Elation to Frustration
Friday 15th January 2016
When the dust settles over Wednesday’s crazy game, a point from Anfield is never a bad result. We are all very aware of that. Having somehow got our noses in front and defended that lead well and relatively comfortably for such a long time however, it was extremely frustrating to lose two points so late in the game. Disappointed? I wouldn’t say that is how I felt. Frustrated? Definitely.
The facts around our trip to Anfield back in November 1962 seem part of a different football world when you look at both how Liverpool dominated football through the late seventies and eighties and what they aspire to today. Their previous eight seasons had been spent in the second tier of English football for starters, something that seems almost beyond comprehension today. Looking at the league table that day, they also looked a million miles from the side that went on to win the league 2 years later under one of football’s most famous characters Bill Shankly. In the relegation zone after 16 games in a league where over half of the teams do not grace this current season’s top flight, our 2-1 defeat that day went some way to helping their plight if it did completely the opposite to us.
What it does demonstrate however, is Anfield has always been an extremely tough place to go and win. We have done that of course, some occasions being more famous that others but it will never be a fixture we will ever look at as a comfortable three points.
Getting up just after 6am on a cold Wednesday in January is never going to be fun and also seems a little bit extreme for a game that doesn’t kick-off until 8pm but having chosen to use the country’s rail network on this occasion that is what our group needed to do. After all, these days you must catch the train your ticket allows. There night not have been much gloss to train travel and the sandwiches available on board definitely were a little ‘tired’ but there’s none of the “let’s just get up and get on any service that will get us there” like we all enjoyed back in the days of British Rail!
Our trains however, were all on schedule so I have little to moan about apart from every company insisting that just because it is a little bit chilly outside they need to put the heaters on full blast and keep us all bubbling away as if we were sat in a sauna!
Arriving in fine spirits we checked into our hotel along with the huge number of Scandinavian and Irish Liverpool fans doing the same thing and we headed on a mini tour of some of the city centre’s hostelries before making our way to a very wet Anfield for the main event.
The first half was entertaining I think it is fair to say (especially for a neutral) and to be level at half time was probably just about fair. Having gone behind twice however, I think we were all happier than our hosts at that stage.
We came out of the second half blocks quickly and needed that goal to compliment that dominance. Olly’s superb turn and finish made sure we got just that and it was total carnage in the away end.
Only our host’s late equaliser prevented it from being a memorable victory.
It meant the aftermath back in the city centre was a little subdued of course, but thinking about it through the delicacy of the following day’s journey back south a Wednesday night in January was hardly going to resemble Las Vegas.
We’ll take that point and keep positive as we head up to the Potteries and arguably our least favourite away game of the season. Our hosts enjoy playing us at home it seems. Their record against us dictates they will be confident and feel they can continue their success in this fixture.
We need to be up for and I’m sure we will be.
Come on you mighty yellows!!