Trev's 2005-2006 Travels

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  England v. Belgium 1.6.06   English Institute of Sport
  It's been my first day back at work after spending the Bank Holiday in Brighton and I'd forgotten all about this. Thankfully Stu sent me an email to remind me. It was actually a four team tournament, the other two teams being Belarus (eventual winners) and Cyprus and started on the Monday. Each day there were two games in a round robin competition. Today's first game was starting at 5 but there was little chance of me making it to that one. England's game was due to start at 7.30. Stu was getting down there for the duration as Lynn was dropping him off before taking Liam to Karate, and then the pair of them were going to come back down to watch the last half of the game.
  I got off to a bad start by missing the bus, so as it was a sunny evening I decided to walk it. Just as I set off I got a text from Stu telling me to bring the camera as they had the F.A.Cup on show and you could have your picture taken with it. Too late, mate!  It actually didn't take that long and it also brought memories back of the early days when we used to play at Don Valley and me and the beermonster would sometimes walk it to the ground.
   I paid my way in and asked where to go. It's a pretty big place with different facilities inside. Once through the double doors, you could see people queuing up to have their photo taken with the F.A. Cup, with two officials eagerly watching in case someone decides to take it home as a souvenir. I walked into where the game was to be played, the players were just warming up. All the spectators were on the nearside, and knowing my eyesight and the fact that I can't see a motorway sign from five yards away I thought it may be a good idea to give Stu a call so he knew I was here. So I'm stood on my own, like Billy no mates (that's not 'our' Bill's new nickname by the way!), " Stu, I'm here, where about's are you sat." Thankfully he's close by and stands up so I can see where he is.
   I suppose a little explanation of the rules of Futsal might be in order now. Well, basically it's like five a side football, only for a start, the ball can actually go out and the opposition then roll it back in.The game is played in two 20 minute halves, the only difference being that, if the ball goes dead , then the clock stops, so the game can go on for quite a while if there are a lot of stoppages. Players can be substituted at any time during the game and all players can be used again. That's about it really. Before the game we had the National Anthems of both teams, I also spotted one or two familiar faces. Hope Powell, the England Ladies tam manager was there as was Geoff Thompson, Chairman of the F.A.  and who should be on duty working, our own Haley Roach taking a rest from playing for a change.
   It actually reminded me a little of the Philadelphia Kixxx game I saw in America last December. The main difference being that there wasn't as much atmosphere here although the announcer was trying his best to generate some enthusiasm. Stu was saying that he saw Macca and Wally earlier, as they were here  watching the first game, (will we have any foreign signings come the start of the season ?) England can finish second overall if they win tonight, but by half time they're already trailing 1-0 and if it wasn't for our keeper, the Belgians would have had a hatfull. Half time entertainment is provided by the Sheffield Steelers cheerleaders, ( a bunch of schoolkids) who tried their best, but all I could think of was the professional cheerleaders I saw in Philadelphia....come back to reality Trev, quick, someone get my pills!!!
   Lynn calls to say they've arrived, he tells them how to get to the hall and we keep an eye out for them. All she's worried about is the fact that there's no-one to take her money as they've closed the desk now. They spot us, and come and take the seats we've been saving with our coats.Things don't get much better on the pitch as Belgium go further in front. As usual, ever resourceful Liam has brought something to do. This kid is never without pen and paper. Tonight he's setting up a staff structure for a supermarket...I wonder where he got that idea from ! Actually it's quite frightening as he puts down all the jobs that need to be filled, from Managing Director, right down to the stores staff and check out girls. He even said he'd find a job for me ! LOL England pull a goal back, but it's too little too late, and Belgium wrap up the scoring and triumph 3-1. Such is the table that, instead of finishing second, the defeat sees England actually finish fourth, oh well, not to worry. We don't wait for the presentations but make our way out to the car. Lynn even managed to get parked near the entrance which is amazing because it was packed out when I arrived.
   I'm ready for my lift home from Stu when invites me to join them for a pizza at pizza hut as they are all starving. Well, who am I to turn down food ? We eventually get seated, it seems that they're short staffed (tell me about it ) and order some mega deal offer including Garlic bread and ice cream for afters. By the time the food has arrived and we've had our main course, everyone is full and we're the only ones left in the restaurant. Lynn's determined that we'll have the ice cream anyway, mainly because they wouldn't let us substitute some of our earlier order for a different choice. So she sends Liam to get the ice cream and he also brings her a plateful of chocolate buttons. After a while we decided to tell the waitress we'd finished, so they could get the place cleaned up and closed. I was tired by then, whereas Liam was wide awake and full of energy. I was glad of the lift home then, and it was a nice end to the day, plus the extra game which I'd originally forgotten about. The season is still not over for me though, look out Germany because my next stop is the World Cup. Until next time
      Happy Travelling

Grimsby Ladies v. Sheffield Ladies 7.5.06 
  Well, another day, another travels as we're off to Cleethorpes to watch the ladies in their final game of the season. This is my last Sheffield game although John still has the under 19 game tomorrow, but I'll be down on the south coast for a couple of days. He did offer to take me to the station at 10.30 after the game, so I could help him, but I declined his generous offer !
  It's been quite a week since last Saturday, as today it's our seventh game in nine days. After the lovely weather these past couple of days it's an early start in the rain, but at least it's trying to brighten up. It's not even 9.30 yet so the roads are still quiet. Setting off at 9.30 to go to Cleethorpes ? I hear you ask. Well, this is due to the fact that the game is kicking off at eleven O'clock.
   We listen to a Paul Young CD as we we head towards some very dark clouds, but they soon pass although it still stays very overcast. John was telling me that he was supposed to have been sending Dennis an email last night about today's game, but he fell asleep.So he asked Deano to forward the details to him, just in case he decides to make the trip.
   We stopped off at the services for a little break and also John wanted a Fry's Cream Bar. I looked around but couldn't spot any, so I asked the young lass on the till if they stocked them.She had never even heard of them, God I feel old ! It's raining hard as we get back on the motorway, just in time for me to spot an Eddie Stobart. John checks the mileage and reckons we should have set off a little earlier as he's sure we're going to miss the kick-off. I said, "Never mind, at least we won't be waiting around like last Sunday, and they still kicked off without us.
   It stops raining as we see the signposts for Cleethorpes tourist attractions. We're a bit mystified at this, as we didn't think they had any tourist attractions ! John sends Helen a text saying ' Tell the girls not to score without us, we're almost there.' We actually made it with ten minutes to spare. This then turned into about half an hour as Grimsby couldn't get in contact with the referee who hadn't shown up. We spend the time watching the girls 'kicking in' and end up being ball boys for them as the shots were going high, wide and handsome. In fact I turned to John and said, "This is more exercise than we get playing badminton !"
    A referee is eventually found, it turns out to be the Grimsby Ladies chairman (I think). You can tell that he really wants to be here this morning.....NOT !!!! He has a unique style of running the game, bearing in mind that there are no official assistants at these games. When play was on the far touchline, he was stood on the near touchline, and vice-versa. I don't think he ever ventured more than five yards either side of the half way line either.
  It takes just 12 minutes for the girls to take the lead as Andrea adds to her considerable tally for the season. We then spend some time talking to Kirstie, who's come along to support the girls. She used to play for them until she had to leave to carry on with her studies. The ref is really winding us all up as he takes no action against the home side who are consistently fouling and getting away with it. He even has the cheek to tell our players to get up a, get on with it and stop whinging.He thinks he's a bloody headmaster.Somehow, there are no more goals this half, but at least Helen has a chance to calm the girls down and tell them to just play to their strengths. Second half even sees the ref acting as a ball boy too as the ball goes out of play over the cricket square. We then had a 'candid camera' moment. The ball was kicked out of play, it sailed over the fence, across the main road and just missed a cyclist ! The chap even got off his bike to throw the ball back too. With five minutes to go the girls finally wrapped the game up when Hayley sent in a good corner kick and Nell came ghosting in to power a header home at the near post. A relief all round and everyone was especially happy for the skipper as she's gone so close on so many occasions this season.
   After the game, we joined the players at the nearest pub for an end of season drink . We had planned on going into the town and getting fish and chips, but by the time we'd finished at the pub , we couldn't be bothered. Outside, we said our farewells to everyone, Helen asked us for our player of the year vote. John said, "There's not just us two voting is there? We don't want to get hanged by the ones that don't win." Helen reassured us that there would be some other people voting. Funnily enough, we hadn't consulted each other and never spoke about it, but we both picked the same player. The weather had improved as we set off for home. We stooped at the services for a coffee as we were both tired.I think it was all that pre-match running about and sea air that did it.
   Back on the road again as we listen to U2. Our next stop is Morrisons.John needed to pick something up for Lynne and while he was doing that, I wanted to get some dripping to take to Brighton for Kay and Martin. They're too posh down there to sell the stuff. We were going to go to the Tesco 24 hour store, but it closes on Sunday that one out ! There had actually been a crash on the bloody slip road leading into the car park, God knows how you could hit somebody and make a mess like we saw of the car on the verge, especially when you should be doing no more than 15 MPH.
   The final bit of the journey, and John has a big smile on his face as he shouts out "Preston's of Potto" I look up and see it's a Netto lorry ! "Nice try John " I said, "but you're not having that one." I think he thought that I was resting my eyes ....well he was wrong!
   Back home and there's just time for  an hours rest before finishing the day at the Thyme Cafe for the players presentation, accompanied by their speciality sausage and mash. A nice ending to a great season. Until next time.
     Happy Travelling

Liversedge v. Sheffield  6.5.06
  Well, would you believe it ? It's the last match of the season, as we go up to Liversedge for the second leg of the League Cup Final, hoping for a performance of Middlesborough proportions to turn the game around after Thursday night's first leg 2-0 defeat at the Coach. To be honest, we shouldn't really be going there , because if the league had got their bloody act together then they would have got a neutral venue organised for a one off game like cup finals are supposed to be ! There that's it, I'll get off my soapbox now.
  Back to today and at least we've got sunshine again which is nice. In fact it must be some kind of record for us, two trips on the trot, both during the daytime and both in sunshine!
  It's been my day off today and I've done bugger all. Well actually I tell a lie, I did do some laundry, which basically involved turning the machine on, guessing which programme to put it on and then pressing a switch.I tell you, sometimes I live right on the edge !
   John picked me up on his way home from work and we got a chance to watch a bit of the Palace v. Watford play-off game before setting off, stopping to pick Deano and Maz up further down the road.It'a quiet journey there as we listen to the rest of the game on the radio.In fact the trip has a definite pre-season /end of season feel about it, you wouldn't think it was a Cup Final. We arrived just in time to claim one of the few remaining spaces available in the car park, and all this despite missing the turn off to the ground, mind you, it is only a little lane and not very well signposted.
   There's a good turn out, in fact it's probably the biggest crowd Liversedge have had this season, but it was swelled by loads of Sheffield supporters, and not just the usual ones too. In fact we still had as many, if not more support than the locals. First stop was the snack bar, so John could get something to eat after his stint at work this morning. Andy and Tim, with respective passengers turn up as the club have to open the gates into the ground to allow people to park their cars on the grass behind the stand. It's a cagey opening by both sides but the game soon settles down, with Sheffield needing to score to reduce the deficit from the first leg. One of the Liversedge players gets hit smack in the groin and goes down like  a sack of coal. All the males around me take a big gulp, knowing how much that must have hurt, in fact even my eyes are watering ! The referee was unsure how to restart the game and Sue shouted, "Bounce up!" Someone else replied , "He's already had a bounce up," which had us laughing . Then Geoff is going on about the referee's name, saying his surname is Dick. Bill (Towning) who had come to stand with us said, "Who's Dick?"  Deano said, "Oh this is the norm for conversation with us lot....welcome to club world !" He gave us a look and a smile which must have registered as "I always thought you lot were mad, you've just confirmed it now."
   Half time and we make our way once again to the snack bar. John has got his eating head on as he now tucks into a pasty and peas. By the time we get served the players are back on the field and have already kicked off.The Liversedge kids are in fine voice, it's a sign that their side is winning, we didn't hear much of them last time we were here, seeing some of these makes me think that perhaps abortion isn't such a bad idea after all. It even starts to rain which about sums the day up. We do manage to pull a goal back, but we were never going to overhaul the home side. While the game enters it's final throes, we're all engrossed in listening to Bill telling the football league scores, as it's the final day of the season and some of us want to know, who's going up, staying up or going down. Back on the pitch, Liversedge have put the game to bed by netting another two goals as both sides just play the last few minutes out.
   We're gracious in defeat, which is more than can be said for some of the home 'fans' who jeer the team as they go to collect their runners -up medals. How picturesque it was having all the winning team having to climb up the steps to receive the cup from in front of the snack bar, and then having to go all the way back down to the pitch so they could have a proper photo taken. Back in the car and off we go for the journey home. John puts the radio on so we can hear all the football results, and at least I do have something to smile about as Torquay managed to avoid relegation, despite John saying that were doomed two weeks prior to today. One fact that will probably come up in quizzes in the future was the fact that Oxford United were relegated out of the league, to be replaced by Accrington Stanley. In 1962 it was Oxford United who were elected to take the place guessed it Accrington Stanley in the days when the bottom clubs had to apply for re-election to maintain their league status.
   We decide to brighten things up by putting on some rock classics on the CD player. It helps to pass the time as we take a diversion off the motorway due to an accident further along the road. It's surprising how many other people had the same idea as we crawl along through Chapeltown and Ecclesfield. John calls for some petrol, and while he's being served, Maz decides to treat us all to an ice cream. However, our tastebuds remained dormant as she came back to the car empty handed as they didn't sell anything like that in the shop. Oh well, it's onwards and homewards. Another season seems to have flown by, although me and John still have another Sheffield game to watch as we're off to see the ladies play at Grimsby tomorrow, so perhaps our season will end with a win after all. Once again it's been a joy to partake in following the lads around the grounds, and if we seem to be disappointed at only finishing fourth in the league, reaching two cup finals and winning one of them then I guess it just shows what a high standard the team set itself. We'll all be back in a few weeks, at least we still have the World Cup to look forward to. Until next time.
        Happy Travelling

 Sheffield v. Parkgate  2.5.06  S&H Senior Cup Final
 Today's the big one, Cup Final day only this time it we're actually trying to defend the trophy we won in dramatic style last year. What makes it odd is that this time, we're the favourites which is scary as it's new territory to us.
   It's a rare occasion as  John leaves work on time and picks me up. Then it's off to town to get Deano and Maz. At this point John asks me to sit in the back with them and try out the three seat arrangement. We're also picking Paula up, but John says 'She's too thin to sit in the back as it wouldn't be a true reflection on the usual passengers that sit there during the football season." It took a minute to sink in what he meant, but then I got it.....the cheeky sod! Anyway, it takes us another 50 minutes before we arrive at John's, having dropped Deano and Maz off just down the road.It's a good job we're playing at Hillsborough and can walk down to the ground. I just have time for a cuppa while John gets himself ready and then we're off again, meeting the other two along the road.
   We'd made arrangements to meet everyone else inside the ground this time, congregating around the directors box so we can get some decent pictures of Hilts lifting the cup. Are we tempting fate here?  We find Stu and Liam and sit with them, I have Tommy and Rob next to me too. There's a surprise as I turn around to find the beermonster, Chris and Nicky have been able to make the game too. We're all in a good, if somewhat apprehensive mood as the game starts. Unfortunately we go a goal down after only 6 minutes ! Not only that, but Parkgate look like they are the side who should be the favourites as they string together a series of attacks. Thankfully Tev calms our nerves by grabbing an equaliser on 22 minutes, or in Stu's reporting language....halfway through the first half. lol. That's how it stayed for the remainder of the half and at the break we went down onto the concourse for a drink. Chris and the Beermonster had already disappeared to quaff a pint or three ! Stu asked me what I wanted and I ended up with something called Poweraid which was blue in colour, but tasted nice. By the time he'd finished with the order he needed a bank loan to pay for it all ! I went for a pee, and when I came out to meet them, still clutching my drink, Stu said, " Bloody hell Trev, I don't like the colour of your water sample, I'd go and get a check up if I were you."
   We wandered back to our seats for the second half. It was a lot noisier this half, as Billy and Liam were competing in the ' Who can shout loudest for Sheffield' competition. In the end we think it was a draw, but by that time we were all partially deaf anyway ! Dennis was shouting as well, but he was mainly trying to get Macca's attention, shouting "Get the beast on,."
 Referring to Wardy, who was one of the substitutes. It certainly made everyone laugh as his words echoed around the stadium.With time running out Chris (I've got an agent) White then has the miss of the season. He's in front of an open goal about three yards out and he skies it high and wide. In fact it was that high and wide it went out for a bloody throw in !!  With a couple of minutes left I turned to Rob and said, "Looks like it's going to be extra time again Rob." Tommy said, "He ought to put Wardy on." To which Rob replied, "What can he do in two minutes ?" Well, surprisingly , in those two minutes he has three touches , all with his feet and produces three threats on their goal and then it's like groundhog's added time and Sheffield win a corner. Boults goes across to take it as all the players crowd into the area. Over it comes and  BANG ! a bullet header from Wardy powers into the back of the net and we all go ****ing mental!!!!! There's just time for Parkgate to restart the game before the referee blows for full time. Unbelievable! The Sheffield and Hallamshire F.A. are making a video of the match, so Tim asks if there's any chance of just putting the last two minutes of this match and the last minute of last years final on DVD and have a kind of highlights programme. It would be very short, but wouldn't be all that expensive.
   We wait around for the presentations, applauding Parkgate who certainly put up a better show than last season's favourites Worksop Town. Jonah was the captain tonight (as last year) as Hilts was on the subs bench, so it was a nice touch when they led the the team up and raised the cup together in front of us all. Billy had got a great view for a photo, as he'd climbed onto the walkway behind the official photographer and was snapping away as the players filed past him.
   After all that excitement I told John that I was going to go home as Chris was giving the Beermonster a lift back and it seemed more logical to tag along with them than having to wait for a bus , and it also meant that John could have an alcoholic drink if he wanted as he wouldn't have any driving to do. On the way home Stu called me."Trev, where are you, and where are we supposed to be heading to?" I heard this over all the noise in the background. " Well Stu," I told him, "I'm actually halfway up Herries Road on my way home with the Beermonster , Chris and Nicky," That seemed to throw him a little, so I carried on, "As far as I'm aware, you're supposed to be heading for the Riverside Suite , that's where the others are going." "Oh, okay, I'll see you Thursday then." and he was gone, to join in the festivities. As for me, well I celebrated with a bowl of cherios and a coffee with Bailey's Irish Cream in it ! Until next time.
    Happy Travelling

 Tadcaster Albion Ladies v. Sheffield Ladies 30.4.06
 Well, it's been a lovely sunny morning while I've been at work, and now I've finished and waiting for John to arrive, the clouds have appeared. Let's hope the rain holds off until after the match at least. John has brought along a Paul Carrack live CD, so we listen to that.It reminds me of when we saw him last December at the City Hall. We're just on the slip road about to join the M1 and guess what ? I spot an Eddie Stobart lorry ...that's me happy for the day now!
    It's a pleasant journey as there is not too much traffic on the road, and I even helped with the directions once we got to Tadcaster. Surprisingly, we found the ground with no trouble at all and it had taken exactly an hour since John had picked me up at work.Today's match is due to kick-off at 2.30, so we've still got half an hour to go, so we just sit in the car and listen to the music.It's still very warm, so we won't need our coats today. John's decided not to scare the girls as he's not got his shorts on. We spoke to Helen yesterday and she said that they may only have 12 players available for today's game. I said to her if she was really, really desperate then me and John would put on our cup final wigs, but we wouldn't shave our beards off and we'd be substitutes for the team. If the officials questioned her about us then she could just say we were two rough girls who live on the Wybourn estate! We finally decided to get out of the car with fifteen minutes to kick-off. As I close my door I say to John, "John, I just heard a whistle." Looking over the fence into the ground we see that they have kicked off early. There's no score as we enter the ground, but by the time we've walked round to the far side where Helen is Tadcaster have already taken the lead. Worse was to follow just three minutes later as a deflected shot catches Alice unaware and the home side double their lead. Helen is multi-tasking today as she's running the line, coaching and being the physio when the need arises. At least she has some company with Lynne, who unfortunately can't play because of a bad ankle. Sheffield are taking a bit more control of the ball as half time approaches, but by then it's more a case of playing for pride as the home side score a third when Alice's goalkick is gathered by a Taddy player who lobs the ball over her and into the empty net.
   Half time , and Helen gathers the players around for a team talk, me and John enjoy a late lunch of sandwiches and tea as we picnic at the side of the dug-out. The Tadcaster ground is situated right next to a river, so when we've had our picnic John goes outside the ground, (there is a door just behind the dug-out used to get out in order to retrieve balls kicked over the fence) to see what birdlife he can spot down by the river.
  With second half underway, Helen then calls to me, "Trev , come and do line while I warm up." A look of shock appears on my face while John just stands there laughing. She gives me the flag and says, "Don't worry, you only have to signal if the ball goes out, don't bother about the referee, he'll sort the offsides out."  The ladies were pressing the home side but getting forced off the ball too easily, so Helen gives them a bit of encouragement by shouting.."Get a !**#**! tackle in. " In a most unladylike voice. It does the trick though, as Hayley is fouled, and from the resulting free kick Gemma gets the final touch to pull a goal back. After that they dominate the rest of the half, but fail to add to their solitary goal. So a disappointment, but it's the first game they've lost for quite some time, and, with the return fixture next week, I'm sure they'll get their revenge and get back to winning ways. We talked to the players for a few minutes, then made our way over to the clubhouse. A quick call in the 'little boys' room would mean that we wouldn't be desperately searching to use the motorway services today. Pass John Smith's brewery and we're on our way home. Just before we leave the motorway we call at the garden centre again as John has run out of wild bird food. Last week we called because he'd ran out of all the other little bits and pieces he feeds them, so when Lynne asked him to call again today he said, "Why didn't you tell me last week?" She replied with, "You never said you were going there last week." She had a point there. Back on the motorway, and I finish off the day spotting another Eddie Stobart. On the way up to Lane Top we see a guy driving a metallic pink car ! We've no idea if it was his or his girlfriend/wife's as he was on his own, he looked happy enough anyway. Back in the house and time for a bite to eat before spending the night telly watching before my eyes finally close. Next up is the big cup week. Until next time.
      Happy Travelling

