Wet, miserable and with intermittent snow falling from dark grey skies, the first real bite of winter was already irritating us before we had even set off. With the wipers going full pelt, the last thing you need is dithering pedestrians (aka Greetland Shayman and Graham) looking to dive out in front of you to cross the road just as you’re pulling into the rendezvous point. If only we’d been a minute later, those dithering pedestrians would actually have got into the back of an unsuspecting lady’s car waiting on the other side of the road. Wonder if she would have screamed or locked them in?!
Curzon Ashton is our third closest away game and is only 45 minutes drive, so with the promise of a decent lunch we arrived shortly after noon. Speed bumps, bookmakers, old boarded up pubs and garden centres selling candles for Christmas, you’ve got to love the northern towns of England; not a fish and chip shop in sight. Even when we located one, the nearest car park was full. In the end we found an empty back street Chinese takeaway offering molten hot chips and curry sauce served with a smile and a table to sit at; just what was needed on a chilly day.
Curzon Ashton play at the Tameside Stadium, built in 2005 with a capacity of 4200. The main stand has just over 500 seats and opposite is a decent sized terrace with a high roof where fans usually huddle towards the back to avoid any chance of rain. Behind both goals are small open terraces with complicated scaffolding structures holding up netting to prevent any wayward footballs being kicked into the surrounding empty fields.
Hopes were high for an away win; Curzon had not won at home in the league and a good few hundred vocal travelling Shaymen had made the journey. The best comment heard shortly after half time was “My mate won’t believe it; he went for a pie just before half time and we were losing 1-0. He’s still not come back and now we’re 3-1 down!”
Football’s a funny game, frustrating, disappointing, exciting, infuriating, unbelievable. Fans were leaving with 30 minutes to go, then changing their minds, then setting off again. You’ve got to give credit to the eight Curzon players that finished the game. They didn’t panic; they just kicked the ball somewhere, anywhere just as long as it was an empty space and waited for it to come back. Even their goalkeeper deliberately kicked it as far as he could out of play each time he had the chance. Great stuff, football at it’s finest.
Back in the car, now really dark and miserable, we got stuck in traffic for almost an hour just getting out of the car park. It really was one of those days. In truth though we’ve had worse days out, roll on next week. C’mon Shaymen!
Next up we’re off on the road to Wembley again in the FA Trophy at Matlock.
Total miles on the road this season 2081, total Goals 27
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