I still look back at Sunday's football and think even Eastenders couldn't have come up with an end to the season like the one that unfolded in Manchester. On second thoughts, given some of the storylines in Eastenders it is possible they could had there been a couple of football teams in Walford. Just a thought, What ever happened to Walford United? They figured prominently in the story line for a few months about 20 years ago but have since vanished. Not gone into liquidation have they?
Anyway, before we go to Manchester there was the little matter of Torquay United and their attempt to make it into Division One. Like Man U, a few weeks before the end of the season they look like automatic promotion was on the cards but faltered in the last few games and had to settle for a play off spot. They played on Sunday against Cheltenham and lost 2 nil which means on Thursday in the second leg that have to win 3 nil or 4 - 1 or 5 - 2. Not beyond them but a bit of a challenge.
To Manchester now, I used to be a regular at Old Trafford, back in the glory days of Charlton, Law and Best. Then a move away from Manchester and the violence that attended football in the seventies plus refereeing local teams for many years meant I stopped going. But I still like them to win. And Man U looked like they were going to win before pressing the self destruct button at Wigan and Everton. Then the game against Man City where they played like they had all been out on the biggest pub crawl Manchester had ever seen the night before.
In the end a win at Sunderland would be no use if City were to beat QPR. And we all know that City were two down after 90 minutes and Man U had won at Sunderland, Championship Trophy was going to Old Trafford yet again. Well as our American cousins say, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings." And in the 5 minutes before the said lady did sing QPR had two goals knocked past them and the taxi with the trophy in it had to change it's destination.
The other game I did watch on Sunday night was the Stoke V Bolton game. Bolton needed to win and QPR to lose to avoid a drop down to the division below. Well QPR did lose but Bolton only drew. They should have won because the first goal Stoke scored must by all the rules concerning contact with the goalkeeper were broken by the Stoke player who shoulder charged the keeper in the chest while the keeper had hold of the ball which ended in the net. Desperately unfair, but then I remembered the 1958 Cup Final, I was there and watched with disbelief as Nat Loufthouse (centre forward, Bolton and England) bungled United keeper Harry Gregg and ball into the net and the ref gave a goal. The saying, "What comes around goes around" came to mind but only half heartedly. 54 years is too long a time to hold a grudge I expect.
Then Stoke's second goal came when the Bolton keeper dived and pushed the ball away and the Stoke play ran in to the keepers legs, fell over and the ref, to just about everyone's amazement gave a penalty. Bolton drew 2 all and went down.
Funny old game, football.