Jimmy Kebe's shorts

March 24th: Leicester City v Reading (Championship)

Two home games in three days then. We're going to the Walkers on a Wednesday because the Coventry game was shoved back to Sunday, remember? Ok, now we're up to speed let's get walking.

The walk from work takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. I'm very hungry so I eat my snack as I find my way to a seat.

[A couple of notes from the team sheets. Firstly, Bruno Berner has apparently managed to injure himself in the warm-up and is being replaced by Ryan McGivern. Secondly, Reading's starting line-up includes one Gylfi Sigurdsson. This, you may or may not recall, is the bloke who was on loan at Crewe last season and who I called 'possibly the worst player in the division' at League One level. It turns out he's not that bad, because he's now an established first team player in a side chasing the Championship playoffs. He just had a horrible, horrible game that day.]

Sixteen minutes into the game, Jimmy Kebe is one-on-one with Chris Weale after a missed tackle by McGivern. Kebe rounds Weale and looks like he's taken it too wide. However, despite the presence of defenders, he manages to slot the ball under the keeper to put the Royals in front. Fuck.

[As he celebrates with team mates, I look at Kebe and can only think one thing: he looks ridiculous in green shorts.]

Five minutes before half time, Lloyd Dyer breaks down the left and crosses neatly to the head of Martyn Waghorn, who steers it past Adam Federici for the equaliser. Moments later, Dyer feeds Andy King in the middle but Federici bats his effort over the bar. The teams go in level at the break, which seems fair.

City look good in the second half with Paul Gallagher looking especially impressive. Reading's Andy Griffin, for some reason, gets into an altercation with Dyer, which results in several players pulling each other's shirts and so on.

[This is one thing about football that annoys me. The majority of these boys cannot fight, and even if they did they'd be sent off. So why square up to each other all the time?]

No goals appear to be on the horizon, though, despite a number of attacks at each end. But in injury time, Nolberto Solano clips Simon Church as he makes his way to goal. Only one outcome here: penalty. Sigurdsson (of course) slots the spot kick into the bottom corner to steal the points. Bollocks. Again.

The walk home always seems longer after a defeat.

Final score: Leicester 1 Reading 2

Linesmen are shit

March 21st: Leicester City v Coventry City (Championship)

This game's on the telly, which is why it's being played on a Sunday. Apparently the M69 derby is such a massive game that Sky feel the whole country needs to see it.

City manage to get on the scoresheet early when an Andy King strike from inside the box finds the far corner. On 19, a King header hits the underside of the bar and bounces on or around the line. Did it go in? Well, the assistant referee thinks so. That's all that counts. It's 2-0.

The lead remains at the break. This is good, we're half way there.

On 54, James McPake scores an admittedly very good goal to reduce City's lead. The second half sees Coventry control large segments of the game, and towards the end it gets tense. A couple of Cov efforts come close, and City manage to hold on until the 87th minute, when Gary Deegan nails the equaliser from close range. Given, despite Freddie Sears having been offside. Bollocks.

I don't want to talk about this any more.

Fuck off.

Final score: Leicester 2 Coventry 2

What kind of name is Claude anyway?

March 16th: Crystal Palace v Leicester City (Championship)

As usual, Helen is at the station well before the train is due to leave. We're on the 14.57 train. During the trip, with nothing to read and nobody willing to talk to me, I decide to text Robbie (you remember: clueless fucker from the Doncaster trip). He claims he's nearly at the ground when I text him, which is about 4 o'clock. That's a bit early, considering the game kicks off at 8.

As we get off the train, I suddenly need the toilet quite urgently. I don't remember drinking a lot on the train, but all the same my bladder is about to explode. We make our way down the escalator towards the toilets (Helen also needs to go)... and the gents' is shut. Fuck and bollocks.

I try to forget about it (and almost succeed) as we take the tube to Victoria. Victoria is one of those stations that charges for toilet admission.

[No fucking chance. No matter how desperate I am to go, I refuse to pay any amount of money, however small, to piss in a dirty pot in a stinking room. I'll hold it in.]

