Since fans will be disappointed in their quest for tickets to see Forest take on Salisbury City next month, you could either head to Salisbury anyway to enjoy the fixture in one of their many fine public houses (thanks for the tip, Craig!), or you could create the non-league experience in your own home by following our seven top tips…
- Relocate your television to your garden. Failing that, remove a couple of non-supporting walls from your living room to let the elements in. If you’re really not keen on taking it that seriously, just open all your windows and doors and turn the heating off.
- Buy the largest and cheapest catering pack of ‘beef’ burgers you can find in ‘Iceland’, combined with the cheapest cobs you can lay your hands on – get a couple of onions while you’re at it. Chop the onions and boil them in water, pre-cook the burgers in lard and leave the cobs somewhere to become stale. When it comes to serving, heat up the onion/water combination, warm up the burgers in a frying pan or on a griddle and serve in a stale cob – preferably with some Asda own label mustard/ketchup.
- Get a large self-heating tea urn and fill it with Bovril, switch this on – this will be the only half time refreshment available (aside from the warmed up burgers with sloppy onions, stale cobs and inferior condiments).
- Go into your shed, clear a space near a wall, cut a hole in the floor about a foot in diameter. This is, for the matchday, the only permissable place that people may relieve themselves – if people get too desperate they would need to indiscriminately find some ‘privacy’ in the garden.
- Invite more people than will comfortably fit into your house to join you for the game – insist they all drive to the game, and all park haphazardly outside your house, and all around the surrounding neighbourhood. If possible, try to arrange for the people who need to leave first to be blocked in by as many people as possible. If you have enough friends get some to arrive by coach.
- Once the match starts, mute the volume on the television and encourage your fellow spectators to start chanting indiscriminately – chants relating to going to Europe, winning the cup twice, garden sheds and suchlike are to be actively encouraged. If we’re winning then ‘old school’ chants like ‘We’re on the march for Colin’s army!’ should be wheeled out.
- Invite any ‘hard’ acquaintances you have to don riot gear and occasionally select random members of your spectators to hit with sticks – this should start chants of ‘get a proper job!’ or ‘are you extras from the Bill?’ They should prevent anyone leaving ‘the terrace’ for 30 minutes after full time, with no explanation.
And there you have it, this should help to ease any disappointment in not getting hold of match tickets for this game, and help you recreate the special atmosphere of a cup trip to a smaller ‘less developed’ ground. Admittedly there will be considerable tidying up/DIY/wholesale rebuilding to be done afterwards – but well, you can’t beat the magic of the cup, can you?
Alternatively you could just have some mates over, get some beers in, and have a slightly more low-key afternoon of enjoying the match! I take no responsibility for any consequences arising from anybody following the more extreme recommendations above!