Despite both the social club and the Main Stand inn showing the derby, CYCM decided against it. Twomowers made the point that the club was founded under the principle of not being bossed around by sky, and by sticking United v City on the telly instead of or during a band playing, would have been going against everything we supposedly stand for.
It was a brave move, and one that could have ensured a very empty Malcolms. In the end it wasn’t so bad, certainly not full, but a lot busier than when the band were performing their sound check. At that time there were about a dozen people in the room, six of whom were crowded around an iPhone, squinting at the screen, wacthing the derby with the sort of view usually reserved for the denizens of North Stand tier 3. Had things remained this way, it would have been a sad reflection on our support, and a grave injustice for the band, The Lottery Winners, who were fantastic.
Quite how fantastic they were was open to debate. Many said they were the best we’d seen in Malcolms all season. Others believe Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man still hold that prize. But why quibble? The Lottery Winners have an album out on the 25th, I’ll be trying to get hold of a copy, even though only 500 are being released. That we get to see such bands in an environment such as Malcolms is a rare treat, and a treat we should never take for granted. CYCM is one of the best things about our club, and to ignore it to watch a match on sky elsewhere smacks of going to La Louvre and ignoring the paintings to browse the gift shop. It’s valid enough, but missing the point somewhat.
As The Lottery Winners performed their new single, Lovers Lane, Wayne Rooney scored his sensational overhead kick to ensure that city were kept in their place for another season at least. For all their proud boasts of what they were going to do, they failed to win at Old Trafford once again, in will more likely fail to win any silverware once again. The natural order remains.
Only 1662 people bothered to make it to Gigg Lane for Whitby’s visit. This number is disappoingly low, but even more disappointingly unsurprising. Despite FC United’s recent upturn in form, and a series of ever more impressive performances, even in defeat, many would rather stay away to watch two teams who rather ignore their local community and in some cases try actively seem to try and alienate them, rather than come to support a team that is rooted firmly in the Manchester community. That’s up to them. I can’t criticise, I was one fo the half dozen squinting at the iPhone.
After quarter of an hour of the first half, FC United took the lead. A United corner was only cleared by Whitby as far as the edge of the box, and Jimmy Holden volleyed it in to the net off the angle of post and crossbar. It was a great goal by any standard, and the irony of Holden, who has city’s motto ‘Superbia in Proelia’ tattooed on to his neck, scoring such a sensational volley so soon after Rooney’s secured Big United’s derby victory wasn’t lost on anyone. Actually it probably was. I’ve only just realised it now myself, and wish I hadn’t even started making this convoluted point. But I’ll be fucked if I’m retyping that bit.
Just before half time, Wolfenden had made it 2-0, with a goal I missed as I’d already headed back to Malcolms. Norton added his 18th of the season in the second half for the third, and in the last minute an unfortunate Whitby defender sliced in to his own net when trying to clear a Wolfenden shot.
So 4-0, and a sixth win from nine games. That is playoff form. And should we win against Chasetown in Stalybridge on Wednesday, we could go as high as seventh. Seventh! That’s nosebleed territory. Are the playoffs still a distant dream, or has our upturn in form given us a real chance to stake a claim? I’d like to think the latter, but with us looking stronger in every game, and with every team taking points off each other, I guess anything remains possible.