It's three cheers for Three Lions

PUBLISHED: 14:45 13 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 10 September 2010

Tim Allman, Capital Canaries

As I am of one of the 99.5per cent of the population that have not subscribed to Setanta, I decided to watch the England vs Croatia game at my local, the Kenton Sports Club.

As I am of one of the 99.5per cent of the population that have not subscribed to Setanta, I decided to watch the England vs Croatia game at my local, the Kenton Sports Club.

The bar was as crowded as I've seen it for a while for an England game, full of other like-minded souls who have decided that an extra £10 per month was the straw that broke the camel's back, in TV subscription terms.

Though we all spent at least two months subscription on beer during the evening, I was happy to part with my hard-earned over the bar as opposed to seeing it disappear via a direct debit.

In common with most of my fellow viewers my expectations for the evening were very low. Keep it tight, frustrate Croatia, don't chase the game unless you have to, and happy with a point, were all part of the pre-match chatter as we settled down to watch the game.

After 10 minutes had passed with not a great deal happening I was starting to feel a little more optimistic. The normally vocal Croatian crowd were very quiet, and I had just finished my first pint of Carling Cold.

As round number two was being lined up Theo Walcott had his first chance, falling over as he shot, but positive signs were there.

Just as I had drained my second pint it happened. A Croatian clearance borne of panic ricocheted to Walcott who hammered it home. There was a stunned silence in the bar. Happy hour finished after the first goal, and lager was now 50 pence a pint more expensive. Luckily round three had just been lined up and paid for. We all heaved a sigh of relief.

England got to half time ahead, and looking good. The pessimist inside me was recalling the phrase, “Remember Russia”, when we were one goal ahead and managed to snatch a defeat from a more probable victory.

At this point in an important match such as this, when the team I support is winning, and the game is on TV, I rely on Beer Theory to see us home to victory. The theory is simple: When I am at the game I can influence proceedings by my support for the team. When I am watching on TV, the team only have the benefit of my long distance encouragement, so I have to rely on another way of supporting the team. This is when Beer Theory comes in. More beers equals more support equals more chance of victory.

The best example of Beer Theory in action was the play-off semi-final against Wolves. I couldn't get to the game due to work and had to watch on TV. We were looking fairly safe with a two-goal lead, but I sensed the team might need some second-half assistance. Overcome with nerves my wife and I got through a bucket of beers to see the team home, increasing our steady pace to a sprint after Kevin Cooper's thunderbolt with 15 minutes to go. It was Beer Theory that did it Brian.

Another half-time round was completed and just as the next half a dozen were placed on the bar Kovac was sent off for flattening Joe Cole, and Beer Theory was working a treat.

England goals were now flowing as fast as empty glasses were being returned to the bar.

And just to prove that the any lapse could mean disaster, Croatia scored when the barrel was being changed. A final late round, which coincided with Walcott scoring his third, saw England safely home.

It was a top performance from the England team in Croatia, but they couldn't have done it without the support of the lads at the Kenton Sports Club.

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