We find the train to take us to Selhurst. It's a bit old and crap, and a little bit dirty. Fitting, really, considering we're going to an SE postcode. Another text and a phone call from Robbie confirms that he's in fact in a pub nowhere near the ground. How odd.

[It's not really odd. He's an utterly clueless cunt, and this is therefore no surprise.]

First things first upon arriving at Selhurst: we walk up to the ground. We're not going to stand and stare, though, because I'm still dying for a piss. Sainsbury's it is then.

We leave Sainsbury's and I go into the club shop to look for a mug. The only one I can find, though, is nine fucking quid. No chance.

Helen likes to get into the ground early, so of course we're inside well before kick off. By this time, we've realised that even though kick off is at 8pm, our tickets in fact say 7.45. We know this to be wrong. Why have they printed the tickets wrong? Idiots.

Claude Davis needs a smack in the gob. The only reason I say this is because of his unnecessarily brutal challenge on Andy King, for which he is rightly booked.

City dominate the first half but there's no breakthrough. A couple of minutes before the break, the referee goes to consult with one of his assistants, who has apparently seen something off the ball. Moments later he waves a red card in the direction of Davis. Straight red. Didn't even see what happened.

Over the next few minutes, we start to hear that Davis was dismissed for throwing an elbow at Michael Morrison.

[For the entire first half, the set of lads behind us have been asking fucking ludicrous questions and answering them wrongly amongst themselves. Helen has been correcting them every step of the way. Just so we're clear: that's a 20 year old woman who knows more about the game than a group of five lads. Think about that for a second.]

On 53, Lloyd Dyer crosses for Martyn Waghorn, whose shot is batted away by Palace keeper Julian Speroni, only for Bruno Berner to smack the ball into the back of the net. Get in.

City continue to dominate but there's no addition to the scoreline. No matter, a win is a win.

[Palace are in the process of finding out what happens when Paul Hart is manager. What is the thinking behind any chairman who even extends the courtesy of replying to his applications, let alone those who actually hire him?]

A surprisingly quiet train trip back to Victoria follows. I manage to stay awake for most of the coach trip home. Another three points well earned. Meanwhile, Palace are on their way to League One. Good job, boys.

Final score: Crystal Palace 0 Leicester 1
Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
Ticket: £25
Train: £9
Travelcard: £5.60
Coach: £5
Total: £44.60

Iwan is a Welshman

March 13th: Leicester City v Cardiff City (Championship)

I'm furious. The buses from Fosse Park are beyond a joke. From 2 o'clock I wait for a bus, and a city-bound one finally arrives at 2.24.

[Really, why the fuck would anyone use buses out of choice? They're slow, infrequent, unreliable, expensive, dirty and full of cunts. In fact, the bus I've just caught (Arriva's number 15 service from the city centre to Fosse Park) has been a real problem for me in the past. I used to live opposite Leicester station, and I worked at Meridian Business Park, and this was the only bus that went between the two. Every couple of weeks, without notice, this route would change completely. For example one week it would go up Hinckley Road, the next it would take the Narborough Road route, then two weeks later it would change back. I lost count of the number of times the stops in the city centre changed. For a while, it departed from the Clock Tower, but then suddenly and without warning, it was moved to the other end of High Street. Then, just as suddenly and without warning, it moved back. Now it goes from a stop I don't think I've ever seen. Its route through Thorpe Astley makes no fucking sense, and it won't surprise you to hear that this section of the route has changed fourteen thousand times as well. In short, whoever administers Arriva's bus routes in Leicester needs a sharp stick jabbing repeatedly and violently into their genitals.]

My second late arrival of the season then. As I take my seat, though, Ben assures me it's still 0-0 and I've missed nothing. Good. On 29 minutes, Martyn Waghorn tucks the ball into the far corner to give City an important win. Afterwards, it's straight home to get ready for an evening out. That's right - Blue Maniac is pretending to have a social life. Friends and everything.

