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The Quest for the 92
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The Quest for the 92
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Tynie Topics



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:12 pm 
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sharrowblade wrote:
I let slip, as we head through Bootle, that there’s a ball in the back, so we stop at a park, and relive great World cup moments such as Cubillas scoring against Scotland, Zico scoring against Scotland and Iraj Danaeifard scoring against errrr……Scotland.


I'm offended Laughing
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:23 pm 
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Tynie Topics wrote:
sharrowblade wrote:
I let slip, as we head through Bootle, that there’s a ball in the back, so we stop at a park, and relive great World cup moments such as Cubillas scoring against Scotland, Zico scoring against Scotland and Iraj Danaeifard scoring against errrr……Scotland.


I'm offended Laughing



Don't you start Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Flaming Pie



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Tynie, l did think that Gammon were immune to being offended. You live and learn! Clap
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Tynie Topics



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:47 pm 
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Tynie Topics



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:48 pm 
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Flaming Pie wrote:
Tynie, l did think that Gammon were immune to being offended. You live and learn! Clap


Gammon? is that a mis-steak?
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Five and In



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:28 pm 
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No 79 St James Park, Exeter

It started a couple of weeks ago when Sarah (my missus) handed me an envelope with the words “They’re for your Birthday, but you had better have them now so you don’t double book the date.”
I felt the envelope. It was definitely tickets, but what for?

The historic Spurs “home” game at MK Dons was coming up, or maybe it was for a “home” match at Wembley.
Just maybe they were for the opening of the new White Hart Lane, currently scheduled for sometime in the year 2525. There’s a song title there I’m sure!

The more likely option was a trip to one of the local theatres. Living on the coast in Devon there are plenty around to choose from.
I knew Gazza was here soon.....it must be that surely?
As I opened the envelope a cold chill went through me........I’d made a smart arsed comment a few weeks ago that the Little Mix Tribute act was something that couldn’t be missed. Surely she hadn’t taken me seriously?

I spotted Exeter City on the top.......Phew....It’s not Little Mix......Exeter City v West Ham U21’s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
I pulled out my best “it’s just what I wanted” face and thanked her, but probably looked quite confused at the same time.
Let’s face it, nobody wants to go to Checkatrade Trophy matches anymore, but hey ho.
Sarah obviously felt the need to explain. “You’ve not been to a match at Exeter so it’s another one off of your 92 list.”

It’s true. I’ve lived twelve miles from the ground for over ten years and not seen a match there, although I had been there a couple of times with poor results. Firstly, I’d gone there to meet Steve Perryman when he had agreed to write the foreword for my book, only to find that I should have gone to the training ground five miles away instead. My last visit was even worse. I’d gone along to support a friend who was running around the 92 grounds in 12 days this summer. I ran around with him and pulled my knee ligaments! To make it worse, I then managed to get the convertable roof stuck on my car and the RAC man smashed a window sorting it out. Somewhere in that four hour tragedy, I got heatstroke and threw up.
At least a match there couldn’t be any worse.

It’s been a few years since I have ticked off a new ground from my 92 and I seem to have stalled at 78 for way too long and in the eyes of some, I have gone backwards as new stadiums have replaced the old ones I visited originally and a few have dropped out of the League. I really need to recount at some point.

We got to the ground. There was no need for food as the Chinese Buffet had taken care of that, although I had regretted that seventh plateful as I walked to the ground. Should have stopped at plate six, but who can say no to profiteroles?

First plus point was that the programmes were free. Nice touch by Exeter.
We entered the ground and made our way through the crowd to a position behind the goal. When I say crowd, I mean we avoided bumping into either of the other fans that stood in that end. Twenty minutes to kick off and there was emptiness all around, although just over eleven hundred made the late dash before kick off.
It was nice to stand on a terrace once again. It had been too long since I had done so. This is proper football and none of your Premiership nonsense.

Exeter are in the process of doing their ground up and have added two new stands. One has the seats in and looks ready to go and one is lacking seats.
When I was there in the summer running (or rather limping) around the pitch, it was a building site. They’ve done well to get so far, so quickly. Mr Levy take note and get them to the Lane!

I watched the warm ups with interest. Exeter focussed on moving the ball around sharply, while West Ham made some beautifully choreographed movement without a ball. Maybe they wanted to go to the Little Mix Tribute instead?

