The Magical Mystery Tour

Newry City AFC supporter ‘Belfast City’ recently gave his outlook on how the season is progressing thus far.

The Magical Mystery Tour

by ‘Belfast City’

February 09 –  CIS Cup Final, April 12 – Irish Cup Semi Final, March 14 – Mid Ulster Intermediate B, Brownstown Park….. lonely, anxious, bereft? No chance when you support a club that refused to die and which at present is playing mainly, entertaining, winning football, all combined with the opportunity to visit new and exotic venues such as Laurelvale.

The village of Laurelvale was founded in the mid 19th Century and although the linen mill has been demolished, the red brick houses built for the workers remain as a reminder of our economic and social history. Heading for the ground on that December afternoon I could hear the evocative sound of Dvorak’s Symphony No 9 (that’s the Hovis Bread Ad music for the uninitiated). The omens felt good. Don’t ask why, they just did.

The compact pitch was marked out on what appeared to be common grazing ground and was not conducive to our penchant for silky football. What we were witnessing was more of the polyester variety. After our obligatory, once a game, miss of this or any other season, we finally took the lead midway through the second half. However, the hosts refused to buckle and after a period of pressure equalized with a 35 yard effort which appeared to take a deflection off a burial mound en route into the bottom corner.

The tension was now palpable and a request was made from a local supporter that we refrain from expressing ourselves with such colourful language. While still in the process of composing an alternative lexicon for the Travel Bus crew, the same gent informed his companions that he expected more from us as a team, considering the facilities and resources at our disposal. Realizing these were nothing more than the musings of many Manchester Utd fans regarding their team this season, I promptly pilfered a prawn sandwich from his faux leather man bag and enlightened him of his dubious parentage. OK, the last bit isn’t true.

With time running out changes were made and we went close on several occasions before bundling one in at the back post. Cue orgasmic, or at least, over the top celebrations, as we politely thumbed our noses at the village people. It doesn’t matter who the opposition are or where the venue is, nothing beats a last minute winner. Christmas had been saved.

I’ve refrained from naming any players in deference to our management team who adhere to the Brendan Rodgers school of thought in that it’s all about the collective, the group. If you don’t want to buy in, then, as has been the case for one high profile combatant, you can pack up your old kit bag and, not to put too fine a point on it, sling your hook. The rest of us are on board and looking forward to the trip to Broomhedge, motivated and focused.