Jack the Lad: Holby or Swansea? No contest!

31st January 2019

Loyal Swans fan and website columnist Jack the Lad reveals the other 'City' in his life and revels in the drama of Tuesday's Liberty thriller

I have something of an embarrassing confession to make.

I am a big Holby City fan.

There, I’ve said it. I’ve admitted to my guilty pleasure.

For those of you who aren’t 'Holby' fans and think I may be secretly supporting another football team, it’s a hospital-based drama prone to unfeasibly far-fetched plots screened on a Tuesday night.

So when the Birmingham City match was rearranged for last Tuesday evening, a decision had to be made.

Watching Holby City from the comfort of my sofa in my cosy central-heated living room, or heading off to the Liberty Stadium, braving treacherously icy roads and pavements on one of the coldest nights of the winter so far. What to do?

Absolutely no contest whatsoever.

Having managed to distribute half my wardrobe about my person, off I set for the Liberty.

If I had slipped and fallen on any ice, I wouldn’t have hurt myself . . . thanks to the five layers of clothing I was wearing on the top half of my body.

But neither would I have been able to get up again seeing as I had adopted the shape of the Michelin man.

I always knew going to the game would be the right decision, whatever the result.

I absolutely love night matches, especially on cold, crisp evenings. The floodlights seem brighter, the action appears sharper, even noises seem louder.

When Connor Roberts went into a particularly meaty 50-50 block tackle in the first half, the thud reverberated right around the ground.

Such was the combined impact on the ball, it was fortunate to come out of the collision intact and not on its way to Holby's casualty department.

As it turned out, the 3-3 draw produced all the staple ingredients of your average TV soap or drama.

There was the return of the prodigal son from the past in the shape of Garry Monk. Not quite long lost Bobby Ewing stepping out of the Dallas shower all those years ago, but you get my drift . . . if you're of a certain age.

For Swans fans there were baddies aplenty in the shape of the booked Birmingham players and Kristian Pedersen, who was sent off.

There were a couple of hugely implausible plot twists when 10-man Brum managed to not only equalise, but take the lead when it looked like the Swans were poised to run riot.

There was even some Holby City-type blood spattered scenes when Matt Grimes got smacked in the mouth and had to be sponged down and patched up on the touchline.

Then there was the compulsory tension-packed cliff-hanger at the end, as the Swans desperately searched for an equaliser during added time.

And, of course, it was all rounded off with a good old-fashioned happy ending, with the hero of the piece emerging in the shape of two-goal Oli McBurnie, who rode to the rescue and saved the Swans from defeat with virtually the last kick of the game.

That’s what makes football so brilliant.

No matter how carefully crafted and wildly imaginative the plot lines of TV dramas are, they can never hope to live up to the real life drama and thrills and spills of live football matches like Tuesday night's thriller.

Comfy warm sofa in the living room, or braving the cold at the Liberty on an icy January evening?

There was never really a choice was there?

Anyway, I can catch up with Holby City as soon as I've finished writing this!

C'mon you Swans!