Away trips don’t get much better than this! It’s all good fun to drive for an hour up the road to Hyde and be home in time for Final Score, but there’s something really special about just getting up on a Saturday morning and setting off before 8:30am.
It’s fair to say that Trainspotter John wasn’t best pleased with the news that I had donated his place in the car to a more worthy cause. With the promise of a day out to Shirebrook Town next Saturday and the chance of a visit to another obscure Weatherspoon’s I think he eventually accepted the situation. It’s sometimes more important to get those to the game who really care about the result rather than those who care more about the name of the pub next to it.
Watford Gap service station was our interim destination, famous for providing the opportunity for refreshments served by modern day highway men! Today was different, only 10 minutes after arriving and we’re all back in the car. Tesco Pete, sat in lucky Trainspotter John’s seat had just won £500 on the one-armed bandit. Not hanging around for the police to arrive in case he’d really asked for a McDonalds’ burger in an assertive manner, we were off!
Over the Dartford Crossing, it was far too tempting not to take a short detour past Princes Park, scene of our first away win of the season. With full sun and a hot car driving through the slow lunchtime London traffic, it was only sensible to wind down the windows and play a little Tommy Degnan at high volume for the remain 5 miles to Welling. Apologies to the locals but I’m sure they now know the words.
Park View Road is a wonderful football venue, kick a ball over the bar and there’s a fair chance you’ll hit a red London bus driving past up the busy high street. There are decaying concrete open terraces at both ends with one shielding the sun with the trees in the park. There is also plenty of seating in two stands down the sides of the pitches; the ground has seen better days but it’s full of character.
A good following of at least 100 travelling Shaymen made the trip and it was without doubt the best away result of the season. The game was settled by a penalty, awarded by a referee who was further away from the incident than many of the away support. I’m not convinced the ref got it right but you win some and lose some and I’m sure some stronger appeals will be turned down before the end of the season.
In the end it was a great day out and with the Bookmaker’s daughter Imogen making her first ever away trip with the Shaymen (and winning), it’s going to be very difficult for those Halifax Town fans who chose to watch Burnley yesterday to reclaim their seats for the next trip. You can’t beat a few rounds of eye spy stuck in traffic on the M1, Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!
Next stop good old Nuneaton; I’m sure we’ve been there before……
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