There was a definite autumnal feel in the air as we set off on our 202-mile journey South down a calm M1 motorway. It was overcast, with a threatening breeze, but all the usual suspects were high on optimism following a run of really positive results. Even the most pessimistic passenger was forecasting at least a point, and I suppose being realistic, none of us ever set off on an away day expecting the worst….
Breakfast was the usual chaos; he’s got my mushrooms, I’ve got his steak, and he doesn’t like brown toast, and why have my fried eggs been scrambled? It was a decent meal but more akin to a dysfunctional picnic given all the swapping and changing we had to do; the staff were clearly overrun dealing the ongoing restrictions associated with Covid-19 and we were not about to complain about the accuracy of our order.
As we continued our journey further South the rain started to fall, visibility was reduced, and the traffic became heavier and much slower. In no time at all, we found ourselves five miles past our intended junction and heading towards the centre of London, all the while trying to dodge the gauntlet of impromptu queues for the last remaining petrol this side of Kuwait.
Barnet’s Hive football ground is in Edgware, the club having relocated from their famous Underhill stadium back in 2013. It has a capacity of 6500 with imminent plans to further increase the number of seats by two thousand, replacing the only terracebehind the home goal with an additional stand, similar to the one that houses the travelling fans behind the other goal. With a cost of £8 to park the car, you can only imagine how inventive we were to find a free spot on the main road. It all reminds me of the famous line from the film Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come…,” I’m sure they didn’t mean instantly though…
With a decent view high up behind the goal, the 166
travelling Shaymen provided good vocal support throughout the game. The distant view of the famous Wembley Arch came and went as visibility altered during the incessant rain. On the pitch, the Shaymen started well and looked comfortable. There were few clear-cut chances, a clearance off the Barnet goal line was the closest anyone came to breaking the deadlock.
The second half was more of the same and according to the comments of the Barney forum, they were having their best game of the season. The Shaymen stood firm and almost nicked it in injury time with the Barnet goalkeeper making an instinctive point–blank save. It would have been a great end to the game but in all honesty, it was a decent point away from home.
Driving back and we narrowly avoided grid lock at a nearby petrol station with the locals out of their cars giving each other plenty as emotions ran high. We spotted a gap in the traffic and made our escape only to end up queuing for fuel in Hemel Hempstead. With drivers filling temporary containers in their car boots, no wonder stocks were low.
We eventually rolled back into Halifax around 9:30pm with the rain having finally stopped as we pondered what might have been. It shows just how much the team have progressed when a point is a slight disappointment.
Next up and it’s a local one, Solihull, that is of course unless the magic of the FA Cup sends us somewhere else in the meantime. How about two trips to Solihull? Anything is possible…
Goals on the road six, Miles 2256, C’mon Shaymen!
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