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Four hour’s kip a night seems to have become a luxury in France, but this morning’s early start was because we’d been invited onto the Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC1 to discuss our views on the more positive side of England fandom. Our YouTube clip had smashed the 1 million views mark and people had taken notice.

But, with the England-Wales match the day’s early fixture, time wasn’t on our side, so after Billy had finished on TV we grabbed a lift into Lens to catch up with our mates and to start soaking up the pre-match vibe around the station, which was already pretty special.

Welsh and England fans had remained as one on the short trip from Lille, and although some took over whole pubs in tribes, thus making certain boozers ‘Welsh’ or ‘English’, most were simply taking advantage of the numerous beer outlets that had sprung up and standing out on the street shoulder to shoulder. Some bars had laid on DJs too, which was great.

In truth, Lens could just about cope with this fixture, the whole downtown area was at saturation point, and although Stade Bollaert-Delelis was within spitting distance, it took an eternity to talk through the woodland and up the muddy hill before facing the security scrummage. We just about made it in for the anthems.

The first half was great from an England perspective – although we were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, play looked laboured and disjointed, with Raheem Sterling frustrating the hell out of most people around me. Wayne Rooney continued to look impressive, spraying balls all over the park.

But it was Wazza who was guilty of losing possession then conceding a free kick in ‘Bale territory’…. And the song that suggested that Bale is “just a shit Robbie Savage” soon stopped after Joe Hart palmed the ball into the net instead of around the post. There were a fair few boos as the half time whistle sounded.

With Vardy and Sturridge on for Kane and Sterling the Three Lions looked transformed, and the wild scenes that followed Vardy’s equalizer were nothing compared the injury-time pottyness when Sturridge toe-poked home the winner.

The video (link above) of Billy taking a tumble, while admirably still managing to hold on to his phone, sums up the crazy jubilation and relief. In that split second everything changed… From nail biting frustration to confident belief… The goal may have broken Welsh hearts, and made some cry on the telly, but by hook or by crook, England had got the result they deserved.

Back in the town centre it seemed that nobody was in the mood to head off, as you will hear from our podcast recorded with the fans around us (LINK ABOVE)… Win or lose the booze was flowing. There were some surreal silliness on display too, something we’re very partial to here at Beesotted…. The ‘Bread Flag’ lads will long live in our memories, as will the folk singing ‘you’re just a shit Gabby Logan’ to the poor French TV presenter who tried in vain to record in front of the station.

And as for the police, well, for most of the evening, they were ok. Until, that is, somebody decided to climb a lamppost, at which stage they sprung into action, prompting Billy to do ‘a Collymore’ and the Beesotted Periscope sprung into life.

Lens restored the England faith both on and off the pitch, and fans of both nations should be rightfully proud of themselves.

Dave Lane

We will continue to blog and podcast on the Beesotted channel as Beesotted travels around France.

With tickets all the way through to the final – assuming England qualify – plus other random games here and there, it’s going to be an action packed month.

You can check our blogs on the Beesotted website.

You can also check our our videos on our Euro 2016 Video page and podcasts on our Podcast page once the tournament starts.