You know it’s going to be one of those days when Megaphone Man casually mentions that he’s wearing six Halifax Town shirts under his big blue Halifax Town coat. I know it’s January and it may rain occasionally but I thought we were travelling to Aldershot today not somewhere really cold like Rossendale! Anyway, If he’s silly enough to admit he’s wearing six shirts we we’re certainly silly enough to stop and insist he gets out of the car on a windswept hillside near Flockton to get him to prove it. Apologies to the van driver who drove past just as Megaphone Man lost count of the shirts and displayed his well toned physique!
A little over four hours driving and 230 miles later we arrived in sunny Aldershot and decided to risk the local chippy. Five minutes after ordering and it’s ready, served in a paper bag big enough to hide a large cat in, we’re given a small McDonalds style portion of chips sitting on a loose battered bit of fish doing it’s best to hide in corner of the bag. One day we’ll open a chippy south of Sheffield and make a fortune!
The Recreation Ground is a good old traditional football venue and seems relatively untouched by the Health and Safety brigade. Hiding beyond an unmarked pathway through densely wooded parkland is the away fans entrance; wonderful in summer but slightly more treacherous in January with wet leaves and moss covered steps that lead down a steep hill to the back of the stadium and the away turnstiles.
With the stewards telling us that they expect around 120 travelling Shaymen, we’re allocated a seating section with a reduced price of £17 near the halfway line and again have to negotiate an undulating path around trees and more steps to reach our wooden stand, in the end 142 of us make it quite cosy,
Famed for his over optimism, we also had the company of the Bookmaker in the car. With an hour to spare before kick off, we were bombarded with regular announcements of the more and more preposterous ways he planned to invest £1 and go home rich. His most famous investment was the premature celebration of a 100/1 win at Droylsden a few seasons ago. He missed a goal and thought that his 5-0 prediction was a winner! Please don’t mention this if you see him.
The game was full of incident; the ref went down like a sack of spuds after taking a ball on the nose, a dodgy Aldershot penalty was taken the Man Utd way, Gregory scored to put us one up and then on the stroke of half time, the ref got some more action to set up an Aldershot equaliser. While we were all getting hot under the collar and sharing our considered views with the officials, we noticed the Bookmaker sitting silently with a smile on his face. A 40/1 half time prediction has just come in thanks to the ref!
The second half was dominated by a passing storm, driving wind and rain, floodlights flickering, advertising sheets breaking free amongst the branches and an Aldershot free kick blown into the top corner Brazilian style! After a late equaliser we set off back though the trees happy with probably the best away result of the season and again we felt like we got home in no time at all.
Next stop Lincoln and a proper northern chippy, back of the net!
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