What's the best cure for a stinking hang over? Well, with the usual option of 'huge fry-up and mug of sugary tea' unavailable, sending the Japanese champions packing pointless back to Kashima comes in a clear number one.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - o'clock kick offs are horrendous for all concerned. I very much doubt me and Fuz were alone in nursing sore heads from Saturday night, but along with 16000 others Nihondaira rocked and rolled to the to the sound of our first victory over Antlers since 2003. It wasn't undeserved either. Both teams had plenty of chances, and Nishibe had to be at his best on a couple of occasions to deny the champions, but we controlled the game for long spells, and out-shot the best team the country (as of last December, anyway). Our goal came courtesy of Takuya Honda after the ball broke free in the area and he slammed it home in front of Kashima's travelling army. Honda's really starting to find his feet, and is becoming a crucial starting member. Great time to get his first goal, too!
It was a long hour until the final whistle, with each jump, each clap and each chant like a hammer to an already pounding head. Kashima kept pressing but there was no way through past our final line of defence, and when the end finally came and we grabbed another three points, the party behind the goal could start once again: