Just after 6.00 am and the phone is ringing; it’s the Greetland Shayman sounding like he’s got a clothes peg on his nose and a big dog biting his leg. “I’ve got man flu” he says, “I can’t make it today!” There’s not much that gets between the Greetland Shayman and his football but having seen him the previous evening pinch an entire loo roll out of the gents at another non-league game just to blow his nose, I’m certain his excuse was genuine. I’m just not sure how popular he’ll be with the next person who used those facilities though!
“Is it the usual breakfast?” said the man taking the food orders in the Northamptonshire restaurant. With four visits in the last month the staff had noticed our Halifax Town shirts arriving every Saturday morning. Having time on our hands and only an hour’s further travel we decided to really test the patience of the chef. “Can we make it four sausages this week please in addition to our usual list and can we also have bowl for cereal?” replied Tesco Pete. The offer invited us to eat and drink as much as we liked and just over an hour later we were back on our way, with no room for anything else all day!
Boreham Wood’s playing surface is like a snooker table; a mixture of synthetic and real grass it’s manicured to perfection, perhaps the best playing surface in the league. The West Stand runs down the entire left-hand side of the pitch with 1200 seats and provides a great view of the pitch. The Main Stand is much smaller on the other side of the pitch with outbuildings housing the changing rooms alongside the seats. There are plans in place to rebuild this stand at the end of the season. Behind both goals are small open terraces that are very close to the action.
With 105 travelling Shaymen making the trip, we were segregated with lots of space both behind the goal and in the new West Stand. By half time Boreham Wood were a goal up from an early free kick that seemed to take an age to cross the goal line; Sam Johnson almost saved it a few times before the home team celebrated. The Shaymen were well in it though and unlucky to be behind.
The second half was more exciting as the Shaymen kicked towards the travelling fans; the referee seemed to have more yellow cards than there were yellow shirts on the pitch! The noise on the terraces was beginning to build but with Tom Denton denied an equaliser by the width of the linesman’s flag the clock was ticking down. With 10 minutes to go an equaliser, much deserved but the Boreham Wood keeper wasn’t happy with his efforts. Then a red card and an additional five minutes added time. The Shaymen continued to go for it, but a draw seemed the least they deserved for their efforts.
Driving back and Tesco Pete was happy; for three hours he talked about what a good result it was as we went through the game in detail. The top few teams have edged away slightly but the relegation pack are still 11 points behind. It makes a real difference driving back through the darkness and rain of autumn Saturday nights when the team has played well and earned a decent point against tough opposition.
Next up and we’re off to Tranmere Rovers but not before we’ve played them first in the FA Cup next Saturday, I wonder where our cup adventures will take us this season?
Total miles on the road this season: 2702, total goals on the road: 6.
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