It was the prospective giant-killing that tasted so sweet for those minutes it seemed madly possible, and this brilliant account (with fabulous photos) by Hobo Tread captures the big day out for Havant & Waterlooville fans perfectly. A little taster:
Only 41, 989 more than our last home league game then.
About an hour and a half before kick-off, whilst in the Flat Iron pub a short walk down from the Anfield Road away end, one of my regular associates, Chris, suggested that he didn’t feel any different than prior to any normal big-day-out away game; before an Eastbourne; a Lewes; a Bath City or such. In the pub, with chums, looking forward to the game – always fantastic. After all, you’ve never lost at this point of any Saturday. I felt the same, the difference being that I don’t usually spend nine whole days before going to, I dunno, Sutton, feeling at once anxious, giddy and consumed by belly fizz.
This is not to say that we did not appreciate the enormity of the occasion, but we’re tossing out these BIGGEST! GAME! EVER!’s like mints at a Halitosis Anonymous blue-cheese and cigars away-day at the minute; we barely get a chance to allow one to sink in, before another comes along. Just a week and a half to enjoy beating, quite comfortably I might add, the side currently romping away at the top of League One? It’s not bloody good enough I tells ya! Who might I complain to?
The walk from the Flat Iron made all the difference. Suddenly I’m happening upon people I haven’t seen in over a decade, since my college days; upon a friend who lives in Blackpool, here with his sister and fiancé who have come up from Havant for the day. Joke as we regulars might about daytrippers and Johnny-Come-Latelys, but when it comes down to it, I am delighted to see so many people excited about, and indeed present at, a Havant & Waterlooville game.
A great many will not have been to a game before, and of those, a fair majority will probably never do so again, but it certainly can’t hurt to have 6,000 people taking an interest. Up until a month ago, people asking who I supported would usually follow my answer with an incredulous exclamation. Usually ‘Who?’ sometimes ‘where?’, and once or twice ‘Why?’ Of course, given our double-teamed moniker, the clever-clever retort would be ‘Which?’ However, l reckon I’ll be waiting a long time on that one, or indeed to hear again any of the others as unless I talk to someone that’s been living beneath a rock that’s underneath a big sheet of thick tarpaulin, below an ever bigger rock, I reckon they’ll have a fair idea. “Ah yes, the famous Havant ‘Looville – you were going to Wem-ber-lee, is that right?”. Yes. Yes it i