Mar. 24th, 2016

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Susie was off this week but she'd left me an extra task : disposing of some old documents that had been gathering dust under the desk since her days in my current job. While I was sorting them, I began feeling a sensation of something in my eye. The irritation was still there yesterday morning, so I set off earlier than planned for the trip to Manchester and called in at the surgery in Leighton to see the nurse.

I was waiting over an hour. After dripping orange dye into my eye to allow her to shine a light on it to look for scratches - none, thank goodness - I was expecting her to wash it out with water, but she prescribed me some ointment to drop into my eye four times a day. I administered my first drop in the surgery waiting room and wandered around the High Street shops with that eye shut. I was thinking that right now 'Sally One Eye', one of my old Hawk girls, and I ought to get together...

I had fun and games finding the Manchester Sportcity Travelodge, mostly because my crude hand-drawn map copied from Google Maps wasn't to scale so I ended up walking a good half-mile further up Pottery Lane than I needed to. After unpacking I switched on the telly, administered an eye drop and laid on the bed with my head tilted back listening to The Chase.

Then it was time to mosey up to the Manchester City Academy Stadium. The tea bar served an excellent Lancashire beef and beer stew with red cabbage. Having eaten, I popped up to the press seats to see if Jen from She Kicks was at the game - she wasn't, but I got a quick word with Louise from Radio 5 Live and thanked her for the support they're giving the women's game. Then I looked round for fellow Lady Pies fans, found Kate and husband Lee in the front row and joined them.

As the teams were announced, Notts fans booed City's Nikita Parris. Being still something of a rookie Lady Pies fan, I asked Kate why, and she said last year Parris had dived all over the place and committed a bad foul on a Lady Pie and got away with all her sins. That was to haunt us.

Notts matched City, keeping them at bay the whole time with solid rearguard action and mounting their share of attacks. Eyebrows had been raised before the match when we saw Megan Walsh was starting in goal for us, we wondered if Carly Telford's hamstring was still aggravating her or if Rick was just preferring Megan, but if it was the latter then Rick was right on the button as Megan played an absolute blinder, making a string of fantastic saves. We looked set for a well-deserved point, with which we'd have been very happy against a star-studded side. the 93rd minute Nikita Parris threw herself on the ground like a sack of spuds 30 yards from goal. The free kick was given. Steph Houghton struck the ball clinically and it sailed straight into the net.

We all sat in stunned silence while the home fans around us all went bananas. The whistle went. I said my goodbyes to Kate and Lee and trudged back to the Travelodge to drown my sorrows with a Rekorderlig in the bar. The bar had Heart radio playing 24/7, which in my mood irritated me. At that time of night, speech radio like 5 Live is more appropriate, or if you must have music, something easier on the ear like Magic.

Back to the room to put the news on and run a relaxing bath.

Left the hotel this morning into rain. On the train home, learned that my pal Jodie Taylor had signed for Arsenal Ladies! That was a bolt from the blue - I'd thought she'd never leave the States, on Twitter even Jen said she was gobsmacked. It's fantastic news for the WSL, though, and from a Lady Pies point of view, now Arsenal have Jodie fingers crossed they might let us keep Rachel Yankey for longer.

Arrived home just in time for the start of the England v West Indies Women's T20 cricket on 5 Live Sports Extra. That was nail-biting stuff, went down to the last ball but no matter - WE WON :)


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Malmö 58

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