Snow on the ground, drizzle in the air and dense fog in highest Queensbury; it’s getting to the stage of winter when the weather may play havoc with the fixtures. In a flash the Clayton Shayman was on it, “Let’s wind him up, tell him there’s a pitch inspection at 1.00 pm, he’ll never know”. Tesco Pete didn’t seem too happy but reluctantly agreed to play his part, and before long we picked up the gullible Greetland Shayman and gave him the bad news. Two hours later we were still at it as we wound our way around the hills of the Cumbrian coastline towards Barrow with the Greetland Shayman still none the wiser…
To say Tesco Pete was full of beans is an understatement. From the moment we picked him up to the moment we dropped him off. At first we thought it must have been his recent exploits on one of those daytime television game shows that had enthused him so much but no, it was something far more exciting than that. In truth, he’s been a little shy in coming forward to take the Head to Head Challenge but he’s finally been pinned down and gosh, don’t we all know about it! “I think I got 8 out of 10!” he announced “Do you want to hear the questions I was asked?” he enquired. In the end we did listen to him but we’ll be reading next week’s Shayman Shout to find out what score he really got!
With just 35 days since our last visit to Barrow, nothing much had changed. The rain had relented a little, the puddles of the pitch had disappeared but the biting cold breeze still remained. With tickets bought for a discount online we took the opportunity to accidentally wander though the home turnstiles. We explored the winding paths around the outbuildings, the small terrace behind the goal adjacent to the player’s tunnel which is cloaked in bright yellow wire mesh, and made our way towards the ‘Popular Side’. Most of the home terrace is covered with a series of supporting posts propping up the roof whilst blue and white safety barriers run along the concrete terraces. Behind the other goal at the far end it’s bleak, open to the elements and has clumps of grass fighting its way though gaps in the concrete terrace. It’s probably a great place to watch the game in late summer but it’s only for the hardy spectator in winter.
It was goalless at half time as we watched from the back row of seats in the main stand. A flag from the linesman on the far side generated the most discussion, Kosylo appeared to be onside from our view point as he made his run into the box to beat the keeper but in fairness, it was a close call. The game was far more controlled than on our previous visit and the Shaymen looked comfortable. The second half was less exciting, perhaps the cold breeze gnawing away at your legs doesn’t help. There were a good few more than the announced 61 travelling Shaymen dotted about as sporadic shouts of encouragement were heard all around the stand. Both teams had their moments of possession but nothing really looked like breaking the deadlock as darkness fell towards the end of the game.
Driving back and we agreed it was a point gained but equally a missed opportunity. The decisions of the officials change games and who knows what the result may have been if Kosylo’s goal had been allowed to stand. Cameron King was our Man of the Match; he’s really beginning to make a difference to the team when he plays well. The referee did okay too. The league tables are becoming more and more interesting each week and any team that puts a few wins together will fly up the table.
Next up we’re off to a really exiting local fixture at Chesterfield in their relatively new ground. I’m certain the away end will be rocking on that day, c’mon Shaymen!
Total miles on the road this season: 5379, total league goals on the road: 12
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