Those who the gods wish to destroy they first send on an 800 mile round trip. Morpeth Town must be wondering exactly which of the inhabitants of Olympus they’d annoyed as this match was lost for them within about a minute of the opening. That’s how long it took for a melee to break out, the only conceivable outcome of which was a red card for the instigator. Sadly for the visitors that was a man dressed in red – a colour that became too apt for the men from the northeast as, embarrassingly, they deservedly finished their Vase run with eight men on the pitch as frustration gave way to recklessness as their dream of glory ebbed away.
There was some football which was just as well as this was my younger son’s first taste of live soccer. He loved it. Backing ‘the whites’ (Eastbourne United Association FC) he got to cheer goals for them at regular intervals as a 4-0 half time lead became a 6-1 rout. He also got a giant hot dog and a Twix. I wouldn’t like to say what he enjoyed most or what he’ll actually remember. The only memory I have of my first game is two number fours jumping for the same ball – but that match finished 0-0 and my dad ranks it amongst the worst he’s ever seen. I didn’t get a Twix.
In between explaining what was going on, toilet runs, food stops and general distractedness I did manage to take some pictures. They are here.
Eastbourne now get to call themselves FA Vase Quarter Finalists which is something they could last do 35 years ago – which actually just predates my first live football match so I don’t need to feel too old yet. If the next game attracts an equal interest amongst the immortals they may yet reach the semi final and beyond that lies the promised land of Wembley. It’s just crazy enough to come true.