Stocksbridge PS v Clitheroe 27.4.06
After last night's debacle against Harrogate do we really need to see another game? Well this is football, so the answer is yes. I don't know about the players being tired playing a game just about every other day, us supporters are only just coping too !
The reason we're here tonight is the fact that we'd arranged it quite a while ago. This is due to our (and particularly John's) friendship with Roy, who used to compile the Clitheroe programme . So, as long as it doesn't clash with our own team's fixtures, we always try and get along to see them when they're in this neck of the woods. It's actually a good idea to go to a match with no pressure on us as supporters.
John picks me up at home, Pete is on board and then it's a change from the normal routine as we head for Tesco's. This is so Pete can meet up with his partner to do the weekly shop and we can wait here to pick Deano and Maz up on their way home from work. It's a lovely sunny evening so we're looking forward to some fresh air out in the wilds of Bracken Moor. It's not long before we're dropping Deano and Maz off at home, then head to John's for a half hour rest before we have to depart. Paula is already at home, fast asleep in the chair, but she soon wakes up once her boyfriend Andy arrives from work. We take it easy as Lynne makes us a cuppa, whilst the smell of cooking wafts into the room as Paula gets Andy's tea on the's making me and John hungry ! Lynne is limping about today, so when I ask her if she's okay she says, "Yes, it's just that I fell over today that's all." John is very sympathetic by saying, "You should take more water with it. " While I burst into a chorus, complete with pointing of , "She fell over, she fell over ! " I just couldn't resist it, and despite the fact that she also finds it funny doesn't mean she won't forget me mocking her. I know she'll get her own back at some point over the next few weeks, months and no doubt years to come !!!
Time to set off, and Deano is already waiting outside for us as we pull up at his house. It's an easy drive through the countryside to the ground and we have no trouble parking as there's only two cars in the car park at present. Although it's a nice evening weatherwise, you can bet it'll get colder later on, this being because the ground is so bloody high up. In fact, just as we're walking towards the turnstile, John goes back to get his jacket.
Once inside it's straight to the snack bar to partake in some food and drink. I order the usual cuppa's for us and John has pie and peas while I have a sausage roll. John says it's one of the best pies he's had all season, and he's had quite a few. Talking of pies, guess who's also here ....?  Yes, it's our very own Billy Two Pies , who's come to the game with big Steve and Nigel. Nigel says, "You may have to give him (Bill) a new nickname Trev. You could start calling him Radio Bill." When I ask why, Nigel says, he was interviewed for the local radio station about Sheffield's prospects in the up coming Senior Cup Final. When I tackle Bill about his celebrity status, he just gives me a withering look and says, "Stick to the Two Pies Trev."
Once we're all fed and watered we venture outside to find Roy. It's not too difficult as him and the rest of the 'barmy army' are stood on the terracing between the stand and the players tunnel. We say hello to Roy and Pete and the rest of the Clitheroe kids as I've just re-christened them. The Clitheroe kid was a radio programme which I used to listen to, many years ago. In fact , if any of you want to know what it was you'll have to ask your parents, or even grandparents !!
We stay where we are for the first half as the team is kicking towards this end first. The terracing where we're stood is that deep between steps that you could actually sit down as though you were in a chair. We always thought what a struggle it was to climb up and down them. It was only part way through the half that Deano pointed out the steps at the side of the stand, which are of regular size and are used for getting up and down this part of the ground. I mean, we've only been here for the last God knows how many years and we';ve only just spotted it ! Duh !
On the field it's Stocksbridge who are dominating the play and they take the lead midway through the half. I said that we were tired with all these games coming at once. Well spare a thought for Stocksbridge...(that's long enough!) They are playing something daft like seven games in fourteen days and in fact last weekend played on both Saturday and Sunday ! It's good to see that the standard of refereeing is just as slipshod in this division as well as ours. It's a pleasure to watch him get a decision wrong just to hear the insults and comments that the Clitheroe Kids come out with, they even put our Geoff in the shade !
Half time and it's back up to the snack bar for a drink and then a walk to the far side of the stand for the second half. This time, the Clitheroe Kids get the opportunity to heckle the linesman. Who just smiles, and then when he starts to answer back they tell him to keep his eyes on the game. You can tell it's not going to be their night when, from a Clitheroe corner, Stocksbridge break upfield with a sweeping move and score a cracking goal. After that, things go from bad to worst as the home side bang in two more goals to complete the scoring. It's a disappointing result for the gang from over the Pennines, but at least it wasn't crucial to them in respect of promotion or relegation and they'll be back next year when , fixtures permitting, we'll be back to see them again.
It's certainly turned colder as we head back to the car and John puts the heater on. He asks me to put a CD on. I can't see them in the door pocket and John says, "They're in a drawer under the seat. It's another feature I've found." I do eventually manage to get one out, but only after almost bending double to reach under the seat. Deano can do it next time...he's got shorter legs!
Home again and I relax with a bowl of cherios and ponder the fact that tomorrow night I can relax as there's no football....just badminton instead ! Until next time.....
Happy Travelling

Keighley Ladies v Sheffield FC Ladies 23.4.06
It's like summer has finally arrived as I leave work. John turns up a few minutes later, due to roadworks at Hillsborough.It seems to be the day for them, as on the Parkway we encounter some more, so quickly divert towards Tinsley to pick up the motorway there. As we drive along the bottom deck of the flyover, I'm busy writing and John suddenly shouts, "Eddie Stobart!". I look up sharply and say  "Where?" He raises his finger, points upwards and says, "Up there, on the top deck...I can sense it"  I'll not tell you what I called him !
I have a cunning plan for today....I've actually put my glasses on BEFORE we set off, although it'll probably make no difference at all in the lorry spotting stakes. We've got easy listening music today for our Sunday drive, it's Nancy Griffith followed by a Sixties compilation. We're actually doubling our tally for away matches following the girls, as last season we only managed to get to Osset, and having done that again this season we have an ideal opportunity to follow them on their run in towards the end of the season.
Everything is going well as we follow the directions Helen had given us. That is until we get to Bradford as someone appears to have stolen all the roadsigns. Apparently Keighley doesn't exist between Bradford and Saltaire ! Eventually, more by luck than judgement we find a signpost for our destination, but try as we might, we can't find the ground. We end up in the town centre and pull up at the railway station to call Helen. It's actually Andrea who answers as Helen is doing her pre-match warm up. She tells us there's been a late change in venue and the game is now being played on a school field at a school in Bingley, a place we passed about ten minutes ago. We eventually find it and I just managed to see Lisa scoring for us as I get out of the car.
We get to pitch side to find Andrea and Sarah doing the coaching and running the line as Graeme and Nigel are working and Helen is actually on the pitch playing. Sarah says the goal I saw was the teams second one. She also said the goals are not as high as they should be. She knows this as, being our tallest player she can normally just touch the crossbar with her arms fully she can touch it with no problem. Mind you that should be good for Alice as she's only as big as a munchkin ! Lynne scores what looks like a perfectly good goal, but the referee disagrees, saying that there was a foul on their if ! Despite Andrea's call for offside and very much against the run of play the home side pull a goal back just before the break.
So , half time and we swop sidelines so we'll be facing the sun. It's a real effort just to walk across the pitch and it's not just because we're old !!! The grass is really long and tufty, it's almost like walking across a really thick carpet, so what with the heat as well, it's no wonder the girls finding it hard going. It's tea and sausage rolls for me and John as the team take the field for the second half. I said to John, "Pity we don't have any chairs." He replies with, "Well the back seats come out, we could always go and get those!" In the end we decide against it.
The team are all over the home side, hitting the bar and post on numerous occasions.We're then awarded a penalty which Hayley takes, but it's straight at the keeper who gathers it with ease. A good ball down the left releases Lynne who's cross is met by Lisa to score for her hat-trick and the teams third goal too. We then get another penalty, this time it's Sue who takes on the responsibility. Despite hitting it hard, the keeper makes a good save, she's having a blinder this half, but even so we should be about six goals up by now. Keighley get a free kick and they're best player and captain scores direct as Alice fumbles the ball over the line.She's then booked for an over exuberant celebration, mainly raising her shirt over her head !  She didn't actually take it off, I guess the referee just panicked ! In the last minute Sheffield finally make the game safe as once again Lisa scores, topping a fine individual performance.
The players celebrate, have a breather and then get their photo taken. Straight after that it's bedlam, as a water fight breaks out as players try to cool their colleagues down !
We make our way back to Sammy and set off for home.We actually find the road we should have been on before we took a wrong turning on the way here. "Wrong turning ? Us ? Never!" was my answer to that. John backed me up by saying, "We just took the scenic route, being as Sammy is a Renault Scenic."
We had no problem getting back to Bradford, but then spent about ten to fifteen minutes trying to find our way out of the city centre as we got stuck on the one-way system. We could see the road we wanted in the distance, but had a hell of a job actually getting there ! Once that was safely negotiated it was onto the motorway  which was a lot busier than usual.All the tea drinking had taken it's toll too as we had to call into the motorway services. John was still a bit peckish so he ended up buying a Fry's Cream Bar (I thought they'd stopped making those.) Back on the motorway and I'm busy drinking some coke I'd brought with me while John finishes his chocolate. He asks me if he can have a drink and I replied, "I was going to offer you a swig earlier, but seeing as you had the chocolate in one hand, I didn't want you taking the bottle with your other hand.I know Sammy has a lot of mod-cons we're not used to, but I don't think automatic pilot is one of them!"
We leave the motorway and have a quick (scheduled) detour to Wentworth garden centre so John can pick up some bird food. Then it's home for me and, after a pleasant afternoon I can relax watching 'Dream Team' as I munch on barbecued chicken drumsticks followed by Jaffa Cakes ! Until next time......
Happy Travelling

Harrogate RA v Sheffield 22/4/06
There's only just over a week of the season left and believe it or not, this is the first meeting between the sides and what a crucial time it is, with both sides vying for that coveted second promotion spot, with Sheffield just ahead at present. I've already been into work this morning, but being as it should be my day off I finished early enough to go home and get changed.It's been the annual Sisters Dinner today, so I've left them to it.The last thing I said to the others was , "Just find out how many want their meal liquidising, or have they still got their own teeth." It made the staff laugh but I don't think my boss was too impressed, but am I bovered, does this face look bovered?
It's nice and sunny as John picks me up, with Deano and Maz already on board. As per the last trip, there's some CD's to be played.First choice goes to Maz who's brought one by a band called Dada. She said, "There should be something on there to please everyone." Deano replies with, "That's open to opinion." So I guess he's not a fan.
Out come the voice tablets and Deano says, "We're a bunch of lucky suckers." At least I think that's what he said! It's a pleasant drive and John is soon on the ball as he spots a James Irlam just as I'm resting my eyes.I'd been doing my best to spot one of our favourites first.
Actually, I've just discovered a major flaw in my quest of lorry spotting......I haven't got my glasses on ! I don't usually put them on until the game is about to start, I think I'll have to remedy that in the future.Mind you, I still don't hold out much hope though, as John and Stu are particularly quick, which is a good thing really as they are the drivers on our sojourns travelling the length and breadth of the North East Counties. As for the rest of us, we're happy to take in the scenery and maybe close our eyes on the odd occasion . John then spots a Preston's of Potto, just ahead of me. I was that close I got excited for a minute there! Guess what ? we've made another detour. As we were chatting away John missed the exit he should have taken off the motorway. So he throws me a wad of papers which has the directions to all the different grounds and the bit of information I need, which isn't that clear, is on the bottom piece. So we find a place to pull in and I retrieve the atlas from the boot. He checks the route and then hands it to me. "What's this?" I say panicking. "Don't worry Trev, it's only in case I need to look at it again, I'll not be asking you to direct us there." Phew, what a relief it was to hear that !
We arrive at the ground and just squeeze into the last available space in the car park. Good job John had the power steering or we would never have made it. Into the ground and we've just got time for a drink before kick-off. Geoff is already at the counter so he asks what we want, then Stu and Liam turn up too so we give him their order too, well it's only Stu that wants a drink at present. Of course, by now Geoff is trying to scrape the money together to get the drinks so John says, "Forget it Geoff, I'll get these." By now there's a fairly big queue waiting to be served. I help John with the drinks and just as we're starting to drink them Liam turns to Stu and says, "Dad, can I have something to eat?" Stu replies with, "You've just seen John get served, why didn't you ask then?" What did the little one say..."I wasn't hungry then." The upshot of this is that he'll have to starve at least until half time! Actually this is not quite true, as Sue has brought a load of different sweets she intends getting rid of, and there's no better place to do that than bring them to us.
Stu was telling me that once Lent had finished, he sat down with about three bags of sweets and a couple of bars of chocolate and scoffed the lot all in one go. There's a bit of banter involving Sue and Tim. Sue has got a new (full time) job, so she told Tim he'd have to do the housework so we were having a laugh about that. Someone suggested we all go round to their house and have a party while she's out.I came up with the suggestion of instead of bringing a bottle, perhaps we could all bring a duster instead!
Onto the game and it's lively from the start, with no quarter given. Tempers boil over after just 8 minutes though when Darryl  Winter is sent off for a two footed tackle, so it look like it's going to be a struggle for us, much to the delight of the Harrogate fans sat behind us. We were wondering if their ground was up to standard, due to the fact that where we stood there were hoardings which were only just hanging on by one screw. In fact, if we'd have been so well behaved we could have kicked them off easy enough, but we're not like that, we'll leave it to the players to do the kicking for us.
Despite some dodgy refereeing we still create chances and go into the break still on level terms. Back to the snack bar and this time Liam does get some food. Mind you, he has to wait for his chips to cook and also has to make do with gravity on them as there was no curry sauce left.
Back outside into the sunshine and despite their numerical advantage the home side look the least likely to score. Then the inevitable happens, we give the ball away , a cross comes into the area and it's a goal for Harrogate. The annoying thing being that it was Ryan who sliced it into his own net. In fact their centre back turned to us and said, "Let's face it lads, we were never going to score ourselves." Nice to have so much confidence in your own players!
Despite numerous chances we just couldn't get the equaliser and , for us, suffered a rare (and costly) defeat in our last away league game, not something we're used to. At least we got rid of all the sweets. After getting the man of the match votes collected it was back in the car for a somewhat subdued journey home.John brightens the atmosphere by putting his choice of CD on, as we 'Roll with it' with Oasis blasting out of the speakers.
It's going to make it a somewhat tense last week to the season, especially as we have the return fixture next Wednesday, fortunately our destiny is still in our own hands....just.
With just the Cup Finals to come away from home, can I once again just take a moment to say 'thanks' to all those who have contributed to the travels, whether they meant it or not. I'll still be looking and listening next watch out! Until next time.......
Happy Travelling

Pickering Town v Sheffield 19/4/06
Well here we are again, another night match at Pickering, it seems the fixture planners must have something against us lot.Perhaps they think it's not safe to have us wandering around Pickering on a Saturday afternoon. Anyway, it's a 4.30 finish at work today so I'm heading straight to John's house where I'll meet him before we go down the road to pick Deano up and be on our way. I manage a quick getaway from work and am fortunate in getting a bus straight away.Not only that, but I'm only waiting two minutes before I get the connecting bus , all this and it's not even 4.50 yet. Pity then that I'm held up with traffic on the one-way system that puts me back a bit. Not to be outdone, a quick hike up the road to John's house and I'm there just gone 5.30, breathless, thirsty and sweating like a pig ! Thankfully we've got a few minutes to spare, enabling me to get a welcoming drink of water and a sit down.Then it's time to go.We wait for Deano, who's late despite having the whole day off. It's a lovely evening for a drive, and at least we'll arrive in daylight.This is our longest drive of the season, and of course it's Sammy2's maiden voyage for a first team game.
John had told me and Deano to bring along a CD each to play (on yet another one of his new toys in the car) and it's mine we play first, as we head for the motorway listening to Dire Straits.Deano hands around the voice tablets which are becoming a bit of a ritual, and also very addictive too. We're a bunch of happy travellers tonight despite the prospect of our numbers being depleted tonight. Stu is working, and Andy and Caroline can't make it in time due to work commitments too, which goes for Tev's dad too. Geoff will be missing as he's not making the journey either. Tim came up with the best excuse for him and Sue not making the trip....he blamed little Billy, saying it was his practise night and he needs to be there. Fancy putting all the blame on an 8 year old ! At least Billy two pies will be there, he was there last week while him and Gwen were holidaying in Whitby, Mick and Andrew will be there too.
John is quick with the lorry spotting as an Eddie Stobart passes us on the other carriageway, he also just pips me and Deano with a shout for a second one too.John was telling me about the trip him and Deano made to St. Helens the other week. He kept on seeing lots of plain white lorries and was comparing them to the blank scrabble squares. He said he got 4 James Irlam's and 3 Preston's of Potto that day ! Then we're busy chatting away about last night's footie on the telly. John saying that Ronaldinho must be about the best player in the world at present. Deano pipes up with, "Yes, he just edges it in front of Darren Holmes !"
We pull into the services as John has a rogue light flashing on the dashboard. On further investigation it appears it was warning him that the boot wasn't closed properly...that was my fault ! Back on the motorway and John completes his hat-trick by spotting an Eddie Stobart  about a mile in front of us ! He then tried to claim a Preston's of Potto which was travelling the other way. He said, "I saw the Preston's bit, but didn't se the Potto." So we told him he couldn't claim it (a small victory for us.) Serves him right for being honest. Guess what ? We get all the way to the turn off for the ground, and John takes the wrong road , instead of heading towards the car park, we're heading behind the cricket pitch ! Sammy 2's first detour...yippee! Me and Deano break out into song..."Shepherds made a detour, Shepherds made a detour, da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da!"
We park next to Billy two pies and head inside to the clubhouse for a well earned cuppa, John also indulges in a snack as he hasn't had anything to eat since lunchtime.then it's outside for the kick-off. The lads are playing towards the clubhouse this half, so we don't have that far to walk and take our usual position under cover behind the goal. A wayward shot by Wardy comes towards John , he tries to catch it but fumbles it instead. Bill says, "I don't think the Harlem Globetrotters will be getting in touch with you John." Deano carries this on with, "Or even the Hallam Globetrotters!"
The game livens up as a few tasty tackles go in, this wakes the locals up as they think our lads are a set of bullies, funny that as last year it was their players that ended up getting sent off.They're a noisy lot, but mostly it's because the team are not having it their own way, so I guess they've got no option but to hurl abuse at our players and staff.Lets face it, they're can't be that much to do in Pickering so this is the highlight of their day. I just hope the old folks home is open late tonight so none of the old sods are left wandering about the town. We've even got the accompaniment of the church bells as the campanologists are having a practise.As the church is at the other end of the ground, Bill casually says, "Do you think they've name that end of the ground the bell end?" It's coming up to half time and most of the oldies are making their way to the clubhouse for their half time horlicks. One bloke said, "Do you feed your lads on raw meat?" Deano replied that, "Yes, we need to as we've got to go and play at Liversedge again." I added that, "And they all ate three shredded wheat this morning."
No score at the break, so we join the queue for some tea and sausage rolls and free chocolate biscuits which are available on a first come ,first served basis, so I just get three to keep me going. Back outside for the second half and we walk round to the far side where we take over the stand. There's not many of us, but we can be noisy, and we have the verbal terrorist here with us too. With just under a quarter of an hour left we get on the scoreboard as Wardy fires into the roof of the net, a lead richly deserved. We could and should have finished them off then, but five minutes from time they get a scrambled equaliser. Still, we'd have settled for a point before the game, and at least we got something . On the way out some of the locals are moaning as they pass us, saying our team are a bunch of thugs. I replied with, "If you can't take it, then don't dish it out in the first place." Deano is just so laid back and says, " We're in two cup finals and third place in the league, what have you done so far this season?"
Back in the car and on goes Deano's CD. It's a compilation he's made and it features quite a few classic rock tracks, so we turn up the volume and away we go. It certainly keeps us awake. As we're negotiating some roadworks, I'm busy singing away, okay, I'll rephrase that. I'm making some kind of noise and John is concentrating trying to avoid all the cones when Deano shouts, "Eddie Stobart!!!"  He finally spots one which makes his night.As we near home, Deano is adjusting his seat and says, "This is great John, you can actually recline the back seats, mind you, you have to have your legs open to get comfortable.! John replies, " Bloody hell Dave, that's too much information." I  just said, " Thanks Dave, you've just put me off my supper !"
Back at home and it's been a good night and Sammy 2 was a pleasure to ride in, (how quickly we forget our old friends.) I do end up having some Weetabix for supper.Well, I'll be up for work in a few hours so it'll just save time in the morning ! Until next time......
Happy Travelling

