Relegation does have a positive side; last season we had long midweek away trips to Torquay and Bromley, this season everything seems really local. Stockport County is less than an hour’s drive away and there’s another four away games even nearer.
You just can’t win on the M62 at tea time, it’s usually bumper to bumper so we set off extra early, get a really clear run and arrive before 6.00 pm! We even find plenty of street parking right near the ground. With lots of spare time we’re advised by the helpful stewards to try a local working men’s club.
“You’ve come on the wrong day!” the barman said as we approached the bar, “we only do pies on Saturdays’. Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights had nothing on this place with its old fashioned wooden walls and 1970’s multi coloured carpets. An opportunity to make a small fortune from the travelling Shaymen missed because we’d arrived on the wrong day. Rumour has it the Snorkeler was later barred within five minutes of getting inside the club place for asking whether it was possible to have non-fizzy beer…
Shortly after 7.00 pm and still hungry we’re inside the ground and in search of good food. With a ‘no chips’ policy in place, the best offering was a finest steak pie with mash potatoes, peas and gravy, all for a bargain price of £4.80. To be fair the portion size was great, the only problem was the finest steak pie turned out to be meat and potato, so more potato!
Edgeley Park is a proper old fashioned football ground now owned by the local council. There’s almost an 11,000 capacity with the really big Cheadle End Stand behind one goal. The away fans are given an open terrace behind the other goal. The main stand is named after the former long term manager Danny Bergara.
The first half was tense, over 500 travelling Shaymen making some good noise whilst the home crowd were quiet and subdued. Stockport hit the bar right in front of the travelling fans just before Tom Denton gave us the lead.
The more the first half progressed the more it seemed reminiscent of school boy football, nothing to do with quality, just that feeling of playing football in the park as dusk turns into night. Suddenly, just at the moment when your mother used to call you in because it was too dark, the referee noticed the fans waving mobile phones with the torch lights on. Just a moment before half time they put the floodlights on and we once again could see the other end of the pitch.
Soon into the second half Stockport equalised and the home fans got behind their team, both teams could have scored a winner but a point seemed fair. Back to the car and Tesco Pete’s in a frenzy trying to get his camera out, “You’ve got a parking ticket!” he chuckled. I thought it seemed rather too easy to park up. Not sure what Mrs B will say about the £70 fine but it may help the local authority to put the lights on earlier next time.
Next up, we’re off to a brand new ground, Fylde and we’re still unbeaten, can’t wait
Total miles on the road this season 318, total Goals 4
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist