Ask someone if they fancy watching Jamaica play India, and the chances are they will immediately conjure up images of Sabina Park baking under a blazing sun. But the sporting showdowns between Jamaica and India are poised to take on a different dimension in two matches over the next few days.
Personally, I would’ve been quietly pleased with a point. A return to stability, to steady progress towards wherever-we’re-hoping-to-end-up. A draw, especially if we’d managed to score in the process, would’ve been all right, really. Not too bad. We would’ve been slightly reassured after the savage defeat at Fratton, and could’ve looked forward with renewed semi-enthusiasm to a season of predictable results, mid-table comfort, steady improvement. For now, I’m content with looking to the long-term, always understating short-term hopes.
The side we played that day were really an embryonic MK Dons. In May the FA had given the go ahead for the then owners of Wimbledon to relocate the club to Milton Keynes, although they wouldn’t actually move for another year. In response the supporters of Wimbledon re-launched the club as AFC Wimbledon and by the time of this game were already playing in the Combined Counties League which explains the rather empty away end.
Lets just pretend Tommy Smith doesn’t fall over whilst celebrating Allan Nielsen’s goal.
BSAD report:When else do I get to write a match report that can be as biased and as blinkered as I like, safe in the knowledge that there were no opposition fans present to offer conflicting witness statements?
Taken from 26 Aug 2002 Watford v Coventry City programme
Ray Lewington’s first programme notes.
Personally, I feel involved again. Apart from anything else, we worked really, really hard last night, and it was nigh on impossible to feel detached when faced with the possibility that all that effort might not be rewarded in some small way. An imperfect performance, perhaps. An almost embarrassingly honest and willing one too, however, and you felt that a Millwall winner and consequent fury from the stands might be too much for a open, slightly vulnerable, increasingly hearts-on-sleeves team to cope with. In short, it mattered quite a lot, more than it has for a while.
This was the first competitive game played at Leicester’s new Walker Stadium (now known as the King Power Stadium).
Brian Deane grabbed two goals as Leicester got off to a winning start at the Walkers Stadium against Watford. A 31,000 crowd raised the roof of the Foxes’ new home as last season’s Premiership basement club put their relegation woes behind them with a solid display
Ah, the rituals of opening day; second-gearing on the motorway alongside caravans and cars with scarves hanging out of the windows, hope springing anew in every step of every fan wending their way to every ground. Neither ITV Digital nor a daily diet of summer scare stories can take that away.
The contrast with last season is striking, already. Whatever else went wrong yesterday, we were far more comfortable with the high tempo set by Leicester, and far less afraid of being seen to sweat and toil. We pressed hard, retrieving possession more quickly than before and occasionally forcing errors from a slightly sloppy Foxes defence. Notably, and despite a great deal of complaint about the lack of aerial threat from a lightweight attack, an eager midfield pounced on rebounds and clearances rather than allowing them to escape, thus enabling us to press forward without always retaining possession particularly well. It didn’t amount to much, perhaps. That doesn’t mean that it can’t amount to much, however.
All the Horns fans, some three thousand of them in a crowd of over 31,000 (ground capacity I’m told is 32,500) were in the north-east corner of the ground, with vociferous Leicester fans on either side – and Leicester fans occupied the areas behind both goals. Horns fans, not noted for their ability to make noise since our days in the Premiership, certainly out-sang our opponents until the goals arrived, but it’s hard creating an atmosphere from one corner of a stadium.