Sunday, January 11, 1981

Saturday January 10th

We all got up pretty early. I’d had a comfortable night on the floor, and after some tea, we were all ready to set off for Purswell (except Carol that is who was still ill). We made good time, and made Purswell about mid-morning after driving through thick snow and high wind part of the way. It was bitterly cold in the town and I was glad of the extra jumper I had on, but sickened that I’d lost one of my gloves. For an hour or two, we wandered about the pedestrian precincts down in the City centre, but several aggressive thuggo types kept crossing our paths; one bloke actually followed us about awhile and we could feel the aggressiveness in the air. It wasn’t nice, and it seemed to affect Andrew most of all, who kept mentioning it all day.

After this we went up towards the Cathedral and Castle, looking round them both before having a meal in a pub down in the town.

The Cathedral was pretty impressive, especially since all the pews had been taken out and its cavernous interior was filled with organ music.

We made our way slowly down through Purswell city centre and towards the ground, which could be seen on the skyline. Just before we got to the ground, enormous hailstones came bouncing down and we were scared in case it was called off.

Standing on the windswept terracing we were surrounded eventually by about 40 Athletic fans; mainly noisy louts dressed up in boots and Harrington jackets. Purswell’s ground is quite good; square-shaped and with stands around two sides, which, by the way they jut out everywhere, have been added to and built on to. Stood there it was really cold, icy wind cutting through me really viciously.

Athletic came out and played from right to left; their strip was; green socks, black shorts with white trimming and white shirts with green trimming, and Scarborough was back after being out since November. He didn’t have a good game, looking tired and slow on the old reflexes. Hopefully he’s just rusty.

Purswell started well, and Muir had to clear off the line. They had loads of corners. Desperate stuff, and at that point we thought they were going to trounce us, but soon Athletic began to string moves together and look good. In almost their first attack of the game they got a free kick 30 yd out; Muir took it and blasted left-foot into the goalies top-right corner. We were amazed and everyone leaped up and down clapping and shouting madly – I love to see the home fans silenced.

After that, Athletic walked all over Purswell at times and Goldman and Redman were again really good. Towards the end of the first-half, it began to snow and hail heavily combined with really freezing cold wind – also, there was a bit of scuffling among Athletic fans.

In the second half, things were much like the first, with Easterby attacking occasionally and looking pretty classy at times and Purswell applying all the pressure. After 76 minutes they eventually fumbled the ball into the net – I got another of my sickening premonitions just before-hand. We held until the end, with Lewis just hitting the crossbar in the final couple of minutes.

We went home satisfied, getting back at 6.30.

Cheryl had made us our tea and afterwards we sat around all evening watching television, playing records or playing “Othello.” We eventually got to bed at midnight.

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