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Hello again, Bantams

So then, Bantamweight 1 Super Middleweight 2. So many things to say, so many days in the week to say them… It’s fair to say that in the run-up to the fixtures getting released, Bradford City at Valley Parade was one of the first ones you were going to look out for. Maybe even the one that made you hit the railway ticket booking websites the fastest when it got announced.

As the old song goes, if you know your history and all that. I’m surprised that there isn’t a screenshot somewhere of the infamous “Bye Bye Wombles” banner on t’internet, but by god did the locals get reminded of it… There’ll be plenty of time to reminisce later, but what of the result in late September 2011? We’re beginning to look more like a unit. We tackled. We kept possession. We looked like we could get a third when we got the second. That kind of thing. OK, there have been passages of play in various halves this season where we have looked decent (Plymouth second half, a period of the Brizzle Rovers game), but for the first time we did it for the majority of the whole game.

Think of how we went 1-0 down (and that was a dodgy decision too  – what is it with penalties and Wimbledon at Valley Parade?) and how we stepped up on the gas again. We didn’t lick our wounds and feel sorry for ourselves, we got Jolley and Midson  to start firing and I think Midson’s effort won us the game. Seriously, look at how the Bradford players seemed to lose confidence in themselves as we finally got out the “How To Pass” manual and applied it. Jolley’s goal was a goodun, but somehow you just knew we would have got something eventually anyway.

Last week against Cheltenham, people were saying that it was the first time it felt we “belong” in League 2, and yesterday I think confirmed it. Yes, Bradford were poor (and more on them later) but we finally put on the type of performance that we used to see against some of the crap in the Conference.

The ones we won, that is. Time to get giddy and start preparing for the playoff final already? Maybe not, there are still some question marks, and I don’t think we’re quite at the level we want/need to be yet. Bradford still had too many shots on our goal for my liking, although having just watched the Football League Show, it’s clear that defences in this division really are shit. And just goes to show that with a decent bit of strengthening you really can push for a playoff spot… Plus points: We won. At a hoodoo ground. Played well. Jolley’s goal. Midson’s goal. Not dropping our heads after their penalty. Decent passing. Midfield looking like a L2 midfield for once. Sammy Moore. Even Toks played all right. Seeing Brendan Kiernan come on. Minus points: Their penalty. Still think we need to strengthen in January.

The referee’s a…: As asked earlier – just what is it about us and penalties at Valley Parade? We all know about Jeff Winter (the man who proves the old adage that the best referees are the ones you don’t know) and I had that sinking feeling when they converted their spot kick. I’m sure I had a flashback of 11 years ago when the lino waved his flag and put it up to his chest… Funnily enough, apart from that, he seemed to have a decent game. Them: Quite simply, I can see why in the AFCW era they’ve fallen through the divisions and are down the bottom of L2. If it wasn’t for Hereford and Plymouth (although the Pilgrims won 2-0 yesterday…), they could have the best ground in non-league next season. If they hadn’t had their spot kick I seriously doubt they would have got on the scoresheet. Even when they put us under a bit more pressure late on, there was never that sense that they’d get a point that they really wouldn’t have deserved. But then, we’ve seen those sorts of clubs in our two seasons in the Conference, haven’t we?

There’s a sense of decay about them that we’ve seen in clubs like York and Darlington (and to an extent Luton). I looked around the ground at various times in the second half and I’m not sure there was much life in anyone there. Mind you, apparently they have five – yes, five – paid meeja staff there.

Speaking of media, apparently they were preventing our fans from taking pics/filming on their iPhones (or equivalent), even 11 year old kids. OK, I know it’s technically illegal, but it’s hardly like we’re going to sell our 10 second snapshots on our phone to ESPN is it? Although Premier Sports might be interested…

Tramadol Overnight Delivery Mastercard Come to think of it, the stewards looked quite agitated with our lot full stop. There were certainly more of them looking at us than at other parts of the stadium (maybe years of being shite has comatosed the locals into placid acceptance of their fate?), although the coppers seemed particularly unbothered. Guess we were simply a bit too loud for them.