Final score: Leicester 1 Cardiff 0

Bovril, please

March 6th: Sheffield Wednesday v Leicester City (Championship)

Missed call on my phone. Helen. I call back.
"The train's been cancelled."
"The train we were supposed to get on has been cancelled. I'm getting the next one instead, it leaves in about five minutes."
I'm at least ten minutes away, so I guess that means we're on separate trains. And I bet that also means the one I end up on will be full. Fucking hell.

Actually, it turns out to be more than full. There's hardly room to breathe. In fact, someone's almost touching me. If there's one thing I despise, it's physical contact with strangers. Or people I know.

[Time to digress at a tangent.

Seriously, what's with all this physical contact between casual acquaintances? All this shaking hands and hugging bullshit? Shaking hands, for a start, is a massive hygiene no-no. Mine are clean. Why am I going to grip yours if you didn't wash them after you went for a piss, or if you've just sneezed in the fuckers? Well, I'm not. So fuck right off.

And hugging? With some people, fine. If you're particularly close to someone, there's nothing wrong with it. But I actually know people who hug fucking everyone they know every time they fucking see them. What kind of wilful cuntishness is this?]

After an excruciating hour and a quarter, full of encounters far too intimate for my liking (one woman even leaned on me at one stage. Fucking leaned on me!) I arrive in Sheffield. Helen and her mum are in The Globe, not far from the station. As I approach the door, a policeman standing outside tries to point me back down the street at the less attractive looking pub at the bottom.
"But my friends aren't in that pub."
"You'll have to get them out of here too. This pub's full of Bradford fans."

[So fucking what? What's Bradford got to do with anything?]

"Erm, no, they're eating."
This goes on for about a minute. I'm not getting anywhere. Despite the fact that several Bradford fans are outside talking to the (admittedly very friendly) officer, assuring him there's no problem. I make a phone call, after which Janice comes out, says about four words and manages to convince him to drop it.

[All that twatting about to get into a pub. Really. I know they've got a job to do and so on, but how unnecessary was that?]

Hillsborough isn't far away by bus, and before I know it I'm in the club shop pissing another six quid away on a poorly crafted mug. We walk round to the away end (which, obviously, is miles away from where we started) and are in our seats well before kick off, as usual.

We're barely beyond the five minute mark when Leon Clarke gets on the end of a free kick and smashes the ball past Chris Weale to give the Owls the lead. All 27 of the home fans go mental.

Half an hour in, Weale is forced to go off with a facial injury, to be replaced by Conrad Logan. Bugger.

At half time, I do something unusual: I go to get some food and a drink. Standing in 'line' I spot something a little interesting: fresh fruit bags available for £1.40, according to the board. A football club, in Yorkshire of all places, promoting healthy eating. Who'd have thought?

Four ice ages later, I get to the front. I ask the girl behind the counter what's in the fruit bags.
"W'int got froot bags."
I do a quick translation in my head. "No?"
"Did you run out or did you just never have any?"
"Bovril, please."

On my return to my seat, Helen informs me that Nicky Adams has been dancing with the cheerleaders. Apparently one of them was giving him shit eye as he did so. Brilliant.

Quarter of an hour passes in the second half before Leon Clarke doubles his tally for the day with a close range finish. The points belong to the Owls.

[After eight games without defeat, you know it had to end some time. These things happen, no big deal.]

We end up standing on the bus back to the interchange. To my left are two blokes discussing the merits of various Wednesday players. To my right is a woman who grins at me for the whole journey. Not unsettling at all.

Back at the station, the ultra professional copper from earlier is jumping up and down like a chimp on amphetamines and Viagra. Wednesday fan then.

Further into the station, Janice manages to get herself into a heated conversation with a local jobsworth rozzer before we all go and get a much needed coffee.

Janice boards the train to Grimsby (Mansfield with lipstick on), and Helen and I wander off to find our train back to Leicester.

At around 7.45, back in Leicester, we part ways for another week. I'm off to buy some fruit - I've had one orange today, and that was first thing this morning.

[Is the sale of fruit and vegetables in Yorkshire banned or something?]

Plenty of time to consider today's events as I walk home. Nope, don't want to. iPod on.

Final score: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Leicester 0
Time: 10 hours 30 minutes
Ticket: £18
Train: £21.70
Bus: £3.20
Total: £42.90

Do Foxes piss on Trees?

