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West Virginia
Two fat ladies
By Tim Tweddell

Ten o'clock in the morning in the Eastern United States and an opportunity to indulge in two hours of sanity on the mIRC site, #vicarage_road. Usually a quiet refined period with a cast of villains from Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and the USA, and a variable contigent from the UK, all of us hoping desperately that someone with Three Counties Radio will join us, especially when it's a home game. This rarely happens and we are left with the Sporting Life vidiprinter, BBC World Service Radio and This Is London in an abortive attempt to follow the progress of the Golden Boys, but have an interesting "chat".

Away games draw a few more fans, and usually there is someone with 3CR who can relay the relevant details that (very) occasionally are broadcast. Whereas there are the faithful few, five or six, for home games, away games will frequently draw a dozen or so, and again the chat is enjoyable.

Blackpool apparently does not have the attractions it was purported to have when I was a lad, as on this Saturday there were more than twenty participants, the usual crew having been joined by an apparent group of ichthyologists. The quality of the game coverage wasn't improved, but the trout-slapping sequences were prolonged.

The only significant events which interrupted the frivolity were Ronnie being injured (groans), Darren scoring (whoops of delight) and Blackpool being reduced to ten men (general back-slapping). Paul from the USA quietly added his contribution "We need another goal". This comment was roundly ignored as another bout of fishy fun was underway.

Enter the two fat ladies - yes, 88 minutes and the unthinkable happens. Blackpool equalise (despair, nashing of teeth). Paul, to his great credit, keeps quiet. One by one we log off, cursing - another two hours of our lives spent in front of the monitor, and only one point to show for it when we should have had three. The faithful will be back next week, groping in the electronic dark for a snatch of news from Vicarage Road.

Wonder if they could get Clarissa and Jennifer to make the pies.

Ronny went off injuredWritten groans and strong language
Darren scoresHappiness unbounded. Coloured displays!
Brabin sent offIt's in the bag - No problem - We're promoted

The lone voice of Paul - "We need another goal" - is roundly ignored as the trout are produced for further rounds of slapping.

Blackpool equalise on 88 minutesDespair, very strong language. Paul keeps quiet.
End of gameGeneral despondency