Ossett Albion Ladies v Sheffield FC Ladies 16/4/06
It's Easter Sunday and the Easter bunny brought me two eggs today! John picks me up outside work and it's a bright and breezy day. This is the first 'Travels' in Sammy 2. Yes folks, I have to report that Sammy has finally given up the ghost. He'd been lingering at death's door for a couple of weeks and the final straw came when he decided to lose the back part of the exhaust at Ranmoor on our way home from the Selby game, which thankfully was at home. Lynne had been saying for a few weeks to John, "When are you going to get rid of him?" All the time she kept hinting, she had this evil look in her eye and couldn't stop grinning . Well her wish finally came true. Even when we spoke about it before John took me to badminton last week, she was still smiling away.
Anyway back to Sammy 2. John's very pleased as at last he doesn't have to strain himself everytime he tries to park, as he now has POWER STEERING! In fact there's that many gadgets, he's still getting used to them all .It's even got a little cool box, all he has to do is remember to bring some ice and a drink to go with it. One thing I'm having difficulty with is automatic locking, I still wait for him to unlock the door the old fashioned way, using a key! The lucky mascot 'Minstrel' has his own place on the parcel shelf in the back window.No fear about him losing his balance either as he's got velcro stuck on his bum to hold him in place.
It's a straightforward drive to the ground. Just before we get there John says, " Shall we do our usual detour?" (Which is where we go into a cul-de-sac...reminiscences from our first ever trip there).I know he's dying to do it , just so he can use the power steering to turn the car round. In the end we decide against it. We did it last year when we made the trip to see the ladies, and they put on their worst performance of the season.
Into the ground, and being as there's a cricket match taking place next door, we decide to park Sammy 2 in the top car park near the clubhouse. Oh happy memories as we thought about our last trip here when we beat Harrogate in the League Cup Final. We're not the only Sheffield fans here today as Dennis has turned up too. He said, "I've drove like a mad-man to get here as I thought it was a 2 O'clock kick-off. He didn't know they'd changed it to 3 O'clock.
Six minutes played and the home side take the lead. After that it was nearly all Sheffield.We encouraged them along, with Dennis using his air-horn when we went close to scoring. That's the way it stayed this half, and as Dennis went to the other end we walked round to the dug-out to listen to the ladies team talk.Whilst we were enjoying a cuppa and a sausage roll the referee strolls over, leans on the wall, looks at the pair of us and says, " You do realise that air-horns are illegal don't you? We just looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and said , "No". He then went into a lengthy diatribe which we'd stopped listening to after the first sentence. When he'd finished, he gave us a smarmy smile as he tried to pull his shorts up over his fat belly as if to say that's told them. John said, "Can I just point something out ? He pointed into the distance where Dennis was sat eating a sandwich and said, "It's him you should be telling , not us." That wiped the smile off his face. So, once again we become the innocent victims of the verbal terrorist. When we get round to the other end we tell him about it saying, (laughingly), "Bloody hell Dennis, you've only seen the ladies play three times and twice we've been in trouble with the referees and it's been your fault!"
Back to the action, and Ossett have brought on their own version of Mickey Godber complete with woolly hat. Helen says, "Perhaps she's having a bad hair day." Would you believe it, Ossett score again with their first attack of this half after a rare mistake by Chris. It's looking like the ladies are going to get nothing out of this game, despite having the majority of the play. Things start to look up with ten minutes to go as Rachael pulls a goal back with a free kick from the edge of the area. Five minutes to go and a low cross into the area from Nell is met by Lisa B. whose drive beats the keeper before she had a chance to react. Two minutes later, and with Sheffield pressurising the home defence the ball is played into the box it ,hit an Ossett hand and three Sheffield fans yell PENALTY ! The referee agrees and points to the spot. Up steps Rachael again , and although the keeper makes a good save from the initial effort Rachael follows up to blast the ball home. What a way to end the match , and fully deserved too. At the final whistle, John gives the girls a blast from his rattle and asks the ref (sarcastically), "Is this banned too ref ?"I think by then the ref was suffering from selective hearing. We don't care, we're living on a knifes edge ! A quick chat to Graeme and some of the team, then it's homeward bound. I spot an Eddie Stobart just before John, so being as he's in such a good mood he gives it to me. He did say that on the way here he thought he'd spotted a Preston's of Potto in his rear-view, on reflection I'll give him that one.
What a pleasant day it's been. Sammy 2 has been great, we won and now I'm going to make very short work of one of those Easter eggs of mine! Until next time......
Happy Travelling

Thackley v Sheffield 4/4/06
Tonight it's Stu who's doing the honours driving wise. He arrives at my house and immediately asks for some paracetamol. "I've got a stinking headache. Me, Lynn and Liam have been to Halifax with Liam's mate Zack, and he talks more than Liam does," He says. So I go and fetch him some, which he downs with a couple of swigs of diet coke he's got in the car. Then it's off to pick Deano and John up from home. First call is Deano, and as we arrive Stu says to me, "Trev, can you get in the back and let Deano sit up front with me, 'cos he's a fat bugger , but don't write that down !" (Oops, sorry Stu, looks like I just did.) He is in fact just finishing a cup of tea as he comes out to meet us with Maz, although she's not going tonight. Once he's finished his drink, it's off up the road to get John. He also comes out of the house with a drink in one hand and a slice of toast in the other. "You're early!" he says, between mouthfuls of bread. "It's okay," replies Stu. "We can wait." We can even see Helen who is sat in John's new car...Sammy 2, admiring it with envious eyes. Yes, alas Sammy is no longer with us, but more about that on our next travels when John will be driving. As we're waiting, Deano says, " I haven't got the flag tonight." So we ask why and tell him to call Maz and get it ready to throw into the car as we pass, and while she's about it, don't forget the voice tablets too ! With John finally aboard, that's exactly what we did. Stu's still not eating sweets, as he's given them up for lent, so Deano keeps teasing him by offering him a voice tablet whenever he hands them around.As we head along the motorway in bright sunshine, John is explaining to Stu the final days of Sammy and why his time was up. Deano then claims his first points of the season by spotting an Eddie Stobart. Not to be outdone, Stu spies two in quick succession. He then follows this up by sighting a James Irlam too, he really is on form tonight. Me and John complain , as we're very restricted sight-wise due to the fact we can't see out of the front due to Deano and Stu's headrests. However, it's all gone quiet as we all concentrate and keep our eyes wide open for any more sightings.For some reason which all seems vague now, we got onto the subject of Easter and then all the chicken jokes started coming out.Thankfully we were almost at the ground, having made it with plenty of time to spare. It's straight into the ground and a trip to the snack bar. Stu says he wants everything on the menu. Me and john settle for a cuppa and a hot-dog. Now these are worth the entrance fee alone, certainly the best in the league in my opinion. Stu decides he wants one too, and as we all tuck into them, we even get Deano to succumb to the temptation. He says., "That's the first one I've had in over two years. Don't tell Marilyn." Whoops.....sorry Dave ! We're kicking towards the clubhouse end in the first half, so take up our customary position behind the goal. Jeanie sends an e-mail to encourage the team, complete with cheerleader song which made me and John laugh. With the game already underway, we only just realise that we haven't been accosted by the little old lady who sells the raffle tickets. She does make an appearance, but doesn't come round to where we're all stood. The lads are having most of the play and take the lead just after the half hour mark, (as Stu would say) thanks to Ryan's free kick, which the Thackley keeper seems to juggle into his own goal, dislocating a finger in the process. It doesn't stop him playing on, or shouting 'offside' anytime there's a Sheffield player near the ball ! Just on half time the home side equalise, somewhat against the run of play.
To hide out disappointment we once again raid the snack bar. I was so pleased with the pre-match hot-dog, I decide to have another, as do the others, although Stu said he fancied a yorkshire pudding. This got us all going then, saying that perhaps next time they could serve full Sunday lunches on disposable trays just for us !
With our stomachs full, we waddle round to the far goal to take up position for the second half. A quick look over the boundary wall shows us that all the horses must be in bed, as there's none wandering around the field behind us. Back to the game and Tev restores the Sheffield lead six minutes into the half. In fact Sheffield dictated most of the play and emphasised their superiority when Tev grabbed his second goal of the night to make the score 3-1. He did have the opportunity to grab all the glory when Holmsie was brought down in the area, but his penalty kick was shite!! So another win on the road, and it turned out easier than we'd expected, or maybe our talented lads just made it look easy. We say a farewell to the snack bar staff, the bloke saying he'd try and get us some yorkshire puddings for next time we're here. Back in the car and it's an uneventful journey home as we listen to 'five live', before getting Stu to change stations so we could hear Steve Harley's seventies show and we could bask in nostalgia singing along to the rock classics...okay then, well generally just making a noise . Deano is the first to be dropped off, quickly followed by John, and Stu's customary peep of the horn as we drive away. Then it's my turn and once in the house it's a quick call to Lynn to let her know that her other 'little boy' is on his way home. Fresh air, football and food, plus a win. What more could anyone want...keep it coming lads. Until next time.....
Happy Travelling

Glapwell v. Sheffield 18/3/06
 Today sees the posse with an extra supporter today as our American branch has flown over to cheer the lads on. Yes folks , Jeanie is back! Hopefully it will be as successful as last year which saw  the team unbeaten on three occasions including that epic semi-final at Arnold Town.
The day starts off with  having a wander over to Firth Park to do a bit of local shopping and also to pick up some fish and chips for lunch, complimented with mushy peas of course ! Then our journey starts with a bus ride . There's too many of us to cram into Sammy, so I'd made arrangements ages ago with Bill , who gladly donated his services. So it's right across to the other side of the city on the top deck sat right at the front . Jeanie is really enjoying this as they don't have such a public transport system as ours where she lives as it's very rural, so basically, if you don't drive , you're stuck ! The fact that she's getting a birds-eye view of everything and a running commentary from me just adds to her unique experience !
It was ideal that Bill was going to pick us up here as it gave us  the chance to see Stu , who would be working today and so would not only miss the game but also miss Jeanie as there are no more games planned before she goes home.
We get off outside the store and walk straight in and find 'Alex' , who we ask to call Stu for us. Sure enough, a couple of minutes later he comes strolling down the store to meet us. Jeanie has a disposable video recorder so she turns it on as he approaches. Stu thinks it's a camera and starts posing, until she plays it back to him to show what she's taken. They're amazing and have twenty minutes of film in them, I'm sure it won't be long until they're over here. Anyway, he shows her around the store and we stop and have a chat among the health and beauty products ! She also gives him the Hershey chocolate he's been waiting for , it's the only chocolate he can eat without being sick.
Sadly we couldn't stay too long as we had to depart for the short walk along the main road towards the bottom gates of Graves Park for our pick up. What Bill had actually texted me with was, ' At the bus stop opposite Macdonald's.' So when we get to where I think we should be, all I can see is a KFC . As I'm about to text Bill I could here him shouting me as he was parked just behind the bus shelter on the side road. So in we get and I let both Bill and Gwen make fun of me as they chat away to Jeanie. It's a nice journey and it doesn't seem too long until we're pulling into the car park. With there being limited space, Bill manages to grab one of the last few remaining places, just by the exit. Me and 'The Mascot' go straight in and head to the clubhouse for a cuppa. There's already quite a few of our supporters here already and those that had seen Jeanie last year remembered her and came to say 'Hello'. She did say (when I was over visiting her) to her friends what a warm and friendly lot we are . We'd only just sat down with our drinks when John, Deano and Maz arrived to join us. So we virtually took over two tables and spread ourselves out. It wasn't long before Geoff made an appearance. I said, "Here Geoff, this is Jeanie who get's all the e-mails you send out to me."  She goes to shake his hand and he bends his head and kisses it...the age of chivalry is not dead ! Mind you, we did say, " Don't read too much into that Jeanie, he'll return to normal mode once the footy starts."
For some reason we get onto the subject of Bill's many nicknames, which have gone from Ball Boy Bill in the old Don Valley days, to Billy Big Lens when we moved to Dronfield and now his present one of Billy Two Pies. He says he wants a new one, so gang, any suggestions , just forward them to me and we'll take it from there.
We wander outside just before the kick-off. It's clear, but there's quite a cold breeze blowing down the pitch towards the clubhouse. Of course, this ends up as the way the lads are kicking for the first half, so we take our position at the side of the goal. Mark has made the journey today too, for his first away match following Sheffield, so if we lose we know who to blame, and we told him so too. Welcome to the travels Mark !
Nothing too exciting happening on the pitch although Jeanie does try and take a couple of video clips from when we get a corner. She's also handing round sweeties she's brought for the occasion. In fact, once again it's overload, as Maz has the nice 'voice' tablets and John is sharing the sweets Jeanie gave him last night before badminton. Nothing interesting in the first half apart from the fact I got called a Yorkshire pillock ! Ryan had accidentally handled the ball and the ref let the players carry on . To which fat steward/committee man yelled something about 'Cheating Yorkshire B*****d." All I said was, "It's not his fault if the ref lets it go." The man responded with, "Well , the refs from Yorkshire too." Well I'd sooner be a pillock ,than fat and ugly like he was. At least we do have a sense of humour. There's no goals and it's a welcome relief to get back into the clubhouse out of the wind and warm our hands on a mug of tea.
The second half kicks off as we make our way to stand behind the far goal, where we will at least be shielded from the wind. Jeanie tries opening her bag of sweets to hand out to the rest of the Posse sat in the stand as we pass them. She makes a good job of splitting the bag open and seeing then cascade all over the floor. Luckily they're all individually wrapped so no harm done.
The game is drifting towards a stalemate, despite several good chances carved out by our lads. We ask Jeanie if she wants to do a cheerleader routine to get the lads going. Deano shouts, "Swing those tassels."  We then shout more encouragement at the team, saying , "If you don't score, we'll bring her back again ! " At least she says she gets a better class of abuse over here with us. The game finishes goalless, which is another first for her, as back home they don't believe in draws, always playing on until someone scores.
We say our farewells and head off back with Bill and Gwen. It always seems quicker going home which is good as we're on a tight schedule today. A quick call into Morrisons, and then the bus back home . Just time to freshen up and then we finish off the day at the City Hall watching "A Tribute to the Blues Brothers " No goals, but plenty of fun as usual. Hopefully they'll be more entertainment in December, when Jeanie returns to our shores once again. Until next time......
Happy Travelling
Handsworth U19's v. Sheffield U19's
With the first team games thin on the ground, I , along with Stu, decided to go and see the young 'uns playing in the 'Spring Cup'. With all the rain we've had, I guess the 'Spring' bit of the title refers to a water leak and not the season! There's no John tonight as he's doing his fatherly duty, mainly helping daughter Helen fetch some furniture. She bought a sofa on e-bay and needed a lift with it...being as it had to be picked up from Huddersfield ! Apparently she's a bit of an e-bay addict . I actually thought that John was taking something over to her house that Helen had bought at Ikea. This is because, apart from football, this is the other great love of her life. In fact I'm sure that if she ever ends up having kids she'll call one one of them Ikea...I just hope that it's not because it was conceived there!!
Anyway, I digress. Stu came over to pick me up and it was a quick journey to Oliver's Mount. It's still a cold and damp night so the first thing we did was go to the tea bar for a drink.While we were there we collected the programmes which were free and sat in the warmth until kick-off time. Then it was a quick, brisk walk down to the pitch , and another was free to get in.
For whatever reason we were both tired and spent much of the first half yawning our heads off whilst on the pitch Handsworth were obviously 'up for it' and were determined not to be losers this time, having succumbed to the under 19's last year. In fact they took an early lead and then spent most of the half wasting efforts before grabbing a second before half time.
By then, we were ready for another drink and a bit of a warm , so back up to the snack bar and a sit down.It was a 'Champions League' night on the television and we were in two minds as to whether to stay in the warmth and watch the rest of the Chelsea game, but we decided to brave it outside for the second half.
Steve Hall came to stand with us so at least he could tell us who the players were as once again, there were quite a few new faces in the side. They created a few more chances this half but were not helped  by having to play out the game with only ten players as, with all the substitutes already on the field, Andy Crossland was injured and was unable to continue. By then we had conceded another goal so it was 'game over' regarding getting a result from the game. As soon as the final whistle went we were off to the car, carefully negotiating the steps to the car park..not because they were icy, just the fact that it was pitch black and we couldn't see them properly! No problem getting out of the ground as there was only three cars in the car park by then, and off we go. Stu dropped me off at home ten minutes later, at least it was a lot closer to home than if we had been going to Thackley which was called off yesterday. All that fresh air had made me hungry , and cold, so it was a warming bowl of porridge for supper and then off to bed. Until next time.....
Happy Travelling

Liversedge v. Sheffield - 18/02/06
It's off to one of our favourite places today as the locals are so friendly....NOT ! It's my day off today, so John picks me up at home, with Deano and Maz already onboard. It's a nice , bright sunny day, but still on the cold side. John is feeling a lot better today, as he's been under the weather with  cold-like symptoms these past couple of days.It's not bad is it when you're ill and can still play , and win three games of badminton the previous evening ! My excuse is I was feeling sorry for him. On the motorway and our intrepid driver spots a James Irlam lorry, but being as me and Deano didn't see it first we fail to recognise his call...telling him he must be hallucinating!
  We arrive in plenty of time, despite almost missing the entrance to the lane that goes to the ground, it's easy enough to do as it's not only us who have done that in the past. The gateman is pleasant enough, he's even brought some old programmes to sell, but we decline. He says, "You lot never want any old programmes". John replies, "What do we want old Liversedge programmes for."? Mind you, they're probably better than this years effort which sees us ripped off for 1.20 each. Up at the snack bar John decides he fancies a pasty and peas, it's the first 'proper' food he's had since about Wednesday due to his bug. As we're sat eating and supping our tea I saw Stu arriving in the car park. Of course little Liam is with him, but Lynn has also come too. Then my phone rings and it's him. "I'll have a tea Trev, " he says. "I can see you Stu, and never mind that, what does Lynn want " ? I  replied. I sort out their order, which is ready by the time they've made their way to us. As it's been half term week all the family have been off and today, (Lynn told me) they went to the Armouries Museum in Leeds. So it was a case of either sit in the car all afternoon or join her 'boys' at the match. At least she can keep her eye on them this way.
The club is doing some ground improvements, just in case they do get promoted and I must admit the pitch is looking a lot better since they've levelled it off. With the game about to start we made our way around to the far side, facing the sun.It's like a summers day, so I'm glad I brought my new tinted glasses to try out. As we pass a dumper truck in the corner of the ground John says, "This must be the Liversedge team coach."  I'm busy telling Deano about Stu almost missing our last home match as he was going to watch another game instead! To be fair, and in Stu's defence, he was supposed to have been going to watch AFC United, the breakaway Man. United side which was formed by a group of supporters in response to the Glazier take over at Old Trafford. They were playing Chadderton, and Stu (along with myself) had already seen this fixture postponed three times (for some dubious reason or another). Well, in the end, I guess you know what's coming was postponed again!
Out on the pitch the lads are playing well and take the lead as one of the Smith 'brothers' nips in to turn the ball home after a defensive mistake. This wakes the locals up, who start disputing every call and also abusing the rest of our posse who are sat in the stands...thankfully we've got Deano on a tight leash today and Dennis has decided not to turn up. The home side equalise just past the half hour mark and then have a goal disallowed, which they're none too happy about, but we milk it to the full, telling them just how good the linesman is. Liam is showing us a bullet casing he bought from the museum, and Deano starts to tease him saying that it's one of his mum's empty lipstick holders really. He has to go and ask Lynn , just to be sure...bless him.
Half time and it's back to the snack bar. Stu's in the queue this time and I go and help him. Geoff and his mate Dave come over and Stu asks if they want a drink too. Eventually Geoff decides what he wants so it's chaos as we're trying not to confuse the guy about how many teas want sugar in and which coffee should be black. All this time, Geoff is hiding behind Stu saying, "He's there, he's there." Pointing at someone he doesn't want to talk to.
Second half sees us kicking up the hill, well, we would be if they hadn't levelled it off! I remark to Stu that the little one (Liam) is very quiet. He (Liam) turns round from his position sat on the floor and says, "Well I'm eating." As he tucks into a pie, dissecting it first, bit by bit.
Holmsie makes our day by putting us back in the lead and , despite the home side putting pressure on in the last 15 minutes, we hold out for yet another win. Not bad, as it's now three years on the trot we've come here and won 2-1 each time. Maz and Lynn are wondering why we're so happy...they both  thought it had finished 2-2, they hadn't realised that one of their goals was ruled out for offside !!
As you can imagine, it was a very pleasant drive home, and mostly in daylight too. Not only winning, but taking second place from them too. Macca's army marches on ! Until next time.....
Happy Travelling