February 27th: Leicester City v Nottingham Forest (Championship)

Time for revenge. That's the feeling. Forest deservedly hammered City back in December, and now it's time to pay them back. We just have to. These are the thoughts that have been dominant all week leading up to this game. Whether it's a good, hard, bare-arsed spanking or a 1-0 win from a late, dodgy penalty is irrelevant. As long as thousands of Forest fans go home as miserable as we did all those weeks ago, it'll be a good day. And if we lose? Well, that's just unthinkable. It can't happen, can it? Actually, being a Leicester fan, I'm all too aware that yes, it can happen. Almost certainly will happen. Not that I don't believe in the team, I just know what it's like being a Leicester fan. No. We'll win this. Definitely.

Before kick-off it's obvious that we've got close to a sell-out here. The atmosphere, obviously, is better than usual.

The first half is enjoyable enough but neither side manages to make the scoreboard twitch. At half time, the nerves are still there. Forty five minutes to do something. I'm back to thinking we can do them here.

City pick up some momentum in the early going of the second half, and in the 68th minute we see some good work by Richie Wellens and a ruthless finish from Bruno Berner to put City in front. The whole place, save for one corner, explodes. Magic.

Eleven minutes later, City get a free kick on the edge of the Trees' box, which Paul Gallagher neatly places in the far corner to double the lead. Once more, the whole house goes mental. We've barely had time to catch our breath when Andy King fires a Berner cross in for the third. Red shirts in the away end start to exit. Today is a good day.

Afterwards, I manage to drag Helen along for a drink with a few mates (namely Ben, his mate Mark, and Chris).

[I learn some interesting things over the next hour or so. Chris's girlfriend thinks he's an unfunny twat. Ben had his leg stitched up without anaesthetic because the doctor told him to 'man up'. Mark used to play table tennis for Redditch. All exciting stuff.]

Anyway, 3-0. How about that for payback?

Final score: Leicester 3 West Bridgford Trees 0

It's the peanut thief!

February 23rd: Doncaster Rovers v Leicester City (Championship)

I'm back to travelling alone for tonight. Helen's gone back to Grimsby and is coming to the game with her parents. Don't worry though, we'll find some entertainment.

Half an hour after the coach leaves Nottingham, my phone rings.
"Blue Maniac? It's the peanut thief."
Silence. Comprehension. Resignation. An audible sigh. "Hello, Robbie. How are you?"
Ignores the question: "Where are you?"
"On a coach to Sheffield. Where are you?"
"I'm in the car with Bob." That explains how he got my number. Fucking hell, Bob, what are you thinking? "What time will you get to Donny?"
"About seven I expect."
"Ring me back when you get here."
I think I'll save that number, just in case it happens again.

[Robbie's actually a good lad, but he's an utterly clueless cunt. Seriously. Just ask anyone who's ever met him. His understanding of pretty much everything is astonishingly inadequate. Oh, and he stole some peanuts once. Literally once. He's rapidly becoming one of my favourite people, purely because he's so entertaining.]

The coach arrives at Mansfield bus station, and one person gets off. The driver apparently hates Mansfield as much as I do, because he makes sure the doors slam as soon as they're off and hastily reverses out of the bay before anyone can blink. Good attitude to have, that - no point spending unnecessary seconds in the worst place on earth.

At Sheffield, there's time to use the interchange toilet (always surprisingly clean - Sheffield bus interchange is actually a pleasant place to splash one's boots) before I find the stand for the X78 to Doncaster. I pay my £3.50 and take a seat. This will take well over an hour, so it's a good thing I've brought reading material.

No sooner have I taken World Soccer out of my bag than my phone rings again. The words Peanut Thief flash up on the screen.

Audible sigh.

"Where are you?"
"Oh. Ok. When will you get to Donny?"
"About seven I expect."
"Ok. Ring me back when you get here."
I'll try to remember.

Now, I've done this bus trip before. It was not fun. The view is not breathtaking in daylight, so it's much better to do this trip while it's dark. Especially the bit where you go through Rotherham.

