City 2 – 0 Everton – without a ticket!

On Friday evening, at just gone 5pm I realised with absolute horror that I’d left my season ticket at home! PANIC! (In short, the reason I’d managed this was a combination of not having much time for packing, and my ST being somewhere other than its normal place due to the fact that I’m not yet needing to wear my big thick football coat.)

Anyway……… I called the club, who are clearly used to idiots like me as they told me very matter of factly that I could get a paper ticket issued by going to the ticket customer service kiosk before the game, which reassured me somewhat, though I’d obviously have to allow plenty of time to go and queue to sort this. I therefore had to leave Mum’s at around 10.30am, but she treated me by cooking a full English breakfast to see me off 🙂 I had a smooth drive, and didn’t even get held up as much as I expected by the infernal road works in Manchester!

As soon as I arrived, I went and found the supporter services kiosk and queued for around half an hour or so (plenty of fans were collecting their Champions League away game tickets) The staff there couldn’t have been better. I got my paper ticket issued efficiently and politely, and even, when I mentioned I’d planned to go to the store to get my new shirt (Billy’s birthday present to me) and now I wouldn’t be able to get my 10% discount, wrote me a little note as proof that I had a ST and was entitled to the discount. 🙂 I had expected to pay an admin fee or some such, but apparently the club allow us to be a forgetful imbecile once, and only charge if we do it again. Impressive – it was entirely down to me and no-one else so it would have been fair enough to charge me.

The match was pretty frustrating as Everton had come to try and stop us playing – mainly by getting numbers behind the ball and by trying to take out Silva at every opportunity! Everton played quite a cynical game I thought, though the ref didn’t help matters at times. I thought he got a couple of decisions wrong, but it was about equal in which terms of which team benefited. He did, however, get Cahill’s yellow card spot on – the fact that Cahill got injured (requiring substitution) when he collided with Kompany was his own fault!

Eventually, City’s hard work and patience paid off when Balotelli and Milner came off the bench and scored our much needed goals. Thank goodness – it would have been a tragedy if Everton had somehow nicked a win given the way they were playing. Lescott was my MotM, though Kompany also pleased me with his game.

The Everton fans were in good voice – at least, until we scored, but I gather some of them were throwing coins at home fans nearby and there was a bit of trouble afterwards. This coupled with the way their team had played reinforced my preference for Liverpool to Everton – though actually you’d think as a City fan I’d feel more empathy with the blue half of Merseyside 😉

After the game, I went to get my shirt but finding the store far too packed, went to have my picnic in the car and came back after it had quietened down. Much to my relief, there was one shirt left in my size, so I went and paid – and I got my 10% discount with no fuss, and service with a smile. Then I went upstairs to get the printing done and there was a small queue but not too bad. The staff there must have had a crazy afternoon and it’s hot in their little glass cage, but they were polite, friendly and made a point of checking the details with everyone. (Let’s face it – it’s a heck of responsibility getting everyone’s beloved shirts just right – our shirts are precious to us.)

In all then, City did me proud, both on and off the pitch, 10/10 on both counts, so I drove home with a smile on my face. I even had an enjoyable football natter with the bloke behind the counter at Costa at Lancaster services. He was a ManUre fan, but as he was a real one that went to games, and knew his football, I didn’t hold it against him 😉 A good day to round off my trip.

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