THERE is a wonder in being at Oakwell on a bracing Saturday afternoon. Your mind races, at times in awe of everything you see around you.

Have you ever pondered why litter, created from the sweet wrappers and crisp packets, loves to nestle around the goal near the Ponty End in blustery conditions? Or seen how the discarded Greggs carrier bags, take on their own personality and fly in the wind; in such an extraordinary way? Almost teasing the observer to guess "which way will I fly now?" only to see your predictions dashed.

As the sun fades and dusk begins to take it's early grip, the man-made brilliance of the floodlights begins to work it's magic. A flock of gulls in flight are dancing in a myriad of directions around the glow. Their bodies becoming Spitfire-esque in the control and speed they demonstrate at play.

And then, just like a needle being suddenly grated accross a vinyl record, instantly bringing a soothing tune to halt. I realise it's Saturday afternoon and I'm at Oakwell.

Once more that feeling is there. Like you've just rushed to the toilet, with an urgent case of the runs. Spending what seems like ages before you finally emerge, thinking you've finally got over the worst of it. Confidently, pulling back up your trousers, to return to the bosom of your loving family. Then painfully being reminded that your body requires you to go through the same process yet again. Yes, it's pants down time once more!

But as one chap put it, "they've lost more ground on the Play-Offs now". I would like to think there was a sincerity in that.

For me, I had found something to keep my glass half-full.
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Ian Wilkinson

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