Chelsea vs. MSK Zilina : 23 November 2010.
There was a moment during this game that I thought that the horrendous luck in front of goal that we endured at St. Andrews on Saturday was continuing.
Not to worry – the kids came through and into The Last Sixteen we go.
I travelled up with Judy for this game, ahead of our little trip to Austria on Wednesday ( yep, no trip to Newcastle for me this season, but I leave you in the very capable hands of a few other CIAers for the match reports. ) We soon booked into our hotel on the North End Road, but Judy – coming off a tiring week of nights – decided to forego the game. I hot-footed it to the Copthorne Hotel, where a good old Chelsea In America reunion was taking place…I soon spotted Beth, then Gil and Graeme, but I met Josh and Ed ( from the perfect city of San Diego ) for the first time. A pint, a chat, great to see everyone again. Beth soon handed over the excellent CIA calendar. Good work everyone.
This was very much a whirlwind pre-match and we then headed to the Broadway Bar & Gril, aka The Slug aka The Kings Head. Another few drinks there, then who should appear but Danny and Andy – and I was so happy to se them sporting the CFC badge / Poppy badge.
Good work boys.
I had talked Josh and Ed into getting one too.
I joked with Danny that I would eventually provide him with a Pubs At Chelsea ticklist which I expected him to eventually complete – and we then sped off to another one, The Malt House aka The Jolly Maltsers. Who should be there but Steve Rea from N’Awlins…it certainly was the gathering of the clans alright.
I was in the ground quite early and it tok a while for the seats to fill up.
Perhaps, for once, I ought to let others comment on the game – I’ve tee’d you up, Josh, Danny, Andy, Ed…don’t let me down. I missed the Zilina goal as I was mid-comfort break and depite a few chances in the first-half, it wasn’t promising stuff.
Another full house / poor atmosphere combo.
The second-half was so much better and – yet again – Kalou looks a different player when he comes off the bench. We hit the woodwork twice, but a lovely ball from Kalou was finished of with aplomb by Studge. Then, at the death, Danny’s favourite Florent Malouda gave us the deserved win. It was a long time coming, but well deserved. I had no complaints from the performances from the youngsters…they had a good workout for sure.
Post-game, we eventually re-assembled at The Imperial, the favoured watering hole of Matthew Harding, for one last pint. I needed to be up early, though – so said my “goodbyes” at about 11pm. I popped in to see Rob and Millsy in The Morrison – and who should be right behind me but Ian McNally from Chicago.
Small world ( again…)
We’d see each other at the Everton game, but that seems quite a way off.
Not to worry – I’ll catch up with you all again, then!