So we have already had the worst games in 2013 and now it’s time for the best. Fortunately these were harder to pick than the worst ones, but even so the three best were head and shoulders above the also rans. Our criteria here was based on the match itself rather than the whole event. So here goes…
3rd – Metrogas FC 1 Fleet Leisure 2
With virtually every league all but done in London and the South, it took some searching to find a game on in mid-May. But one league, the Kent County League or Step 11 of the footballing pyramid in this country, still had the matter of the title to decide. As the game was almost on my doorstep it was rude not to go. The home side, actually having to play away as their ground was being used for a wedding, had to win to take the league title. The visitors had nothing to play for but put in an inhumane effort into the game, which went from end to end for the 90 minutes. Three great goals, so many close shaves, five (5!) dogs watching the game at one point, and a bigger crowd than some Conference South teams get. In the end the home side missed out on the title and their disappointment was clear to see at the final whistle. Oh, and admission was free.
2nd – Bayern Munich 2 Borussia Dortmund 1
The hottest ticket in town this summer wasn’t One Direction, Wimbledon’s Mens Final or even Mrs Brown’s Boys Live at the O2. It was the all-German Champions League Final at Wembley. The combined average attendance for these two clubs is close to 150,000 so given only 38,000 between them, spares were hard to come by to say the least. However, thanks to a “prid pro quo” deal with a marketing agency I was given a golden tickets and in return asked to take a few snaps. Tough old life! The atmosphere was unbelievable, the event perfectly delivered but the game itself was worthy of the best stage in the world. Before Robben’s late winner, it could have gone either way and it was one to saviour. And it was free.
1st- Ilford 2 Witham Town 7
I’m sure you will all remember this classic from March this year from the Isthmian League North, right? Probably not. In front of a crowd of 55 this was by far the best game of the season. The nine goals aside, both teams simply wanted to attack. Ilford were fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, Witham Town were launching an assault on the play offs. Witham showed more ability, but Ilford never game up. The pitch looked like a ploughed field, the hospitality was first notch right from arriving and being offered a can of Stella by the chap on the gate to the Ilford manager who came and thanked us all personally for coming. Football isn’t all about superstars, it is about honesty and playing for the love of the game. And the £10 was worth every penny.