The storm before the calm

It is raining.

It is raining so hard that the roof at the stadium cannot cope. It is raining so hard that the end of the pitch is in a spray haze fog.

It is raining so hard that one cannot help but get excited about the idea of Omar Daley running at David Unsworth.

Local pride – the right to brag – is at stake tonight but of equal importance perhaps is the right to maintain the belief in the season.

For Town a poor opening day needs augmenting. For City belief – that slightest of all things – is to be maintained.

Certainly the travellers have belief. Seeking cover before the game the make an impressive noise.

In the midst of this noise it is announced that Peter Thorne is benched for Michael Boulding as McCall tests the strength of his squad. The PA man gets a round of applause for wishing all the best to “Our friend Jacko”. “Didn’t they sack him twice?” someone comments. With friends like these.

The PA wishes us all the best in our quest to get out of the fourth tier of football and is booed as the scoreboard flicks through images of Town’s past. Three years running precedes television.

The attendance from City is healthy despite the barb from said announcer which only serves to highlight how few of the 15,000 who saw Saturday’s draw here had the will to return.

Everything is booed that is contrary. Everything not of our colour is bad as the noise raises and the teams emerge.

Omar wears a sweatshirt in kicking in. David Wetherall – tasting defeat badly last time – looks studious. Danny Cadamarteri is jeered.

With that one of the most humourless derby games in English football kicks off.

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