[It's at Rotherham that a girl of maybe 19 gets on. She spends her entire time on the bus mining her nose with a bony finger and inspecting whatever comes out. This prolonged bout of nosepicking is amazing to watch really. Fucking disgusting, but amazing nonetheless.]

Doncaster is a soul-destroying place, really. Or, it would be if Rotherham wasn't right next to it. All souls entering Doncaster via Rotherham have already been ruined by the excessive, wanton squalor on display. Doncaster's interchange isn't so bad, if you ignore the groups of little shits scattered all over it. It's easy to use and well-designed.

[It's a little sad that the nicest thing I can bring myself to say about Doncaster is that its bus station isn't confusing. Now I think of it, I'm pretty sure I have an ex-girlfriend who lives in Doncaster. So like I said, the best thing about Donny is the bus station.]

It's actually 7.15 when I arrive at the ground. I bring up Peanut Thief's number and make the call. It rings. The voice who answers is not Robbie. Instead, I get some tangential abuse (I think) which means absolutely nothing. I hang up.

[Now, I like Robbie, but seriously, why the fuck did Bob give this fucking idiot my phone number? What on earth was he thinking?]

You know the next bit, right? Okay, good.

I come out of the shop and make my way towards the away end. Once inside, I'm instructed by a steward to sit where I like. Good. In that case I'll find myself a seat near my Grimsby friends. Presumably they've been here at least an hour, because some of them like to watch certain players warm up.

City make a good start but only manage to score from a Doncaster corner. Chris Weale's long kick finds Martyn Waghorn, who muscles past a defender and bears down on Neil Sullivan's goal before putting the ball beyond him. Again, a haze descends and I have no fucking idea what happens next. Fortunately, when I return to my physical state I'm still more or less in the same place. Everything in my pockets, however, has been scattered around the adjacent rows. Five minutes later, I'm pretty sure I've managed to recover all my keys, change, chewing gum, underwear and so on.

A good first half performance by City and they go in 1-0 up. During the half, Bob fills one of the vacant seats next to me. Immediately he apologises for Robbie getting my phone number. "I gave him my phone and just told him to press the green button. That's all."
"Right. Where is he anyway?"
"No fuckin' idea."
Erm... what?

It's now been snowing for quite some time. The weather tonight is far worse than it was when some of us made the wasted trip back in December. So what are the chances of a late abandonment?

Well, none. In fact, no luck at all for Donny as strong defending and exceptional goalkeeping keep the home side frustrated for the rest of the game. City bag another three points.

At the final whistle, I follow Bob out of the ground. The hotel I'm in tonight was originally booked by him before he decided to drive up, so he knows where it is. Eventually, we find Robbie, who gives me his explanation for the earlier phone call.
"I didn't recognise the number."
"Er, you'd dialled it only a couple of hours before and asked me to call you."
"Yeah but it came up as a +44 number..."
"You're fucking joking, right?" Then I remember who I'm talking to.

After a mazy drive around Doncaster in search of food (no success) Bob heads towards the hotel and drops me off. Eventually I find my room and have a quick look. Despite chucking back two cups of coffee in rapid succession, I'm fucked. Time to sleep.

It's Wednesday morning. I check out and go looking for the nearby bus stop to take me back to the interchange. The one that arrives is crammed. Regardless, the driver opens his door and is happy to take my money. In fact, over the next few stops it transpires that he's under the impression that there's room for another five people.

[This bus is full of kids. Now, if there's one thing worse than standing on a packed bus it's standing on a packed bus while simultaneously surrounded by teenagers, especially when they're talking loudly, in northern, about how lippy they were to their teachers the day before. Yes, I understand, lots of people were little shits when they were teenagers, me included. That shouldn't mean I should have to ever meet any of today's teenagers now I'm paying taxes.]

There's very little time to wait before the X78 back to Sheffield is ready to go. This time it's only £3.20, for some reason. Remembering that pretty soon I'll be passing through Rotherham again, I get out a magazine and try to keep my eyes focused on the page for as much of the journey as possible. Success - the next time I look up is to see a couple of lads getting chucked off at Meadowhall.

