8:30am and we were off, even Tesco Pete was out of bed and ready for this one. It was our longest away trip of the season in the league. In truth it’s only two miles additional travel than the next furthest but I’ll let you work out which ground that is. We were soon making progress down the M6 and all still talking about that great free kick from the FA Youth Cup game on Thursday night.
We’d read on the internet that Gloucester were expecting a big crowd and advice was to get to the ground early so we weren’t taking any chances. Our usual long wait for big breakfast was scrapped, replaced with a healthy ready to eat continental load of rubbish! We’d also limited Tesco Pete to just 50 attempts to try and win a teddy bear on the mechanical grabber in the pub. We were soon on our way again, but someone was feeling lonely without his teddy bear…
Gloucester City and their fans have had a difficult recent past; their home ground, Meadow Park was destroyed by the floods in 2007. Since then every home game has been played elsewhere and since 2010 they have travelled about 25 minutes down the road to share the facilities at Cheltenham Town. Perhaps the distance isn’t too much of a problem but managing and supporting a football club for almost a decade without a place to call home is more of a challenge. The good news is that they now have planning permission to rebuild their old ground and return to their home city next season.
Whaddon Road is a football league ground with a 7000 capacity and as it turns out, there’s plenty of free parking at 1.00pm! The only vehicle in the entire car park belonged to Adam Heslop; you’ll never get to a game before he does, he takes supporting his team seriously.
Well before 2.00pm the turnstiles were open and we’d wandered around to the away end to pay £13 to sit behind the goal. With only two sides of the ground open there was still plenty of space even though the stewards told us they were expecting 500 travelling Shaymen!
Half time and we were leading by a single goal scored right in front of the 150 or so travelling fans. It was a gritty and sometimes irritating first half, all stop starts with not much of a flow to the game. The only entertainment was the Gloucester goal keeper who seemed in a constant panic every time the ball came his way. At least Alex Simmons gave us something to cheer about with his goal and Gloucester seemed less of a threat than we expected
The one good opportunity for a home equaliser in the second half came from a free kick at the edge of the box, a bad pass gave us possession and 30 seconds later we had a penalty, game over.
Driving back and Coach Driver Graham had won the correct score sweep for the second away trip running. He spent the entire trip home telling us all about his system whilst we researched his alternative transport for the next game!
Next up it’s the FA Cup at Harrogate, not much parking there so we’re sure to be there early!
Total miles on the road this season 1296, total Goals 19.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist