Saturday, May 12, 2007

12 May 2007: Ticket

Went down to St Mary's at 8.15 this morning.

There was a rumour floating yesterday around the internet that the Saints - Derby playoff game was sold out. Then at lunchtime the ticket office announced that Derby had returned a bunch of tickets and thus there were more for sale. Poo, thought I, as I sat as my desk attempting to wrestle something useful out of UIMA while simultaneously attempting to find time to visit a Notary Public to authorise a copy of my passport (and that's a whole other story: I have to apply for a US tax number despite the fact I don't live there, I never have lived there, I have no income from there and the only connection with there is my wife, who also lives and works exclusively in the UK). So no chance of getting a ticket - indeed no thought even of trying to get a ticket.

However, checking the official website again before beddy-byes last night, and they said there were 800 tickets left for the home leg, available for open sale from 9am at the ticket office. Go for it, said Mrs McRae-Spencer, and that was enough for me. Up at 7, out the door at 8 and cycled down to the stadium by 8.15 to find a queue already in place including a man sitting on a fold-away chair and about eight people who looked like they'd been there all night. After a kind gentleman separated those queueing to buy tickets and those queueing just to pick up tickets they'd paid for, I found myself twenty-first in the line, meaning that unless everyone in front of me bought 40 tickets I'd be able to get my seat. (Isn't it odd, by the way, the things you think of at times like this?)

Phoned Leaside Way to see if Kev was around and wanted to come on a spur-of-the-moment decision but sadly the chess club seems to have won his affections over the Saints at present, as he had already left. Then up rolled the ticket window covers, and as everyone moved to the different positions I found myself second - second - in line. And sure enough, three minutes later, there I was with my ticket for the noon kick off playoff first leg, Saints' biggest match since Man Ure sent us down a couple of years ago.

The thing that confuses me a little is this: these tickets became available, according to the official website and ticket office, because Derby returned some of their unwanted ones. So how, dear blogophile, do we explain the fact that not only am I in a Saints supporter section, but I'm actually on the diametrically opposite corner of the ground from the Derby fans? Yup, I'm in the Chapel End, notorious for being the 'library' of St Mary's where any shout is greeted by glances from neighbouring (and generally older) fans who give you a look like you just shouted 'AYYY- men' in the middle of the Archbishop of Canterbury's easter sermon. (Which, incidentally, we didn't, in fact the acoustics were so bad we could barely hear him despite sitting almost directly underneath the pulpit, and that's another story again).

So anyway, forty minutes from now I'll head off down Portswood Road, through Bevois Valley and back to St Mary's for my first and last game of the season. Just drinking Wittards lemon-and-lime tea right now to get my voice-box in order (don't want to sound like LaKisha on this week's American Idol... that last note was the nail in her Idol coffin) and see if I can remember the songs...

'When I was just a little boy...'

Postscript: The match itself does not merit another blog entry. Saints lost 2-1, after taking an early lead, largely due to the usual very dubious refereeing, Saints hitting the bar twice, Pele giving away a truly dumb penalty and Kenwyne Jones missing some really quite simple chances. Both Saints and Derby have been greatly inconsistent this season, and so it showed through the game. Now highly unlikely for Saints to get through, but still, roll on next Tuesday and the away leg... two clear goals or penalties...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where's that damn away goals rule when you need it!!!

taxi for Leon Best.