The tannoy announcer named the teams, but only after pointing out the “beautiful sunset.” West Ham were starting with who? who? who? who? and Reece Oxford, the wonder kid from a few years ago.

The game started. Exeter were by far the better side and West Ham were struggling to keep up with them until the 17th minute when they had a breakthrough. The lights went out!
The travelling West Ham support of around a hundred or so enjoyed this moment. “Have you paid the electric bill?” chorused from somewhere in the dark. I found this quite rich coming from a club that has all their bills paid by the taxpayers at their own ground, but that’s another story.

After about thirty minutes the lights were back and the game restarted. Exeter scored twice before half time and West Ham were just hoping for the lights to fail again.
Two clearances flew over the stands and into the streets outside. “Keep it on the floor” somebody shouted. Probably the club’s Treasurer as he scribbled down the cost of the lost balls.

In truth the second half was much ado about nothing. Exeter could have added to their lead and played some nice football at times. West Ham looked like they have a way to go before they are ready, but had a couple of players up front who will be a handful for any defender if the midfield can find them with the ball.

Overall, I enjoyed it. Another ground ticked off the list, but the best bit was the chance to stand on a terrace again.

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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:52 pm 
Post subject: PREDICTOR WEEK 17 - Sat December 3rd MID-DAY KO
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Its getting complicated, between them, this is current League ground No 69.

But Macca has done 68 (includes the Sty and Griffin Park).
Dan has done 67 (includes Goodison)

So we'll go with the following:

Ground No 68 Blackburn Rovers (Ewood Park)

The pre-match quiz was going well, if Sunderland did it in 79' and Villa in 81' who did it in 80'. Yes got that one. Name the four race courses without the letters R.A.C.E, yes managed that despite Macca insisting that one of them was York (lol). Name the two Australians to play in the cup finals during the 80s, yes easy peasy. It was all going off and we hadn't even made the motorway at Tinsley when I'd got victory in my sight. We'd got company, my mate had brought his lad with us and I delivered the question to end all questions. 'Who's the only player to save a penalty and score two goals in a major English cup final'. The atmosphere was cold and eerily silent, like a Tuesday night at the Majedski, and after an hour, we crested the M62 at Saddleworth the rest of the Robin Reliant were none the wiser to the answer.

We made good time considering the traffic topside of Manchester, skipped through the outskirts of Accrington and onto Blackburn. Fortunately, the ground is readily accessible from the south. Recon had suggested Branch Road might have suitable parking and on arrival was greeted by Lancashire's version of Alan Sugar.
'How much is it my good man'. I politely enquired
'£4' came the stern reply. The warmth of the welcome was overpowering.
'Fine' says I
'Not got room for you,' I was sensing some negativity here.
'What about that corner',
Aye alright, that'll be a fiver'.
'Done'. I had been but by now it was 7:15pm and the window of opportunity to reach the main reception and get a couple of team sheets was receding.

A 10 minute walk and for once we're right outside the away end. The queue looks about as appetising as our local post office collection point, so I leave our merry band and head off over to the Main stand. Team-sheets acquired, I return to find the boys near the turnstiles, and so I make myself very popular with our very fair minded supporters by going all Fred Astaire and lightly tip toing through the horse manure and going straight to the front.



Were in the lower tier of the Darwen Stand, leg room is at a premium, not that we had choice to sit. The views a good one.

But then they came, a scourge on humanity, like a plague of locusts, they congregate in packs, they jostle innocents, and break wind every 30 seconds, reek of alcohol and weed, they congregate on the steps at the back of the stand and then try to infiltrate areas where's there's no freedom to be had, edging further inwards until there's three to a seat. GAWS (Gang Aisle Wankers), who turn up 10 minutes after kick off because they've been down in the bar. They can't be arsed to find their seats, because they don't want to be down near the front, they want to be 'with the lads', they know the stewards won't bother them. Furthermore , I'm getting grief from our Dan, whose private space has been compromised 'Don't get tickets next to the aisle in future' he chunters. As if I had a choice,'. Its always a front, middle or back scenario. My mate's lad swaps seats, because secretly, he actually wants to be a GAW, and things soon settle down.