Wakefield Hall Green Ladies v. Sheffield Ladies
Today as it's my day off and the ladies are not at home. So  we decide to 'hit the road' to go and watch them take on Wakefield Hall Green.  It's actually raining today as I walk down to meet John at the old library.John was a couple of minutes late as he told me he'd had a hectic last twenty minutes. He'd been out with Lynne this morning and told her he was picking me up at one O'clock, forgetting of course that he has to set off fifteen minutes earlier to get to me from his house!  Funnily enough I was panicking a bit myself as I was stood there waiting and for some reason I had a horrible thought that the game was kicking off at 1.30 and I should have been here half an hour earlier myself. John says, " Do you know Trev, I've had every pratt on the road in front of me this morning, so beware, although I'll have calmed down before we get there." As if to verify this , the car in front then decides to turn right without signalling! First stop is Cineworld so I can pick up a movie guide for this week. For some strange reason the 'Star' decided to publish the programme for Chesterfield's Cineworld instead of Sheffield's. It's uncanny but today we've both put on our old red and black quarter Sheffield shirts.
Off we go on our way. Earlier in the week we'd been talking about bands playing live and John said U2 were good when he saw them playing live on some programme or other one night. So I told him I'd got some live tapes of bands and so, as we head up the motorway which is quite bereft of traffic we have Simple Minds. NO...I don't mean us (okay, well make your own minds up on that one) I meant the band, which is blasting through the stereo.
Helen had called John earlier to let him know that the directions in the handbook were wrong and she had given him the correct ones. Mind you, wrong directions have never bothered us before, that's what we're famous for! We find the place with no difficulty at all and pull into the car park. It's a bit worrying though as we look out of the windscreen at an empty pitch with kick off only 15 minutes away. John calls Helen again to check if we are where we should be. Panic over, she says "We're playing on the pitch across the road", which is directly behind where we were parked. At present they are just waiting for a game to finish on the pitch they are due to use.As you can imagine, it's very muddy, bumpy, not very wide (as there is another pitch right next to it) and exposed to the elements.Quite a difference to the Bright Finance Stadium.
The rain has stopped by the time the game kicks off with the Ladies kicking up the slope in the first half. Straight away they're on the attack and create quite a few chances which Hayley just puts the wrong side of the post. Over on the other pitch it's a game with kids about 6 or 7 in age, but you can hear the dads shouting at their team as if it was a full blown adults match. It's just like a referee told me once....the kids are no problem, it's the adults who are the difficult ones to control. After 14 minutes we finally get one on target as Andrea's cross finds Sarah at the back post for an easy tap in. the lead only lasts six minutes though as a goalmouth scramble results in the home side pulling level. It took a full eight minutes then before we took the lead, Andrea once again provider , this time for Nell to score. Two minutes later and Andrea's corner is headed in at the near post by Sue, you just know she's going to get her share of goals from this set piece which every week causes havoc in the opposition defence. Just over half an hour gone and Hayley through on goal we're sure she'll score this time, but no, the keeper parries it out, but Sarah is following up for her second of the match. It's a good job I'm doing a travels for today as we're having difficulty remembering how many we've scored as they're coming like buses, you don't see one for a while then three arrive at once! A minute later and a great ball from the wing by Sarah finds Andrea who guides it into the net. Well, actually we're all laughing on the sidelines as the ball hit her and went in , but she'll take the credit anyway. On 37 minutes an identical move sees Sarah's cross finally converted by Hayley who must have thought that goal was jinxed !. So, half time and we're 6-1 up with five different scorers on target.
Me and John have a drink of hot chocolate which Lynne had made for us as we listen in on the half time team talk which was interesting as usually we are walking round to sit in the stand at the home games. Graeme even breaks out the jelly babies which are nearly all devoured in one fell swoop ! The rain starts as we go on the attack in the second half. Three minutes into the half and Andrea scores direct from a corner, which went in at the far post. She then gets her third of the game from the penalty spot just past the hour mark.Graeme and Nigel start to use the substitutes, so everyone gets at least part of a game and they can look at some of the players in different positions. Chris, who was outstanding at the back in the first half is moved into midfield where she fancies her chances of grabbing a goal. Unfortunately the one real chance she had went high, wide and handsome. Me and John just smiled as John said, " She panicked!"
With fifteen minutes left Wakefield grab their second of the game when a long ball out of defence catches the defence off guard and Alice can do little to stop the goal. In fact she'd only had one decent save to make all match. Andrea completes a second half hat trick with a nonchalant, swing of the boot to pop the ball over the keeper from a ball by Christina, and that, as they say was that. A 9-2 victory and all for free, what more could you ask for?
We have a post match natter with some of the players, telling Alice we'll bring her a jigsaw next week to stop her getting bored, then it's off home. I get in the car, after first repairing the door seal which has come off yet again. Why is it whenever any of the others are in the front seat it never falls off, it's always me. I'm sure John thinks I do it on purpose . Going back and John says, " I never found out who won the African Nations Cup Final Trev. "  So I replied, " Italy".
  "Italy!" John says as he starts laughing and trying to keep the car straight at the same time. "Oh, bloody hell," I said, "I meant Egypt!, I thought you were going to say something about the Winter Olympics in Italy." I think some of that rain must have waterlogged my brain ! We listen to more of Simple Minds as we make a short detour to go to Wentworth garden centre so John can stock up on bird food for the garden. He's hoping they stay open until 5 O'clock as it's already past 4 O'clock before we reach the gates, and thankfully it is. I wait in the car as John goes inside. After he'd loaded up we carry on homeward.John told me he was longer than expected as he bumped into Hilts as he was getting served. Not only that but last time he saw Holmsie while he was here.Perhaps we've got some secret gardeners in our team. We spend the rest of the journey listening to 'Pick of the Pops' which this year is 1973. Me and John start screaming as we reach Firth Park.This is due to what's playing on the's Jimmy Osmond with 'Long Haired Lover from Liverpool' ! Thank God I manage to escape before the end of the record as John pulls up outside the house! I have to dash inside and have alcohol to get over the shock ! A quick e-mail to America to let our American fan know what's happened and then it's a nice cuppa and feet up for a relaxing evening. Another satisfying day. Until next time.
Happy Travelling

Hallam v. Sheffield  - 04/02/06
(Hallam Revisited)
Once again it's back up to Sandygate, this time for the 'big boys' match. It's only ten days since our last visit here on a cold and disastrous night watching the under 19's. If we're going to see eleven goals scored this time, well I hope that we get the majority of them ! I missed the home derby due to having to work the Bank Holiday so as yet, I haven't actually seen the team lose yet this year.I'm working this morning but hang on for an extra half hour being as it's only a yen minute ride up to Sandygate, how convenient is that? I guess it's the shortest journey I'll ever make to a match.
Weatherwise it's fairly dull with plenty of dark clouds about as we pass the ground and park on the hill, so at least we're facing the right way to go home. Inside the ground and it's straight to the snack bar for a cuppa.John is hungry so I get him the Hallam speciality......burnt sausage roll ! His was actually graded from one end to the other, one end black and the other just cooked.
All the gang are arriving more or less together so we go to take up our position at the back of the stand and drapes the flags at the back and also on the front, so (apart from the slope) the lads might feel like they're playing at home. I read the programme, which takes all of two minutes, then get ready to do the match report as Stu is working today.
The game starts with us kicking down the slope and after a brief settling in period it's actually Hallam who take the lead which woke up the local old people in the stand. Then it was protests all round as Tev is brought down by their keeper outside the area and once again a referee 'bottles it' by issuing a yellow card instead of a red. As you can imagine , us lot are screaming at the official and telling the keeper what a jammy so and so he is, having got away with the same trick when the teams met at our place on Boxing Day. It's not long before parity is restored though as Tev is put through and this time tucks the ball away before the keeper can react. This starts us chanting , 'Keep him on' at their keeper and also calls for a round of sweeties which this week include fruit allsorts and mini mars bars. More fun was to come as just before half time their keeper fumbled the ball allowing ex-Hallam striker Pete Smith to score much to his and our delight. We then start praising their keeper and telling Guy Glover (their manager and ex-Sheffield player) what a great decision the ref made earlier giving him (the keeper) just the yellow card . So at half time at least one half of the stand is happy. Clive, (Hallam supporter) who we see regularly at our ground goes to the pub to drown his sorrows. As it's a big crowd we forego another trip to the snack bar, knowing it will be ages until we get served while the old codgers are queuing up for the Horlicks.
It's a fun second half, at least for us as the team are in control, restricting the home side to half chances while we carve out openings at the other end.Even Guy Glover had us laughing as Hallam thought they were through on goal, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside. Guy was on his knees pleading with him saying, "When are you going to give a decision our way?" I think it was Tim who said something like "It's too late to start praying now, he hasn't got a decision right all game." At which point Guy looked at us and started laughing himself. With just over fives minutes to go my mobile rings and it's Stu. "How are we doing?" he asks so I give him a run down on what's happened so far, then he gets a live running commentary from me as Pete Davey runs onto a ball and smashes it into the net. After that I tell him I'll call him back at the end as I can't hear a thing for all the cheering going on around me. Sheffield's third goal signalled the end for a lot of the so called home fans who decided they'd had enough.Well, it was either that or perhaps there was a curfew on at the old people's home! Just to rub salt into their wounds Tev then breaks free and this time the keeper can't catch him , either legally or illegally as he takes the ball around him and literally walks it into the net. Game over ! As the referee blows for full time we all cheer as the home fans disappear slowly away. Now that is something I can't understand and one or two of our lot said it too, the Hallam fans have never clapped their team off at the end of a match, even when they've won against us. Perhaps it's a Hallam custom...totally ignore the team you support. Of course, we waited till our lads had had their post match huddle to applaud them off, but then again we do that even when we've lost. Thankfully today was very satisfying.
Back at the car and, as we're parked just outside someone's big front window we can just see the tv and the football results are on so me and Deano are shouting, "Move the flowers!" as there's a vase of flowers blocking our view of the screen. Then it was off home to do the match report and celebrate by having some fish and chips for tea. Until next time.
Happy Travelling

Selby Town v. Sheffield - 31/01/06
(Selby revisited)
Once again it's back to Selby, this time for a President's Cup fixture.Let us just hope the outcome is decided in the 90 minutes. It's only ten days ago since we were last here.Then, it was like a summer's day, John didn't even have a coat on, but he did have his legs covered up. Tonight however it's more like the normal kind of weather we experience on our evening travels here, cold. Stu couldn't make the Saturday game due to work, but he's braving it tonight, which is a good job really as he's doing the driving! I was also warned by Deano and John last Saturday not to mention to Stu the fact that his beloved Luton Town are in the city tonight playing at Hillsborough. Just in case Stu decided to suddenly become ill and not able to make the trip to Selby. My day actually started with a visit from the gas man who was checking out the appliances in the local area. It was in fact one of our ex-players, Mark Smith, who played for us under John Pearson while we were still at Don Valley. Needless to say that the five minute check turned into a half hour natter about the club over a cup of tea. He even remembered Deano. Mind you, let's face it, once seen never forgotten is our Deano!
Stu picks me up at home, after I'd delayed him by having to go back inside for my hat, I'd remembered some gloves for him though. Then it's off to meet John at home. He was picking Deano up on route from work first. We're a few minutes early, as John pointed out as he opened the door with half a slice of toast in his mouth, so we wait in the car while he gets ready. One of the cats (Oscar) is sat outside waiting to get in and Stu says, " It's uncanny. John's wife is called Lynne, my wife is also called Lynn. He has two cats called Oscar and Felix, and we used to have two cats called Oscar and Felix!"
John emerges, as Oscar shoots inside to the warmth. Of course by now Stu does know that Luton Town are playing Sheffield Wednesday and he said, " I did have an offer to go with one of my staff who said I could sit with them on the kop but I declined, saying I'll end up smacking someone." When his mate said, " You'll be okay sat with us , we'll protect you." Stu had then replied, "Well, the thing is, it'll probably you I'll be trying to smack!"
John sits in the back with me as we go further down the road to pick Deano up. Maz comes out with him (although she's not going tonight) to wave us all off and away we go. It's a pleasant journey as me and John talk about films whilst Stu and Deano are talking football. Billy Two Pies sends me at text, asking me to get him a programme as he's going to be late. Well, being as he usually arrives at the away matches before they even open by my reckoning he'll still be there before us, but I'll get him one unless I hear from him again.
Stu takes his time driving and we arrive just 58 minutes after picking Deano up!Once inside we go into the clubhouse. There's no food on yet so we have just have a tea, although Stu points to the half time tray of sandwiches they're preparing for the directors/officials and says, " We'll have a tray of those instead." Back outside just before the start and Bill turns up.He's had to use Gwen's car to get here as his has been to the garage for repair.
We go to the seated end and take up our position as John hands out the lollies, we're having a break from Minstrels for a while. Stu says, " there's not many people here, I've seen more life in the Co-Op morgue." The game is not that inspiring either so we amuse ourselves by singing songs from the 70's and 80's. Okay, I'll rephrase that, Bill and Deano start making a funny noise, so we all join in!.
I start to hand out some Maltesars but Stu says he'll only have one if I peel the chocolate off for him first. Instead I produce a Hershey bar for him and you should have seen his little eyes light up. No sooner have I handed it to him, he's already got it opened and is stuffing it in his mouth and telling me, " I'm not handing any round to anyone." I said, " Calm down Stu, it's okay. That's why I brought the Maltesars too." With that, he started to relax and actually chew the bar before swallowing.
  Half time and it's back to the clubhouse for hot-dogs and teas all round , courtesy of John. Then we walk round to the other goal. Selby get a free kick about 25 yards from goal and I say to Stu jokingly, " Watch this Stu, they'll score here." Guess what ? They did ! Not only that but Luton have taken the lead at Hillsborough which is a double blow for me and John, but at least Stu is fairly happy with this news. With the game entering the last few minutes the lads are piling on the pressure to try and get the equaliser as we cheer them on.Then it suddenly strikes us what a dilemma we're in. Yes, we want to win and progress in the cup. but we don't want the game to go into extra time. In the end the referee decides for us by blowing for full time to a somewhat relieved sigh from us.We seemed doomed in this competition as we can never get past the quarter final stage.
Back in the car and it doesn't seem too long until Stu is dropping John and Deano off before depositing me at home and tooting the car horn of course ! The highlight of the night ? Listening to Steve Harley's sound of the seventies radio show, that says a lot doesn't it. Until next time.
Happy Travelling

Hallam U19's v. Sheffield U19's
It's local derby time once again, as the young 'uns are playing each other up at Sandygate.John picks me up early after he's done work and then it's off to town to get Deano from work. There's no Maz tonight as she's having a girls night out with Gwen, off for a meal and then the theatre, which I suppose is more appealing to them than being stood in the cold all night, and to be fair, they do attend most matches anyway.On our way to John's house Gwen actually phones Deano to ask him to tell Maz she's running about ten minutes late. He says, "It's a bit difficult Gwen, I'm on my way home in John's car and Maz has already set off to your meeting place without her mobile phone." Oh Well, I'm sure they would meet each other eventually. As we drop Deano off I say, "You've got time for a three course meal Dave."  "Well, I never thought of that Trev, but now you come to mention it......." Up at John's he makes me and Lynne a cuppa and breaks out the biscuits as we sit and relax, which is a bit unusual in itself as it's normally a case of in the house, quick change and then we're off again. Lynne tells him he's got a parcel. It's from Tim, he's sent over all the Clitheroe programmes from the start of the season and also included his Christmas card to Lynne and John!
Felix then graces us with his presence and promptly jumps up onto the arm of the chair I'm sitting in. This is because Paula (his favourite human) usually sits there. I do get to stroke him as he checks me out, first from one side, then, just to be sure, he walks on the back of the chair to check me from the other side, even with his wonky eye! He then goes over to John and Lynne on the sofa and promptly wags his tail in John's cup of tea, flicking the drops off afterwards! Then he decides it's time to go out.
John finishes his drink and goes to get a shower. Just as well really as he's been making funny remarks at Lynne's expense, and then using me as the scapegoat! It's time to leave, and as we head out of the door, Oscar and Felix are on their way in. The garage door is open for them, but they prefer using the proper door, yes, they're weird like that. Despite all the home comforts provided for them Oscar also prefers to fall asleep on top of the television too!
Down the road we go and Deano is sat outside his house looking bored, as though he's been there for ages.It's his way at getting back at us as we had to wait for him earlier.I ask if he had his three course meal, but he said no.He didn't realise he'd have that much time to spare otherwise he may have organised something that morning.
The great thing about playing at Hallam is the fact it's only 15 minutes away. We joked that maybe we ought to start supporting them as the journey is so convenient, but dismissed it straight away as a ridiculous suggestion. We get parked up outside the ground, right behind Billy Two Pies who's here tonight with big Steve. As soon as the snack bar is open John gets a sausage roll, while I settle for just a drink. Deano is swooning with the smell of the food , but he's being a good lad and laying off the fatty stuff.
We go and stand with Pete. Now Pete is a Hallam fan but regularly comes to watch us when we're at home and Hallam have no match, he's also Chris's dad, our Scottish exile.As the game starts, Deano wanders off to go and chat with Billy Two Pies. Half an hour gone and Sheffield are already 2-0 down and struggling to get out of their own half as Hallam kick down the slope. I'm also doing a match report tonight and John says, "Trev, in the match report put that Hallam are shooting at will, and Will is getting fed up of it." Just after that, they score two more goals!
Half time and it's back to the snack bar. Hot-dogs for me and John plus a tea and a hot chocolate.I say to John, "You're only having the hot chocolate in the hope that you'll fall asleep and miss the second half." Deano has nothing, but his eyes are twinkling and he starts salivating as I tell him how nice the hot-dog is and the juicy fried onions too. John says , "It's like watching us when we played against Long Eaton (referring to our 8-0 win while I was away in America) Of course, Deano then has another dig, referring to the 9-0 win we had against Louth a few seasons ago, on that occasion I was working. Me and Deano get talking about food, making each other hungry. Deano says, "A nice warming bowl of porridge would be just the job right now." I couldn't agree with him more.
It's good job we can see the funny side of things , as out on the pitch, our lads are getting slaughtered. I say to the others, "If Hallam get 10 do you think the ref will blow early for full time?" Sheffield did pull a goal back, but Hallam replied with a couple more. Deano shouts, "Get Wardy on!" John replies, "He's not under 19." So I chip in with , "Well, he's under 19 stone, doesn't that count?"  John say's "It's just puppy fat he's carrying." So I turn round to ask, "What kind of puppy is it then, a St. Bernard!" I told you, we always have a laugh even in the face of adversity, or anyone else's face come to that! Thankfully the referee finally blew for full time, but by then Hallam had already got their ten goals !!!!.
On the way back to the car we pass Billy Two Pies and Steve. Bill winds his window down and, half smiling says, "I thought you said they were good?" (meaning Sheffield of course) I replied, "What more do you want? you've seen eleven goals scored."
Back inside the comfort zone of Sammy we can't help but laugh about the evening. I say to Deano, "Well that's taught me a lesson!" Deano says it's John's fault anyhow as it was only him who heard the announcement on Saturday informing us that the game was on, as we were too busy talking to each other. Oh well, never mind. At least it's a very short journey home where it's time to tuck into a bowl of porridge and then fall asleep just as the footy highlights start on the telly! Until next time.
Happy Travelling

