Wednesday 1st December 2010
Despite the fact it is well over ten years since I missed any first class fixture I have never claimed that it wouldn't happen one day. All the time I enjoy going, can afford it or another one of life's matters doesn't get in the way I will be there week in week out. If it wasn't for the fact I moved home a few months back, it is highly likely Tuesday night's match would not have been graced with my presence!
Those of you Gooners based particularly in Kent but other areas of the south-east too will be fully aware of what I am talking about.
Remembering that London and Arsenal is only an hour away from the people I am referring to here, as the dust has settled this morning I have listened to tales of not only how some simply couldn't get to the match but also how those few who did (or tried to) found themselves getting home just in time for breakfast!
Snow hit big time yesterday afternoon and consequently as we secured our Carling Cup semi-final place many had to endure a whole freezing cold night in their car or on a train!
The streets of London late afternoon and early evening, including of course those around N5, although extremely chilly, didn't give any indication as to the carnage being experienced just a few miles away. Yes, there were a few snow flurries but the streets remained wet if anything and consequently the game was never in doubt.
Many from our supporters club down in Maidstone hadn't made it and once inside the stadium, the numerous empty seats in a 'sold out' fixture confirmed just how many had been beaten by the weather on this occasion.
Despite all this, we had a job to do of course and we progressed through to the semis in relative comfort.
Without being at our free-flowing best, a strong-looking outfit despite the nine changes made from the Villa starting line up created all but perhaps one of the clear-cut openings, the only shock being it took an own goal late in the first half to get us on our way.
Nicky's goal doubled our lead and although we squandered many more opportunities it very much was a case of job done.
Overall it means we can relax in front of the other two quarter finals tonight before we find out who we will take on in the last four.
As we look forward to Fulham at home in our next outing I'm not sure how many of my Gooner mates will remain awake for tonight's action given the previous 24 hours!
I do know however, they will be massively warmer!
FrankCopyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 1 Dec 2010