Blackburn have their own little contingent within shouting distance of the away end, but the United faithful remind them 'School in the morning, you've got to go to School in the morning'.

The ground on three sides is neat enough, and then comes the elephant in the room so to speak, the Riverside stand, akin to a night out with your mates down town in the halcyon days of youth, one of them nights when you've met up with a set of wanton floosie's, but there's an ugly one, the classic 'don't fancy yours much' syndrome.

Blackburn's haven't lost at home for over a year, the two up front Graham and Dack look like they haven't had a wash and shave since the run began. They need a bar of soap but its United who clean up with a well deserved 2-0 win.


Dan 'I want to be alone' moment

We head home, its a quick getaway and we stop for refreshments at Maccy D's in the shadows of some dark satanic mill, and as we review the match over nuggets, the question that was everyone's minds reared its head 'So who did score two goals and save a penalty in a major English Cup Final'. You could feel the anticipation as I delivered the knockout blow. 'Roy of the Rovers'......They're not impressed.
Back over the Pennines, home for 12:30am

Tickets: £38 (1 x £24, 2 x £7)
Programme: £3
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Topbidwinsagain



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:03 pm 
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Sharrowblade, you have done it again, taking us there with you and the insight into what deep Lancashire is really like on match day! Very Happy

Got a question now, similar to yours: Which goalkeeper saved a penalty after opening the scoring for his team?: the clue is 1990/1991 season in Division 1.
Also, did you know this---in the very early 1960s Bobby Charlton wrote the Roy of the Rovers stories in the Tiger. According to the Tiger comic this was a fact.
Laughing
If no one gets the above question correct I will give the answer on Sunday next.

Again, your reports are brilliant! Clap
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Topbidwinsagain



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:52 pm 
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Here is the answer to the question raised.

Season 1990/1991 Manchester City played Derby County at the end of the season at Maine Road. City went into the lead when Niall Quinn scored early in the 1st half and after dominating play (City) Derby came back into the game and broke through with the Derby player (Saunders I think) bearing down on Tony Coton the City keeper. The ball was knocked sideways past the diving Coton (the ball running away from the goal) but contact was made between the two players. The referee took his time and then issued a red card---Coton sent off, a penalty! Who took the green jersey--you've guessed it Niall Quinn---who proceeded to save the penalty.Then Half time.
In the second half City scored again with David White, Derby came back and scored late on leaving the final minutes 'squeaky bum' time for the City fans, but relief when the final whistle was blown.

My sons were not even teenagers when they watched this match but they both remember this game (for the reasons above) and Niall Quinn keeping the Roy of the Rovers reputation a possible reality for the youngsters.
Sorry for mentioning this (and I apologise now for any offence) we have a Roy of the Rovers collection in our next football auction where his exploits are covered in great detail---but that will be detailed later under the appropriate posting.
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:44 pm 
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Many thanks to everyone who I have met who have commented how much they have enjoyed this thread. Much appreciated and also to the likes of Five and In, and FoxesI with their input recently.


Regards Sharrow
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:20 pm 
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Ground No 69, Pride Park, Derby County

It was etched onto my face, a downbeat expression, I felt as if the gods had deserted us, as we headed through Alfreton.

For starters, …..A 5:30 kick off, ….televised on Sky,.... first game back after the international break,... currently on a good run,..... demonic audi drivers cutting me up and I couldn't even find any Simon and Garfunkal on my iphone.

'What does it all mean Dad' chorused the boys.
'Well, basically, doing my best Private Fraser impression 'We're doomed'.

To be fair we made Derby in about 45 minutes, I had been offered a mate's parking space at a company opposite the ground so that was a bonus. We were a little earlier than I'd anticipated, so I bought the lads a tray of chips, and sat in front of the Clough and Taylor statue.
I nicked a few, but I was in competition with a local seagull, neither the gull or myself rated the chips, they were dreadful. The Seagull clearly took it personally as it headed to the top of the statue and deposited all over Peter Taylors head, but not Cloughie, it wouldn't have dared.




Pride Park, Its not much to look at from the outside, but its better looking than the velodrome next door, which although very impressive on the inside, externally its a modern monstrosity.

