Posts Tagged ‘England Women’

England v Germany, Sunday 31st July 2022, 5pm

August 20, 2022

Harry and I went to watch the England Women’s team at the Riverside back in February. That must have got me on to a mailing list and a few months ago I was alerted to the Euro’s ticket sale. I picked up one for the England game at Southampton that took place on a day when I was already scheduled to be there anyway, and I also got a couple for the final for thirty quid a pop.

As the tournament went on, it looked very possible that England might make it all of the way. Harry never really doubted it, but he’s eleven and without a history of England and the Boro pissing on his chips. So, with train seats pre-booked at the same time as the match tickets, we set off for London.

It all went easily enough and we had time for a pre-match lunch at the pub we were staying in at Kilburn. We only stayed for the one night but it was sufficient time for us to visit the Millenium Dome, or the O2 Arena as it is now known, the next morning and walk across the roof.

I’d initially thought that the safety precautions were a bit over the top but, particularly after descending, I can see why we were required to do the walk clipped to a safety line and with suitable shoes.

We set off early for the game and even with two hours remaining to kick-off Wembley Way was packed. The atmosphere was completely different to that of a men’s game and the game could probably have gone ahead without any policing whatsoever. We were in the ground with ninety minutes to spare and watched some pre-match entertainment from singers who were more familiar to Harry than me.

I suspect that you might be aware of how it went. But, just in case you’ve been in a coma, England went a goal up after a pass and finish that graced the occasion. Germany equalized to take it to extra-time and then England scrambled a winner before indulging in ten minutes of top quality shithousery to keep the ball in the corner and run down the clock.

We stayed for the presentation, celebrations and the inevitable Sweet Caroline before heading out to a packed Wembley Way and then an overheated overground tube without air conditioning. After attending five Wembley finals with the Boro without a win, it was nice to be on the right end of a result once.

England Women v Canada Women, Thursday 17th February 2022, 7.45pm

February 25, 2022

I probably wouldn’t have bothered watching a non-Boro game at the Riverside as it’s a stadium that has been well and truly ticked off my list of grounds. However, Harry had heard the game being promoted and asked if we could go. That’s a good enough reason and so I got us a couple of tickets online at the concessionary price of a fiver each.

Harry qualified for the cheap rate by being a kid and I took advantage of having a student card. I rarely use it, mainly because I don’t want people to think that I’ve been kept back at school for the last forty years but also because at places like Northern League clubs they need the couple of quid saved more than I do. I doubted I’d have to prove my student status on the basis that I probably look like an OAP anyway.

The walk to the ground was quieter than normal and so it looked as if ticket sales hadn’t gone well. We were almost outnumbered by the scarf sellers who, judging from their accents, had come from all parts of the country. It took me back to the days of Rav and Juninho when we probably kept half of China in work producing flags, scarves and giant out-of-focus posters. Harry got one of those half and half matchday scarves. I presume whatever gets unsold go straight to landfill.

We were handed some sunglasses that advertised the competition sponsor Arnold Clark. Harry put them on despite it already being dark. Maybe we should have kept them handy for watching Boro games from the East Stand. When the sun is just over the top of the West Stand you have to watch with your hand across your forehead.

Our seats were in the lower section of the South Stand. There were a lot more women and kids at the game than you’d usually see at the Riverside, probably due to the pricing policy. Some of the kids were sporting their newly acquired half-term haircuts with shaved sections timed to grow out sufficiently before the return to school. Seeing toddler heads with shaved sides and a permed top never fails to make me smile.

The evening went well with both sides playing a decent passing game. A crowd of over eight thousand got behind England, albeit in a higher-pitched tone than you’d get at most games. England were the better side in the first half and went in a goal up, but Canada edged it after the break and got a deserved equalizer to secure the draw.