Selby Town v. Sheffield - 21/01/06
It's my day off today, so I'm able to spend a leisurely morning at home, despite still waking up at some ungodly hour. It's a bright and sunny day as John picks me up, with Deano and Maz nice and comfy in the back seat. There's not a cloud in the sky as we drive along listening  to the radio. John has decided to try another way to Selby today, and luckily he doesn't require my navigational expertise as I 'rest' my eyes for part of the way. It seemed to be a quicker way this time, or perhaps we were just fortunate in not getting clogged up in traffic. Anyway, we arrived in plenty of time and went into the clubhouse. John says, "It's like a summers day today," and decides to leave his coat in the car, he did remember to pick his mobile up though for a change. As there's no food or drink ready yet we head for the bar and have a drink there instead, before plonking ourselves down for a while. Ding-Dong arrives a few minutes after us, it's nice to see him at an away game, his outings being somewhat restricted by the trips to Hillsborough and also looking after baby Bell. John makes do with a bag of crisps for now, to keep the hunger pangs at bay. It's almost kick-off time before we venture back outside and make our way round to the stand end. As the game starts I say to John, "I wonder what's happened to Stu, I haven't had a text from him to say he'd be late." It's then that John tells me, " He's not coming today." I reply, "Bloody hell, I didn't know, looks like I'm doing the match report then doesn't it? All this and only one notebook!" I wander back round to the clubhouse so I can get the teams written down and as I'm doing so the inevitable happens and we score! Once I'm back with the others Deano says, "Did you see that Trev?"  "Nope," I replied , "I was busy writing the teams down, so you'd better tell me what happened now so I can get it down on paper." After that it was quite quiet for the rest of the half. Geoff was even giving out sweets too, well, they were like mini cough drops but nice all the same.
At half time it was back to the clubhouse where John treated me to a cuppa and a hot-dog. Geoff was winding me up, asking if I'd cook him a steak if he came to the hospital.I said "Yes, so long as you pay", He then tells a complete stranger whose passing that I poison little kids !
We walk round to the standing end ready for the second half. They have a lovely little sheltered stand would look just nice down at the Coach and Horses at the 'Sheffield' end. I ask Billy two pies if he can fit it in his car if we start dismantling it, but then again perhaps not as we're back up here in a couple of weeks for a cup game and we may need to shelter under it ourselves.The lads re-take the lead with Duncan running onto a through ball to smash it home, they then give us a nailbiting finish as Selby try all they can to get the equaliser. Wardy fouls one of their players and you can here him from here as he shouts, "Good God ref ! " Deano pipes up with..." He should be crucified for that remark." Okay, it may not look funny in print , but at the time it made us chuckle. At last the referee brings the game to an end, and it's another win on the road. Just as we're walking out, one of their stewards is telling Bill (Towning) how lucky we were , and that the ref was on our side.We've seen him before and it's always the same, he always has some kind of excuse. Anyway as we head towards Sammy I just say 'Silly old bugger" , about him, and for some reason this really creases Maz up as she can't stop laughing! Back on the road and John thinks he's going the wrong way, so turns off and ends up on the wrong road anyway.The one we were on before was correct, it was just signposted different. Anyway, being as we won it looks like we'll have to take the wrong road again the next time we're up here. We're not really superstitious , honestly.  After that it's an easy journey home, listening to the radio and trying to answer the pop quiz. John drops me off and it's time for some chicken and rice before settling down to do the match report and then falling asleep in front of the telly! Until next time.
Happy Travelling

Mickleover Sports v. Sheffield - 7/1/06
It's my first day off after working ten days over the holiday period on earlies, so what happens ? Yes, I'm wide awake at 5 a.m. So I spend some time catching up on some programmes I'd videoed, putting away the Christmas decorations for another year, and taking a nap on the sofa!
It's a cold, damp and miserable day weatherwise for our trip to Mickleover today - hopefully by 4.45 it will just be cold and damp and we'll no longer be miserable as we watch the boys pick up yet another win on the road. John picks me up on his way back from Conisborough, he'd taken Paula and Andy over there so they could pick up a car they'd bought. It's just a quick two minute stop for him at home while I wait in the car, and then it's down the road to pick up Deano and Maz. While we wait for them John pins the directions to the ground under the cover of the glove compartment for me, God knows what for. Oh yes, I remember now, I'm supposed to help navigate us there! I 'rest me eyes' for a while as we drive along the motorway listening to the comedy programme on Radio 2 and the next thing I know we're leaving the motorway and heading towards the ground. The directions are straightforward and we have no trouble in finding the ground at all. It's still dull and raining as we pull into the car park , as Deano is recalling to Maz, one of our previous visits here when it was sunny and just as we were pulling into the ground we were confronted with Dennis in his lycra shorts, quite scary I can tell you !
  We get parked and who should pull up next to us but Stu and Liam. Just across the car park is Billy two pies and Gwen sat in their car too. It's Gwen's 50th birthday today and just for a change and being as it's a Saturday, Bill has brought her to the match. I'm sure he's got something else lined up for her later, possibly a meal out after the match, oh wait on though, there's an F.A.Cup game  at 5.30 live on the television. Oh well Gwen, perhaps next year then !
Thinking of meals, John is hungry as he hasn't had any lunch and yesterday he was telling me how much he was looking forward to getting some delicious hot-pot again from the snack bar before the game. Bad news though, the guy on the gate informs me that the man who runs the snack bar isn't coming today, John is not a happy chappy when I break the news to him. So we take refuse in the social club and end up with tea or soup. Jan sent over a present of sweeties for the posse so I break these open to stave off his hunger pains. Stu's eyes light up too as Jan remembered that last year I told him how much we enjoyed the sweets he sent over, especially Stu, so it was the same stuff, like chocolate covered spiced gingerbread. Stu actually asked if I was sure that the label on the present said to 'The Posse' and not 'To Stu' !
With the match almost ready to start we venture outside and, being as it's still raining, decide to stand under the shelter at the side of the pitch, although Deano and Maz brave the elements to stand behind the goal. There's just over a minute played and we have cause to cheer as Gavin Smith rises above the home defence to put us in the lead. It's the same pairing of Pete Smith and Tev up front, even though Duncan is back from his break in Tenerife. He's come down with the team though and gets his dad to buy him a burger as he's starving. With such a good start, we're beginning to feel warmer already. Gwen is busy handing around some chocolates , and just in case anybody doesn't know it's her birthday, she's got a '50' badge pinned to her coat that's as big as a dinner plate! Midway through the half, Pete Smith doubles the lead, as we joke about the both the Smith brothers scoring. This leads into a conversation as Stu is telling us about the time Liam asked , "Dad, are Joe Cole and Andy Cole brothers?" After answering in the negative, the little one then asks, "Well are Joe Cole and Ashley Cole brothers then?" Stu says to him, "You've been watching too much Dream Team."
Despite a few more chances going begging and some good saves from Lee Broster we go into the break with just the two goals. Back in the social club, I queue up at the bar to get us some tea and soup, only to be  told to go around to the snack bar counter round the back.It's the third time I've been to Mickleover and I never knew this existed. There's no food or soup left, so it's teas all round and John gets us some crisps too, the poor man must be almost starving to death!
The second half sees us stood behind the goal and Deano decides to put the big flag on display . As we're putting it up I say  to him, "You do know that our lads are going to be aiming for it now, to see who can dirty it first." Once again, it's like groundhog day as two minutes into the play up pops Gavin Smith again to score his second of the match. That was it as far as the match was as the lads were well in control, even though Mickleover did get a consolation goal. Geoff had told Liam to tell me about all his presents he got for Christmas, this lasted nearly all the second half. It's not that he was spoilt with so much stuff, it's just that the little one likes to go into detail about each item. Once he got started about telling all about the gameboy games he got, that was it...he'd lost me entirely, anything other than space invaders and you can count me out!
At least the prediction from earlier came true.We were still cold and damp, but happy having seen the lads win once again. John collects the man of the match votes, and with only one vote to go it's looking like a four-way tie, that is until little Billy casts the deciding vote and we all breathe a sigh of relief that we have a clear winner. Back in the car and John puts the heater on to thaw us all out. It's an uneventful journey back home, thankfully I'd left the thermostat turned up so it was nice and warm when John dropped me off.Just in time to watch the second half of Luton v. Liverpool in the F.A.Cup on the tv. No doubt that words will be exchanged between Caroline and Stu at Tuesdays match as they support these teams as well. Caroline being the most happiest come the full time whistle. Later on I settle down to watch the highlights of all the games, and promptly fall asleep ! Until next time.
Happy Travelling

Sutton Town v. Sheffield - 10/12/05
After my last travels in the U.S.A. it's back to reality once again with a trip to newly promoted Sutton Town. Surprisingly it's nice and sunny as I leave work to wait for John. It will make a change, as we went to Sutton last season for an Under 19's game and it was absolutely freezing, with the wind blowing straight through you, despite numerous layers of clothing. Deano is already on board but there's no Maz today. It's the firms party tonight so she's staying at home so she can relax as, by the time we get back home there won't be much time before it's time to head out of the door again. In fact Deano has already come dressed up so he'll have time for a quick drink back at home, he looks like a talent scout in his suit and overcoat.
It's a steady drive down the motorway and both me and John spot a James Irlam lorry at the same time, so decide to call that one a draw. Mind you, straight after that John spots an Eddie Stobart! Nearing our destination, John hands me the directions (he'd also checked with Stu earlier too). We found it easy enough despite driving past the concealed entrance as John made Sammy do a U turn to get us back on track.We even beat Billy two pies to the ground, only by a matter of a minute though.
Once again it's rip-off time as it costs us a fiver to get in. There's no programmes yet as they're on their way (apparently). Inside the ground and the first person I spot is Geoff just emerging from the snack bar with two cups of tea in his hands. So I shout, "Two teas Geoff!" He says, "I've just got these , I'll sort you out at half time with some." But after some light hearted moaning on my part, he relents and buys me and John our drinks.
The programmes eventually arrive and the robbing buggers have the cheek to charge 2 each for them. I wouldn't mind if it was something good, but apart from a colour photo of the team inside and the cover it's very ordinary and not much better than Armthorpes! The rest of the gang start to turn up, and keep telling me what a great game I missed last week. Stu said, "I was disappointed Trev as I had to work and I missed it, but at least I DID get to see the Louth game (looking at me). Tim then chips in with, "In fact Trev, we're having a whip round to send you back over there until the season is over!" Who needs enemies with friends like this.
The first half sees us kicking up the slope so we go and stand behind that goal. We'd been trying to figure out who the goalie for Sutton was, as he looked familiar, but Stu put us right." It's Mark Hales, who played for Shirebrook last year. You know, the guy who saved everything!" He was a good sport though and joined in all the banter we were giving him. Little Billy commented on one of their defenders saying, "Hey, look at their number six. His shorts are too short and his socks aren't long enough." It was true too, it looked like he was the last one to the kit bag. It was time for sweeties then as Tim started handing round the glacier fruits left over from their holiday (we think).They were very sticky, in fact me and Stu were sticking the wrapping to the wall. Next up, it was John doing the honours with the giant chocolate buttons, oh I'd missed those despite having more than my fill of chocolate on holiday! Stu is eagerly waiting for me to open my bag as he knows I have some chocolate he actually likes. So when I do open it, his little eyes light up as I bring out a packet of miniature Hershey bars to hand round which I'd bought on my holidays. Of course, I give him the first pick. Little Billy is asking what they are, but Tim just tells him to take one and try it. Despite all the pressure on the pitch, the lads actually go into the break a goal down as we head for the snack bar. It's a bit crowded, so me and Stu wait outside whilst John gets the drinks. Time for the second half to start so we move behind the other goal. The standing here is a bit lower, well, it's actually a lot lower as ding-dong can only just see over the wall ! Despite a wire fence behind us, some of the shots from the team still clear this and end up in the trees. This brings into action the ball boys who then have to start climbing the trees to retrieve the ball if they can't knock it down with a stick. It's fun to watch them. Whilst watching the match, and eating the buttons and chocs we're also doing a piece of abstract art. We'd all still got our drinks, so once we'd finished them,(I forget who started it) we start balancing them on top of one another. We ask Deano to take a photo of our creation so we can submit it for this years Turner Prize, but he declines. Thankfully, back on the pitch Wardy stoops to head an equaliser for us and despite yet more pressure towards the end the result is a draw, which we would have been happy with at the start of play. At least it didn't finish a boring 0-0 draw in pouring rain as I thought it might. It's an easy and uneventful journey home as we listen to the reports of the local matches.I'm back in the swing of things now, but will miss our next away match due to work, and it's the local derby too. So, until next time....
Happy Travelling and Happy New Year

Philadelphia Kixx v. California Cougars - 3.12.05
It's a 'travels' with a difference today, as me and Jeanie are off to see the Philadelphia Kixx indoor soccer team, courtesy of her brother Tom, sister-in-law Margie and my new best mate, seven year old Tommy who are treating us, to finish my holiday in style. The only other time I've seen an American indoor team was when Baltimore Blast came over to play the Owls at the arena and the then manager Trevor Francis was taking a look at a French player called Eric Cantona and we all know what happened regarding that signing!
It's my last full day over here so we have a leisurely morning as I try to pack some things in the case before visiting one of Jeanie's best friends (Diana) for a light lunch. Then it was a spot of last minute shopping before heading back to Vineland. Jeanie sets up the computer and I visit the website to find out how the lads have gone on while she goes to make us a cuppa. I can't believe what I'm seeing as Jeanie walks back in the room. "Have they won Trev?" she say's to me. "Oh yeah, only 8-0 !" I scream. "You're kidding me,"she answers. "Nope, bloody 8-0...I'm going to get some right stick for this after missing the 9-0 drubbing of Louth a few season's ago." She eases my troubled mind by offering me chocolate, that soon does the trick !It's time to get ready then and throw a few things into an overnight bag, as we're staying at a local hotel tonight. We finally get checked in despite the receptionist having an 'attitude'. John won't believe me, but this is the first American I've met all the time I've been here who hasn't been friendly. We just have time to dump our stuff before Tom, Margie and Tommy turn up to take us to the game. I get to sit next to my new best mate Tommy (see photo below), while we consign Jeanie to the back seat of the S U V .
We've only been travelling for about ten minutes and already Tommy is asking if we're there yet(now where have I heard that before?). We do actually make very good time as it only takes us about an hour to get there...que for a song ? allowanhour, do, do , do , do ,do! It's a good job we did arrive in Philly early as it's the annual Army versus Navy  (American) football match which is held at the Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. The game is still in progress as we cross the bridge into the city and you get a great view of the stadium all lit up.In fact all the main sporting venues are situated in one complex, as directly opposite is Citizen's Bank Park which hosts the Phillies baseball team. Our game is taking place in the Wachovia Spectrum, which used to be the home of the  Fliers ice hockey team and their new stadium is just further along the road,. Funnily enough, tonight it's holding a concert by Bon Jovi! Back to the plot. After having crossed the bridge and got into the complex thanks to some astute navigating by Margie, (perhaps I should take lessons!) it takes us over half an hour to actually get parked up. Whilst we were queueing we could even watch a bit of the Army/Navy game as it was being televised and there were some big screens just outside the stadium. It's a short walk to the stadium and then we take up our seats. We've got a really great view as we're just six rows from the front. It's being televised too so both me and Jeanie are wearing  England tee shirts, hoping the camera's may point in our direction. We stand a good chance as Margie seems to be lucky at getting herself on the screen. At the Kixx first game they showed her five times, much to Tommy's annoyance as he was sat right next to her! This is already the second meeting between the Kixx and tonight's opponents  California Cougars, the hosts having won the first match 7-6 in overtime. Since then they've lost once at home and once away, so looking to get back on a winning steak.
I suppose I ought to tell you a bit about the MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League). The league was set up in 2001 and is comprised of a group of investors who hold ownership shares in the league, participate in a management committee and serve as team operators. This season sees six teams competing in the league, each team playing the other ones six times (three home games and three away games.) There is already two more teams contracted to join the league next season. By the way, the previously mentioned Baltimore Blast are still playing as they are in the league as well.Out on the pitch, the teams are warming up whilst Tom goes in search of food, returning a few minutes later with pretzels and nacho's. With ten minutes to kick off the players go off to prepare for the game, while the M C starts to rouse the crowd. The players are introduced individually (similar to Ice Hockey) with the visitors out first. The cheerleaders then come out to form a line for the home side to funnel down, the lights dim, the music gets louder and the players emerge as their name is called, it's a really good atmosphere. The crowd doesn't look too big tonight, but it could be that some people are still held up outside due to the traffic congestion. The arena holds almost 17,000 and at present they have averaged nearly 7000 for the two home games already played.
The game is different to our own five-a-side games as a lot of the rules are similar to ice hockey. For example, each team is allowed three 'time-outs', to be taken whenever they want. The game is played in four 15 minute periods and each team comprises six players with unlimited use of substitutions whilst the game is still in progress. They also have a 'sin-bin' where players sit when served a 2 or 5 minute penalty.By the way , you do actually see a full 60 minute game too, as the clock is stopped each time the ball is not in play.
Back to the action and the first quarter saw the visitors edge it by 3 goals to 2 as everytime the Kixx levelled the score the Cougars got their noses in front again. After each home goal is scored the scorer grabs a miniature match ball and kicks it into the crowd as a souvenir. Also if there is a stoppage or a time out, the cheerleaders take to the pitch, no wonder there's so many dads in the crowd. When they were doing one routine, I pointed to one of them, and in my best Lou voice from 'Little Britain' I said, 'I want one of them !". Jeanie was helpless with laughing. The second quarter just saw the one goal, which was an equaliser for the home side. Half time saw the cheerleaders entertain us again and then it was time for Frisbee throwing! Yes, you can purchase a Frisbee before the game, and at half time everyone throws them onto the pitch trying to get as near to the centre circle as possible, the nearest one gets $100. Let me tell you, this is a seriously dangerous sport, especially if you're sat near the front as some of them never make it as far as the pitch!! The third quarter was again tight with Cougars once again taking the lead, only for the Kixx to draw level to tie it at 4-4 before the final quarter started. This is when the Kixx really went to town, scoring 6 goals to overwhelm the visitors who could only grab a consolation goal to see the home side triumph 10-5 ! Quite an experience to watch. Little Tommy says I have to come again the next time they play. Actually I wish I could  as they're  giving out cheerleader posters at the next game! There was no rush to get home tonight as the Kixx players were going to meet and greet the fans on the concourse to sign autographs and have their photo's taken. We took up our position in the queue so Tommy could get to meet the players. He was really excited as some of the players had done summer camps coaching the children and Tommy attended one of these, so now he was going to meet his 'coaches' again and also the rest of the team. By the way, when he was at soccer camp he had his Sheffield badge on which got quite a few comments from the coaches.
While Tom and Margie waited in the queue , me , Jeanie and Tommy wandered back into the main arena. There were some mini games (8 minutes) taking place with different age groups , ranging from about 6 years old to 12. It was fun watching the young ones as it was like watching a shoal of fish, wherever the ball went every player followed! It was good fun and all the parents encouraged all the kids, not just their own. We kept on looking back outside to see how far Tom and Margie were near the front and when they were close, Tommy went back to join them. He got his programme signed by all the players and a couple of them even recognised him from the summer camp. After that it was time to head out to the car. Once again Jeanie was shoved in the back as I sat next to Tommy. It was a lot easier getting out of the complex as most of the traffic had already gone, and we were fortunate to just beat the rush of the crowd coming out of the Bon Jovi concert.
Once again, super navigator Margie got Tom on the right road and it was a pleasant drive back. It's nearly all countryside where they live so there's not many street lights and also you have to watch out for wild deer. We didn't see any on this occasion, but we saw one crossing in front of us when they came to pick me up from the airport on my arrival as it ran right in front of the car!
They dropped us off at the hotel, Tommy asking if I was going to sit next to him on the way back to the airport tomorrow, but Margie said that 'Trevor would have to sit with Aunt Jeanie tomorrow' He just shrugged and said 'Okay'. Back at the hotel, and as we're going up to the room we both realise we haven't eaten much since lunchtime. So we do an 'about turn' and head out to Jeanie's car and drive to a 'Wendys' who serve fast food. It seems we're not the only ones as there's a queue of 5 cars in front of us waiting to be served at the drive-in counter. We get some burgers, fries and a cold drink and head back to the hotel. So there we were, at well past midnight, eating fast food  and watching an old film on tv. A nice end to what turned out to be great experience. Next stop it's back to reality once again with the delights of the NCEL and the freezing cold ! Until next time......
Happy Travelling


