So me and Elizabeth my eldest (10) decided we wanted to go and see a footy match. So checking local fixtures I could see Tranmere Rovers were playing Hartlepool United. Now I have been lucky enough to see many a top of the table clash with Liverpool but here we were rock bottom of the football league with Tranmere 23rd and Hartlepool 24th both staring the dreaded drop to the conference right in the face. Tranmere only went and picked up some form meaning the clash of the non Titans was off and I might never get another chance to see a game live from the bottom two places in the football league meet head to head. So first up the tickets and we decided to it in the family enclosure at a stunning price of £16 for me and £4 for Elizabeth. We got to the ground after a decent walk up from Birkenhead Central railway station picked our tickets up and went into the club shop were I splashed the cash and bought a £1 Tranmere Rovers pen. The Tranmere away kit actually looks quite nice that is until you see the sponsor smashed across the front. That being a large Home Bargains banner. These lower league clubs need every penny they can get so who am I to mock their sponsor but it did make the kit look shite !! It must have been season 89/90 when I was last taken to Tranmere by my late dad to watch them play Bristol City on a then traditional Friday night game. Tranmere won about 6-1 but Bristol City were the better team ! City went on to get promoted that season.
So we headed into the ground and picked up a programme and some chips. Great having no queues and no scrums in the ground. We took our seats in the family enclosure and it must be said it was very family like as when Elizabeth went to her first Liverpool game she commented on the amount of swearing, and that was just me. I am fucking joke there of course. Today we did not hear one swear word all match. So the match kicked off and I was enjoying just watching a footy match for the game rather than total bias towards one side, though I did want Tranmere to win. Whilst the standard of level is obviously not Premier league standard I did notice the game flowed a lot more with the referee letting a lot more go compared to the Premier League were on several occasions the referee would have blown for a foul and on a few more occasions you could guarantee a player would go down to make sure the referee gave a foul or was conned into giving a foul. Very refreshing indeed. Well 12 mins in and Kayode Odejayi put Tranmere one nil up with a nicely finished volley and the fella next to me said you can come again mate. The lead did not last long and despite a good save by the Tranmere goalie Owain Fon Williams Hartlepool equalised through Scott Fenwick. We got to half time all square and Elizabeth’s interest was still in the game and not on Instagram ! First choon up at Half time was “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C&C Music Factory. My god I haven’t head that for years. Seems like the Tranmere Rovers jukebox has not moved on since I was last there. Maybe they just have one copy of Now Thats What I Call Music 19 they use. Sadly they did not drop a KLF choon.
Into the second half and the first action was a broken arm for a Hartlepool goal scorer Scott Fenwick who walked off the park after having some laughing gas most probably seeing pink unicorns dancing on top of the Johnny King stand. As the game progressed the home crowd were becoming a bit more inpatient and as a neutral I could see that if anybody was gonna nick a winner it would be Hartlepool. They had a few chances but the match finished 1-1 and both teams could be doing without draws at the moment. Elizabeth still has not completed her ambition of catching a match ball during a game and we kept ourselves amused when Tranmere player Max Power got the ball and he seemed to be a bit of a boo boy for the locals. His mum and dad must have been having laugh calling him Max eh to join his brothers Half and Super.
So we enjoyed our day out to the lower league and have decided we want to take in a Division One and Championship game before the season ends and might even venture out for a conference game and we have covered all league grounds in a season. Love the idea if doing the full 92 grounds of the football league but that is one mighty effort to do. So 5,488 turned up today for a tense one all draw for the relegation haunted teams a result that suited nobody. A fair result and Tranmere will hope to continue their push up the table to safety. Neil Fay Radio City Sport, Prenton Park.
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