.

After such a weekend “Things can only get better”.

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