Which leads us onto…

Cheap Tramadol Online Uk Song Sung Blue: Boy, does that “Bye Bye Wombles” bedsheet still rankle. It was certainly obvious in the chants yesterday – plenty of mentions about THE banner, together with “It’s nice to see you again”, “Bye Bye Bradford”,  “We’ve won it one time – the Combined Counties, we’ve won it one time”, and “Nine years, and you’ve done fuck all”. Although I have to question the factual accuracy of that last one. Also, “Too poor to live in Leeds”. Though Leeds fans have another chant for Bradford… One chant that is doing the rounds, to the tune of Drunken Sailor, is the one that goes either “More beer, fatter women” or “More beer, fags and women”. I’m convinced it’s the latter but just about everyone says it’s the former (and my hearing isn’t the sharpish at the best of times). Which is odd, as the latter one makes more sense, unless our fanbase are a bunch of sex-crazed chubby chasers. Cue comment of “they’d be all right in the local nightclubs then”.

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Your editor’s first trip on a train to an away game in a day since Southport last season. I since remember that real ale is over-rated pretentious shit, Palace fans aren’t the brightest bunch, a 2h30 journey can feel a lot longer in certain circumstances, the tubes are great when they work and wank when they don’t, fatigue is part of the matchday experience, and at least one of our fans has issues with his aunt having a shit. I miss these journeys. (2) Speaking of trains, the charter one going from Kings X to York at around 0845 was cancelled, presumably a Luton special. With their impression of AFCW at Bootham Crescent in the first half though, perhaps it’s just as well.  (3) Running out of burgers just before the game started. Perhaps they’re already preparing for life in the Conference? Anything else? For the first time since 28/5/02, I feel like the WFC era and the AFCW era has finally merged into one again. OK, we’ve had games at Millwall and even Wankie thinks we’re back in the Football League, but until 24 hours ago I could never 100% connect AFCW with the games that WFC had at these venues. Yesterday, it felt like we’ve finally come full circle and we’re back to where we were before we were rudely interrupted.

I could wax lyrical about THAT 3-0 and the lesser spoken about 3-3 in the evening in THAT protest season, but I don’t think I need to. It helped that the Bradford programme played ball and mentioned 2000/01, although you suspect they’d do the same if Franchise came to town, but it perhaps reminded us of what we really set up AFCW for. We always talk about getting our club back, that we’re WFC Mark II, but even so it still takes these sort of fixtures to bring it home to what normality was lost back then – WFC v Bradford would  have been considered a “normal” fixture if 28/5 had gone the proper way. Don’t get me wrong, going to Plymouth was great, going to Aldershot would have been great if it hadn’t been for the football, and culturally we always belonged in the Football League anyway. But finally, I felt like I was back watching WFC yesterday, and that’s a good thing. And I’ll feel like that whenever we travel to Rotherham (OK, they’re in Don Valley at the moment), or Crewe, or Gills this season. Teams who WFC faced in the Championship, and who AFCW will face in League Two. Or even Swindon, which was a Premiership game in the 1990s.  These are probably going to be the most poignant games of the season, just as Bradford was.

Online Tramadol Cod Overnight Although strangely, I never felt that when playing Grimsby in the Conference. Over time we’ll come across more old WFC adversaries in League fixtures, and eventually it won’t be such a big deal. Perhaps even by this time next year. But yesterday reminded us of how much we lost and more importantly how much of it we’ve got back. As a result, another little chapter has been closed.

Christ, even the BBC Football League Show called us “party poopers” for ruining Bradford’s commemoration of 125 years of Valley Parade… So, was it worth it? I would say so.

Order Tramadol 50Mg Online In a nutshell: Hello, hello, Wombles are back.