Unnecessarily long trips home are always far more pleasant after a win, and even more so after a decent night's sleep. All things considered, it's been a successful couple of days.

Ticket: Already paid for (see here)
Coach: £15.90
Bus: £6.70
Hotel: £25
Total: £47.60

Bagpipes and an abseiling mascot

February 20th: Plymouth Argyle v Leicester City (Championship)

It's fixtures like this that make me very happy that I have a friend who drives to games. In respect of this, as we meet at Fosse Park shortly before 8am I tell Helen she's not paying for any food or coffee she might like to consume today. This and her ticket constitutes today's bribe.

A hair over one hour into the journey, including a stop to find out why the driver's side window wiper is not actually touching the window, we're seeing the turn-off for Tewkesbury. That sounds remarkably quick. A stop at Sedgemoor services gives us time to get breakfast and hot drinks.

[Aren't motorway service stations wonderful? The only other place in the world you can eat shit food and come out with just the shirt on your back is prison, so well done to the motorway service industry for recreating that experience.]

At noon we pass the sign welcoming us to Plymouth. Not long afterwards, we've navigated our way to the stadium car park, which is free. Brilliant! We take a walk up one side of the stadium to find the club shop (mug purchased) and then back where we came from.

[At this stage we come across Sinclair and Stringer, of BBC Radio Leicester, erm, fame. Now, I like these two, on the very few occasions I've met them they've come across as very nice men. But have you read some of the utter wank Stringer comes out with on Twitter? I know that Twitter is, at best, just a way of people broadcasting their most insipid moment-to-moment thoughts to a bunch of cunts with nothing better to do with their time than read the inane shit that goes through other people's heads (apologies to Helen, but it really is) but he seems to take vapidity to a completely new level.]

After a couple of phone calls, a work-related acquaintance arrives with his two daughters, aged 9 and 4.

[Mark's an Arsenal fan, and has indoctrinated these two. I can just imagine him breaking the news to these kids about today:

"I'm taking you two to your first football match on Saturday!"
"Wow, thanks dad, will we be watching Arsenal?"
"Erm, no. Not quite."
"Oh. Who are we watching then."
(Mumbles incoherently into a conveniently placed fist.)
"What did you say daddy?"
"Erm... Plymouth and Leicester."
"I'm so sorry."]

The coming week is apparently Plymouth's Armed Forces Week. This is why, apparently, there are marines on the roof preparing some sort of display. The stadium announcer informs us that Pilgrim Pete - the Argyle mascot - has gone missing. Some people cheer and clap this fact, until he threatens to "bring back the physio from Swansea".

[In the highly unlikely event that anyone ever asks you which club has the funniest stadium announcer in English football is, I reckon Plymouth is as good an answer as any. The run-up to kick-off is a perfect example of how truly insane the people around this club are.]

We then find out why Pilgrim Pete is missing - he's on the roof. And he's going to abseil down. Really. This place is a mad house.

Just past the half hour mark of a match played on one of the worst pitches I've seen in years (the next worst one is, I expect, some four levels below the Football League), Kári Árnason inexplicably rolls the ball into his own net to put City in front. This is probably the strangest goal we'll score this season.

Only seven minutes after the opener, Craig Noone gets his head onto a Chris Clark cross for the leveller. Bollocks.

At half time, we're treated to probably the best interval entertainment ever - marines kicking the fuck out of each other. This is a cracking day out.

If I try to talk you through the second half I'll probably fall asleep and you'll stop reading (assuming, of course, that you've actually managed to get this far).

We leave the ground, and agree to meet Mark and his family in the town centre for some food in a short while. We eventually find our way to the centre and locate a Chinese restaurant. Table for seven? Well... yes. Fifteen minutes later, it transpires that Mark's been unable to locate his wife and is going to have to give it a miss. Table for two then.

[If you're ever on Mayflower Street in Plymouth and are really hungry for Chinese food, go somewhere else for it. This place is crap.]

After some confusion (caused entirely by my increasingly bad short-term memory), we find our way back to the A38. I can feel myself fighting to stay alert and awake here.

