|Scotland 2-2 England. Hampden Park.|
No, the only murmurs of discontent predictably came from the police and the British press. The police had firstly wanted this game to be a midday kick off and then when that request was quite rightly denied, they decided to put in place a ban on any street drinking across the weekend. Spoilsports.
|"Us v them"|
In completely surprising news, this full blown campaign of bed wetting hysteria turned out to be absolute nonsense. Both sets of supporters were passionate but it was never anything more than that. There was even the surreal sight of Scotland and England fans clapping each other as the Scots exited Hampden Park while the visitors were locked in for 30 minutes after the final whistle. Needless to say, that show of mutual respect didn't make any of the papers the next day.
This was effectively a day trip for me thanks to that old favourite, the National Express overnight coach. A 10.15pm departure from London Victoria on Friday night saw a 7.15am arrival in Glasgow Saturday morning while going back the other way it was a 10.15 departure Saturday evening, arriving back in London at 6.40am. Travel and accommodation rolled into one and for less than £30. Which was just as well as the match ticket was a stonking £55.
|No pubs opening until 11am forced us into|
the "Kronenbourg in hotel room while watching
Coronation Street omnibus" approach
Miss Sturgeon had burned me in this way on England's last game in Scotland at Celtic Park in November 2014 and, much like the Scottish electorate in the general election 48 hours previously, I wasn't going to be fooled by her a second time around. Before leaving London four cans of Kronenbourg were purchased and so I trotted off to meet my fellow Brighton supporter Lewis in his hotel room, where we enjoyed a morning beer and Coronation Street omnibus. If watching Bethany Platt attempting to run away with a bloke old enough to be her father doesn't get you up for one of the most historic rivalries in international football, nothing will.
|11am - finally, a beer!|
|Happy campers as we finally get a pub drink in the Bon Accord|
|The very aptly named "The State"|
|Haggish, mash, swede - food of champions|
The Scottish FA are considering leaving Hampden Park when their tenancy agreement is up in the next few years and it isn't hard to see why. It just doesn't work as a football ground. The bowl shape means that the areas behind the goals are miles back from the pitch for seemingly no reason as there isn't even a running track. England were housed behind one of those goals and I was lucky enough to grab a spot in the back row. Even halfway down the stand the view becomes impaired and if you are at the front then the technical term for what you can see is better known as bugger all.
|Pre game display from the Scotland support|
Rousing renditions of both national anthems gave away to a pretty disappointing atmosphere in terms of what you would expect from the occasions. That probably wasn't helped by both sides looking very much like 22 players who hadn't played a competitive game for three weeks; the game being desperately poor for 70 minutes with man along the row from me being rumoured to have slipped into a coma through sheer boredom.
|The England masses seperated from the Scotland hoardes|
|Full time. 2-2|
That looked like game over but Leigh Griffiths and Joe Hart clearly had other ideas. Hart had already offered the only entertainment of the first half by wearing a baseball cap rarely seen outside of the school playground or in any game involving Chris Kirkland. Did the hat have magic powers? Possibly as without it, he was beaten by two virtually indentical Griffiths free kicks in the space of two minutes to turn the game on its head.
|England scrape a draw with "a shit San Marino"|
Glasgow looked set for a big Saturday night party until Harry Kane saved England's blushes in the 93rd minute with an equaliser that prompted hysteria of a different kind. If Griffith's ssecond gave Scotland unbridled joy, then Captain Kane's goal was an outpouring of sheer relieve. Thank Christ we didn't lose to them.
|Hampden empties but the English fans are kept in|
Although when you think about it, there was only 105 minutes of pub time left between my departure for London and the calling of last orders anyway given midnight was approaching. Those beer laws really do need looking at ASAP. Sort them out, don't play at Hampden Park and then Scotland away might finally live up to the hype.
Scotland: Craig Gordon, Christophe Berra, Charlie Mulgrew, Kieran Tierny, Ikechi Anya (Chris Martin), James Morrison (James McArthur), Scott Brown, Andrew Robertson, Robert Snodgrass (Ryan Fraser), Stuart Armstrong, Leigh Griffiths 2.
England: Joe Hart, Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Ryan Bertrand, Jake Livermore (Jermaine Defoe), Eric Dier, Marcus Rashford (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 1), Deli Alli (Raheem Sterling), Adam Lallana, Harry Kane 1.