We were an excited party standing on Southampton Station this morning waiting for our train. The platform was a sea of red and white and filled with an air of expectation. Last time I went to an away game it was 2003, the FA Cup final in Cardiff and it didn’t end so well. We had high hopes today though.
Walking up to the shiny new stadium I couldn’t believe how big it was. Inside there were so many stairs I think I got my day’s quota of exercise before I even got to my seat. Commando was off buying sweets and Mini Commamdo and I giggled as a very odd man walked down to the front of our stand, way up in the very top of the stadium and stood arms spread wide right in front of us. He had a flag wrapped around his neck and his hair was…well not real. Lots of people wear comedy wigs to football. This man was wearing a wig but I don’t think it was meant to be a comedy one. It was black and curly. It looked like a woman’s wig and I’m sure he had it on back to front. Mini Commando egged me on to take a photo.
By the time Commando came back Wiggy Man had gone. He wondered what we were giggling about. Then the match kicked off and Wiggy Man was soon forgotten. Fifteen minutes in we won a penalty. We all held our breath while Lambert took the kick then erupted from our seats as he scored. One nil. Minutes later Lalana almost got a second. This looked like it was going to be our day. Just before half time he did score and we were out of our seats again singing Oh When The Saints!
We’d hardly settled back into our seats after half time when Papa Waigo made it three nil. This was turning out to be a dream match for the red and white boys. When Michail Antonio made it four nil soon after I began to feel sorry for the Carlisle fans. Their team were trying hard but we outclassed them at every turn. They did manage a consolation goal in the dying seconds but the cheering was half hearted. We were singing so much I’m hoarse now.
It was wonderful to see all the furore, the explosions of red and white, the cup being raised by our lads. A perfect ending to a perfect day. We sang all the way home on the train too.