Well that was an interesting week; two games in four days against opposition less than 14 miles apart and yet our weekly mileage was almost 900 miles. No wonder it’s been a little like herding cats to fill a spare seat in the car. One minute you think you’ve got an extra passenger or maybe two, then you blink and they’ve both got away. To be fair to the indecisive Shaymen once they made their mind up to go to the game they had no trouble filling their own car such is the excitement of watching FC Halifax Town these days.
With flashing lights and a bonkers loud horn going on and off, on and off, it was difficult to hear what the lady behind the counter was shouting as I queued to pay for petrol shortly after 8.00 am on a quiet street. There’s always some idiot these days with a car alarm loud enough to wake the entire neighbourhood. Irritating isn’t the word, I’m glad I don’t have one, I thought. You leave Tesco Pete in charge of a car and next minute it’s chaos, the Greetland Shayman was doing his best to placate the locals whilst I was wondering how to turn the thing off. We were soon on our way though and everyone knew about it.
Coco Pops followed by three sausages, three bacon rashes, two fried eggs, black pudding, tomato, beans, chips and double hash browns all washed down with three rounds of tea; you can’t beat a good breakfast stop to break up a long distance journey. Within no time at all we’d eaten them out of house and home paid our £5 and were back on our way to complete the almost four hour journey south.
Dagenham and Redbridge’s Victoria Road ground is a real community asset. The bars’ function room is open all week for locals and the club’s programme shop is an Aladdin’s Cave of all things football. There are 1970’s football annual’s, framed signed shirts from players of yesteryear and a plethora of programmes from what looks like every club in the country all marshalled by an enthusiastic volunteer eager to sell as much as he can.
With the highest admission cost in the National League, £21 for an adult, Dagenham and Redbridge offer the opportunity to climb one of the steepest stands in the division and take a seat high above the goals. Such is the view you can clearly see all the pitch markings in the far penalty area and look down on the smaller stands at the side of the pitch.
By half time the Shaymen were three goals down and really up against it. The mid week exertions at nearby Leyton Orient and 11 games in a month seemed to have an impact. Dagenham had taken their chances and the Shaymen looked second best.
At full time it was 3-1, a consolation goal gave us something to cheer about and one of the 147 travelling fans commented that at least we’d won the second half. In the end a fair result and the team was warmly applauded off at the end for their week’s efforts.
Driving back all is not lost, a quick check of the league table leaves us just two points off the top and more importantly we’re still 10 points ahead of the bottom four. It’s still a great start to the season and even better I’ve won the jackpot for the correct score in the car. It’s a double rollover, what a result!
Next up we’re off to Ebbsfleet United, a new experience for all of us in the car and we can’t wait. C’mon Shaymen!
Total miles on the road this season: 1860, total goals on the road: 5.
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