Apparently I lost the battle quite some time ago and fell asleep. To my mind, that's just about the most impolite thing you can do on a journey like this. If I could have avoided it, I would. We're now at Bridgwater services. I need coffee. I'm staying awake for the rest of this trip.

On the way back, I find myself wide awake but mostly just staring out into the startling blackness of the evening. Several complex thoughts swirl around my head, about a variety of different subjects. One, however, keeps returning: that was an amazingly poor game.

Final score: Plymouth 1 Leicester 1
Time: 15 hours 50 minutes
Ticket: £24
Bribe: £16 ticket, £14.38 food and coffee
Total: £54.38

Frantic finish

February 16th: Bristol City v Leicester City (Championship)

Excruciating. It's the only word to describe the bus trip from home to Fosse Park. At the front of the bus, three young mothers sit and talk. Nothing offensive there. However, at the back sits their gathered offspring. Now, I hate kids as a rule but one kid is never a problem. Seven, however, is a nightmare, even if you don't have to talk to them. To make things worse, one woman spends five minutes talking to the driver, which of course delays his departure from the stop, elongating my torture around these pint-sized future humans.

[Fuckwitted old sow. If you're spending more than ten seconds interacting with a bus driver, then catching a bus is clearly beyond your capabilities. Find a new mode of transport and stop annoying me.]

I meet Helen at Pizza Hut, where we have time to sit and eat before setting off down for Bristol. As we sit there, we agree we both hate kids. Wonderful.

As we hit the M69, a question rises in her head: What is Britain's shortest motorway? Well, I think the only way to find out for sure is to text Any Question Answered. Six minutes afterwards, we find out that the shortest motorway in the country is the A635(M) in Manchester. That was exciting.

As the journey goes on, we chat generally about a variety of subjects. I notice at one stage that on our tickets is the phrase 'Seats in this stand have no backs and some seats have an obscured view.' Now, hold on a moment. No back to the seat, and possibly an impaired view of the pitch? For twenty five quid? Sadly, any suggestion that it's some sort of joke would be silly - there's definitely £25 missing out of my bank account.

We come through heavy rain around the Evesham mark, but fortunately the weather improves before we arrive in Bristol. We find the football parking with little trouble, although talking to the young lady in the high-vis jacket (ostensibly there to give directions) is not so facile. Her instructions are something like "turn left just before this gate, follow it right round and [indecipherable gibberish]". We turn left. We follow it round. We try to make sense of what she said afterwards, to no avail. We end up near the goods-in door of the nearby warehouse. Not what we were looking for.

After a swift reversal, we decide that she must have said something to the effect of "turn left again and then [indecipherable gibberish]". But still there are no clues as to where we should park. Eventually, the gibberish-spouting young lady's colleague appears from a crack in the wall or something and tells us to park near said crack. I'm slightly dubious about parking so close to what appears to be a transdimensional portal from which people in high-vis jackets just emerge as if from nowhere, especially in the dark, but that's where we end up anyway.

We walk to the ground, around it, past it and back again before locating the club shop. I've become quite good at locating the mugs very quickly, and tonight is no exception. We walk back towards the door we came in, only to be told we can't get out that way. Good job they didn't tell us at the counter, we might have saved a few seconds there. Fuckers.

The gates open at 6.30. Ashton Gate is an interesting venue because you're presented immediately with the unusual experience of going from the 21st century (barcode readers for the turnstiles) to 1981 (shitty seats with no backs, for fuck's sake) within the space of a few moments. Helen tells me of a sign in the toilets that warns of a possible lack of water at busy times (presumably this means during games, which raises the question: why bother having taps in the first place?).

Clever girl that she is, Helen decides that we'll be sitting near the front so as to avoid sitting behind the supporting pillar near the front. Cleverer still, she makes sure she gets the seat directly in front of said pillar so that when she leans back on her backless seat, she can just rest on it.

The public address system crackles for a moment, and it's a few seconds before I realise that somebody is trying to convey a message of some sort. What that is, however, is utterly beyond me. I hope it's not important.