Programmes and team sheets acquired, followed by the mandatory body search and we were in with 20 minutes to kick off. Its bedlam down in the claustrophobic concourse, and its raining beer but we squeeze through and we're second row from the back. The inside is far more pleasing on the eye, although leg room is at a premium.

'This is it boys, Lets hope we come out like roaring like tigers, give no quarter' I tell the lads.

19 seconds later we're 1-0 down, we didn't even touch the ball. Sad

The omens don't look good, and the situation is compounded 10 minutes later when Donna arrives and wants to come past, she's a big girl, she's about 18 or 19 years old, plump would be a fair description, with forearms that she's built by drinking vodka and Iru bru. Her seat is situated about 100 places to the right so why she chose this journey I hesitate to guess given there were three stairways closer. I don't argue, looking at her, it would have been positively foolish, and possibly life threatening.

United settle down, and play Derby off the pitch, and shortly before half time, deservedly equalize.

Then, Donna's back with a couple of others in tow, a young lad about her age and an older gentleman.
'Come on Grandad' she bellows. Now its important to understand that whether this was her paternal grandfather, remains open to debate, I got the impression it wasn't, but whatever he fell over twice crushing our Dan in the process.

Needless to say Dan's none too impressed by this act of factuouness and puerile behaviour.
Macca is shocked 'What do you make of that'.
Not sure but I'd say Grandad is 'bollocksed'. say I
Dan's not having any of it, 'no there's something not right with him'.

Half time came and went, and the lads in front return from the bar with half the stock, 'its Kevin De Bruyne' Dan says. He's right the lad in front has the same haircut and facial features. 'Well if it is, he's let himself go a bit after his injury' His neck is wider than my body. Unfortunately, Derby outplay us in the second half and eventually score.

I was right 'we're doomed'.



Just as the final whistle goes, I'm blindsided by a wailing banshee, it wasn't the ball that ended up in Row Z, but me. It's Donna, she's hysterical, borderline manic, weeping and dribbling, speech uncomprehensible. She'd developed mutism.
Macca 'Whoaah,'
'I know its a disappointing result but I didn't think anyone would take it that badly'. as I retrieved myself from the row behind.
'No Dad, says Dan the Sage of Sheffield, 'that's the actions of somebody who's been sexually assaulted'. Not sure how he would know that...but still.

Macca quips 'I would't like to meet that nutter'.
'Nor would I son, its a scary world out there.' I nod in agreement.

It takes a good 15 minutes to clear the stand, and as we head down the steps, the stewards and Police are having to restrain Donna, she's unintelligable and to be honest probably unintelligent. She's pointing the finger at somebody but who could it be and more importantly why?.

'Its Grandad, its Grandad' the lads couldn't contain themselves.

Stuck in Derby,...been there before,..... had awful chips,.... not the first time, lost 2-1...who cares, this was where the action was at.

We left them to it, Grandad looked innocent, or it maybe it was because he'd fallen asleep, who knows.

Venturing Out into the evening air, the realization soon dawned on me that the nearer you pitch up to a ground the longer it takes you to get away. Thankfully, I have a ball in the back of the Reliant and we have a game of football in the car park as we wait for the nearby roads to re-open. The surface is a bit hard and uneven but its better than the Baseball Ground used to be.

Good job we got free parking because the tickets were £57. And Robin Hood came from Nottingham they say.

Programmes: £3
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Paul Johnson



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:01 pm 
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love the match reports Thumbs Up


ive done all the 92 now and have done 14 out of the 24 in the National League now.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:09 pm 
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£2 for a bottle of water from the (licensed) rip-off merchants outside Pride Park.
I used to get 3 pints for £2 at the Baseball Hotel in Shaftesbury Crescent back in the day.

But, hey, that's progress!

And it's very sophisticated. One even gets referred to as "sir" when one hands over one's £31 for a match ticket.

You omitted to mention that our programme this season is an absolute rip-off at £3.
The content seems to have dropped by 30%

Bottom of the league in the Programme Monthly awards (if PM still does those).
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:04 pm 
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Ground No 70, Adams Park, Wycombe Wanderers

The morning started well, what with Grumpy No 1 and 2 arguing who had the rite of passage to be on the front seat of the Reliant.
Eventually, Macca Prevailed.

