It’s been a very long day and I’m gutted about the result – a one nil defeat – or rather the manner of defeat. You can read a full match report on the official Swans site, but I’ll give my lowdown on the day’s events here anyway!
My journey to Ipswich (in deepest Suffolk) started with a 7am departure from Swansea onboard a Kia Sedona with the Dieters Bar Jacks (my inaugural journey with this renowned motley crew). The tone for the 5 hour journey was set by GM (aka Helmet Rarch) with his detailed description of the contents of the Sunday Sport – purchased by NR (aka Hans Allover) – which is a cross between the Sun and Readers Wives for those of you not in the know. The other two members in transit (apart from moi) were AR (aka Lance) and J (aka De Engineer).
With the miles passing us by quicker than the Blubirds sliding down the Championship table, the talk on the way was of Germans, porn, buggery, toilets (one pan in particular) and sexy Sandra (who was THE voice of the SatNav system). Football wasn’t even on the radar. I won’t say anymore about the detail – but those present will know exactly what I’m referring too. One question I do have for De Engineer tho – where is THAT photo of the pan?
After a brief toilet stop in what looked like a dumping ground for 4×4’s (complete with an on-site gimp) we swiftly left the area in search of some fine food establishment which would also serve up lashings of Magners or Greene King (didn’t they sponser the Tractor boys once?). It must be said that the 4×4 area did resemble a scene out of the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘ movie – I kid you not.
We finally stopped at a cracking pub called the ‘Saracens Head‘ in Sudbury – which was about a 30 minute drive from Portman Road. With a wide variety of food on offer we all opted for different dishes – I went for the gammon and chips (which although nice, reminded me of the premium gammon steaks you get from the supermarket – NOT the gammon steak you’d get from the butchers). Bizarrely, the young lady serving us was of Welsh descent as her mother actually came from the Townhill/Penlan area of Swansea (no jokes please). Surely this was a good omen for the game – an exciled Jack in deepest Suffolk? Anyway, having consumed 3 (or was it 4?) bottles of Magners in about an hour or so I was erm a little bleary eyed to say the least and the remaining 30 minute journey was certain to test my bladder control to the max.
We left the pub at 1:30 and headed off for the ground. I must confess to failing the bladder control test miserably and my anxious requests to fill-up an empty lucozade bottle were overwhelmingly rejected by my companions – I was close to wetting my pants (for the 1st time since…. hold on I’m not saying nowt more). Thankfully for both me and my trousers I sought sanctuary in the pay and display car park near the ground, the relief was as tangeable as the rising steam (it was that cold). We headed off to the ground in amongst all of the Tractor Boys and Girls.
The ground was very compact and you felt very much on top of the players. The 2200 or so Jacks were once again in full voice and it felt like Sheffield all over again. My video of the players coming onto the pitch can be found on YouTube.
As for the game well the first 20 minutes or so belonged to Ipswich with their pace and slick passing causing the Swans problems. After that the Swans got into the game and began to frustrate the home team with their 1-5-4 formation.
However, this was not to be and half way through the 2nd half Mr Nigel Miller (the ref from County Durham) decided to award a very harsh penalty for shirt pulling – and with the resulting goal went the Swans FA Cup dreams.
The introduction of Mr Trundle spurred us on and we had 3 chances to pull back the goal deficit in the remaining time, but somehow failed to put them away (as usual). Still I’m proud of the team and the support – we both did our best but in the end, you simply can’t beat a team with the ref as their most influential player. Not that I’m bitter or anything like!
We eventually trudged away from the ground with the sound of some teenage tractor boys whining their way home (and trying to bait us at the same time). From what I understand some people took exception to this ‘baiting’ and gave them a slap, personally it’s more amusing to ignore it and go about my business – safe in the knowledge that the better team lost and that Ipswich will no doubt be out in Round 5 anyway.
The journey home was a pretty sedate affair and only being punctuated with a coffee/pee stop in Reading. Some of the lads enjoyed watching ‘Green Street‘ on the in-flight DVD whilst the rest of us either slept, listened to the Best of James Bond CD or counted the Swans fans buses we caught and passed on the way home!
We duly arrived
in Swansea at 23:15 tired, out of pocket and a tadge narked at the result (still) but as is the case whenever your on the wrong end of a result, you simply look forward to the next game with relish – in my case Cheltenham away next Saturday.
As for my initiation with the Dieters Bar crew, thankfully that seemed to be all forgotten by the time we got home. But I’ll still be on my guard come the next trip just in case – if they invite me along next time that is!