Foxtrot, Tango, and finally a Conga, it’s fair to say there was a great deal of excitement as the usual suspects gathered in the car park. It was difficult to know whether it was down to optimism for the first away game of the season or generated by the news that Tesco Pete had declined the opportunity to support his local football team, preferring to watch a pop concert. It was just about 8.15 am as we left the leaden skies of Halifax and headed south for our 183-mile adventure.
Shortly after committing to the M1, we were in solid stationary traffic. A lane–out sign had quickly progressed to a full closure, but luckily the Warley Shayman piped up with ‘come off at the next junction, I know Ossett well’. We got moving reasonably quickly, and while all the rest of the traffic headed on a detour of Wakefield, we followed instructions from the back seat. ‘I could walk home from here,’ said the Positive Shayman, an hour later, in truth, we probably all could have. We had travelled down every street, lane, and driveway between Ossett and Horbury and still not got any further south than Emley Moor TV mast. Still, on the positive side, we all know Ossett well now too.
After a rescheduled breakfast in Leicester, we continued south with further news of a full closure of the M1 ahead of us south of Northampton. It was chaos, the Greetland Shayman was busy trying to type new locations into the Satnav without his glasses on, the Positive Shayman had his mobile phone out looking for possible routes, whilst the Warley Shayman piped up again with ‘Come off at the next junction, I know Northampton well.’ All this was going on with the radio blaring out live commentary of the England Women’s World Cup game.
You know where this is going… Mogglehanger is a Bedfordshire village with a population of just 620, rising to 624 at about half past one on Saturday afternoon, it’s situated about two hours from Northampton and a further 65 miles from Boreham Wood. At one point, someone finally lost the plot and asked whether there was any chance of buying a good old-fashioned, large-scale road map of England and Wales. We’d not yet reached Wales on our journey south, but there was still every chance…
We finally arrived at the wonderful Meadow Park, home to Boreham Wood shortly before 2.30 pm.Nobody said much, we just all went our separate ways. The 114 Travelling Shaymen were given the open end behind one goal and plenty of covered seating in a modern, stand that ran the full length of the pitch. Half was for the home fans, half for the away fans. The far end has a reasonably new covered terrace, named the North Bank, perhaps in appreciation of Arsenal FC whose Women’s football team play their home games at the ground. The man stand sits just on halfway, has director’s and media seating but not much else. The pitch was perfect, part plastic, part grass, very high quality and perfectly flat.
The first half was competitive, the Shaymen almost took the lead after 10 minutes shooting towards the massed ranks of home fans at the far end. The keeper was nowhere when a snapshot was sent slowly goalwards with nobody at home. Just at the last second, the entertaining Nathan Ashmore swiped it off the goal line. Johnson made a good couple of saves before Ashmore was tested once again.
The second half started with Boreham Wood taking the lead at the far end, shortly after they doubled their lead. Neither goal looked anything special, but the home side looked big, physical,and well up for the battle. The Shaymen came back into the game in the closing 10 minutes, it was the only time with any sustained activity at our end of the pitch. The keeper didn’t have to save anything but there was plenty of endeavour from the Shaymen. At the full time whistle the home team perhaps deserved their victory as the travelling Shaymen applauded the team for their efforts.
Driving back was a doddle, far less exciting that the journey down, we were back in half the time.
Next up and it’s one of our nearest neighbours, Oldham Athletic. Let’s hope Tesco Pete is up for this one, although I’ve heard Steps are in town this week too. Can’t wait, C’mon Shaymen!
Miles on the road 183, Goals on the road 0.
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