It was Saturday, and that meant one thing in the Hundred Acre Wood – football. As Pooh and Piglet walked to Longmead, Pooh looked at the bare tree branches blowing about in the wind.
“It’s a blustery day, Piglet”, said Pooh.
“Yeah, shit weather for football”, said Piglet.
That rather killed the conversation, so Pooh stayed silent as they headed to the match, as he suspected that Piglet was in a bad mood.
As the first half progressed Pooh was impressed with the Tonbridge Angels passing game, which was dominating possession.
“This passing game is impressive”, said Pooh.
“Yeah, but it’s not opening up the Hornchurch defence”, said Piglet.
At that moment McKenzie was played through one on one with the keeper, but hit a weak shot wide of the post, and shortly afterwards Turner hit a great shot on the move. Pooh pondered these positive developments, but sensed that Piglet was a bit grumpy so kept himself to himself for a while, rather than point out that the home side should be ahead.
By half time even though the Angels were firmly on top, it was still 0-0, and something was troubling Pooh.
“Piglet”, said Pooh.
“Yes Pooh”, said Piglet.
“Can you help me with some numbers”, said Pooh.
“I’ll try”, said Piglet.
Piglet was not very good with numbers higher than three, but this was not usually a problem watching Tonbridge Angels.
“What is 45 plus 90 plus 90 plus 90 plus 45?” asked Pooh.
Piglet pondered this for a while as they walked from the terraces, and quickly realised that it was probably more than three. He needed help.
“I think we need help with this Pooh. Let’s go upstairs and ask Wol”.
Piglet knew that Wol was good with numbers because he sat in a tower and read out numbers during the game. He even lit up a sign with numbers on it as well. Wol used the name Dave on Saturdays.
So they climbed the stairs to the tower and asked Wol what 45 plus 90 plus 90 plus 90 plus 45 was. Wol looked over his glasses at them, and after a great deal of thought he announced that 45 plus 90 plus 90 plus 90 plus 45 was a VERY big number. “Gosh, thank you Wol”, said Pooh, “that means it’s a VERY big number of minutes since Tonbridge last scored a goal”. Piglet glared at him, and with that Pooh and Piglet left the media tower and headed to the bar for a couple of pints of Guinness, before walking back to the terraces for the second half.
As the second half progressed Pooh noticed that every time the ball was hoofed up in the air it landed in a different place from where it was supposed to. He decided that this was what Piglet meant about it being a shit day for football.
“Piglet”, said Pooh.
“Yes Pooh”, said Piglet.
“Do you think Eeyore’s happy to see so many of his relatives playing football for Hornchurch today”, said Pooh.
“Nothing makes Eeyore happy”, sighed Piglet, “Can’t you tell by his demeanour in the dugout?”.
“Oh yes”, said Pooh. Not wanting to admit that he didn’t know what a demeanour was. He decided that it was probably one of those nasty things from Harry Potter, which would fit the mood of the people in the home dugout.
As the second half went on Pooh was a bit bored as nothing much had happened, and he was sad that the Tonbridge captain had been stretchered off with a bad ankle injury. He started to wonder if 45 plus 90 plus 90 plus 90 plus 45 plus another 45 was a VERY, VERY big number indeed. But Pooh was a bear of little brain and the two pints of Guinness he’d drunk at half time were working their way through him, so he decided to go to the toilet.
“Piglet”, said Pooh, “I’ve decided to go to the toilet”.
“Oh!”, said Piglet,”That’s great, you know what happens when you do that with 5 minutes to go”.
“Yes,” said Pooh, “Of course I do”. He didn’t really know what Piglet meant, but as his little friend still seemed to have the hump at the Angels’ inability to break down the stubborn Hornchurch defence, he thought it best not to say, and went to the Gents behind the stand.
As he was finishing relieving himself he heard a loud roar. “Oh fantastic” he said to himself, as could only mean one thing. Tigger had arrived! Pooh rushed back to the stand to see Piglet beaming from ear to ear. “You see Pooh, I told you what would happen!”. “Yes”, said Pooh, “Of course I knew all along what you meant.” Still not knowing what he meant. Looking around he could not see his bouncy friend anywhere, but everyone else was jumping up and down so he knew Tigger must be there, because his bouncing was so infectious.
“It was a great pass by Tom Beere to Joe Turner, who finally banged in a hard low cross instead of a loopy high ball, which Tom Derry stabbed home”, squeaked Piglet. Pooh realised that as well as missing Tigger, he’d also missed a goal, as Wol announced some numbers from the tower. “That’s brilliant”, said Pooh, “Two Toms combined to score for Tombridge”. “No”, said Piglet, “It’s Tonbridge, not Tombridge”. “Oh”, said Pooh. “But the dementor always calls it Tombridge in his post match interviews.” Piglet gave him a withering look, so Pooh decided it was time to keep quiet again.
The match ended 1-0 shortly afterwards, and Pooh was all smiles to see S.Miles given the Man of the Match award, as Tonbridge had kept another clean sheet. Piglet told him that they were 4th in the table, and only 4 points off second place which was great news. Their next three league games were against teams currently in 18th, 19th and 20th places, which gave the Angels a great chance of closing in on a play off spot. “That should be interesting with a Garden Show planned on the pitch on the same day as the new fangled Super Sunday play off final”, thought Pooh. He looked at Piglet’s face. “Oh, sorry, I said that out loud, didn’t I”.
As they walked back up the hill towards the George and Dragon after the game, Pooh chuntered amiably to Piglet about what fun it had been to see a home win even on such a blustery day, and how good the Tom’s had been for Tombridge. Piglet agreed, but was still a bit grumpy about the quality of the football, and was irritated by some of Pooh’s questions about why anyone bothered with long throw ins and short corners, because nobody ever scored from them. At the end of the day it didn’t really bother Pooh that Piglet was grumpy, because he was his friend, and even though Pooh was a bear of little brain who was easily pleased, at least he knew that he was the one of the two of them who would be around next season come what may, because he wasn’t the one who’d end up over the summer as the filling in a Gregg’s sausage roll. But being his best friend, of course he wouldn’t tell him.
Walk off music