As you'll be aware, there's a new form of entertainment this season whereby player/coach Chris Powell takes a series of penalties against substitute goalkeeper Conrad Logan before every game. Unfortunately tonight, we have a jobsworth twat of a groundsman who approaches Powell before he can make his run-up and kicks the ball away from the spot as he converses with him about how damaging it is to a football pitch if you play football on it.

[Full marks to Logan for performing a series of dives, pretending to save penalties that weren't being taken, while all this was going on. Very funny.]

The game that follows is an even, fair and often fast-paced contest. Several chances go to waste for both sides in both halves - posts are hit, shots cleared off the line, close range saves are made. Late in the game, the home side throw a few attacks at the City box, but none of them are successful.

The electronic board goes up. Five minutes of injury time to be played. Edge of the seat stuff (yet people are still leaving). Moments after we enter time added on, disaster - David Clarkson's shot finds it way to the corner of Chris Weale's net.

Fucking fucking fucking shitting fucking shit. I don't fucking believe it.

From the restart, the ball is laid back to Michael Morrison. He gives it to Jack Hobbs, who lofts it upfield to substitute Yann Kermorgant. Yann heads it on for Lloyd Dyer, who at the second attempt manages to get his shot on target and past Dean Gerken. Yes!

Several lost moments later I look around and think "how did I get here?" I'm miles away from my seat, almost in the home fans. Helen is also some distance away in the opposite direction somehow.

City were worthy of the point tonight. To lose late would have been harsh. Good result.

Getting back out of the car park turns out to be far easier than finding it in the first place. Exiting Bristol easier still, and far more pleasurable - Bristol is just one giant council estate. How this fucking hole is even being considered to be part of a World Cup bid I will never understand.

Helen's football playlist is an acceptable form of background noise for the journey home. At one stage we even enter meaningful conversation, which for me is almost unheard of on a football day. Astounding really.

After what feels like just a few minutes, we part ways again just after midnight. This is a fun new way of doing things. Don't panic, though, if you're a fan of me getting stranded or lost in faraway locations in the dead of night - I'm almost certain it'll happen again. Sooner rather than later.

Final score: Bristol City 1 Leicester 1
Time: 8 hours 50 minutes
Ticket: £25
Helen's bribe: Ticket - £15
Total: £40

Gally hat trick!!!

February 13th: Leicester City v Scunthorpe United (Championship)

Apparently there's some sort of promotion on today whereby some people can get cheap tickets by doing something or whatever. Anyway the end result is a handful of extra people have turned up.

[Handful - that's a strange word to use for people isn't it? I mean, a handful of grapes is what - ten, depending on the size of your hand? A handful of dry roasted peanuts is maybe twenty or thirty peanuts. A handful of people? Maybe an elbow, a chin or part of an arse. Certainly not an entire person.]

City get off to a quick start, with Michael Morrison heading in from a Martyn Waghorn free-kick. Ten minutes later, some good build-up play leads to a Paul Gallagher shot being deflected into the net. On 25, Gallagher gets his second with a neatly-placed free-kick. Less than half an hour in, it's 3-0. Cracking stuff. Now, I've mentioned before that I've never seen City score five in a competitive game. I mean, I've seen it on tv, but never while I've been in attendance. It's when this third goal goes in that I almost start to believe it'll happen. Almost.

On 34, Waghorn fires in City's fourth - surely it's only a matter of time now?

The second half is nine minutes old when Scunthorpe mount a rare attack and pull one back through Paul Hayes. Suddenly I'm thinking of the Peterborough v Cardiff game back in December. No, that won't happen here - let's put that thought our of our minds.

As the game progresses, the chances of a comeback get slimmer and slimmer. City quickly find their rhythm again and look the more dangerous side. So it proves when Gallagher's header from a Richie Wellens ball loops over Joe Murphy into the net. It's five. It's finally happened. Thank fuck for that.

[Seriously, I was getting to the stage where I literally believed it would never happen. Now it has, I'm happy. Now I can just enjoy myself.]

The walk home is so much more pleasant after such an emphatic win. Good day. Very good day.

Final score: Leicester 5 Scunthorpe 1