Brodsworth Welfare v. Sheffield - 19/11/05
It's a lovely sunny day, as I wait for John outside work. It's still chilly, but not as bad as first thing this morning where the cars were all frosted over and the bottom of my road was icy..... luckily I landed on my head, so nothing was damaged!   
It was an easy journey over to Doncaster as we listened to the radio and arrived with plenty of time to spare. In fact Deano said he'd stay in the car for a while as me and John decided to have a wander inside. No Maz today as she wasn't  feeling up to the mark. Mind you it was a toss up as to whether she was going to go to the game anyway, or go to Meadowhall with her mum. At this time of year I would have taken the game, no matter how cold it was. Our players are just coming out to warm up as we get inside. Mick, Margaret and Andrew are already there, but that's it for now. Macca  is back today, and as he comes out to join the players he comes over to have a talk with us and tell us all about the trip to Dubai which he's just returned from, representing the Club. He said it was hard work, but I don't think any of us believed him on that point. We go and get a drink as some of the others start to show up. Even Dennis has forsaken his beloved Hull City to join us today. In fact he asks Billy two pies where Donny are playing away today, and Bill replies," I don't know Dennis, because they're actually playing Bournemouth at home." Which makes us all laugh. Stu and me are listening to 'Ding-Dong Bell' who's telling us how he got lost on the way here, finding himself in the centre of Doncaster. Pity he didn't act on the notice of last season's programme here in which he had great delight in telling us that they (Brodsworth) had actually published how to get to there own ground, for the Sheffield away support in that day's programme. Once again it's a real good following, in fact we outnumber the home fans by at least two to one! 
The first half sees us kicking towards the open end, so we go and congregate behind the goal.It's looking good as we start to dominate from the kick off and it's a wonder it took as long as twenty odd minutes before we actually scored as Duncan was on hand to shoot the ball home. Geoff  then comes along with a bag of sweets. We're all astonished, and in fact I offer to take a photo of the occasion on my phone ! Stu is well chuffed as he's handing out Sports mixtures, which is one of Stu's favourites, especially as chocolate doesn't agree with him so he usually misses out on the normal fare that's on offer. As Geoff reaches me I say to John, "Watch this," and thrust my hand well into the bag and grab a handful of the mixture. Geoff looks on as I carry on by saying, " There you go Geoff, just like you with John's sweets, only I didn't rip the bag open like you usually do." He quickly moves on, and funnily enough, that was the only time he came round and offered them to us all. Back on the pitch and Wardy has doubled the lead.
We're all moving about from one foot to the other, to try and stay warm. Liam is trying to get his foot onto the top of the wall to do some stretches but he can't quite make it. However he does say, "Yes, but I can get my foot behind my head." So, quick as a flash I reply, "Well Liam, I'd be glad to get my foot behind your head!" Of course, this sets him off into Karate Kid mode, which is no different to any other match really. Stu says, " Go steady Liam, Grandad Trev is off on his hols tomorrow." Cheeky sod! 
Half time and we take a slow walk round to the covered end, forsaking the snack bar this time as we'd had our fill earlier. The second half is like Groundhog Day, as once again we score two more goals and totally dominate the game. Which was good really as it was getting colder by the minute. We even got to see all the match too. I mention this because it's the first game Brodsworth have played at home since they had the generator repaired(or replaced). I must admit, it was a bit of an anti-climax, as you could hear the old one chugging and gurgling away belching out  thick  black smoke as it powered itself up. This one you can hardly hear at all. Finally the referee blew for full time, which we greeted with great applause, not just for a fine team performance, but also so we could get back to 'Sammy', get the heater on and try and thaw out!
John drops me off at the bottom of the road, so I can go and give the Beermonster a description of our win. Then it's a walk up the hill to home and finish packing, ready for my trip tomorrow to visit our American lucky mascot Jeanie. Okay, I know it's the football season, but where would you sooner be on a freezing Tuesday Armthorpe, or New Jersey? lol. See you all in a couple of weeks and, until next time......
Happy Travelling

Eccleshill United v. Sheffield - 5.11.05
There's no Stu today as he has a bonfire party to organise. Although I think that Lynn and Liam have probably got him sat outside Tesco's while they go around asking passers by, "Penny for the Guy?". It's a bright and sunny day as John arrives to pick me up. As usual Deano and Maz are already on board, Deano sitting in the front this time. 'Sammy' passed his M.O.T. yesterday, although he does require a bit of work doing this time, included new rear shock absorbers, probably from all the extra weight he's been carrying during the football season!
On our way to the motorway, Maz is telling us that yesterday(Friday) she actually saw a Preston's of Potto lorry, pity it doesn't count for today.I think she might have been trying to pull a fast one there and get a head start, she must have learnt that trick off John. We listen to the comedy on Radio 2, which should put us in the right mood for the comedy to follow later on ! Nearing our exit from the motorway, John changes his sunglasses for his ordinary ones as it's very overcast now. He thought it was just going dark exceptionally early. Just passing Valley Parade and I get a text from Bill telling us not to rush, as he passed the team coach over half an hour had broken down on the motorway. This was in reply to my early message to him to get the programmes for all of us. As it happens when we got there they weren't even on sale yet.We found a parking spot facing the ground, but Deano said, "Don't you think it would be better to move it john, being as we're parked right behind the goal?" I said, "Oh we'll be okay right behind the goal, the lads will never hit it, it's only if we park it either side that the problems will start, you know what they're shootings like!" Anyway, John decides to take 'Sammy' up on to the little hill where there's a few more spaces available, but once again Deano intervenes, "I'm not being funny John, but I don't think you ought to leave it here, with all these local kids hanging about."Which was true , as there was a gang of youths playing footie in a field right next to the ground. So in the end he managed to find a space facing away from the ground, so at least if any window is going to get smashed by a wayward shot it will only be the rear one. The team arrived about five minutes after us, but the referee had decided to put the kick off back ten minutes anyway. Mind you, he only showed up about the same time as us according to Bill, he got lost and he lives in Bradford!
We spend the extra time in the clubhouse, John enjoying some pie and peas.I'd just finished writing down today's teams, (yes folks, I was multi-tasking again) when Craig rang. He wanted the line up as he wasn't coming to the game today. When the phone went and I was giving out the team, John turned to the others at out table and said , "That's Macca ringing Trev up for today's team."
Caroline's phone was the next to ring, it was Sue, they were lost and wanted directions, so Caroline passed her on to Andy  and from this end of the conversation we had no idea where the hell they were! John then proudly announced that he found his way here today without even looking at the directions, who's a clever boy then? Sue and Tim, along with Billy arrive a few minutes later as we're about to go inside the ground.
It's a bit on the cold side today and John hasn't got his coat, but thankfully he's not got his shorts on so he should keep a bit warmer than he's used to.We're kicking towards the covered end in the first half too, so that shields the wind that's blowing .The lads get off to a dream start with Duncan scoring in the second minute, but ten minutes later we're back on level terms.Craig Bates in the United goal seems a bit subdued this afternoon as he's not 'effing at blinding at all and sundry. On the half hour the home side take the lead. At least John and Billy are handing around the sweeties to keep us in a good mood, and we amuse ourselves talking to each other. We occasionally hear Sue shouting, which is no mean feat when you consider she's sat in the stand near the half way line!
Half time and it's back to the clubhouse for a cuppa , a sit down and a warm. We walk around to the far side as the game restarts, just in time to see Sheffield get an equaliser. Deano decides it's time for the flag to make an appearance so we tie it  to the handrail near the goal. John found a shower proof jacket in the depths of his bag, so he puts that on, and we score again! We all agree it must be John's magic jacket that did the trick. Despite some nail biting moments towards the end, the lads held out for a much deserved and belated victory, and as it's bonfire night, there's already fireworks being set off in the neighbouring houses. It's almost as if we have our own firework display for winning!
Back to the car, and once again I manage to dislodge the door seal over my door, so fix it as best as possible. Off we go, and Eddie is following us in his white  van/coach. As we pull into a garage for some petrol he even follows us there as well. John say's, " I bet he's following us so he doesn't get lost on the way to the motorway." What in fact he was doing was trying to get our attention as John's emergency lights were on, due to the fact that my door wasn't closed properly as I'd got the door seal caught. So John came to sort it out and then we were on our way. We spent the time looking out of the window, as every so often you'd see a rocket burst in the sky or a Roman Candle exploding, it was very colourful.
Back at home and it was time for me to get something to eat , amid the sounds of fireworks exploding and the smell of bonfires all around. All that was left then was to try and get some relevant puns into the match report regarding bonfire night, and hope we get the same result next week when Eccleshill come visiting us in the League Cup. Until next time...
Happy Travelling

Garforth Town v. Sheffield 25/10/05
Well it's been quite a while since we last played Garforth in a competitive match, and it's back to the old routine of a night match in rainy/cold weather. In fact it's raining that hard we're wondering whether to make the journey by car or boat! A quick update from the last 'Travels.'  'Sammy' lives ! The A.A. man came out to give 'Sammy' the once over and a new fan belt was needed so the guy took John to the local shop nearby (as he didn't have a spare on his van) and fixed it up for him. John even being cheeky enough to ask the bloke to let him get the Sunday papers while he was down at the shops.
Stu is actually taking us to Garforth tonight, but before that John picks me up on his way home from work and it's a quick call into the supermarket for the sweeties for tonight, this being due to the fact that Andy (Paula's boyfriend) helped himself to John's last batch which were in the fridge ready for collection. Stu arrives not long after we get home, he'd been to pick Deano and Maz up from work on his way over to meet us.
Then we all got in the car, John having the privilege of the navigator's seat on the journey there. Mind you, it was raining that hard that it was difficult to see a great deal anyway.Deano says, "If the match is on tonight then I'll be a monkey's uncle." So Stu replied, "That would be Galen then would it?" To which Deano answered, "Yes." John then pipes up with, "I was thinking more of Baloo from Jungle Book." We all said to him, "John, Baloo was a bear, dressed up as a monkey!" He just replied, "Oh yes, I remember now. I just got a bit confused there for a minute."
Driving along the motorway, we're still waiting for someone to call one of us, to tell us the match is off as we can't believe the pitch will be playable. We do text Bill so he can get us the programmes as we know that he'll already be at the ground. John spots an Eddie Stobart as I'm texting to which I say , "That's unfair, I was doing official Club business!" Stu says , "We ought to cancel lorry spotting for midweek games, especially when I can hardly see through the windscreen!" John just sits there smiling.
Arriving at the ground and the first problem is finding a parking space. Stu has driven right up to the club house, but now he has to turn around as there's no room here and we'll have to park further along the lane. So he attempts to do a three point turn....just multiply that by about five and that would be more realistic! In the end John actually got out of the car to help him so he didn't bump into anything. We meet Bill as we go through the turnstile, (he's still outside) and he tells us that Geoff has got our programmes as the seller was already inside the ground. I've got no change yet, so I tell him I'll give him the money later , unless he can change a tenner for me. He says , "That's okay Trev, pay me when you get change." No food yet at the snack bar, so we make do with a cuppa and go to scale the heights of the stand. This is the main feature of the ground, you can even see it from the motorway, but boy is it high, especially if you go to the top. That is where we do go , as it's the only place that is reasonably sheltered from the rain, even though it is still blowing in on us.Talking of blowing, it's also very windy, nearly blowing my hat off all the way to Leeds.Stu says, "That's it fella's," to me and John. "you two sit either side of me and I'll keep a lot warmer and drier with all that padding around me"..Cheeky sod! As I was getting myself settled , after being un-nerved by the strong wind and the height we were at, I open my glasses case glasses. I'm thinking,'Bloody Hell! I've left them on the table at home.' It's only when I go to pull my cap on tight that I realised I had them on, resting on top of my head ...a real Fawlty Towers moment there folks! I couldn't see any sign of Andy and the rest of the gang, but then Deano spotted them on the far side of the pitch, getting absolutely drenched in the downpour, despite the umbrella's.  The game was very good considering the conditions, we were all looking to see who would make the first comedy slip. Behind  us sat a Scottish bloke who was regaling someone next to him all about the delights of Scottish football, much to Stu's annoyance as he was going on about Rangers this, Celtic that.Now Stu knows a lot about football at all levels and this guy was just making him cringe, especially as some of the things were either not true or just very vague.I mean, our Stu has even been to see East Stingshire AND got his picture in a book about the club (Pointless - A season with Britain's worst football team), just look for the photo of the crowd in the main stand and there you'll see Stu, Liam and Lynne right at the front. By the way, he will do signed copies of the book, you just have to buy the book! Despite kicking against the elements, our lads went in at half time on level terms, so it was looking good. Back at the snack bar and the food had arrived so it was hot-dogs for me and John, Stu just wanted a drink. I found Geoff out again and asked if he could change a fiver for the programmes, "No trev, it's okay, pay me at the next match." As we're having our food under the stand I bump into Bill who say's , "Have you paid Geoff yet? He's moaning like mad at me for asking him to get your programmes." I tell him. "I've just spoken to him, and offered him the money but needed change, so he said leave it till the next match" Bill just looks perplexed.
Back up the mountain, sorry, stand, to take our place for the second half. Deano has decided to have a wander behind the goal and brave the elements. Our optimism at having the wind and rain in our favour soon disappeared as Garforth scored. In fact they were playing better this half than the first half. Halfway through this half Caroline, Jackie and Andy showed up, soaked to the skin. They'd taken all they could stood out in the open, and decided to take shelter.Little realising that although there is a roof over our heads there's still little shelter to be gained from tonight's storm. At least the gale force wind helps to dry them off.Near the end  Garforth grab a second goal, sealing the match in their favour. So yet again it's another miserable trip to Garforth completed. One thing I did note about tonight, there was no sign of any 1970 Brazilian World Cup stars on show, perhaps the chairman is running out of money, or maybe Socrates has given them the nod as to exactly what it's like at Garforth! As I'm the last to be dropped off tonight, I'm sitting next to Stu for the journey home. At least the rain had eased off considerably once we were on the motorway, and despite the disappointment of losing it's the trips like this that certainly stick in your mind in years to come. Until next time.
Happy Travelling

Maltby Main v. Sheffield  22.10.05
It's back to work for yours truly after a throat virus. John thinks he can get in early with the lorry spotting, by sending me an e-mail to say he'd spotted a James Irlam lorry at the roundabout at Tinsley , on his way to work....and this was Friday morning!!! Sorry Sheps, but you get points DEDUCTED today for that, just for being so bloody cheeky!
I finish work on time and wait outside in the sun (and rain) for him. Deano and Maz are already on board and the first port of call is John's workplace, so he can set a report running, which should be finished by the time the match is over so he can collect it on his way home.Thankfully 'Sammy' starts first time and off we go to Maltby. 'Sammy' has been having problems of late and yesterday saw me pushing him around Hillsborough leisure centre trying to get him started, this after badminton too, I was almost ready for another week off after that! As we're nearing Maltby Chris calls me and says, "Trev? Is there any cover at Maltby as it's bouncing down with rain here." So I said, "Where are you? we're almost at the ground and it's not even raining."
   "I'm at home at Kiveton." came his reply. John then shouted down the phone, "Get yourself to Maltby, you nesh bugger!" So he said he'll see us there as we have a laugh about John's comment.As we near the ground, John gets daring and decides to try a different route. It's usually the way we come home after we come out of the ground, but we'd never gone this way first. It was easy, mind you, it was daylight too, so that helped. There's no room in the car park so John backs 'Sammy' onto the main road, giving us a good run should we need to push him to get him started after the game.
We pay our 5 to get in (daylight robbery) and John says, "Is that to pay for a proper turnstile?" as we're shown through the gap which is acting as the main entrance. The bloke who took our money just looked at us as he didn't know what to say. At least we got a decent cup of tea, although the food choice was limited to burgers, or burgers! All the gang have shown up, and with the lads kicking up the hill for the first half we go and find a spot behind the goal. We've just settled down when one of the Maltby officials comes over to tell us that we can't stand behind this goal as there's no hard standing , which is a bit rich being as one of the requirements of being in this league is that there is hard standing on all sides of the ground. This bloke ( and his mate) were only stood there to collect any balls that went behind the goal. We did argue the point that in the past five seasons at least (in my case) and more for Deano, we've ALWAYS been able to stand behind that goal, but he wasn't having any of it, so we moved to the side, although not before seeing Sheffield take an early lead which at least cheered us up.
We were then treated to an hour and a half of comedy as the officials decided that "Today Matthew, we're going to be the Three Stooges". It really was that bad (for both sides), I don't think they agreed on a decision all afternoon, and as Tim shouted out (frequently) the referee should have gone to Specsavers! The second half we were able to stand behind the goal.That was until the rain started, then we took shelter under cover.The referee did manage to award three more goals in the first half as both sides went into the break on level terms. What he didn't do is award any of the other three 'goals' our lads scored or award a penalty for a blatant handball.So we were all bemused at the end as to how we could have totally dominated the game and only drew,no wonder their manager was smiling as we left the car park!
Thankfully 'Sammy' started first time and off we went. First stop was back to work for John to pick up his report whilst we did the quiz on the radio.Then it was home for me to start the match report (no Stu as he was working). As I'm writing it Deano calls me to tell how their journey ended.Apparently, just after dropping me off they were driving past the hospital when Deano and Maz heard a funny noise. John pulled up and looked under bonnet to find the fan belt almost shredded.He said, "I think we'll just be able to get home, but it'll be touch and go, just like Apollo 13!" Well they set off again, only this time using minimum controls as the radio had to be switched off, as well as the heater, Of course, with them all being damp from the match the car was steaming up....from the inside, so all the windows were wound down (despite the heavy rain) and John had to keep turning the wipers off too! He dropped both of them at home and carried on up the road. The fan belt finally gave out just at the top of the road, so he had to get Lynne and Helen to help push the car to the front of the house. Back in the house and Lynne said said to John, "Is that it, is 'Sammy' dead?" Bearing in mind that she's not all that fond oif 'Sammy' and had a definite glint in her eye as she said it. John replied, "I don't think so, I'll get the A.A. man out in the morning. So the question is....will he survive? Until next time - if there is a next time.
Happy Travelling

Long Eaton United v. Sheffield 11.10.05
After two days of Indian summer type weather, it's pretty dull and overcast tonight. John picks me up on his way home from work, then it's a quick call at home so he can get changed, plus he gives me some paper for my printer. I should have bought it yesterday when we parked in the retail park prior to going to see M People at the arena, but I was too pre-occupied with making John into a fast food slut. I'd already enticed him into a KFC place earlier this year when we went over to Bolton and now it was time for him to lose his virginity to Ronald McDonald ! He said he actually enjoyed it , as we walked across to the arena. (We were actually going to go to Pizza Hut, but it was too crowded.)
Anyway, back to tonight, and we're off to pick up Deano.He calls me to say he's already left work, took Maz to the bus stop and is on the way to the pick up point. We arrive on time, and, as it's near the red light light district I wind the window down as John pulls up and say to him, "Fancy a good night out love?" He responds with, "Do you do a group rate?" I said, "No, but we do a grope rate!".
Then we're off once again.The pick-ups haven't finished yet though, as we've got an extra passenger tonight, we're off to pick up the other Deano - Steve. When John tells me this I say to both of them, "Well I hope his heart's a lot stronger now, he does know he's watching Sheffield tonight , doesn't he?" We actually almost drive past him as he's walked down to meet us on the main road. Me and John never noticed it was him, Steve said he wasn't sure it was John's car, it was only as we were actually driving  past that Deano shouted, "Stop! That's Steve waiting for us." As Steve is putting his coat in the boot , Deano decides to get out to do the same. Sorry, he tries to get out, then decides it might be a lot easier if he actually takes his seatbelt off first. We'd only just got on the motorway and John spots an Eddie Stobart lorry straight away. Steve spots a lorry with an obscure name, but we tell him our rules to this game(these part-timers just have no idea how complicated it all is!) Almost ready to turn off the motorway, so John hands me the directions. Luckily he's memorised the route, so this is only for re-assurance (I hope).We find the partially hidden entrance on Station Road (Geoff's favourite Sat-Nav destination!) and slowly drive into the car park. Billy two pies is already there, using his mobile, no doubt catching up on plans for his next match.
I start dismantling 'Sammy' as I get out of the car, the rubber seal is coming off the door at my side, I didn't do it on purpose, honest. First job, once we've all got the right coats out of the boot is for John to distribute the floppy disc holders he's brought from work, before they ended up in the bin. I only wanted one, Deano takes a couple and John has the rest. Then it's inside we go. well, I try to get inside, but nearly didn't make it as I wasn't giving the young lad on the gate enough money. I wasn't trying to swindle him, it's just that there was very little light and I thought I'd given him the right amount, but one of the 1 coins was in fact a 10p piece! After that fiasco we need a drink and something to eat. It's either a burger or a bacon sandwich, so the bacon sandwich wins hands down.
Geoff is already there with one of his mates. He's complaining to me about something I wrote in one of the previous travels, "Trev, I never said those things at Arnold."  "Yes, you did Geoff, John and Deano were stood with me and we all heard you" I replied. He still denies it though, but while ever I have the power of the word, and Deano has the power of the editing he's still going to get the blame for a lot of things , and 99% of it is true believe me! As we're talking, John spots someone taking a chair onto the pitch and heading towards one of the goals. He says, " They must think their keeper isn't going to be very busy tonight." In fact, he was just adjusting the netting. We make our way to behind the goal as the teams prepare to start the game. Long Eaton have a nice new stand this season which looks very impressive, last year all we saw was the framework of the stand. On 13 minutes Sheffield take the lead and Deano shouts, "Unlucky for Borrowash." We look at him , then he realises what he's said, "I know, I meant to say Long Eaton, go on, make fun of me." It's here in black and white Dave! Dennis has turned up for tonight's match, so he's encouraging the home defenders, telling them how crap they are. After we'd scored Dennis said, "It's my lucky flag that did the trick." Two minutes later, Long Eaton get an equaliser, so Dennis says, "I think I'll take the flag down now." We do get another goal before the break though.
Back at the snack bar and once again it's bacon or burgers. Geoff says to the two young lasses serving "Haven't you got any scrambled egg?"He really starts to lay it on, and to their credit, they play along with it too. He then says to the eldest (who must be all of 17 years old) "What time are you due at the Lap Dancing club?" After a look of astonishment , and blushing, she regained her composure and replied, "I should be there now, but I've got to serve you lot first." We're all having a laugh at this , including the two girls. John says to them as we're leaving the snack bar, " Don't worry love, we have to put up with this all season." She relied with, "I feel sorry for you!"
Back behind the other goal for the second half and it's started raining. Steve is asking me what the bacon sandwich is like . I tell him, "It's lovely Steve, no fat, all lean meat." He turns to Deano and Says, " I think I'm going to get one." Although Deano manages to resist the temptation. Billy two pies is the first to bottle out and take cover from the rain, quickly followed by Dennis. Steve held out for a bit longer but finally gave in, he also complained to me that his bacon sandwich had fat on the edges. Oh well, I'm sure he ate as much as he could. That left just me, John and Deano behind the (very wet) flag. At least we got a clear view of all the chances that went begging, and listen to Marshie's colourful language as he did everything except score a goal. With time running out , Deano turns to us and says, "We're looking comfortable, and holding them at the back." Me and John look at him , as if to say, 'oh no, he's gone and said those fateful words', and yes, you've guessed it. With about a couple of minutes to go, Long Eaton go and grab an equaliser.
Back in the car park, and this time I manage to leave the door seal where it should be as we set off for home. We have a slight detour as we miss our turning for the motorway and end up driving along Brian Clough Way for what seems like miles before we managed to find an exit and head for home. We drop Steve outside his house in the pouring rain and I've never seen him move as fast to  get under cover. Then it's home for me and a nice cuppa. Until next time
Happy Travelling

