It only seemed like two minutes since we arrived back from Woking, the conversations were all about re-living that moment of a late winner. The excitement, the pandemonium in the away end, who hugged who, in all honesty it was all a blur once the ball hit the back of the net. It’s fair to say we were full of beans as we set off on another adventure south, this time we were heading to Ebbsfleet, with 229 miles ahead of us and a warm day forecast.
Traffic was good as we headed down the A1 to one of our favourite posh restaurants. With it now being October, the new menu was in force, an Ultimate Breakfast was the challenge topped off with two rounds of toast. The new and innovative Breakfast Wall of Honour, surrounded by flashing multicoloured fairy lights, now proudly displays the name of ‘Tesco Pete – Halifax’ as one of October’s winners. Apparently, the manager will randomly pick a name off the winner’s board, at the end of each month, with that person winning a free dessert on their next visit. Genius idea!
As we made our way around the M25, the outside temperature began to climb, the traffic gantries flashed with speed restrictions, and a seven-mile queue developed heading to the Dartford Crossing. After about 30 minutes we passed a car on the hard shoulder, nothing spectacular, but everyone slowed down wanting to have a look. Luckily, we’d set off at silly o’clock just in case such excitement came our way.
With segregation in force for the first time at Ebbsfleet, we were directed to the furthest point of the ground from our secret free car parking spot. It was hot, very hot, first the fleeces were abandoned in the car, then the jumpers removed as we reached the turnstiles. It was £19 for adult admission and the reward was a place on the open terrace under the shadow of a giant electricity pylon. More than half the space was given to home fans, the rest to the travelling Shaymen. Some seating was available in the old wooden main stand but, with multiple wooded posts down the stand, viewing was limited in the corners. The home fans had covered seating behind their goal, the new main stand provided seating, hospitality, and catering facilities for home fans.
The first half started with the Shaymen in control. Ebbsfleet looked a shadow of the team who took us on last season, but still looked dangerous going forward. Midway thought the first half, and a Senior moment, our number five jumped highest to head the ball back across the keeper and into the far corner. The goal had been coming for a while, it was more a case of when we’d score rather than if, and the team held their lead until half time.
With 56 travelling Shaymen gathered behind the goal, the second half was a much more relaxed affair than usual. A second goal, scored at our end of the pitch, was met with a reasonable cheer, but nothing compared to the excitement and exhilaration of Tuesday night. The team had full control of the game and could, perhaps should, have added more to the goal tally later in the game. A few whistled past the post, the keeper stopped a few too, and the result never looked in doubt. What was expected to be a tricky away game turned out to be one of the most relaxed games of football we’d seen in a while.
Driving back and we reflected on our good fortune of having witnessed a second away win in a week and another great performance on the road. We often set off on our grand days out hoping for a good result, but always mindful of the reality of taking on teams in their own back yard, backed by their home supporters. So far this season, the team have done us proud on the road and deserve the applause they receive at the end of each game.
Next up and we’re on the telly with a late kick off at York City, there’s going to be a decent number of travelling Shaymen and no doubt, another grand day out. Can’t wait, c’mon Shaymen!
Miles on the road 2158, Goals on the road 9.
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