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|You Beauty Baz!|
Big Bald Baz’s Beauty Buries Bury
By: Chris Smith
I’M glad to get rid of the nightmare headlines even if this one is a bit Sun-esque and not that original. In an eerie repeat of last season, we’ve got our first win of the season at Bury whilst backed by a loud travelling support. Whilst not the world’s biggest fan of drums in grounds, it certainly helped the away end to outsing the home fans today.
I was quietly confident today though I didn’t share this optimism with anyone. Although we have had a few beltings this season, the Rotherham game gave some good pointers, and given that Bury have lost two at home in both competitions so far, something had to give. This dispelled any lazy notions of spending the day in the garden although it was still a tempting proposition. I should say my overgrown garden. My mower won’t be taking part in mating calls any more as I bust it yesterday and when I flung it in the shed in disgust, a spade fell down and gave me the best crack on the right cheekbone I’ve had since Exeter away in 1990. ‘Nuff said officer.
I was roused to move by the sight of a Donny Rovers minibus picking up ziggers (from ziggger zagger zigger zagger Don-cas-tuh) over the road on their way to friendly Middlesbrough. I’d arranged to meet Gary at Delves Café near the M18, partly because of the convenience, and also because of a meat pie famine of some weeks’ standing. A fifteen minute walk later and we were both sat outside waiting for our pre-match sustenance. One pig killing later and Gary was sorted, whilst I had a modest pie and peas and spoilt it all by having a pudding afterwards in direct contravention of medical advice. Job done and then there was only an hours run on the M62 to overcome.
Buoyed by the news that we were doing the anklet wearers in the cricket and sunny skies, could the day get any better? Well, we reasoned, it could certainly get a lot worse. But we don’t like to talk about that on the way to games. As is usual, when there are just two in the car, the topic drifts to songs of old and who recorded that etc etc. One that has been going around in the head is the Mew Musik number, "They don’t want your name, just your number", highly appropriate for any referees. We did make up some lyrics which will be going on Rob Sedgwick’s Karaoke Classics but it isn’t appropriate for this piece given that it was a play on Town’s lack of form. I’m glad we didn’t have a chance to air it tonight.
We had a scare as we were coming towards Bury and saw signs for Heywood, fearing it as an omen. Then, in a contradiction in terms, a sign for Heywood Distribution Park appeared. I have never seen those words in the same sentence before, unsurprisingly. Anyway, we were soon parked up about ten minutes from the ground, so we had a wander up and got the programme sorted out. Another good omen. What looks to be a good issue doesn’t seem to have the Leigh Edwards feature in it which was a reason why Gary stopped getting away programmes. You can only see the same positive rubbish written about players once or twice before cracking up and especially about a certain ex-player who was referred to as (guess). Bad at defending them, that’s for sure. I haven’t read it yet as I thought I’d put this together for my reader who, by the way, outnumbers Scunny’s away support.
We decided to sit outside the Swan and Cemetery near where we had parked and take advantage of a few rays. I was surprised to see only a few Town shirts there but it seemed to be a friendly boozer and popular with the home support. Definitely one for the future. Gary was wearing Town colours so got plenty of ribbing off the local youngsters as we walked to and from the ground (although not after the game!). On the way back to the ground, given that we’d been discussing 80s music, I delivered a googly with "Who did that Hyperactive tune, you know, the one with the lyrics of at the tender age of three I was hooked to a machine just to stop myself from watching Town?" We ended up back at the ground fifteen minutes before kick off, none the wiser, until Gary startled some home fans with "Thomas Dolby!" The thing is, as they were our age, I didn’t have to explain what we had just been up to, they knew that we’d spent a good bit of time tormenting ourselves with this sort of query. Definitely a bloke thing. I like the Bury fans, they are a good friendly lot, and I was also pleased and surprised to get a fanzine before paying a relatively cheap £15 to get in.
It’s a pity one of the groundsmen didn’t share the goodwill of the home support and appreciate Mighty Mariner’s presence in the goalmouth he was treating with a fork. A few words were exchanged before Mighty came towards the away fans pointing towards said employee whilst making a suspiciously rude gesture. Only when he’d checked he wasn’t looking though.
We were in the opposite stand to last season and the décor was retro to say the least with gutters in the gents. I nearly rolled in one for old time’s sake, until I realised I had stopped drinking a few years ago. It was funny to hear some of the disparaging comments of Town fans on encountering these bearing in mind the Vietcong would have outlawed the ones at Town for being too small a cage, and at least the Mancs provide soap in theirs. The refreshment bar was very 70s as well but none the worse for that. I find Bury a good ground and can only assume that the "My garden shed..." chant was delivered in post irony given that Gigg Lane’s capacity is considerably larger than ours. The main stand to our left has plenty of character, although our only response to it in the game was a chant of "We forgot that you were here" aimed at its somnolescent inhabitants during a rare peep from them in the first half.
Eventually we saw a few of our regular crowd enter the ground. I recognise most fans at these sorts of games, and as Gary has said, it is one of the better things about being unsuccessful. Mind you, I think folk recognise us given that we seem to sit in splendid isolation a lot of the time. Given that we have one of the better away supports, the other team’s fans must be on each other’s Christmas card lists given their paucity of numbers. Our regular steward in the Upper Findus was there for a busman’s holiday so we pointed him out as a potential hoolie, as you do.
The article continues in Part 2
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