It’s probably a sign of a misspent 1980’s youth but they remind me of space invaders, 20, 30, and 40 or if you’re lucky 50 points. The flashing yellow lights, up and down mimic the strange arms and legs of the aliens across the computer screen, row after row as far as the eye could see; if only the numbers displayed were points rather than just the speed limit on the M62 it would be far more exciting. The old boys in the back of the car weren’t helping either, reminiscing about the day they went to an away game to Crewe back in 1854 and didn’t get there until half time. Poor old Tesco Pete was in a right state, the satnav said arrival at 7:30 pm and we were bumper to bumper….
“You’re trying to wind me up, go away!” said the nice lady in the food hut. “No”, I explained, “I was only asking if you have any chips.” “You know the answer so stop trying to wind me up” she continued. Eventually I think she understood it was a genuine question, I don’t go every week and no, she didn’t have any chips. She did ask me to complain though as chips were very popular and now she’s not allowed to make them. In the end she offered me a sad looking burger for just £3.50. “Now you’re trying to wind me up!” I said as I settled for a meat and potato pie that had been flattened by a steam roller for just £3.
Hartlepool’s Victoria Ground is one of the better grounds in the league. A capacity of just less than 8000 including around 4000 seats with everyone under cover and close to the pitch it makes for a great atmosphere. An adult ticket of £20 gives away fans the opportunity to sit in a tidy covered stand behind the goal that can accommodate almost 1000 fans. A low roof and slightly elevated position gives a decent view of the pitch. There are good size stands around the rest of the ground with a home terrace opposite and more covered terracing in front of seats in the main stand.
By half time it was all over, 3-0 to Hartlepool with all the action under our noses. A simple goal scored with a quick one-two past the Shaymen’s back four. A penalty awarded for what looked like defending and another decent goal shortly before half time. The only highlight was how a home spectator, close to the away end, evaded the 17 policemen (we counted them) and 20 stewards before wandering onto, then off the other side of pitch for no reason.
The second half passed by without much incident, Hartlepool passed the ball well, retained possession and added a final goal near the end. It was a thumping defeat against full time, higher quality opposition with a much bigger budget on a miserable Tuesday night in late November. To be fair it’s everything we expect in the first season after promotion and much more fun than losing to Alfreton town, Curzon Ashton and Stalybridge Celtic as we did last season.
Driving back and we headed straight to the nearest chippy, it was less than £2 for a bucket of chips and a smile from the lady behind the counter, it’s grim up North at times but we’re still 17th. We’d settle for that at the end of the season.
Next up we’re off back down South, Aldershot in December, and the Greetland Shayman will be taking some mistletoe as we head back to our favourite breakfast stop…
Total miles on the road this season: 3534, total goals on the road: 10.
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