Pressure and thrills: what it’s like to sit in the press box at a football match

There is nothing quite like reacting to the twists of a live game – especially an intro-busting late goal

As anybody who has ever attempted a match report will tell you there is nothing quite like a decisive last minute goal to make you momentarily want to smash your head through your laptop. You can almost feel sparks popping inside your tiny overworked brain as you grapple for new words to replace instantly inadequate ones as quickly as humanly possible. Fingers bash at keyboards in an unwieldly frenzy. Panic meets pressure. It’s a good look.

It is also absolutely thrilling. It explains why even seasoned reporters ought to have that frisson before any game - even something on a par with Ukraine v Switzerland at the 2006 World Cup which might have been scientifically proven as the most boring international match in history. Any fixture has the potential to turn into a moment of wild, unscripted drama, and the humble reporter has to be ready to react to almost any event within the parameters of sport.

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