Buxton v Sheffield (7.10.05)
Here we are again. It's dark, it's cold and it's gloomy, it can only mean another night match at Buxton! This one was originally down as tomorrow (Saturday), but due to England playing their penultimate World Cup qualifying match against Austria and the fact that it is being screened live on television, both clubs decided to bring the game forward a day. We should have no problems finding Silverlands as most of our visits there seem to be in the dark. I do recall the first year we played on a Saturday afternoon there, and I'm sure we did go wrong somewhere as we weren't used to seeing the way in daylight!
  Of course, with it being Friday night , both me and John are missing our weekly keep fit session of playing badminton too. I suppose we could walk around the ground a couple of times, but somehow I can't see that happening. Perhaps we'll make an extra trip to the snack bar as that sounds a lot more appealing!
 John picks me up then we head towards town to get Deano. On the way we're comparing needle marks. I gave a blood donation yesterday, and you can hardly see the mark.Whereas John had his flu jab at work and his arm is black and blue! He said, "The nurse was probably getting her own back for having to come and fetch me when I didn't arrive for my appointment."  I thought these flu jabs were suppose to prevent you getting flu? John isn't feeling well at all and he even sounds ill,that's why I never have the jab as it always makes me ill too. We arrive at Deano's workplace with time to spare, so John goes to the garage next door to get some money, but he's soon back as they didn't have a cash machine. He says to me, "Hey Trev, shall we throw some gravel up at the windows to attract his attention, just for the laugh?" In the end we don't bother as the man himself appears at the door. He's a bit quicker closing the security doors tonight.It's probably because he's ably assisted by Maz. Once that's all done it's off to pick up Stu. We drop Maz off at the bus stop first as she's not going to the match, and that's why it's a one car job tonight, as Liam's not going either.Mind you, he doesn't take much room up.
  We arrive at Stu's with time to spare, so sit in the car listening to the radio and looking for any sign of movement in the house. I can't resist the urge, and press the car hooter, and up pops Liam's head from behind the sofa. As we wait for Stu to get ready, Liam comes outside to show us some of his karate moves he's been learning. John also hands me the spare car keys too, just in case he loses his. He's also turned his mobile off too as the battery is very low, so there's no reason for him not to leave it in the car tonight for a change. With Stu on board, we all wave to Lynn and Liam and.....nothing. Apparently 'Sammy's' battery is also low too, so a push start is required. Stu and Deano get out to push, chuntering all the time, "Yeah it's okay Trev, you just sit there and let us do all the work." I tell them that I'm needed , to navigate the 20 or so yards along the road while they push. All this time Lynn and Liam are watching us from the house laughing their heads off. With 'Sammy' all fired up, it's off we go.
  Stu and Deano are busy talking about different bands while me and John listen to the radio.Then for no reason at all we end up on the word association game which we haven't played for ages. Thankfully(for me) it doesn't last very long. Then for some reason we get onto the subject of cakes.With Stu saying how he loves parkin, and how he has to have his bit of flapjack every morning, or, as he said," I can't miss my oats!"
  Arrive at the ground with plenty of time to spare and are just slowly going along the road to find a parking space when this police car pulls out of the police car park (opposite the ground) and promptly stops dead in the road.They're expecting John to back up 'Sammy' between two lines of cars for about 20 yards. If it wasn't for all the hassle we'd have got I'm sure we'd have stood our ground, but we were in a no win situation! We eventually get parked at the entrance to the police car park, even though a Buxton steward kept telling us that it would be okay to use their car park anyway.
  Into the ground and it's time for food,I just have a bar of chocolate whilst John has pie and peas. There's a seat nearby, so he sits there while he eats it all. Poor lad's a bit under the weather since his flu jab. Gwen and Bill turn up, they'd just finished a little break at Whitby. Gwen sees me writing some notes and says, " Trev, you can put that the coffee here is the worst I've ever tasted." It's the first match for Tim, Sue and Billy after their holiday in Turkey too. Tim and Billy are wearing Fez's and doing Tommy Cooper impressions. I read Stu the team line-ups. We have three new players in the starting line-up tonight, two from Buxton and yet another one from Arnold. John says'"When are we changing our kit to yellow and blue, so the Arnold lads feel at home?" It's very mild tonight, which is always a bonus when you travel to Buxton as it's so high up. Chris has turned up too, although he didn't decide until 6.30 that he was coming.No Nicki though as she's working. That was about as good as it got on the night as the first half sees us trailing by two goals to nil, the highlights being Sue handing out some proper Turkish Delight, which was accepted the first time, but declined thereafter! The second half doesn't get much better as we let in another three goals, and although we did have a few chances to make the score a bit more respectable, it never materialised. It's a good job we know how to laugh , as we ironically cheered Buxton's fifth goal.
   Thankfully there was no problem with 'Sammy' starting after the match, and we did indeed drive through the police car park, so we know where to try next season (if we're both in the same league!) It's a good journey home, dropping Stu off first.When I get in the house, I realise I've still got John's spare car keys. Not only that, but I've dropped my mobile in the car too, so I try and call him from my land line, then realised he'd turned his mobile off earlier this evening. I eventually reach him once he gets home and arrange to collect it tomorrow, I'll go over and watch the England match with the rest of the family. After that, I need a cuppa! I phone Jeanie to let her know the score, and she thinks I'm winding her up, I said, "I wish I was".  Then it's time to get some sleep and hopefully forget about tonight's result. Until next time
        Happy Travelling

Norton and Stockton Ancients v. Sheffield (1.10.05)
It's off to the North East once again, so it must be a cup match. Today it's the F.A.Vase 2nd Qualifying round. Let's hope we get a similar result to our last trip up in these parts when we beat Jarrow 4-0 in our opening match of the season.
What a difference from Wednesday night at Shirebrook (weatherwise that is) as it's a lovely sunny day, even though there is the odd shower of rain now and again. John's decided against wearing the shorts though, but I've no doubt he's got them tucked away in his bag should it suddenly turn really hot and he gets the urge to bare his legs !
He arrives on time, with Deano already nice and comfy in the navigator's seat. We're a bit late setting off though , as Deano won't open the door for me to get in. Eventually he relents and we're on our way. John says, "It was a split decision Trev as to whether we were going to let you in." "Thanks guy's" I replied, "it's nice to feel wanted!"
It's another first for your travelling scribe today, as we're going to the match with Geoff in his car instead of travelling up on the team coach. Again it's a trip to the North East, which seems to becoming a regular occurrence over the past few seasons as we always seem to be playing a team in that neck of the woods. The only thing we haven't done so far this season is have an away tie against Blackpool Mechanics, which have seen some of our best travels, as it always involves seeing the lights, walking on the Prom and eating fish and chips,oh and a game of football of course. Perhaps we'll draw them in the next round.
Onto the motorway and John is the first  on lorry spotting duty as we pass an Eddie Stobart vehicle, but I'm just allowing him the one point for it......not the 500 points he'd like to award to himself. He said he spotted one last night too on his way to pick up his daughter Paula and her boyfriend Andy from the airport, but as I pointed out to him (yet again), it only counts when you spot them when you're with another member of the Posse!
We find our pick up point , and it's not long before Geoff shows up. We're all stood their in tee-shirts and Geoff says, "Bloody hell lads, anyone would think it's summer, It's making me shiver just looking at you." After trading a few more insults, we all climb into the car, me and Deano in the back, allowing John to take the navigators seat for a change. It's like entering the Tardis inside the car, it's another world. There's individual lights for all passengers,all leather upholstery,  air conditioning, sun roof and a satellite navigation system, which will now be referred to as the Sat-Nav. He's already got the system programmed, and as we leave the car park, a voice says, "Take the next left,". It's in a female American accent, which upsets John straight away...he thought he'd got away from those pesky Americans, having had enough of them all week at work as they've taken over his place of work. Back onto the motorway, and straight away John spots another Eddie Stobart, it's no good, we'll have to get him behind the wheel so he has to concentrate and give us all a chance. Nicely driving along, having a natter and a laugh and John says, "Geoff? Shouldn't we be turning off at this exit?" As we're just about to pass the slip road exit. Geoff answers " ****ing hell " and without further ado turns the wheels, drives straight over the warning chevrons and onto the slip road. All accomplished in about 10 yards , and from the outside lane! "Thanks for that John, " our intrepid driver says, "otherwise we would have been heading into the centre of Leeds." In the mean time he's laughing as he's trying to make a feeble apology to the woman who he just 'cut up' and is having a dicky fit in the car behind. " I suppose I'd better turn it up, although you're doing a better job John," referring to the Sat-Nav. 
John thinks we've gone wrong somewhere, as the Sat-Nav keeps on asking us to take the next exit then more or less turn right around. So we ask Geoff, "Are you sure you've set it up right for where we're going?" Geoff's reply is, "Course I have, set it for Station Road." Bearing in mind we visit about three different teams who all play at Station Road! He also says, "Well , I haven't actually read the instructions on how to work it properly." To which you can't actually hear a reply from us as we're too busy laughing. John suggests we pull into the next we can look at a map! He says, "Us men never read instuctions anyway, that's what women are for ." Again he manages to spot yet another Eddie Stobart (jammy bugger), as we drive on, listening to the Sat-Nav, then telling it to "Shut up!" This is certainly entertaining stuff as we're now on a mystery tour for sure, it makes John's 'detours' seem quite tame by comparison, and for once John actually gets to enjoy it.
We decided on the car instead of the coach this time as we didn't want to arrive too early, but already it's only one O'clock and we're almost there (we think!) It's true what Deano says, Geoff thinks the outside lane of the motorway is  specifically for him. He says, "From now on , 'G' force should be known as Geoff force." Geoff responds with , "Okay, we'll take it a bit easier so as not to get there too early." So he reduces his speed to 80!! We're still having a laugh regarding the Sat-Nav, as it's now saying "Make a legal u-turn," and this is on a dual carriageway!
We've just found out that Geoff thinks we're supposed to be going to Jarrow (again), and not Stockton. So once again he crosses three lanes of traffic to get the exit from the motorway. We end up having to pull into a small roadside market to ask directions and we tell Geoff to ask for Norton. He goes to enquire, comes back to the car and says " I don't bloody believe it. We have to go back onto the A19 where we've just come from." He then carries on, " You know what the silly bugger said when I asked , do you know where Norton is?" He said , "Yes!"   Well, as you can imagine, we were all helpless in the car. My jaw was aching with laughing so much and I was having difficulty writing my notes as I couldn't see properly because of the tears in my eyes. So off we go again, by the way , at this stage of the proceedings, there was now no way we would get to the ground too early.We're doing a bit of 'headbanging as Geoff turns the Rolling Stones C.D. up for us, and once again he just manages to make the turning off the main road, this time we actually drove over the grass verge and into the village of Stockton. No signposts to follow, so we just follow the main road until it's decided that we ought to ask someone. We pull up at a bus shelter full of people and John pops his head out and says, "Excuse me? Can you tell us this point he turns to Geoff and says, where do we want to be?" Me and Deano are creased up in the back and Geoff can't keep a straight face either.Unfortunately for us, no one knows, so we wind the windows up, drive on and then all laugh hysterically. Onward a little further and we approach another bus stop. John says, "Open Deano's window, let him ask," as we all try to keep a straight face. In the end both John and Deano ask together, and the lady is very helpful. Now bear in mind , we're all on the edge having laughter fits and we're also in the North East, so the accent is funny (to us) to start with. Well, she starts directing us..."Well pet, turn round and go back up the main road.Then take the left road to the duck pond. Go over the duck pond..." That was it...up to that point I'd been trying to hold myself together, but I looked in Geoffs rear view mirror and saw him look at me and we just both burst out laughing! We said a quick "Thank you," and drove off. It was just the though of actually driving OVER a duck pond...I told you we were in a silly mood! We found our way, and then looked out for Station Road. We found it, again, just as we were about to drive past it. So we all shouted hurray as Geoff slammed on the brakes and almost had two cars run into each other in order to avoid him! We find the ground, just as Billy two pies is getting out of his car. It's a tight squeeze where Geoff parks first, so we find another parking place further up the lane. As Geoff is trying to back into a tiny space, with the aid of the Sat-Nav system Deano says, "Why don't we park in there Geoff?" pointing to a sign that says 'Norton and Stockton Ancients'. So we head into a very large car park, where Geoff can park wherever he likes.
Get to the entrance of the ground and we all says, jokingly, "Don't think anything can beat that today, you watch, I bet the game's rubbish." We pay the 3 to get in, and when I ask for a programme the gateman says," No, sorry but we've run out. We don't print very many and all the Sheffield supporters have bought them. In fact one guy bought four." We looked at each other, and in unison said, "That's Bill!" Out of programmes and it's only just turned two O'clock. Anyway, in we go, and we start to retell the story of our journey to the supporters who've travelled up on the coach. We're exhausted through all the laughing so a trip to the snack bar is needed. Geoff just wants a coffee, a Mars Bar and a lay down, whilst me and John have tea and a corned beef slice. It's a nice set -up here and the pitch looks in great condition. When we see Bill, we ask about the programmes but he denies buying more than one. He said Malc had bought four . So we apologise to him, and I ask Malc if I can look at one of his programmes. John cajoles him into selling one to him while Deano re-appears after going missing holding a programme for me in his hand. When I ask him how he got it , he just said , "Don't ask, it's not what you know, but who you know."
First half sees us kicking down the slight slope and with the wind in our favour. I have to mention the young  Stockton keeper as he had what looked like a 70's style mullet haircut, complete with highlights, I suppose it was to match up with his new shiny gold and silver boots. He was having difficulty keeping the ball in play when taking a goal kick as it would always find the touchline. So I said to John and Deano, " The second half should work in Bonno's favour with the wind...instead of kicking it out as usual, it'll probably help it to  go straight down the middle." That was the end of the joking, both on and off the pitch as Stockton took a 2-0 half time lead. With little much for us to cheer we head back to the snack bar where Geoff is already in the queue. He's asking us what we want, all the time pushing into the bloke in front who's trying to get served and apologising to him. When me and John ask for a hamburger, he asked the guy being served (and just bought one) if he can have a look inside it...he's got a way with people has our Geoff. He decides against having one, as does John, but I go ahead anyway. Even when it was his turn to be served, he still caused chaos by leaning right into the serving hatch and getting the lady confused with the drink order. I think in future we may have to give him a note so he can remember what we want. We said the journey here would be the highlight of the day, and it was, as the team failed to register a goal in the second half and so ended our brief participation in this years F.A.Vase. At least John had some chocolate buttons and some wafers from the Czech Republic (which his daughter had brought back) to make the defeat more palatable.
The officials are locking up as we wait for Duncan, who's travelling back with us. I'm piggy in the middle on the back seat, with Deano asking me to lean against him to stop him sliding towards the middle of the seat. There's a nice setting sun as we drive back, and, to be honest it's quite boring as we don't get lost and Geoff decides not to use the Sat-Nav ! Me and Deano 'rest our eyes' for a while...thankfully Geoff keeps his open. It doesn't take us very long to get back to where we parked 'Sammy' and then we're off for the last part of the journey. Back on the motorway and John shouts "Eddie Stobart!" When I ask him where it is, he points to a lorry about half a mile in front of us! I have to give him the point though, as we do eventually overtake it, so I know he wasn't making it up. He then spots a James Irlam coming the other way as I was writing down some notes. At this point , I begin to question his parentage!!
Eventually he drops me off at home and  it's time to relax with a cuppa and a sandwich. It's an early night for me as I'm exhausted and my face aches from all the laughing we've done. You can always guarantee one thing on our, lose or draw, we always have a laugh! Until next time.....
Happy Travelling

Shirebrook Town v. Sheffield (27/09/05)
You don't see an away match for what seems like ages and then what happens? Two come along in quick succession. It seems like it's a tour of the towns...Arnold last Saturday and Shirebrook tonight.We usually have some major talking points on ours visits to Langwith Road. Remember a few seasons ago Duncan scoring the winner in the cup in the very last minute of extra time? And then of course there was our visit last year when they scored with a blatant handball, only three people failed to see it of course, and those were the officials in charge...SHOULD HAVE GONE TO SPECSAVERS!!!
It's a very wet and windy night as John picks me up from home.First call is to drop Pete off who John has given a lift home to, and then we make our way into town to pick Deano up from work. As there is quite a lot of heavy traffic John asks me to give Stu a call to tell him we'll be later than agreed picking him up. He said, "That's okay Trev, I'm sat here with my coat on, but at least I'm not outside getting wet." We pull up at Deano's place of work, and out he strides. He's getting quite adept  at setting the alarms these days, he even knows which key fits the grille on the door, or maybe he's just being extra fast because of the weather. Once on board we head up to get Stu. On the way Deano says, "Sorry lads, but I'm staying under cover tonight and not standing behind the goals "(which have no shelter). We totally agree with him - we may be mad, but we're not stupid!
We finally pull up at Stu's house and he dashes into the car, John doesn't even have the chance to do his usual trick of turning 'Sammy' around in the neighbours driveway as Stu points down the road and says, "Head that way John , we can get back onto the main road that way." It's taken almost an hour from when he picked me up to get from one side of the city to the other. Not helped by the weather or the unexpected diversions we had to take.Back in the car Stu says, "I've phoned Billy two pies to get us the programmes as they don't usually print a lot and we'll only just make it in time for kick off."
He was dead right too, as the game had just kicked off as we entered the ground. They still had some programmes to sell too ! We lost Stu and Deano as  they went up to the far end of the shelter. First call for me and John was the snack bar for tea and hot-dogs. Then we took refuge under the shelter alongside Andy , Caroline and Chris.No Tim and Sue again as they're still on holiday in sunny Turkey, I bet it's not raining there. As we watch the match and eat our food Chris and Nikki wander down to see us. Chris said this is the second time he's been here, so I asked what the last game was he saw here. His answer was, "Oh no, it wasn't another game. I asked dad (the Beermonster) what night Sheffield were playing here...and he said Tuesday. So we came down yesterday as well !" Sounds like something Billy two pies would do. Thankfully for them,  he said they only live about a twenty minute drive away. It's a scoreless first half, thanks to Bonno saving a penalty for us, and Stu goes to get the teas. We then decide we will go behind the goal for the second half as it's stopped raining. Geoff is telling us to let him know our phone numbers as he's got a new phone. When I ask, "Why didn't you transfer the numbers from the old one?" He replied, "I couldn't Trev, this was a panic buy as I sat on my other one." So my reposte was, "No wonder it broke then with that fat arse!" His reply to that is unprintable here , as once again he suddenly had an attack of his 'Tourettes' disease.
The  second half was a hard fought affair, with our lads being unlucky on quite a few occasions when the final touch just didn't materialise. Thankfully , at the other end, Bonno was playing a blinder so it ended up all square. The drive back home was a lot more pleasant now the rain had stopped , and it wasn't that cold either . First port of call was to drop Stu off, and this time John DID get to use the neighbours drive to turn 'Sammy' around. Then it was off to Firth Park to drop me off. Just time to let the football crazy woman in America know how we'd got on, then it was time for bed.After a cup of tea and numerous Jaffa Cakes of course! Until next time.....
Happy Travelling

