Since 1965 Christmas football has been the preserve of Boxing Day. One of the most eagerly anticipated days of the season, where crowds are bumper, especially in Non-League football. This is despite the complete lack of public transport. Take Brighton & Hove Albion’s trip to Brentford for a 1pm kick off. The Seagulls fans had to set off around 8am, get three trains and a rail replacement bus to arrive by 12.30pm for the 60 mile journey. Then, of course there is the weather. Fortunately, the South had been spared, for now, the torrential rain that had caused widespread flooding in certain areas.
Every December there is a call from various Premier League managers that they play too many games and that there should be a winter break. This nearly always comes from manager’s who have just lost (again) and need to blame something other than the fact their team was actually crap. The BBC News reported that “Even Premier League players had to train on Christmas Day”. So , someone who is paid up to £500k a month (and the rest!) has to work on Christmas Day? How is that a story? Policemen, nurses, firemen and soldiers also had to work. Did they get a mention? No of course not.
With an impending trip to the North and the need for a bit of intel on our opponents next week, I navigated around the shopping traffic, or as the BBC said “Millions braved the Boxing Day sales” (no hype there then) to take in the South M25 derby. To sum up the game in five phrases – Muddy, End to End, Howling misses, No burgers, Late chested winner.
Merstham 1 Leatherhead 2 – Moatside – 26th December 2015