I was prepared to sacrifice football for politics on Saturday. For although my local team Sheffield FC were playing at home at Dronfield, I went instead to a Constituency Labour Party meeting held six miles to the south in Chesterfield.
But the meeting lacked a quorum, so John Gilbert (the Constituency Secretary) and myself made it back to the match just before the kick-off.
Managing to get to a match at the last minute in unexpected circumstances is always a great treat. The weather was great and we met up with Ted who was part of a crowd of 457 which meets any quorum. In fact Sheffield FC are the best supported team in their league.
It was a tough game in which the goals came at the end of each half.
Gavin Smith, our right back gave us the lead in the 39th Minute. His role as an attacking full-back tends to have been taken over by his colleague Paul Smith. But Gav has a tendency to creep up into the opposition's six yard box unnoticed by fans and the opposing defence alike. The goal he headed in close to the Stamford post was his second effort.
The game had been held up earlier as a bucket of earth had to be assembled to provided the means of filling in a deep divot on the pitch. These little extras seldom happen on Premiership grounds. The hold up meant that it was difficult to judge when the half time whistle would sound and hence when I should anticipate this in order to dash to the Coach and Horses to get the drinks in. But extra goals resolved the problem for me.
First, Stamford equalised on what is officially recorded as 45 minutes. Then immediately Matt Roney put us back in the lead with a smart shot that went in off the post. Judging that lighting would not strike three times in a row and whilst everyone was celebrating Roney's goal, I dashed out of the ground for the bar as fast as my walking stick would enable me.
It wasn't, however, until the 89th minute that matters were settled at the ground with Pete Davey putting matters 3-1 in our favour.
It was, however, a game which made me feel more confident about our progress this season. Chris Dolby's policy of playing a settled team seems to be working. Mick Goddard our striker also seemed to me to have his first impressive game since we signed him from Retford. When he was replaced by Gary Townsend, things were just as good. Gary came to us as a striker and was then moved into the mid-field. He impressed in both roles until he suffered a serious inquiry last season. His role this season has normally been that of a substitute midfielder. He hadn't then got back to his old form. Now for the first time he was back as a striker. I felt that this was the old Gary, near his best once more. Things can only get better.
More fun, we have a home cup game this evening.