We thought that we’d be playing in A,
But found ourselves in C.
Still we took comfort from the hope
We’d bounce straight back to B.
Tough luck, Life’s not so simple,
Our Season went to pot.
Although we’d led the Pack for months,
Lo Spezia finished top.
We had to face the play-offs,
(There was no other way).
We travelled to Salerno
On the twenty-eighth of May.
We let two stupid goals in,
But earned a last-gasp Spot-Kick.
Stellini steeled himself, stepped up,
And coolly home did slot it.
We met the same opponents
One week later on our Turf.
Marassi was a cauldron,
But our Heroes were all nerves.
They knew that there’d be Hell to pay
If they should let us down.
They’d need an armed p’lice escort
When they tried to leave the Ground.
The First Half finished goalless,
We dominated play.
But not one boot could aim true, shoot,
And stick the ball away.
The Second Half had just kicked off,
Three minutes on the clock.
The vital breakthrough came at last,
Once more Stellini struck!
The Crowd began to party,
To sing, clap, dance, jump, roar.
Alas, with thirteen minutes left,
A deathly hush descended,
You could have heard pins drop.
And everyone crammed in that Ground
Glanced anxious at their watch.
The sands of time were running out,
Our patience wearing thin.
Then Dante Lopez saw his chance,
And nodded the ball in!
No more shots found the Net that day,
Before the set of sun.
The Referee blew short blasts three,
And praise the Lord, we’d won!
But I’ve yet more trials to relate,
This tale goes on and on, Sir.
Just one week after this great feat,
We travelled up to Monza.
Once more a barren First Half,
In spite of all our efforts.
We peppered our hosts’ goal with shots,
Yet nobody could net it.
But when the Second Half commenced,
We got a slice of luck.
Eleven minutes had elapsed,
Igor Zaniolo struck!
The Home Crowd was disgruntled,
Began to hiss and boo.
Twelve minutes more or so went by,
Then Iliev made it two!
No further strikes were notched that day,
Before the sun went down.
A brace sufficed to make us Kings
Of that provincial town.
We faced the same opponents
One week later on our Pitch.
Marassi was a cauldron,
But Our Lads weren’t fazed one bit.
They’d sworn they would not let us down.
They’d vowed they’d play with style.
They’d pledged when this last match was through,
We fans would be all smiles.
Another sterile First Half,
We huffed, and puffed, and sweated.
We laid siege to the South End goal,
Again, no-one could net it.
One third into the Second Half,
Our guests launched an attack.
Their Supersub named Egbedi
Pounced, shot and pulled one back!
The Monza players exulted.
They danced upon our Pitch.
And thirty thousand Genoese
Had one collective fit.
The Visitors turned on the heat.
They’d got us on the ropes.
With hearts in mouths we gobsmacked fans
Could but look on and hope.
Thank God, we let no more goals in
That sultry afternoon.
The Final Whistle blew at last,
And we were o’er the moon.
Not one sick parrot to be found,
Our eyes were wide and starry.
Then everyone inside that Ground
Made straight for De Ferrari.
So, if you hadn’t noticed,
(Too engrossed in the World Cup),
I thought you’d like to hear the news:
The Griffon’s going up!!!
Denys E. W. Jones