You can tell you’re somewhere posh when a customer pulls up in a brand new pristine Range Rover with a registration that almost spells DISCO. Sat in the window on our leather seats with napkins and a 46 inch television high on the wall, it’s fair to say we probably lowered the tone when Fair-weather Graham asked for fish cakes. We’ve had some right culinary disasters on our travels this season, but it’s fair to say the Chorley chippy we found was one of our best discoveries.
It’s always good travelling with the Greetland Shayman, his sense of direction is wonderful. We parked up on a local street before he confidently led the way meandering through back streets of red brick houses and alleyways towards the ground. Before long we were at the gates of a used car garage with a big Chorley sign… It’s amazing how easy it is to miss a football ground. Luckily for us a friendly local directed us the remaining 100 yards back the way we came to get to the ground.
Chorley’s Victory Park is a proper old school football ground opened in 1920 and with a capacity of just over 4000. The main stand is full of wooden seats fixed to cast iron supports and is accessed via steps from the standing areas below. One end has a good size covered terrace with a new roof and the other end has a smaller terrace just behind the goal with a colourful mural of football action. Opposite the main stand is an open area in front of disused grass banking.
Without any segregation the 400 travelling Shaymen were given the freedom of the ground, mainly gathering behind the opposition goalkeeper in the first half and making plenty of noise. It was a fairly even first half played on what looked like a really bumpy pitch with longer grass than usual. At half time the Shaymen were a goal up, gifted the lead by the Chorley goalkeeper failing to hold an average shot. Tom Denton doesn’t miss too many of those from six yards out.
The second half was more entertaining. Tesco Pete constantly updated us with the scores from the other games and all possible play-off permutations. Chorley was having a right good go, desperate to equalise with other scores against them and it was at times a defence master class from the Shaymen. With time running out and against the run of play the Shaymen doubled their lead from the penalty spot. At full time a nervous minute passed for Chorley as the other games continued. A big cheer soon after confirmed they too had made the play-offs. Everyone was going home happy.
Driving back and everything was sorted, a third place finish confirmed and a mid-week trip to Salford to look forward to. This is where the tension and excitement really starts. Anything is possible with 600 travelling Shaymen who are going to make a right noise on Wednesday night, c’mon Shaymen!
Total miles on the road this season 4064, total Goals 55.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist