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Scunthorpe 2 Yeovil 1 - The Iron-On Line
September 26th, 2011
11:26 pm


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Scunthorpe 2 Yeovil 1
I prize my 100% record of attending Iron-Glovers games, perhaps too highly. The combination of an invitation I couldn't reconcile with the game, terrifying lack of funds for the second months running, and a dark suspicion that we were about to set a new record for winless games, was not enough to turn me aside from my purpose. Scunthorpe were playing Yeovil, and there was only one place I could be.

My credit card got us up to Scunthorpe, only to fail us in the Glanford Park ticket office. A quick dash to the Iron Bar, where Karen was willing to cash a cheque out of supporters-club funds, got us the cash to buy a ticket, and I settled down for the lunchtime game, which City duly won.

There's something comforting about returning to Glanford Park. The view, the music, even the complaints of the fans around me, never change: I can slip back as if I've never been away. And so I learned on the barrier, xCLP ran off to practice man-marking, and the Iron began their usual tricks.

To the neutral observer, it probably looked like a fairly even game between two League 1 sides. To the loudmouths behind me, it was incontrovertible evidence of how far we'd fallen and how utterly useless the players and Knill were. To me, it simply promised yet another afternoon of frustration.

It wasn't all bad. Sam Johnstone, our on-loan goalkeeper, performed heroics to keep the Yeovil shots out. The one time he made a mistake, the striker could only hit the base of the post, prompting the thoroughly predictable chant, "Are you Torres in disguise?"

The breakthrough came with a minute and a half left of the first forty-five. A run, a cross, and a flick into the net from Damien Mozika to give us the lead. As Just Can't Get Enough rang out, xCLP popped out of the crowd and grabbed my hands for an exhilarating dance before disappearing once more up the steps.

Once the celebrations had died down, only the two minutes of stoppage time remained before the break. It shouldn't have been possible to mess things up, but we managed it. Paul Reid, not for the first time, found himself beaten by the Yeovil striker. In a race he was obviously destined to lose, he resorted to an obvious shove, which the referee immediately spotted. Despite our whistles and jeers, the Glovers duly put the penalty away, and we went in for the break all square.

My disappointment was compounded by the 50/50 draw. I was a mere six tickets away from the top prize, which gave me a heart-stopping moment of excitement as the number was read out, followed by an all too familiar sense of frustration. I made my way back along the terrace expecting the worst.

But my fears were unfounded: within ten minutes, Mozika had given us the lead once more. I had xCLP in my arms, and rather than dancing, I simply applauded in time to the music. Perhaps that would be enough to prevent us throwing it away again.

And indeed, we didn't throw it away immediately. A good deal of my attention was taken up with lifting xCLP onto the barrier yet again, always taking care to replicate the climb just before the goal, even when it resulted in a hilariously humiliating fall when I lost my balance. We had the usual array of half chances, but nothing that sticks solidly in my memory.

As the match ebbed away, we let Yeovil press more and more, and in the dying stages I was terrified that they would snatch an equaliser. Not only would it be yet another winless game: it would ruin the symmetry of a fixture that has never yet resulted in a draw. But eventually, to my immense relief, the whistle blew and the three points were ours. As we picked our way across the road to Tesco, I was singing Just Can't Get Enough. "Goals?" suggested xCLP. "No, we got enough goals today."

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