On Sunday I should have been at the WAY Big Picnic, locally held at the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Briefly I was, arriving with Heather, Gemma and other WAYers to at least find the picnic spot and set up. I then had to leave before most of the party arrived though, to head back over the other side of London to Wembley.
I was at Wembley to watch Cambridge United play Gateshead in the conference play-off final. Impressions of Wembley are its big but lacks a bit of character. Like most modern stadia there’s nothing to distinguish one part from another, no quirky stands or favourite corners here. It also has a corporate “venue” feel (football grounds aren’t venues, they’re churches and cathedrals), right down to the metal decking beneath the seats which gave the impression of versatility more than actually caring about details of the ground. There’s never enough bar space open either!
Unfortunately, despite the vocal support of the out numbered Heed Army, Gateshead couldn’t correct the 54-year-old injustice of being un-elected from league football, falling 2–1. The players undoubtedly gave their all, and arguably deserved extra-time, but it was not to be (possibly undone by a reluctance to get the ball in the box or shoot from outside meaning their at times dominant possession didn’t produce much in the way of chances until behind).
After that disappointment it was back across London to help carry things away from the picnic, having missed the whole thing! Ah well, next season!