'I don't care cos' Dad's my football buddy, we do everything together' Dan said with a childlike aloofness as he hit the backseat, as a reward he was put in charge of drinks, Yorkie bars, Tangytastics and my Red Bull. Ultimately, this would prove to be an error.

Still, the trip down passed without incident until the calling of nature meant an unscheduled stop near Bicester.
When you've got to go, you've got to go. I didn't envisage being beside a ditch at the side of the A43 watering some ferns, but a combination of slow traffic and Dan drinking all the red bull had made this unfortunate excursion necessary. A cup of coffee was my excuse.
Dan and myself were out of sight, of passing traffic but on our return Macca wasn't having any of it.
'What's wrong with you two' he sighed.
I shrugged, ….'Nothing...but Dan's not my football buddy anymore,....he's now my wee-wee buddy'. Macca looked alarmed and even Dan was searching for Childline on his phone. And onto Wycombe we went... in silence.

The ground is situated on the outskirts of the town, at the end of a long avenue of Industrial Units. There's a familiar face outside the ground, which is a shame because I know its going to cost me money, Terry's Badges have got a stall and so I leave the boys, in the vain hope they find a Willenhall Town badge and head over to get the tickets from the cabin next to the club shop. There's basic b/w team-sheets available on the counter, but I found a couple of lovely colour ones at the bottom of the pile. Nice. Back outside there's not a great deal left from the money I left the boys, but at least I can now tick off Louth Town from future searches. Programmes were £3.50.Wow.

It's a rather picturesque ground with the hills providing a lovely back drop. We're right at the back of the lower tier of the main stand. Its the family stand, so no bad language to be heard, I hate all that swearing malarkey. Just then, a man approached, he looked like a University professor, and said 'I say, would you mind awfully moving up a couple of seats so that we could sit with our friends'. He asked
I took stock of the situation pausing for a moment before telling him to 'F*** off'. He took it all in his stride. 'Very well' and made a hasty retreat. I called him back, explained that it was in jest, and agreed to his request.

Shrewsbury are quickly in the groove, and are rewarded with an early goal, which I missed, as I was reading the programme. Wycombe quickly equalize, which again I missed as I was looking at the team-sheet. Laughing



I can smell the staple diet of Sunday Morning football, back in the day. Oranges. Professor Green was showing nimble finger work as he impressed with his tackling of a couple of these bad boys. Then he moved on, to Cashew nuts, it was like sitting next to a giant gerbil. It didn't finish there, it was time for his coup de grace,... the boys have been brought up with having some lard ass with a balti pie, and greasy chips assaulting their nasal senses at Bramall Lane, but this was entirely different, he was now chomping Carrots.
'What's wrong with these people' enquired Dan.
Brace yourself boys, were in the presence of.......I paused there was an awkward couple of seconds silence before I had to say, with trembling lips, the word...... 'Vegans'.

That aside, there's football experts aplenty, just above and behind us, to the right there's Wycombe's answer to Larry Grayson, he purrs over every pass, 'Ooooohhh Nicccceeee,.....Very Nice'. Then to the left there's a rather big lad, he's a fan, he's committed, or he needs to be. I'm not saying anything what he said wasn't correct, but its hard to agree with anyone complaining about players lacking movement when he weighs about 26 stone.

Wycombe score just before half time, an absolute beauty, ...yes I'd seen a goal and then its half time.

Its an interesting soundtrack at half time, its a wrestling one. WWE Superstars Ring Entrance music. I'm not sure what was more frightening, having to put up with listening to it, or that I actually knew them all.

Wycombe go 3-1 up then 3-2 in a matter of seconds. As the game weaves it way to a conclusion the side show begins with the Wycombe manager, stood with his hands out stretched, animated, unable to keep still, he looks like he's at a 90s rave, he's got the right haircut, get a wash you scruffy b******, Ainsworth'.

As Shrewsbury chase the game in a fruitless search for an equaliser, Jamal John Lewis is penalised for a foul on man mountain David Stockdale in the Wycombe goal. Your advert is s***, Your advert is s***, your name is John Lewis, your advert is s***. emanated from the Wycombe end. Confirmation that the Christmas spirit is alive and kicking in these parts.



