Saturday, March 14, 1981


Dad and I went to Dengates to collect frog spawn. It rained steadily, but we enjoyed ourselves; the marsh was deserted, everything reassuringly timeless. We splashed through the wet grass, mud and rushes and found familiar clumps of spawn floating in the crowsfoot- and duckweed-clogged water.

Dad picked up Nanna P mid-morning and Robert and Carol arrived at lunchtime for the match. An Athletic win would put us in sixth place, just two points out from a promotion spot, and the match began well, with Athletic attacking relentlessly, players sliding in the thick, sticky mud in the centre circle. It was exciting stuff! Most of Athletic's attacks came from the wings and we were much the better side but just couldn't find the finishing touches. 0-0 at half-time. The second half was more of the same, but in the 75th minute out came Ackroyd to punch the ball away, he missed, the Tabotworth No. 9 rocketed a shot towards goal, and an Athletic defender made a brilliant save on the line. The penalty made it 0-1. Within two minutes we were two down as Tabotworth burst upfield to ram the ball into the roof of the net. There’s no justice!

We came home feeling sickened and Carol was amused. They went at five and I wrote an article for the school mag about sixth form life, a lame attempt at Woody Allen-style humour. Later I went down to the Viceroy and the Polish Club to play darts and Space Invaders with Andy and Jonas Weichec and Lee.

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