Jane Stuart – Writer

Writing about real life Up North: football, ale, food and mental health – with a good dash of humour.

Blackpool v Northampton Town: Time Travelling

Dear reader, I’ve been doing a lot of time-travelling of late – and it’s beginning to take its toll on me mentally. I’ve been reliving highly emotional moments from my/Blackpool’s history during January and it’s almost as if I’m transported back there, such is the depth of emotion I feel when I’m writing. Whilst this will certainly be to the benefit of my book, where my heart is poured out onto every page, it has sent me into a little spell of depression recently (as I relive my first bout of depression), so I took full advantage of the football-free weekend just gone to recharge my batteries.

I’ve also been spending way too much time in front of a laptop, so have made a conscious effort to move away from it. I spent the weekend walking, reading (I’ve finally finished ‘We Go Again’ by Tim Cooper – review to follow) and watching movies (Divergent and Insurgent).

On the recommendation of fellow writers (and for the sake of my mental health), I have switched to another writing project until I get my mojo back and start singing round the house again. I do have a hard deadline of the end of May to write a cyberpunk film script for my OU course, so that is proving a welcome distraction. Goodbye heart-rending time-travel into the past; hello fun world-building in the dystopian future! As part of my research, I’m reading/listening to/watching a lot of sci-fi/cyberpunk – and any recommendations would be welcomed, especially covering the subject of genetic modification.

Lee and I have been walking different routes recently – and on Sunday found all sorts of delights on the prom up Gynn Square way, including Sooty & Sweep – and Lego Spiderman.

On Monday night, I had a Zoom call with the (beer) girls and it was lovely to relax and laugh in the company of friends I hadn’t seen in almost a year (on my last ‘normal’ night out). WARNING: Contains penis straws.

Anyway, that’s quite a long short version explaining why I’m trying to keep these blogs (the home ones at least) a little shorter. So on to the match…

Blackpool v Northampton Town

We were highly excited about this match tonight, in the knowledge we had five or six players returning from COVID. If we could beat Wigan when we were so under-strength, surely Northampton were in for a good shoeing tonight? Ellis Simms (of 50 goals in 50 games fame) was starting; Kenny Dougall was back; and this game had 6-0 written all over it. There was no Madine (mysteriously not even on the bench) but hey we’ve got a new goal machine now, so we got over that pretty quickly.

The game began in the same fashion as last week – another good omen; it was end-to-end stuff from the off, both sides creating chances. Sullay Kaikai had rediscovered his form (presumably down the back of the sofa) and was wizarding away down the left; he was also back on the free-kicks and corners with Garbutt being absent from the squad. Blackpool were counter-attacking a lot tonight and it was often Kaikai leading the line. Northampton were finding space in our defence but, despite a good effort forcing a Hollywood save from Chris Maxwell early on, struggled to find the target (‘how high/wide do you want the goal?’). I suspect that – and their vulnerability on the counter attack – is why they are lying in the relegation zone. They battled but they just couldn’t pull the trigger.

Blackpool, however, are rapidly improving in that department. You know how I’ve been complaining that all our goals have to be so beautifully crafted? Well our first tonight was a bit of a farce. Stewart appeared to mishit the ball, which was looping out for a goal kick; I was thinking ‘who the hell have we signed here?’ as our players began to trudge back upfield. All bar Sullay Kaikai, who trapped the ball with the outside of his foot, somehow kept it in play, delivered a delicious hanging cross into the box, which took Big Marv by surprise, hitting him and ending up in the back of the net. 1-0. Haha!

I have to say, despite his apparent surprise at scoring that goal, Big Marv is a top contender for Player of the Year. His positioning is excellent at both ends of the pitch – and that’s two goals in two games for him now.

As for Blackpool’s second? Oh. My. God. Chris Maxwell – who I’m beginning to think is genetically-modified, he’s just so damn perfect in everything he does – launched a huge throw to Jerry Yates, who charged forward down the left. He ran into the box to screams of ‘Jez! Jez!’ but he seemed determined to craft enough space to carve a chance for himself. ‘Jez! Jez!’. Cue Cruyff turn. The keeper identifies the threat and races out to narrow the angle but Jez can smell a goal and nothing was going to get in his way tonight. He found and launched the shot. Boom! 2-0.

So there’s a young lad with 50 goals in 50 games? Pah! Well that’s 10 goals in the last 18 games for Yates – an excellent haul at this level (remember Simms’ goals have mainly come at U23/U18s).

Check out the highlights here:

We decided we need chants for these great players of ours, so tune in from half time at the link below to hear a couple of new chants for Kenny Dougall. There’s a short and simple one from me – and something humorous from Mr Moley (‘Dougall…he is not a dog…’) On Saturday we’ve been challenged to come up with chants for Jerry Yates and the bar has been set…

Right, I’m setting off for Ipswich now (I’m walking, because I remember how bad the train fare was last season…). Can I resist staying in The Fat Cat, scoffing a Chinese banquet (ah bliss!)? Pop back next time and find out…

UTMP!


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