Saturday, December 8, 2012

Football can be a cruel mistress.

Mind you, so can Simone. I still have those stiletto marks on my back.

Football brings us highs and deals us lows. That’s what makes the game what it is and why we love it so much. It can toy with your emotions, ruin your weekends, but we still keep coming back for more.

If it was all sweetness and light then where would the fun be in that?!

Further proof that football simply isn’t fair came last weekend in Milton Keynes.

The Franchise FC – AFC Wimbledon game really was as close to a good v evil battle as you’ll ever get in football. Sadly evil triumphed.

Was there anyone, apart from perhaps some Palace fans, that didn’t want the Wombles to win?

I’ve been a long time AFC Wimbledon supporter and continue to be a proud member of the Dons Trust. They’re a great footballing and fan success story in this era of the money men and one which we should all applaud.

We should also never forget the help and encouragement that the Dons gave us in our struggles against Derrick Brown in those dark days of not so long ago, including a feature on our plight in their matchday programme.

As I’m sure you all know, a heartbreaking stoppage time loss to a freak goal was the end result of the most bitterest of games.

But Wimbledon got their goal and showed that they belonged with the bastardised version of themselves. Even men with glass eyes must have been moved to tears with what Jack Midson's goal meant to so many. Scant consolation, but at least some was there in their heartbreak.

As East Fife fans we’ve obviously encountered our own share of heartbreaks over the years.

Those gut wrenching games where you head through the turnstile full of excitement and often hope more than expectation, but you leave ninety minutes or so later heartbroken and feeling like you’ve been put through a wringer.

So what East Fife stick out for you in this category from over the years? It doesn’t have to be late winners, just games where you left so low it hurt.

I still remember heading to Boghead on the last day of the season in 2000. East Fife were chasing promotion and we took a huge travelling support west for the last game at the ramshackle ground. We just needed to win.

We took the lead. Then in true East Fife fashion, two goalkeeping howlers saw our hopes fade and die.

There's not a sadder feeling in football than standing with a deflated blow up champagne bottle all limp between your legs!

Trying to drown out the tannoy guy with East Fife chants as he tried to make an emotional farewell to the old ground gave us a little, bitter joy, but at least the post match Indian was nice.

For me though, the date 26th January 1991 is the one that still haunts me the most.

If you were at Bayview yourself that day, I’m sure you already have the blood vessels ready to burst at the very mention of it.

Second division East Fife versus Premier League Dundee United in the Scottish Cup, Don McVicar’s elastic watch, a 97th minute equaliser and Alan ‘expletive’ Main.

It was heartbreaking at the time and it still hurts just as much when you think back on it now, made even worse by the fact that we took the lead in the replay three days later before bowing out in extra time.

I can still see the goal and the subsequent tangerine celebrations. I can still hear the silence that befell the whistling Bayview faithful. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.

My Fife memories only go back to 1984, so I’m sure some of the old yins reading this will have plenty more to pick from. Get in touch with us and share yours or leave them on the AFTN forum.

Whatever they were, we know we'll still be back and there will be more. Never mind, they just make the happier memories all that sweeter.

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