Non-scientific top nine things about going to watch my small team play against Manchester United and gain a draw against most expectations

1. Not being able to sleep properly for two nights before the match.

2. Carsmile Steve’s face when we met for breakfast keeping on doing this nervous drawing-his-lips-tight-across-his-teeth thing.

3. Seeing the odd recognisable Exeter face in what seemed to me like an absolute ocean of people making their way to the ground. I’ve been to games which have attracted larger crowds than the 67,500 who went on Saturday, but the maybe the presence of the occasional Grecian scarf made it seem more amazing.

4. Being with my lot. As a result of the way our tickets were allocated, I sat with the FT kids and with my family. But we were also sitting near most of the folks I usually travel with, sing with, moan at. Watching this particular motley bunch go through the same agonies as I was suffering was strangely comforting. There is, and can be, only one Ben Nutter.

5. Magic socks! I received a nice warm pair of socks for Christmas which are slightly too small. I saw City beat Hereford 4-0 and 2-1 while wearing them, and so took them to Manchester with me. They are a bit uncomfortable but I’d be a fool to ignore actual real lucky hosiery. It’s every fan’s dream! Halfway through the evening I drift into reverie for a few seconds and interrupt my companions’ sane conversation with a big smile and the phrase “I’ve got magic socks!”

6. Buying a ton of papers for the rail journey home, and bumping into various bleary Grecians around Manchester with arms full of newsprint. We liked the coverage in the Sunday Times and the Sunday Mirror the best as it was the most fawning and excessive about Exeter City. Also the Mirror had a picture showing 50% of the SE22 Grecian Army. Happily, he’s more photogenic than I.

7. Article about the day by my good friend Al Crockford in the prestigious Exeter Express & Echo. Main thesis of article: after the game we did kamikaze drinking and -hey!- eating’s cheating. Accompanying picture shows AC with his complete solid diet for the evening i.e. two onion rings. He holds them aloft: 0-0.

8. Securing tickets for the replay.

9. The sleeping thing, again.