Overall really nice little ground, good day out. Arrived back at 9:00pm

Tickets: £25 (£17 x 1, £4 x 2)
Programmes: £3.50
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:29 am 
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Ground No 71, The New Lawn, Forest Green Rovers

With United playing on the friday night I decided to live life dangerously, and attempt a double header. So saturday morning, three wide eyed loners living life on the edge, were on the last freedom bus out of nowhere city looking for pastures new. As Birmingham came and went. The storm clouds had gathered and the rain became relentless. Onwards we ploughed, destination unknown, and as we engaged in a brief dalliance with the western edge of the Cotswolds, I regaled tales of cycling in the region in the halcyon days of youth. The boys were captivated and beguiled, they listened intently, not daring to interrupt a man in full flow, a man whose life had nearly been cut short by 200 rampaging cows one long forgotten summer. I still bare the scars, mentally and physically, you can still see the hoof mark on my right shin. The lads were displaying admirable understanding and patience until I realized both of them had nodded off.

There's a brief interlude in the weather as we near Nailsworth, and through the ragged windscreen of the Reliant we can see two weary figures at the gates of the Park and Ride. I pause momentarily and then moved on, it crossed my mind that there could possibly be a parking issue but it surely wouldn't be too bad.

In the Village, turn right at the bottom of the hill and start to ascend. All sideroads resembled carnage for parking. On and on until we reached the lollipop roundabout at the summit. The ground's on the left, its £7 to park in the ground, so around we go in the vain hope that there's a space on a nearby cul de sac. Some chance. By the time, mission is accomplished I'm almost back down in the village and word is spreading that there's three dodgy looking northerners casing the joints of the locals.

Ensure supplies are packed. Folder, gloves, wooly hat, kids and Oxygen tanks.

The walk was a calf killer, and as we arrived so did Betty driving the Park and Ride bus, the lads were unimpressed, training for the next Everest expedition could have been avoided, and they headed for a small portacabin which is the Club shop and I ask the girls where the team sheets could be located
'Its on the back on the programme'
The lads now in an indignant mood are amused 'No team sheet, oh dear Dad, that's a blow' I could feel a degree of sarcasm running amok.
'There is always a team sheet boys, always a team sheet, remember that'. I couldn't help feel like I sounded like Martin Sheen from the Damned United.
And so there was, in reception, and very friendly were the staff too.

It was 2:30pm, we've got tickets for the away end but there's no indication where that actually is. There's little in the way of signage. Eventually we follow a group of Mansfield supporters down an unlit passageway around the back of the ground. I'm a little uneasy with this, its alright for the Mansfield masses they're used to going up and down dark passageways. Common practice y'know. Laughing

We walked out upon an open terrace. It was lashing it down, but I took comfort in the fact that I had spent a few extra quid on covered standing. The stand on the side had been situated here since 2018 although it could have been 1508 when a young Henry VIII jousted here, for what good it is. The covered standing consisted of the overhang of the roof, an overhang of roughly about two foot and therefore gave no protection at all to the elements. I'm not sure what I was expecting but whatever it was this wasn't it.
'You're lucky' said the steward at least you've got cover.
'Have we,... really..., seriously. You're joking'.

Dan went to see the mascot, not sure what it was meant to be, answers on a postcard.



The game kicked off and immediately it became clear that slide tackles would be great fun but play would be severely hampered due to the conditions.
'There's no way this will see it to 90 minutes'.
'Good, because their singing is atrocious' said Macca.
'Yes, its quite bizarre that when they get a corner they start chanting 'Yellow, Yellow, Yellow'. And that's it. No songs about rivals, or players or that Mansfield is wonderful. Perhaps everyone was too wet.



On 37 minutes, Forest Green are on the counter, the striker has a one on one, he took the defender on, side stepping his way to freedom, he was in the clear, glory was beckoning and then he realised the ball was stuck in a lake 20 yards behind him. The ref called the players in for a cuddle and a nice talk and then it all resumed again.
No sooner as the players left the pitch at half time, Dan informed me the game had been abandoned. 'How do you know'. Me and the mascot are best buddies.'. He was right....damn he's always right.

On leaving the ground, there's a long queue of glum faces at the bus stop, we had to face up to the prospect of a long walk, but is was downhill and it was better than having to wait for Betty and the Park and Ride, I'm not sure anyone had told her that it had the game had been abandoned. Laughing



Back at the reliant, there's a potential painful lesson to be learnt. I've left the lights on for the last two hours. Great, still if need be the lads could jump start it down the hill. Fortunately everything was ok

Stopped off at The Old Fleece at North Woodchester near Stroud for a Pint in front of an open fire. Lovely.

