Another Late Jostle
Tuesday 26th August 2014
Walking back to the car on Saturday evening the Everton fans around us looked absolutely shellshocked. Understandably so of course but it did demonstrate how even the way a game goes can determine our emotions whether that changes the result or not. To us it felt almost like a victory, yet had we let a two goal lead slip late on it would have felt completely the opposite, despite the result being exactly the same. As we set off on our journey that morning we all agreed we would take a point. Given the way the game went we were even more happy with achieving just that as we travelled back south!
The M6 might be the longest motorway in the country but I can’t be the only one that hates using it! Some roads have got busier down the years but this one seems to have been ridiculously ‘stop start’ as far back as I remember. So the journey on Saturday being just that should not have come as a major shock! Fortunately we always try and allow for delays by leaving nice and early so a couple of jars of pre-match refreshment in our usual haunt had us heading for the away end in good spirits.
Goodison Park definitely falls into that ‘traditional’ category when it comes to stadia and our section is included in that description. With posts holding the roof up the viewing isn’t great from the upper tier and if my memory serves me right the lower is possibly even worse!
I felt we started the game quite well but 2 more soft goals being conceded is a little worrying, even if the second one was clearly offside. It certainly made the half time atmosphere one of frustration and disappointment. Mr Wenger could obviously see the tactics in the first half had not really worked and unusually he made a change that was to prove hugely significant at half time, Olly coming on and almost immediately getting us back in the game with a volley if he hadn’t caught quite as sweet as he did may well have hit the back of the net.
Time seemed to be flying by however and a come back was looking less and less likely. Rambo’s typical run into the box saw him nudge home Santi’s cross however, we were back in it.
I have always been a fan of a ‘jostle’ when we score. They come from days standing on the terraces of Highbury. Both important and in particular late goals add an extra vigour to such occasions and Olly’s fine header saw a fine example ensue. Undertaking these in today’s seated areas does have its pitfuls, mainly the minor injuries that can result from the general leaping about with joy. They seem a small price to pay however, when you have just equalised late on when it looked so unlikely. A point from a tough tough game, we’ll have that.
On an extremely bumpy pitch in a white hot atmosphere last week’s draw in Istanbul looks a decent result. Just how good it was however, will be determined by how we do in Wednesday’s second leg. We know our visitors will be up for it both on and off the pitch. Its up to us to make sure we are too.
Come on you mighty reds!