‘Thunder only happens when it’s raining, players only love you when they’re playing…’ It was happy hour blaring out on the radio as we sat around a silver table and matching chairs in the best chippy in Scunthorpe. In reality, we’d already driven round for 20 minutes trying to find one that was open on a Bank Holiday, and this was our last hope lurking amongst some back streets strewn with litter and empty beer bottles. Tesco Pete charmed the owners and was given the biggest bucket of chips we’d ever seen. It kept him quiet for a good 20 minutes too.
Half an hour later and we were at the ground. ‘You can’t park there’, yelled a steward in the distance, ‘We can’, we replied after winding down the window, ‘we’ve already checked with someone else.’ In no time at all it was like something off one of the TV Soaps, the steward lost the plot as we politely refused his demands, and a supervisor was summoned, ‘There’s away fans causing trouble’, he bellowed into his handset, ‘send for the supervisor’. Gosh it was exciting; we’d never been in so much trouble. Credit to the supervisor though, he arrived in no time, agreed with us and it was all over. We could park in a designated spot after all…
Scunthorpe’s Glanford Park was the first of over 40 new football grounds to be rebuilt in recent times. It was opened in 1988 replacing the Old Show Ground on the other side of the town. It has a capacity of around 9,000 with all four sides uniform and enclosed around the pitch. The home fans have a terrace behind one goal, and the other three sides have covered claret and blue seats. The pitch is immaculate, flat and well maintained, although the facilities are beginning to show their age, in need of a splash of paint here and there.
With an admission price of £25 on the day, it’s the most expensive ticket in non-league football. Despite this there must have been around 450 travelling Shaymen gathered in the away end behind the goal. It was a reasonable view even if a few supporting roof pillars got in the way at times, but with a drum bashing a beat it was a good atmosphere.
The Shaymen started the first half like they meant it, high energy, sharp tackles, and lots of possession. The home fans had the best view as most of the action was down their end of the pitch. The Shaymen looked comfortable and never under too much pressure, and it was no surprise when they took the lead shortly before half time with a free kick on the edge of the box that seemed to take a deflection. Either way, it was celebrated with gusto in the away end.
The second half was similar, the team played well and looked accomplished. Most of the action was up our end this time. A few corners, some free kicks, and a decent save from the home goalkeeper kept the score to 1-0. Just when the nerves were starting to kick in, a calamity for Scunthorpe gave us a great opportunity. For some reason, the home goalkeeper thought it best to get involved with a free kick on the halfway line, and a few seconds later Slew was through bearing down on an empty goal. Credit to him, he was calm as defenders tried to cover, he waited and waited until placing the ball in the net. 2-0 up, game over.
Driving back was fun, we were full of enthusiasm and looking forward to the next few fixtures. The team had done us proud and collected the first three points of the season and it was away from home too, making it just that little bit sweeter.
Next up, and we’re off down south again to our friends at Maidenhead. Another good result down there and we’ll be very happy indeed.
Miles on the road 933, Goals on the road 2.
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