The Pilgrimage – 30/09/2014
My holiday has kind of got in the way of keeping this blog completely up to date but, no matter, I can still remember enough from my second trip to Vicarage Road to scratch out a few words.
The ground is a 20 minute walk from where our hotel was and it took us through what appears, for London, a rather nice and safe area. I certainly didn’t get the impression anyone would be jumping out from behind a fence to mug us. That was reassuring, because we had to walk back later in the dark.
Like many of the older grounds in England, Vicarage Road is set tightly in amongst the residential spread. I guess that limits what can be done with the ground, but it’s in better shape than it was the last time I visited (early 2011 when a Brighton side with Chris Wood playing up front knocked Watford out of the FA Cup). The manky old Main Stand is gone and a new, much tidier, replacement is almost complete. I’m sure it will nice for the team to finally play with fans on all four sides.
The match was a lively encounter, finishing 2-1 to the hosts. Watford deserved it, even though Brentford had their moments. The match was tidier than Saturday’s game, even though chances continued to go begging, mostly from the men in yellow. Their deserved opener came from the spot not long before half time. The original shot was saved but the rebound hammered home. Heurelho Gomes, who graced Spurs’ training ground for the last few seasons, celebrated in front of us like he’d rammed it home himself.
Brentford had their best spell after the break and pulled back an equaliser after some sustained pressure. Watford’s winner was a cracker and even better as it was scored right in front of us. We were perched in a great spot in the family stand and watched ‘Super Matej’ Vydra blast home from outside the box.
By then Nathan was asleep in my lap. It had been a long day so I’m not sure whether that said something about his love of football, Watford or whether he’s a seven year old boy. Hopefully the later.
We still had to stumble home after the match, which Nathan managed after taking a few minutes to wake up. The trip wasn’t helped by one of Dad’s short cuts seeing us heading in the wrong direction for ten minutes, but we got there in the end.
The real excitement begins tonight when I take Nathan to his first game at White Hart Lane (and my first in nearly seven years). It’ll be a homecoming, of sorts, for me, even though there’s nothing tangible that identifies me with the area around the Lane. Spurs are my team, and have been since 1981, and watching them live will be a rare treat.
As I mentioned somewhere earlier, I’ve seen them live three times for three wins. If that strike rate continues then I reckon I should sell my services to Daniel Levy and Mauricio Pochettino. Hopefully I haven’t just laid down the mother of all jinx’s, if for no other reason than to keep Nathan awake this evening.