Topic: Chester at home...
FCHT 4 Chester City 0 Att: 2040
She's earned today I reckon. When most kids her age choose their team they're banking on a lot of success. No criticism, it's what kids do.
Chelsea may not be champions this year, Man Utd the same. But any 8-year old picking them probably knows that the vast majority of games will be wins. Even Spurs or Arsenal give you more to cheer than jeer when you're that age. City are the obvious choice for now if you want to follow the top team.
Round here there's Huddersfield. Okay, they won't win as much as the top four, but they're Premier League with all that brings.
Whatever the choice, for most their team will be on MOTD and numerous other programmes through the week. They'll be in Match and various other magazines.
The top players they follow will be on cereal boxes and billboards. And, once they graduate to consoles (if they haven't already), they can actually be them on FIFA '18, in a virtual sense at least.
So my heart was full when H was beaming after getting high fives from Scott Garner and Cliff Moyo at full-time as she waited by the 'tunnel' (one of those plastic things they pull out at the end of each half). They're never going to be famous. They're never going to be in video games. But already to her they matter.
She chose her team and she gets to see them. And gets a smile and a high five from them. So what that they're part-time, they were amazing for her at that moment. They're her team.
She was beaming like a cheshire cat afterwards. And with good reason. Town were great today. And Chester were, as their fairly big and vocal following confirmed in song more than once, 'f***ing shit'.
Watching a team struggle is one of life's great frustrations. A pass too short. Or too long. Or just to nobody. Losing the ball needlessly. Putting themselves under pressure with a badly timed ball. A lack of communication. Woeful finishing. We've all seen it. Well, most of us and especially those who follow Leeds. It comes with the turf.
I've always thought there's a half-decent side at The Shay. Today they showed that was right.
Michael Collins signed recently. He'd taken up a coaching position at Bradford City but has come back to playing with Town. And already he's making a massive difference. He seems to hold the midfield together. Nothing fancy. Nothing flash. Just a decent professional who reads a game and can tackle and pass a ball.
It shows how important good midfielders are because they free up so much else. Josh McDonald got MOTM today, well-deserved, and scored an absolute belter of a goal. He and McManus (scored as well) were great and got to do so much because of what Collins gave them. Clarke is playing well in this new confident team and scored the third.
Speaking of McDonald he's no longer my daughter's favourite it seems. The balding giant that is Tom Denton has claimed that spot. 'He does so much Dad'. And he does. Scored the first after Town had had at least one effort blocked on the line.
They were 4-0 up at half-time and could literally have had 10.
As I say, Chester were terrible. The worst team I've seen at The Shay. I think it'll be a long season for them. By the third goal their fans were being herded back up into the seats by the stewards and the police had appeared. Their anger was aimed at their team. There were chants of 'you're not fit to wear the shirt' and the like.
They were a noisy bunch. And brought drums (plural). She wasn't happy. She plays the drums but doesn't think they have any place at football grounds.
The second half saw Town continue to dominate albeit Chester made a couple of changes and looked a little brighter (their number 7 came on and looked useful, no idea why he didn't start).
After the game the coppers were keeping a careful eye on proceedings. Halifax have a fairly large group of teenage oiks, all reissues, skinny jeans and Lyle and Scott jackets. Chester had their fair share but there was no real bother. A couple of Chester fans were arrested just as we walked past (Was he swearing Dad? He looks very angry at something) but nothing to worry about.
She proclaimed today 'the best day'. All of those defeats have been worth it. She's really learning what this football fan business is about.
Macclesfield away on Boxing Day. Looking forward to it.
Down the front, waiting for the final whistle....