Monday, 31 December 2012

Mauled by the Tigers

Saturday, 29th December
Football League Championship
Hull City 2 Leeds United 0
On Sunday 8th November 2009 I took my eldest daughter Emma to her first Hull City match, a Jimmy Bullard-inspired 2-1 win over Stoke City in the Premier League.  The Elder Slushette proceeded to accompany me to another half-dozen matches before the more, can I say, "girly" counter-attractions of shopping proved more tempting than a seat at the KC.
Thankfully, I had a ready-made replacement to take her place and, on Saturday 29th December 2012, the Younger Slushette accompanied me and my mate 'Biff' to The Circle for her first bit of Tiger-trekking.  She couldn't have wished for a more perfect debut.
I've no need to go into detail on the game, instead leaving this to the BBC and the excellent accounts in 'From Boothferry To Wembley' and 'Amber Nectar'.
What I would like to state here is that I don't think I'll ever get bored of telling people just how good I think this current City side is - and that's on the evidence of just five matches, one of which (away at Boro) was hardly a ringing endorsement.
The recent draw at home to Palace highlighted some of the exquisite approach play the team is capable of but without the cutting edge.  Ditto the draw against Leicester on Boxing Day.  And for 45 minutes of this one I feared my "jinx" (I'd yet to see a Tigers win in 2012/13) would continue.  Thankfully, two goals in quick succession ensured this would not be the case.
The Younger Slushette's first City souvenirs
On Radio Humberside afterwards, Steve Bruce used the term "bollocking" to describe what he'd delivered to some of the players for what he termed "show-boating".  And it's true that towards the end City were Arsenal-esque at times in their attempts to score the perfect goal.  But I would guess that most of the 23,453 inside the stadium lapped it up.
There was one particular episode near the South-West corner flag (i.e. directly in front of us) which reminded me a bit of that famous 1970s footage of Leeds toying with their opponents (Southampton?) at Elland Road.  Well, this time, it was Leeds on the receiving end.
It was enough to prompt a mass rendition of "You're getting mauled by the Tigers" - and not just from E1 but from right around the ground.  The irony of the chant appeared to be lost on the visiting supprt, several of whom later took to Twitter to describe how embarrassed they were by it.  Seems to me they should have been more embarrassed by the "mauling" their team had sustained rather than a tongue-in-cheek way of telling them so!
"Like taking candy from a baby"
On the way home my youngest assured me she'd enjoyed it, despite being unable to see every time the crowd rose in anticipation of another City goal and also in spite of the fact that the actual beauty of what she'd witnessed was really too much for a 6-year-old to fully appreciate.  Still, she's since asked when she can go again.  A flooded Low Farm pitch and the postponement of Mrs Slush's hospital op this coming Saturday might mean it's sooner than she'd have thought...

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