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I arrived at the ground at quarter to three,
hoping to witness a goalfest you see.
One hour later no goals had been scored
and like me, most of the fans were plain bored.
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Half time discussion over burger and chips,
focused on offering some goalscoring tips.
Our strikers appeared to be badly off form
with shooting designed to keep the hands warm
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of ballboys resplendent in lilac shellsuits,
barely concealing their mudstudded boots.
The ballboys look on as their heroes emerge
from the gloom of the tunnel in a confident surge.
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Players determined to break the goal drought,
players responding to each chant and shout.
With shots raining down from all angles, all sides,
shots hitting the post, going narrowly wide.
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And corner on corner to near post and far,
whipped in and drilled in just under the bar.
Keeper, defence holding firm ’til the end,
resisting the pressure, refusing to bend.
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With seconds to go it remains no goals each
when the referee’s whistle gives an ear- splitting screech.
To signal a free – kick from thirty yards out;
the roar of the home crowd a deafening shout.
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Midfielder places his foot by the ball,
aiming to bend it right round the wall.
At the last second he alters decision,
steps up to strike the ball hard, with precision.
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The glistening orb arcs towards the goal frame –
this will be the last kick of the game.
Goalkeeper’s desperate dive is in vain –
the ball thunders in to render him pain.
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In seconds the whole of the old ground erupts,
fans whooping and shouting, high-fives and bear hugs.
By contrast our goalie’s prostrate on the floor,
full of self-loathing, sick to the core.