Thursday 5th November 2013
The long awaited replay was finally here and the weather forecast was not exactly favourable. There was rain forecast but it was also going to be very cold, in fact I was told after the match that the temperature did get down to -3ºC.
As I knew that the game was going ahead it was going to be the biggest game that I have covered so far and I was certainly looking forward to it. As I knew that over 2500 tickets had been sold and that the turnstiles were going to be open a bit earlier I got myself to the ground for just before 6pm. I had a couple of things to do first when I got there such as take some photos in the corporate suite as it was going to be very busy. It was then that I saw Timmy Mallet minus his mallet and he was wearing a massive Russian style hat.
When I eventually got to pitch side there was already Steven White and Rob Smith there. I had already briefly met Steven before but it was good to finally get to talk to him properly and it was also good to meet Rob, both these lads produce cracking photos although Rob is from Darlo haha.
It’s strange having BT Sport there as you sometimes get the impression that they believe they own the place just from they way they conduct themselves. They were supposed to wear security/identity passes and have them on full view but seems that some of them were above that and didn’t need to do so.
Still I wasn’t going to let them ruin this night for me so I just got on and took photos of parts of the build up that I wanted to record. Naturally a few of my ‘build up’ photos included ones of Lynsey Hipgrave and there was also Mark Creighton who got in the way. As soon as the Heed Army realised that the TV Cameras were recording they made their voices heard and when I watched it back later they did themselves proud all night.
During the match I had my first experience of getting hit by the ball, well I say hit but it was coming my way so I gave it a good old back hand to keep it away from the camera. There was also times when I was walking to my positions that I feared slipping on the ice that had settled on the running track surface. It wasn’t fear of damaging the camera but more so that if it was caught on camera I would not be able to live it down as if any of my friends saw it they would certainly remind me of it whenever they could.
One thing that I should mention is that the reason it’s taken me until Sunday to write this blog and is due to work commitments and also the time that it has taken to check the photos and edit them. When ever I do edit photos I have to make sure that I have the ones that I am sending to Gateshead selected and edited first. This also includes the presentation photos. I sent an unprecedented 29 photos to Gateshead from this match and had to send them over 3 emails. It wasn’t until the next day that Jeff Bowron sent me an email to say just select the best 6. Well to me I had selected my best 29 so I will let the club decide which ones they prefer to use.
As for the match itself, Gateshead were definitely the better team as they out played Oxford from start to finish but unfortunately Oxford got lucky when the referee awarded them a penalty late on in the second half of extra time. At one point during the second half of normal time I thought that maybe Gateshead were trying to put too send the ball to put a cross in too many times instead of just taking a shot at goal. Still as I have already said they were still the better team but it’s not always the better team that get through.
Equipment used: Nikon D7000, Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens, velbon monopod, Peli 1510