45 minutes. Hope it counts (lol)

Next Stop: The Amex
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colchestersid



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:27 pm 
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45 minutes counts

My one and only visit to the new MK Dons ground I confused the stewards by asking to be let out at half time & there's no way I'll ever go back there

I need to check my list, I last completed the 92 in 2007 but I'm probably down to about 80 by now, waiting to see if my son takes an interest before making any plans to get the set again
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:04 am 
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Ground No 72: Brighton and Hove Albion, The Amex

Deep resentment had set in at the prospect of shelling out £75 to watch United at Norwich. Farke's hair gel or Delia's half time sherry, it didn't matter.... they weren't getting it.

Instead, it was off to the seaside we go. Brighton v WBA in the Cup.

Made remarkably good time, the Reliant was supercharged and arrived at Lewes station at 12:30pm. Chose Lewes because its £15 at the car parks around the Amex. Given that the majority of these appear to belong to the University of Sussex I could only surmise that these university types are getting paid way too much.

Behind the station, we had a guided tour of the Dripping Pan, (Home of Lewes FC) I say guided it was more like we just walked in and guided ourselves on a walk around. Very panoramic with the chalk cliffs visible down the coast.


Train tickets are free if going to the match and its a 7 minute train hop to the middle of nowhere.

As if by magic on exiting at Falmer the heavens opened, We seek shelter...there's an enormous queue up ahead. I assumed it was the bar but it was for the club shop. There's some temporary food stalls and a bar as you come up the ramp from the station. Everyone's drinking Harvey's, the fatty next to me orders 14 pints, could be a long wait so I go for the lager and shelter from the rain, the boys don't appear to be the slightest bit bothered about getting wet ast they take turns in punching one another, shameful antics from the teenage generation.

Topical conversation takes over with the three of us, its controversial, its gritty and it's cutting edge.

Who has the silliest accent the locals or the visitors from West Bromwich with ill fitting green and yellow shirts?

Its not an easy decision but an agreement is finally reached, the Brighton accent like all southern accents is quite annoying, whilst the West Bromwich accent just makes you sound a thicko.

Its a nice relaxed atmosphere on the ramparts and when the rain finally ceases we go for a walk twice around the stadium, this isn't an attempt to burn the carbs off, but to locate a team sheet. No such luck,

In we go, its impressive and spacious, we locate our seats, opposite the half way line, back row, there's plenty of leg room and the seats are padded. Oh my, ...how far removed is this from the Withdean.



The game is in desperate need of an early goal, and both teams have chances but lack quality in the final third. Goaless at half time, I leave the lads to go down to the concourse. I'm hungry I havent eaten all day, and im on a diet but the sausage rolls looked good. I decide to throw caution to the wind.
'How much mate'
The young lad mumbled something which sounded like £4.
'Yer what? I briefly stumbled, delerious at the mere incredulation of this knowledge '£4....I stuttered,
'Nah mate, £4.30'...came the reply.
The conversation was going badly, 'but i've only got £4.....'
Yeah, that will do'. Not sure this was some kind of goodwill or he just wanted to get rid of the tight Northern git who was frothing at the corners of the mouth.

My god though, they were to die for, the best sausage roll I've ever had.

The second half followed a similair pattern, either side could have won it, but ultimately didn't.

At the end, the club don't want you to leave. Not in a bad way, quite the opposite. At Bramall Lane, if you're still in the ground more than 5 minutes after the final whistle, SWAT teams are sent in, but here they were actively encouraging people to stop, eat, drink and be merry. Every bar, and there are plenty of them, including the away end are open for a couple of hours after the game, and all of them are doing a roaring trade, I could have murdered another one of them sausage rolls. Its a novel idea. I just couldn't work it out, because we had never come across it before.

On exiting, the search for the team sheet took on paramount importance. The staff at the ground were brilliant and after a phone call from one reception to another, a couple of teamsheets were procured and a couple of recent programmes for the girlie games against Manchester City and Everton were thrown in for free. Strangely our Sheffield dialogue has never before been mistaken for being American, prehaps its because I had my Green Bay Packers hat on, but the old dear on reception greeted us with 'Howdy, there. Which part of America are you from? She may have over indulged on the Harvey's, but nevertheless it was great service.

