BY JOHN ACE
On Saturday, the mood was happy, but also tight. You had people thinking of our recent results, (We had drawn and lost our 2 previous matches at home, which ended a run of successive matches without a loss at home, too.) but this was a Regiment tailgate, and there’s always a good mood for those.
However, some were apprehensive, there was a funk going around the team, and this was an MLS reserve team, they couldn’t be that bad, right?
Well, so it proved that pre-game nerves were put off by good eats and friendly banter amongst friends, as usual, and we ended up going in with a bit of confidence that we could maybe sneak a goal early, and dictate tempo as we have done in previous matches. We were okay.
Some like to think of a pre-game as a little like the stages of grief. The day of the match when you first wake up, you’re a bit nervous. You can’t think straight, you can’t eat because your stomach hurts. Then, as time gets closer, you get a bit excited. The thought of game-winning goals going in makes your eyes water a bit, and you daydream about celebrating in the stands as players do the same on the pitch.
But then, once you get to the match, the nerves settle in again. What if your team gets off to a bad start? There’s a lot of times where that hurts a team, not for ten minutes, but the whole match. These nerves haunt people to no end, only to be replaced by utter confidence when you enter the stadium.
This was what was going through some peoples’ minds before kick-off, but ebbed away after Nicki Paterson’s beautiful free kick goal at the Regiment end to make it 1-0
TOP IMAGE: Irish Night at featured a fair assortment of non-Irish things as well, both in the stadium and outside it. Dan Conover photos.