Another paradoxical weekend
The last twenty four hours have been a slight juxtaposition. Last night (Friday 6th) I had the pleasure to watch AFC Bournemouth beat Fulham, at Fulham. This had a slightly pleasant feel to it. Firstly it was the first time I’d been to Craven Cottage. In nine years of living in London I am slightly ashamed at this, but I think my experience, and the result make up for this appalling statistic. The second reason was that over Christmas I went to the Boxing Day game, and good old Bomo beat Fulham 2-0. During this game Fulham had a bite to them and, at times, looked like inflicting serious damage to Bournemouth’s defence. Since then Fulham have sunk to just above relegation. Considering last season they were relegated from the Premier League, their current position shows how much is wrong with this once great club. The third and final reason why last night’s game was so satisfying was a few weeks ago I saw a good Brentford, and a bad referee deny Bournemouth any points in a miserable afternoon at Griffin Park.
Last night’s match started brightly. Fulham looked down but not out from the kick off. It wasn’t until the half hour mark that Bournemouth could make a dent in Fulham’s defence. Bret Pitman was the scorer and yes Pitness levels were raised. Seven minutes later Matt Ritchie made it 2-0. Then it was half time. The second half started brightly and just after an hour Bournemouth were 3-0 up. They were cruising. Then the inevitable happened. They got slack and complacent and Fulham got one back. 3-1. Fulham’s Fernando Amorebieta got sent off at 69 minutes for a rash challenge. The thought of a comeback was short lived as Ritchie scored again on 71 minutes. At this point Fulham’s fans, weary of a season which many had predicted promotion would be a formality, started to leave the ground. In droves. However the game was not over. Six minutes from time Steve Cook scored possibly the goal of the night. To make it 5-1. Being a humble and gracious fan the travelling away arm shouted “WE WANT SIX!” repeatedly until the fulltime whistle was blown. What a night to remember!!! What’s more Bournemouth were top of the league. They have scored more goals this season than any other team in Britain, and most of Europe.
After a night like that, how would you spend the following day? Reminiscing the events in their sepia tone? Staying slightly horizontal due to a slight hangover? Having a kick-a-bout in the park and trying to recreate the goals? Going to the local pub for a couple of pints in the glorious 17 degree Sun, then eating bread, cheese and an artisan porkpie? No, although they do sound great. Instead I took part in a march through central London with the Tibet Society, Free Tibet Students for a Free Tibet and Tibetan Community in Britain. It was to commemorate 56 years since the Tibetan National Uprising. The march took just over an hour to travel from Downing Street to Portland Place (just above Oxford Street). The end destination was the Chinese Embassy. As the weather was glorious it was a pleasant stroll through London waving banners and chanting call and response style protests. Like a lot of people of my age, the Tibetan problem was brought to our attention by the Beastie Boys. I remember reading a wonderful interview Adam “MCA” Yauch had with the Dali Lama. Then there were the Free Tibet concerts and albums. Sadly with MCA’s passing in 2012 one of the cause’s loudest voices was lost, but millions now know about Tibet’s plight and thousands have taken up this fight. As predicted the march went off without a hitch and everybody left feeling that they’d taken part in something important. Not bad for a Saturday morning eh?