Its 5:45, and the club shop is still doing a roaring trade, and its starting to rain again, at this point an awful realisation suddenly dawned. Stood in front was a line of about 3000 people waiting for a train. The answer to the riddle had become clear and I understood why there's an importance placed upon post match entertainment.

If you don't wish to join the legions of the walking dead stood in the pouring rain. Stay in the ground. The queue for Lewes is not quite as bad as the one for Brighton, but it still takes about 30 minutes to reach the platform, where its south coast meets Delhi with regards to the train. There's no prisoners taken when the train arrives, thank god this lot weren't on the Titanic because the women and the kids would have perished.

The 6:12 from Falmer to Lewes is leaving shortly....

Thankfully its only one stop, people are disembarking from all areas, the aisles, the seats, the luggage racks and the roof.
Straight out the Station, past the Lansdowne and up to the Royal Oak. Pint of Hophouse in front of the fire. Chilled out, and refreshed. Entertained the lads on the way home with an hour of music from the years we were all born. 2003,3004 and 1966. Mine was better.

Back home at ten minutes past midnight.

Terrific Ground for a newbie.
Tickets: £25 (£15 x 1, £5 x 2)
Programme: £2
Station Parking £6
Train: Free
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:05 pm 
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Ground No 73: The Hawthorns. West Bromwich Albion

Waggon and Horses, Alfreton, Saturday afternoon, We had time to kill, which was a blessing because any trip to the toilets in a Wetherspoons come provided with hiking boots, OS Map and a compass. The boys have food and I have a pint.

Leave at 3:15 for the shortish trip to the Midlands. Glided through Brownhills and Walsall, straight off the M5, straight into almost the first car park. Cost £5, parked up and it wasn't even 4:30.

My mate and his lad have parked in Sandwell Park Golf club opposite and we meet up outside the bakery next to the ground. Its rammed, there's live music. I've seen Elvis in Torquay and I can now add Freddie Mercury outside Greggs in West Bromwich to the list The moment was ruined by our Dan 'Who's Freddie Mercury' Oh the humanity.



Had a walk round to reception for the team sheets where the 'lads on the door' were as welcoming as that time I turned up at the local Ku Klux Klan meeting dressed as Al Jolson.

Inside, yet again we're on the end of the aisle, towards the back, which means only two things are certain. 15 minutes into the game you have to make way for some drunken Neanderthal who has drunk 10 pints, smells bad and usually stumbles and falls over. However, this is always the least of our worries. The gangways attract those who can't be arsed to find their allotted seats, this is 'Stewards no mans land', every man for himself as it were. I swap places with Macca so the lads don't get buffeted. Five minutes into the game, some lad walks behind me and stands between Macca and myself.
'Where do you think you're going mate'.
The poor kid stammered 'I can't see anything'.
To be fair, I've seen taller midgets at the circus than this clown.
'Well, I'm sure my lads don't want to share their seats with you'.
I gave him the death glare and off he trogged,
The lads were impressed 'Wow Dad, respect, he absolutely bricked it'.
I didn't intend to be taken that way but I confess, all these shenanigans do my nut in, 'but I can't get to my seat guff' which is trotted out is tedious. Get yourself out of the Pub, the Bar, the toilet where they're doing white lines all around and do it before kick off. If you're 4ft tall I suggest finding somewhere near the front Shorty.



We pick the bloke up whose lying face down and smelling of alcohol on our row and send him on his way just before we open the scoring. Its a cracking atmosphere, its a ground full of surprises, the highest in the country, it doesn't hold as many as I thought and we actually win.

Outside, we are herded like sheep down a back passageway towards the station, this is slightly disorientating, but unlike Ipswich I do know where I've parked the Reliant Laughing

Macca's using google maps, but he's reading it upside down Confused so we end up nearer Dudley than our required destination. Still, nothing like stumbling around dark alleyways on midlands housing estates on a Saturday evening.

Tickets: £38 (1 x £20, 2 x £9)
Programme: £3.50
Food: £20
Parking: £5
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