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Catch up with Iain and Bob before the game. Having struggled in the first half and being a goal down, we came out far better in the second and got back on level terms. The turning point of the game is when Clarke Carlisle's chance is saved. We almost went 2-1 up but then they went the other end and got a dubious penalty, so we end up getting beat 2-1.
Our friends Kev and Tina with their boys, Michael and Daniel, travel up to stay with us to see the new year in. Keith and Jane Bowen also come round with Amy and Jack. We have a meal and play Bullseye which wasn't as good as the TV programme! Then we see the New Year in with a glass of champagne!
In for training to prepare for the Crystal Palace game. I used to room with Iain Dowie and know his brother, Bob, as well. Therefore it would be nice to put one over them!
Get a bonus day off! We go over to Ramsey for the Chamberlain family Christmas gathering. It is great to see everyone and 22 of us sat down to game casserole, expertly cooked by my brother-in-law Stewart. Rachel and Chris are great hosts and it's a very successful day!
In early at the training ground to travel to Charlton's training ground. With snow on the ground we train there to prepare for the game at Millwall this evening. Its freezing! Off to a hotel for lunch and bed in the afternoon. The game goes ok but we miss a couple of good chances and are left frustrated with a goalless draw.
In for training and a de-brief from the Southampton game. The lads that didn't play do a bit of training while the others have a warm down.
Report at the ground at about 10am. Ben is fit to play after all, so give him a steady warm up to conserve his energy. Game goes well and we take our chances, running out winners by 3 goals to nil! After the game we go back home and have a buffet style meal. Watch a bit of football on TV and see our goals replayed.
Up at 7am, which isn't too bad! He has been, so after showering and breakfast we start to open the presents! This takes a while as you can imagine! Before lunch we pop to see friends, Sharon and Richard. After lunch there are a few more presents to open and then we play Monopoly! Get a phone call about 6pm to say that Ben has gone down with food poisoning! So off to bed for a good sleep and prepare to play against Southampton tomorrow.
In for training and play 11v11 to prepare for the Southampton game. Get a surprise as I leave the training ground. I bump into the manager and he gives me Christmas Day off!! This went down very well in the Chamberlain household! Later in the afternoon we all go to the Christingle service which is a tradition since we have lived in Northampton. It is a really nice service for the children. Have a meal at home in the evening before getting off to bed. Hope Santa comes!
Back into training and the roads are much quieter as people wind down from work for their Christmas break. Jane's mum and dad arrive from Ipswich for Christmas and we all went to the pictures to watch "Narnia." After the film we went to Frankie and Benny's for a bite to eat.
Day off. Had a family day - went ten pin bowling and got beat by both children! Out for lunch. Sean and Jane Dyche called in with their children to swap presents and I called in at the village butcher to collect our turkey!
Another hard day at training. Went to Watford General Hospital after training with presents for those children in the wards over Christmas.
De-brief put back to later in the week, so trained hard to sweat out Sunday's excesses!
Day off to recover from last night! Back to Northampton later. Early to bed!
Trained but plenty of frost so only could really do a run and then went back to Ben's before going into London to meet up with the rest of the squad for the players' night out. Whilst out in London saw some of the Millwall lads and caught up with Andy Marshall the keeper there. Later we saw 3 Chelsea players too. Do went well without incident!
Started the game well football wise but conceded poor goals at vital times aided by some dubious decisions from the linesman in particular! Just when we looked like getting back into the game we gave another goal away. Very disappointing result.
Made it back to Northampton in time to join Sean and Jane Dyche for a meal and chat.
Trained and travelled to Burnley. Quiet night in the hotel.
Training as usual. Afternoon appointment at the dentist which was painless, thank goodness.
Training in the morning. Went to watch the Youth team game at Milton Keynes and then rushed back to see our dinner guests Heidi and Nigel Gibbs and Fiona and Nick Wright. Good to catch up with them and exchange presents.
Training and de-brief from Plymouth game. Committee meeting for my testimonial, which was held at my house in the end. Plenty to discuss with the forthcoming Gala dinner on 25th February, which was top of the agenda.
Really chuffed that Graham Taylor is one of our guest speakers and Garry Richardson from the BBC is another.
Day off. Went into Northampton to get my Christmas shopping done! Took Ryan to Milton Keynes later for training with Watford Development Centre.
Had long journey down to Watford with the fire at Hemel depot. Joined the rest of the Watford players and staff for the children's party where an entertainer, Father Christmas and buffet all made for a great do for the children.
Then off to Ramsey to see the Chamberlain family and in particular, my brother in law Bambos who was visiting the UK from Cyprus. Good to catch up and also see my nephew's new pad. Dinner was great at my sister Rachel's.
Plymouth, like Brighton was always going to be a battle. Unfortunately our bad habit of conceding from set pieces continued. We did keep going literally till the end and got our equaliser in stoppage time of the 2nd half. What a goal from Marlon and great work from Macca and Malky.
Training as normal, as we prepare for the Plymouth game.
In for training as normal. The lads were full of stories from the Christmas party on Sunday! De-brief from Sat.
Travelled back to Northampton to rest and prepare for the evening match against Arsenal. Lost 2 -1 but pleased with my contribution to the game. Trialled a new ball for Nike at the game which was interesting! Gold and white pattern on the ball made it a very strange sight as the ball came rolling towards you....(resembled a rugby ball).
Trained but got back to see Ryan's friendly football match. My brother in law Andrew stayed over last night and he saw the match and also watched Natasha win her league match in netball. They kindly looked after the children whilst Jane and I went down to Watford for the staff Christmas party which was held at Reflex in Watford. It was fancy dress 70's 80's theme. Some great costumes to be seen. Sadly, I could not drink as I knew I was playing in the reserves the next day but still enjoyed the evening.
Brighton match. Poor first half but Marlon scored in stoppage time to give us a flattering lead. After a few choice words at half time we did improve but yet again conceded an equaliser from a set piece.
Short, sharp training ready for the Brighton game.
Training and preparation for match on Sat. Attended the Cubs quiz night in the evening and we joined the Hamp family and managed a good score!