It was the start of the new Barclays Premier League’s (BPL) 2013/14 season, so I decided to catch the game at the Arsenal Singapore club’s brand new hangout, at the Molly Roffey’s Irish pub, in the Bras Basah area.
For the past ten years, the Modesto’s Italian restaurant at the Elizabeth Hotel was the Arsenal Singapore club hangout, but because of a change in business direction by the restaurant, the clubhouse had to be relocated.
Read on, to share my experience of the first BPL match to be screened for the Arsenal Singapore club, at Molly’s – a “top of the table” clash against Aston Villa.
Full of excitement
I was full of anticipation and excitement as I stepped off the train at the Bras Basah MRT station but I wasn’t sure where to find Molly Roffey’s. So I consulted the ever-reliable Google Maps for directions and soon, I spotted the pub easily.
By now, the time was 9.55pm and the match would be starting in about five minutes. Feverish anticipation gripped me as I excitedly awaited the new season. Would we have a good start to the campaign.
Only Standing Room
I opened the door to Molly Roffey’s. And what I saw completely blew me away. The place was so packed that there was barely any standing room left, let alone space to sit down somewhere! It was even worse than on the peak-hour MRT train!
But I soon squeezed my way in and found a spot near a TV screen. Yes, I would be able to see the football game I had come for, after all.
I was one of the last few who had managed to squeeze inside. Shortly afterwards, I heard that Molly’s were stopping people from entering. Outside, I saw many more fans crowding around the windows, trying to get a glimpse of the match.
So I counted myself lucky that I had found a spot inside the pub and would have a relatively good view of the game. It wasn’t the best and most comfortable, but it was better than nothing. So I definitely wasn’t complaining.
A Good Start
Amidst familiar claps and cheers from my fellow fans, I stood there with bated breath as the players walked out onto the pitch. Then the whistle blew and the match started. We clapped enthusiastically.
Our club had a good start to the game and opened our BPL goal account within five minutes. When the ball hit the back of the Villains’ net, the pub went crazy and everyone was screaming at the top of their voices and giving each other high fives.
At that point, things were looking good and I wondered how many more goals we would score. The atmosphere was truly electrifying right there and then.
Turn for the Worse
But unfortunately, things took a huge turn for the worse. We missed many subsequent chances and ended up losing 3-1 when the final whistle blew.
Our opponents, Aston Villa, were awarded two penalties and Koscielny got sent off, due to some rather controversial refereeing decisions.
With my head hung down, I slowly walked out of Molly Roffey’s. The cheers had been silenced long ago and everyone streamed out, feeling utterly downcast. The result had definitely not been what we Gooners had desired for the opening game of the season, but I am nevertheless still looking forward to my next trip to Molly’s.
Hopefully the result will be much better too, when I return here next time.
Click here to read about the final match at The Liz.
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