Flags, banners, drums, fancy dress and even a spreadsheet. It’s a coMBination of all the little things put together that really turn an away game into a proper memorable day out…
9.00 am and we were off. Fair-weather Graham was instantly hooked on our news of a mid morning pitch inspection, while the Greetland Shayman was sure it was just April 1st tomfoolery; but with Tesco Pete providing continuous updates whilst the bright Yorkshire sunshine turned to heavy Lancashire rain, even the simplest wind-up seemed plausible.
Arriving at the ground in plenty of time, photographer Darren was all of a dither, ‘8.57 out of 10’ he shouted to us across the car park. Forget the team news, Darren had the referee news! Apparently, the referee was one seen earlier in the season that had scored an amazing 8.57 for the game on Darren’s Referee Performance Spreadsheet. Darren was sure it was going to be our day and who were we to question the power of a spreadsheet!
Kidderminster’s Aggborough Stadium is a great place to watch football; a capacity of just over 6000 with around 3000 seats available split between two stands down each side of the pitch. Behind each goal are modern covered terraces with a low roof that really helps build the atmosphere.
With Kidderminster famous for the best football pies in the country, Tesco Pete was up for the challenge. If you’ve not seen a Kidderminster pie think of a big tin foil tray (often used for rice) filled right to the top with mashed potato instead of pastry. It’s great value for £4.50. Credit to Pete though, shortly before kick-off, he’d demolished both a cottage pie and a cheese and onion pie, the cheese and onion scoring the best for flavour (if anyone wants to keep a record on a spreadsheet?!).
At half time it was all square, a goal each; being honest though we were lucky it wasn’t far worse. Kidderminster took the lead and dominated for much of the first half. A Tom Denton equaliser lifted spirits before a penalty to Kidderminster was gloriously fluffed on the stroke of half time. Oh the comedy of kicking it wide with goalkeeper diving the wrong way, we laughed and laughed.
The second half was far more even; Kidderminster’s fans were worried about dropping two points at home and the 270 or so Travelling Shaymen were in full voice, banging the drum and delighted with thoughts of a point. With around 10 minutes to go, a penalty to the Shaymen, what a great referee! Right down the middle, 2-1 to the Shaymen, party on!
Walking back to the car everything seemed wonderful. It was one of those games where perhaps a draw was a fair result, but with the goalkeeper playing a blinder we nicked it at the end.
Next up we’re off on the longest trip of the season to sunny Northamptonshire and a place called Brackley, I’m sure we’ve done well there before too. Can’t wait, c’mon Shaymen!
Total miles on the road this season 3584, total Goals 50
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist