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13th April 2015

jeff winter
A change of job for Oliver's mother has seen a welcome increase in my child minding duties. At least the weather has enabled us to get and about more and added to the normal pass times has bene the ability to get out into the fresh air. Sometimes perhaps I forget that he's only two and a half and he tells me when he's done enough!!

jeff winter
It's not all child minding though and come Thursday it was time for my fourth game in seven days, a second trip to Dumfries this season. Before Christmas we were thumped by a fast counter attacking team, this time though confidence was high. What happened next I just didn't see coming.

We were thrashed by a fast counter attacking team!! Didn't turn up but whilst the fans as usual were there in numbers they didn't really turn up either!! Plenty of criticism and anger at a very poor performance but very little vocal support or encouragement!!! Maybe that comment won't be too popular but it's the way I see it.

jeff winter
There in numbers but a strangely subdued atmosphere. Far too often the fans are up for the big games but just attend the others.

jeff winter
One thing that is consistent at Rangers away games is the unnecessary and totally excessive policing. Great overtime presumably for the officers but a pointless waste of pubic money.

jeff winter
Highlight of the trip to Palmerston Park apart from Kenny's jokes on the way up in the car was the sight of the idiotic Celtic supporter who decided to go for a jog past the away end shortly before kick off. At least his pace increased as he was encouraged by the Rangers supporters!!

jeff winter
Friday morning and to get Queen of the South out of the system it was gymnastics class for Oliver, not me I hasten to add. The great benefit of working locally on the night.

jeff winter
Friday afternoon and Saltburn. Whilst he's going to be far too big to be a jockey it doesn't hurt to get him involved with horses!!

Friday evening and whilst Bournemouth were edging closer to one of the automatic promotion slots I was working locally at South Bank St Peter's Social Club raising funds for a the local Eston Handicap Fellowship. NB for scumbags who suggest I am a bigot!!

Great night, totally different to usual speaking events, put comedian Zac Stevens on first then I did a sort of stand up, Q & A session that went down well with a totally different type of audience. Challenging at first but a pleasant change to standard type of evening. Home early as well, midnight!!

jeff winter
And so to Saturday, take nothing for granted especially after watching Rangers on Thursday night, but surely Rotherham should be swept aside at the Riverside.

Karanka's appeal for more support fell on deaf ears as just over 18,500 Boro fans attended - that's around 5,000 down on the last home game I think!! Maybe they are saving their money for Tuesday night against Wolves. Only the five changes today!!! Wouldn't have been surprised if he'd left out Clayton as a booking for him would have meant no Grant or Adam for Wolves!!

jeff winter
The Red Faction were as usual up for it, we lack quantity but certainly have quality. First half the same as usual, possession but no cutting edge. Eased to victory elsewhere but with top three also winning no change. If Effing useless Lennon could teach his team how to defend then we could have gone ahead of Norwich but that's life.

In the press box there was delight as the referee pointed to the penalty spot late on, it was the chance for me to get the late goal I needed for my bet and a friend had 3-0 to the Boro. A spat between Kike and Bamford as to who was taking it and Bamford's composure couldn't have been helped as the crowd chanted for Kike as our leading goalscorer stepped up to miss it.

Post match cover up as Karanka didn't want to discuss it but obviously wasn't happy, Bamford let the cat out of the bag saying that his name was up in the dressing room as penalty taker if he was still on the pitch. Cue Kike probably won't start on Tuesday; you don't mess with Aitor.

jeff winter
963 away fans, above average but still pretty poor when the game was as important for them and its less than a hundred miles away. Entertainment provided in the technical area by Steve Evans as per usual with his constant trouser hitching and crucifixion pose. At least that's one game more without him having a heart attack!!

jeff winter
Friday on the beach in shorts, Sunday heading through snow on the A66 on the way to Ibrox. British summertime my arse!

jeff winter
Sunday afternoon and the weather is better in Glasgow as I'm ready for my sixth game in ten days, three Boro - two wins and one defeat - and now my third Rangers game. Hoping that victory will also mean 2-1 for the Light Blues.

Bets on Rangers to win both halves, Rangers to score in both halves and a late goal. Tipped Nicky Clark for the first and Vuckic for anytime but unfortunately didn't put any money on! You should always go with your instincts!

jeff winter
Captains and then the chance to get Thursday's horror performance out of the system.

jeff winter
Sunshine but empty seats and an atmosphere resembling a library. Rangers eased to a very comfortable victory that resembles a testimonial game. Not helped by a very quiet Ibrox, seems that unless its Hearts, Hibs, Celtic or Aberdeen then everyone just watches.

In fact worse than that, every misplaced pass or shot that doesn't hit the back of the net was met by audible groans. Not good!! Nevertheless an easy three points that keeps the fight for second well on course and that means two games less in the elongated play off process.

Neil decides to head into the traffic rather than away from Ibrox so we lose half an hour. He was told in no mild way, the journey home got worse with the A66 closed after an accident. That meant a detour over the Dales where our driver fulfilled a lifelong ambition to pretend he was a rally driver. Despite his efforts to kill us we did get back home in one piece!

jeff winter
Monday morning and the start of a week that will almost certainly finalise Boro's automatic promotion chances, two wins looking necessary starting with Wolves on Tuesday evening. Before that a day with Oliver as he gets used to his latest present. You've got to bring them up right!!


Monday night and up to Sunderland to see the musical Wicked. Tuesday night and Boro v Wolves, Friday and the long trip to Norwich before a few days in the sun before the hopefully final away game of the season at Fulham.

Enjoy your week.

Are you planning a Speakers Evening or fundraiser? You can be assured that as well as speaking I will give maximum help to fundraising on the evening with my auctioneering skills, contact me regarding availability on

Just a thought, nowadays many smaller organisations have stopped doing Sportmanís evenings mainly due to the economic recession and the increasing costs. If your club doesn't have the numbers to support the traditional speakers evening then why not book me for a one man show, I regularly do these, my normal After Dinner slot followed by a Q & A session and fundraising activities. I can assure you there is more than enough content to fill the night.

Have a good week.

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