Sat on a damp decaying park bench on Moss Lane in the weak February sunshine it’s interesting watching the day go by. We arrived early as usual; parked for free in sight of the ground and made our way across the road to the local chippy before finding our place to sit. Fish and chips served in a cardboard box, what’s that all about?
Looking around there’s a small van parked up displaying the logos of the Altrincham goalkeeper’s coach’s kit business. The Greetland Shayman spots Tom Denton in the distance walking towards the ground, Sam Johnson walks alone down the street from the other direction. We spot Billy Heath carrying enough bottles of water to sink a battleship along with his management team laden down with the match day essentials.
Waiting on the street for the turnstiles to open the friendly locals lament their season, just nine points, just one win and three managers; relegation seems inevitable. Dave Norman appears and shares his tales working on the turnstiles at the Shay for the last 46 years, one of three generations of his family to do so, he’s just turned 60; blimey he’s been to a few games over the years!
Altrincham’s Moss Road ground is good old traditional place to watch football, a big wooden main stand, a warren of covered terracing for the home fans. The hardy away fans are segregated in an open terrace behind one of the goals. With recent memories of inclement weather, a good few travelling Shaymen were dotted amongst the locals in the stands.
Half time and it wasn’t pretty, goalless, cold, and not much quality. Man City Frank (the father-in-law) watching his first Halifax game wasn’t too impressed either. Altrincham wasted an excellent opportunity, a penalty in the ninth minute saved by the impressive Sam Johnson. Other than that, a few corners, shots wide, nothing really to get the 450 or so travelling Shaymen excited.
As the daylight started to drift, the clock ticked down, the floodlights came on a free kick to the Shaymen; the ball bounced around the area, a shot, a deflection, and goal!! Total relief all round. Not a great game, perhaps the worst win of the season but important all the same.
Driving back the Greetland Shayman is excited; he’s won the guess the score mega rollover jackpot, the first winner since the FA Cup game at Ashton Athletic in September. Man City Frank is hooked; he’s already planning his next game. It’s amazing the difference a goal makes.
Next up, we’re off on a new adventure, Worcester City away at Bromsgrove
Total miles on the road this season 2966, total Goals 39
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