Arnold Town v Sheffield 24.9.05
It seems quite a while since our last away match, and thankfully there's no rush for me today as it's my day off. Of course our last visit to Arnold was the very end of last season for the League Cup Semi-Final replay, and what a match that turned out to be!
It's a glorious sunny day as John picks me up at the bus stop, and he's back in the shorts too. Mind you, I've known him still to be wearing them in the middle of October. Deano and Maz are already settled in the back seat as we set off for the steady drive to Arnold. It's a trouble free journey as we listen to the radio. John spots an Eddie Stobart lorry on the other carriageway and awards himself 560 points ! We really must get this scoring system sorted out. Further on we both spot a James Irlam lorry and shout at the same time, so I'm calling that one a draw, even if John does insist he spotted it first.
We arrive in plenty of time and park near the shopping centre and walk through the town centre. Maz leaves us, as she's off hunting for shoes and we make our way into the ground. Just getting served at the snack bar when Stu and Liam show, so it's burger and chips for me and John and tea for everyone, in fact the lady serving has poured one too many so even Deano has one. There's no Sue and Tim or little Billy as they're on holiday but Geoff is here as well as Andy, Caroline and Chris. Billy Two Pies tells us Nigel is probably going to go and watch Frickley, even though he has a ticket to watch United who are top of the league. John says, "That sums up the crowds they get at the Lane. Even with free tickets they won't go." Geoff chimes up with "Nigel can get into any ground free of charge." So when we all ask how, he replies, " He just takes his girlfriend along and says he's her carer!". Well, we all fell about laughing at that one.
We have a referee look-a-like today. John and I think he looks like Chris Boardman , the British cyclist, whilst Andy and Stu think he looks like Paul Burrell, Princess Diana's confidant. Whenever there's a decision against our side John is shouting to him, "You should stick to cycling", whilst Stu asks "Are there any stories you want to share with us?"  Maz has turned up from her shopping expedition and she's empty handed ! She said they didn't have any shoes she liked. I've never known that before, a woman going shopping and not buying anything, she's unique!
With Sheffield doing most of the attacking, someone shouts for the home defence to 'Stay Alert !' So Ding-Dong replies "Yes, everybody needs lerts!" It's his first match this season, bless him, now the cricket season has finished and the Owls are playing away. There's no score at half time as we make our way round to the snack bar again, and Geoff's paying ! Caroline is busy handing out birthday cake as it's Andy's birthday today, only another year and he'll have reached my milestone. I say to him "Not enough room for any candles then Andy?" and he replies "That's right Trev, a bit like yourself", nice one Andy.  Mind you, I don't feel any older , except when I'm walking up the bloody hill to get home !
As we're busy scoffing our refreshments Stu asks to borrow my phone to call Lynn, being as both his and Liam's are in the car. So me, trying to be clever (or so I thought) keyed in 'Lynne mobile' and hand it to Stu saying "There you go, it's ringing."  Stu is saying "Lynn? Is that you? Are you eating?" Then he hands me back the phone and says, "Trev, it's the wrong number." So I take the phone and yes, guess what? I've dialled the wrong number ! I've dialled Lynne, John's wife instead ! Of course, everyone has a big laugh at my expense.....serves me right for trying to use my brain...Duh !
The second half sees chances missed and to cap it all, Tev hits the bar and Arnold go straight down the other end and score the winner. Ah well, they're the breaks sometimes. At least we had a laugh in the sunshine before the bad weather starts.
We walk back to 'Sammy' and set off for home as the sun starts to set. Deano and Maz are handing out packets of Hula-Hoops to us. Back on the motorway and I spot an Eddie Stobart lorry but John says "You can't have that one Trev, you were cheating." So when I say "How do you work that one out?" he replies...."I was dozing." Which is quite scary as he's sat behind the wheel ! I then spot a James Irlam lorry so he says "Damn ! I'm having double helpings tomorrow now." Referring to the fact that we are going to have Sunday Lunch at the Coach before watching the ladies play and it's my turn to pay. After that it was straightforward the rest of the way home, avoiding the traffic going to watch the Steelers play at the Arena and then home ready to tuck into some chicken and spicy rice. Next on the agenda is the delights of Shirebrook. Until next time.....
Happy Travelling

Goole v. Clitheroe (10/09/05)
With Sheffield not having a match today, and me having the weekend off, me and John decided last week that it would be an ideal opportunity to go further afield and visit some old or new friends. As far as I can remember Clitheroe are playing away, at Goole. The other options were St.Helens Town, who John has just started writing for, or our old friend Tim at Atherton Labernum Rovers. Being as John went to St Helens Town with Deano for a pre-season friendly it's decided to go and visit Tim. This could all change though, as he's been ill most of the week. Not sure what's caused it, but John said Tim had told him.."Let's just say he's installed quite a library in the toilet". Tim asked John when was the latest he needed to know if he wasn't going to the game. John said, "Before we get on the M62, then we can head for St. Helens instead." So that's the plan as far as it stands at present.
As for me, I'm just glad to be able to get out into some fresh air (even if it will be in Lancashire) as I've been cooped up in court all week. And no, before you shout GUILTY ! They haven't  found out about me poisoning the kids at work...yet,. I'm on Jury service. With rain still falling heavily, John phones early to say he hasn't heard anything from Tim yet, and he's not sure what the situation is regarding the weather on the other side of the Pennines, or the St. Helens pitch, so he actually comes up with a plan 'C':- Instead of going over the Pennines, we stay this side of the country and fairly local and head up to Goole to give our support to Roy and the crazy gang who will be there supporting Clitheroe in this afternoons F. A. Cup 1st Qualifying Round tie.
It's still raining when John picks me up and we head towards Rotherham so he can call in at work. The main road is very crowded with people making their way towards Meadowhall for an afternoons shopping under cover, but once we get past the place it's an easy run. John nips into work to pick up one report and start another running. He's going to pick that one up on our way back from the footie.
Things are looking good as we set off for Goole as John not only remembered his phone, but it's also charged up too. So I sit back and enjoy the scenery of driving rain as we listen to the radio. Just before leaving work, John phoned Roy to tell him we were coming to  join them all for the game. What he neglected to tell him at the time was that whenever he's been at Goole, he's never seen the home side lose and that goes for me too ! There's very little traffic about which is good considering how wet it is. In fact you can tell how wet it was by the fact that we never spotted a Eddie Stobart, James Irlam or Prestons of Potto lorry, but we did see a North Sea Ferry pass us in the outside lane !!
It felt strange as we entered the town and made our way to the ground as we didn't take our usual detour towards the industrial estate. Not to worry, we would have done if Sheffield had been playing. We manage to find a parking space right outside the ground and go in. Although we've come to offer support to Clitheroe, just so no-ones in two minds where we're from, I've got a Sheffield sweatshirt on and John is wearing last seasons top. I think the biggest surprise was that John didn't have his shorts on ! Don't's not that he forgot to put them on or had gone all naturistic, it was just that he'd put trousers on today instead. After getting the programmes, the first stop was the snack bar for two cups of tea and some food. I had a giant hot-dog whilst John indulged in a chip butty. There was enough chips on the butty to feed both of us, a fact made plain by John dropping quite a few on the floor as they were precariously piled on top of the breadcake. We stood in our usual place, under cover to the left where you enter the ground. We looked around to try and see Roy...then we spotted it. Over the other side under the little shelter by the half way line was the blue and white Clitheroe flag. With the game about to start I made a quick call to the loo, and just managed to see the first goal go in as Jackson put the visitors ahead after only three minutes. We walked round to the other side to stand with Roy and the crazy gang. It certainly looks different from this side of the ground...although you do get a better view of the phallic landmark situated just outside. The crazy gang are in fine voice, 'advising' the referee on some dubious calls and having a laugh at the assistant referee who's wearing glasses. On 16 minutes Goole pull level and it's our old friend Helium Boy (Davey) who scores. It's a typical cup tie, with some hefty but mostly fair challenges taking place. The only trouble being that the referee can't spot a tackle from a foul to save his life, and most of the decisions are going the way of the home side. On the half hour mark it's a double blow for Clitheroe. A ball into the area sees Davey go down like a sack of spuds and not only does the ref award a penalty but he also sends off Parr for being the last man and preventing a goalscoring opportunity. Shaw makes no mistake with the resulting spot kick and the home side go into the interval 2-1 ahead.
There's been plenty of talking points, not least the fact that Goole full back Mclean hacked down one of the Clitheroe forwards and just received a yellow card when it looked like retaliation for an earlier foul. Me and John wander round to the snack bar, and this time it's my turn to pay. We end up getting exactly the same as when we arrived, the only difference being that it's John who's eating the hot-dog this time while I eat the chip butty, and of course, some of the chips fall on the floor.
The Clitheroe fans are saying that a draw would be a great result at this point and, with the wind at their backs for the second half they go attacking for the equaliser. The only problem being that with the one man less it's leaving room at the back for the home side to exploit. This is done to great effect on 55 minutes when a quick break sees the ball crossed into the area and there is Davey, once again to head home from close range. Two minutes later and the deficit is reduced again as Jackson drifts in at the back post to blast the ball into the roof of the net. They're certainly putting up a fight of it despite playing with ten men whilst Goole seem to have the ref on their side, with every decision going their way.
Goole then get back their two goal advantage as a somewhat harmless shot takes a deflection to wrong foot the keeper. Six goals already and there's still half an hour to play! Once again Clitheroe show their resiliance when Jackson turns provider on 65 minutes, squaring the ball to Stansfield to power home. The home defence certainly look rattled, but the extra man they have is making Clitheroe struggle as they attempt to get something out of the game, but wary of the quick breaks being made by the home side. This again is put to great effect as Davey secures his hat-trick. Clitheroe don't give up though as Goole are content to get men behind the ball, and as time ticks away there are some hefty challenges going in on the away players, all of which result in the referee just giving the offending player a talking to instead of a booking which quite a few deserved. I must admit that from a semi-neutral point of view I've never seen such a pathetic performance from a referee. The point was made obvious at the final whistle when the Clitheroe players, gracious in defeat, shook the hands of the Goole players but all bar one completely ignored the officials. The one player who did acknowledge them was Reynolds, but he had the last word so to speak when he shook the hands of the assistant referees and then totally 'blanked' the ref ! It was a gem ! The action hadn't finished there either as the Clitheroe manager, all 4 foot 6" (or so it seemed) of him stode up to the referee, and even though the ref was towering over him, it didn't stop Tommy from giving him a piece of his mind.
As we walk towards the exit, John confesses to Roy about us never having seen Goole lose at home, I bet Roy will think twice when wanting our support in the future. At least we're even so to speak, as Roy made the trip over to Mossley to see our F.A.Cup exit there in the replay.
It had more or less stopped raining just after half time so at least we were driving home in relatively fine weather. We listened to the radio, preferring Richard Allinson instead of the footie results and we even managed to answer all but one of the quiz questions on 'Bits of Hits' between us. As I said earlier, we stopped off again at John's work for him to pick up the other report he'd left running and then home, and it was still light too....just. Time for some chicken and rice and then a nice relaxing night in front of the telly. We certainly picked a good match today with plenty of goals and talking points, even if the result was disappointing. Until next time.....
Happy Travelling

Mossley v. Sheffield (30/08/05)
After Saturday's draw this is a match I hadn't scheduled for,  a Tuesday evening trip over the Pennines, when it should have been a nice Bank Holiday Monday at home watching the lads in league action. Still, after Saturday's cracking encounter lets hope for more of the same, but without the extra time if possible. Stu can't make it tonight so I'm match reporter as well as 'Travels' reporter.
John picks me up with Deano already on board and we're off to Tankersley. There's a coach going so we're going to join it, a good idea since John has inside information for his friends over the Pennines that parking is strictly limited at the ground. We make good time, just getting held up as we leave the motorway, but Deano phones Macca to check the coach is still there, and it is for the next ten minutes , so we won't end up following it in the car instead. I'm already on form as I spot two Eddie Stobart lorries, one as we just join the motorway and the other just as we're leaving, but John swears it's the same one just travelling in a different direction. Nevertheless, I'm claiming the points for that Sheps ! Weatherwise, it's been a scorcher today and it's still that hot that even I've got my shorts on.
It does seem strange being on the coach as we make our way towards the Woodhead Pass, a journey we've done many times in 'Sammy'. Just before the coach leaves, Chris phones me to tell me there's been an accident on Woodhead and traffic is being diverted through Glossop. We tell the driver this information as he intends going that way too. Everything is going well until we get to the diversion, then it's like being on the big dipper as the coach swings round the tight bends and up and down the hills, often not bothering to slow down. At one point, the coach makes a very sharp turn amid much noise from the players sitting at the back of the coach. The shout of, " Steady on, even our hardest player is s******g himself back here!" Some of them even saying they were going to try and hitch a lift back in a car...any car. Holmsie looks out of the window at the drop on either side of the road and says "We're too high up here."  John then points at a plane which must have just taken off from Manchester Airport and says, " Look, we're almost level with that plane. I can see the pilot waving at us!" I suppose that's why this area is called the High Peak. After getting back onto our original route, we then hit another diversion at Stalybridge, which no one knew about. John moves up to the front to help with the directions whilst Steve Hall calls Mossley to tell them we've been delayed and will be later than we intended in arriving. Having got to Mossley and eventually found the ground, we get off the coach where Chris and Nikki are stood waiting for us, while they finish their drinks outside the pub. They'd only arrived about ten minutes before us, so I suppose we did really well timewise as they set off half an hour before us.
We all walk down to the ground, and that's when we were mugged! Not physically, but it was 7 to get in, not something we're used to paying. The funny thing was that Chris was just ahead of me and I heard him say, "Two please,(for him and Nikki)" and when the bloke said, "14," Chris's reply was, " How much!" and he sounded just like his dad (the Beermonster). Once inside, while we were still reeling from the admission price, they charged us 1.50 for a programme.So already it was turning out to be an expensive night, by our standards. Chris went to the clubhouse for a pint, to recover, but came back empty handed when he was told that he couldn't take his drink outside , as he wanted to stand with us and chat. I wandered off to the club shop and got myself a badge, thankfully I didn't need the credit card as it was quite reasonable price wise. Billy Two Pies was already there, having arrived earlier and avoiding the detour too, which he knew nothing about. After that, we calmed down and waited for the snack bar to open. It's actually quite a nice ground, as on one side you can see right across the valley, so if the football's crap at least you can enjoy the scenery.John buys the cups of tea once the snack bar opens and, once the teams have decided which way they're kicking, we go and stand behind the goal. It's a good game, with chances falling to both sides in the first half, but it remains goalless.
Time for another drink, and this time me and John have some chips as well. I say to him, "It's okay John , I'll get these, I've got my cheque book on me." The Yorkshire humour seemed to get lost this side of the Pennines. Actually the prices were okay, and the chips were just what we needed to fill an empty hole and make up for the empty pocket.
The second half has already started as we make our way round to the other end of the ground. Wardy is busy warming up on the touchline, so we offer him a chip, but he declines. I think he might have had one if it wasn't for the fact he was in Macca's eye line. It's a better view from this end as it's raised up and we have a bit of banter with Lee Bracey, the Mossley goalkeeper. Unfortunately, out on the pitch we go a goal behind when the less talented Giggs scores from a corner. Despite a lot of encouragement, and laying siege to the Mossley goal the lads couldn't get the equaliser so our F.A.Cup journey ends with a 1-0 defeat.
We wander back round to meet the rest of the gang and stand chatting a while until it's time for some of them to start making their way home, having come in their cars. Me and Deano need the loo so off we go, and as we emerge back into the ground we're plunged into darkness as the floodlights are turned off. Now it's a fairly uneven surface where the toilets are situated , so we start shouting that we'll fall over and put in a compensation claim against the club. We were only joking, but I can see it happening for real one day. In the clubhouse, we waited for the players to eat their after match refreshments and then it was back on the coach for the journey home. Pity I didn't have a lap-top computer as I could have done the  match report while we were waiting. Never mind, it'll get done tomorrow, mind you, it may be tomorrow before we get home! Thankfully Woodhead has re-opened again, which makes the journey a lot quicker and we also didn't have to worry about plunging off the side of the road as the coach driver tries to do his Michael Schumaker impersonation!
Back at Tankersley and 'Sammy' is ready and waiting for us. It's a quick drive back home and straight to bed for me as it'll soon be time to get up for work.
Until next time,
Happy Travelling

Jarrow Roofing Boldon C.A. v. Sheffield (20.8.05)
Well , here goes. This is where the serious stuff starts, and once again we start our campaign with an F.A.Cup match in the middle of sunny August, those Premiership teams have it so easy , only having to start in the Third Round ! It's a very early start for me as I have to go into work for a few hours first due to staff shortages. (Well, someone's got to poison ...oops! feed the patients.) This is actually Plan B, where some careful juggling of the rota has me working from 6 until 8.30, the downside being that I've got a ten hour shift on Sunday. At least it was better than Plan C, which meant me doing a full day today and let's face it, that was never going to happen with a footie match to go to.
   I was up even earlier than usual in order to make some sarnies for me and John to take with us on the sharra' to Jarra', and also I had to make sure I remembered Chris's flag too as he was going to grace us with his presence this afternoon. I'd actually got the flag out on the dining room table on Wednesday so I wouldn't forget, and as an extra precaution a stuck a bloody big sign on the door too so I would see it as I left the house.
   It's also a chance for  the Posse to 'baptise' the new shirts which we purchased on Thursday night. I got out of work on time, despite having to go back to my locker....because I'd left Chris's flag in there! See...didn't stick a note on that door did I? I'm only waiting a couple of minutes and John arrives, complete with cool bag and yet more sandwiches for us. We certainly won't starve, and being as Stu, Liam and Deano are going up to the match with Geoff in his car, we'll eat them all ourselves. Although I'd have been gutted if I'd offered them one and they'd accepted it !  First stop is his local garage to get some money and then to Somerfield's to purchase some giant chocolate buttons. After that it's a straightforward drive to Tankersley where we're picking up the coach.Some of the players are already there and the others are not far behind. John says, "By the look of some of these cars Macca must be paying them too much." Holmsie then turns up in what amounts to a small coach. It's a massive, silver luxury people carrier. Inside it has really comfortable reclining seats, all electronic doors and even a button you press and up from the floor a table appears ! He says it was the only spare vehicle they had available at work as his car was off the road. When he tells us it costs over 33000 to buy, Boults says, "That's more than my first house cost."
  We all make our way to the other side of the road to await the coach. It's late as this is due to the fact that they were waiting for Stu and Liam at the ground...someone had forgot to tell Steve of their alternative plan. I text Stu, just to make him feel guilty, but he blames Deano anyway. There's plenty of space so me and John have a double seat each and spread out. He's phoned Lynn to tell her we're on our way, and she's informed him that the drinks he bought for us are still in their fridge! Oh well, at least he remembered his phone.It's a lovely sunny day and it's a trouble free ride up the motorway with no hold ups at all. Me and John are busy reading and before we know it , we're pulling into a little service area for a stretch and a cuppa. As I'm near the front I'm straight off the coach and go and order two teas for me and John. Lovely big steaming mugs and under a 1 each. All the rest start arriving then. Sue, Tim and Billy come and sit with us , while all the players try and cram round a couple of tables. Marshie orders a large breakfast, and boy is it large...two of everything I think! Macca comes in and takes one look at it...his _expression was a picture. It's that big that in the end it's like a game of pass the parcel as Marshie can't finish it so some of the other players help him.
   We're only about an hour away from Jarrow and it's only just gone 11 O'clock.Back on the coach Macca says he'll put a video on. He's brought 'That Peter Kay Thing'. After messing about with it for about five minutes he says '"It won't work". So the driver pulls into the nearest lay-by and gets it going...apparently Macca was trying to put the video in the wrong way round!
   We arrive at the ground before 12.30, everything's locked up, even the players can't get in the dressing rooms yet to leave their kit in there. So, as Macca takes them for a walk to the cricket pitch(next door to the ground), me and John have a sandwich. It's only been a few minutes since we pulled up and there, walking in front of the coach is Deano, Stu and Liam, so I give them a shout and go outside for a chat. Geoff has gone off to the shops. Stu is telling us how Geoff got lost in the car park when he picked them up. even we managed to get out of there okay, and the best bit is...he has one of those satellite navigation things fitted in his car! Stu says, "You thought I drove fast Trev? You should be with Geoff, he thinks the motorway speed limit is just a guideline." After the sandwiches we all wander up to the cricket pitch. There's a match on there, but that doesn't start until 2 so we just sit by the pitch as it's such a nice day. It's nice to see so many of our supporters in the new shirts too. Just before the cricket starts me and John once again go back to the coach for more food, then rejoin the others. Liam is a bit restless so Stu asks him to show us the exercises he does before karate, then Stu tells him to run a lap around the field. Poor kid runs half way round then comes back for a drink!  He does complete one full lap though. As we're chatting away, Stu is facing us and not the pitch so when the batsman hits a ball our way, we all shout Stu! As he cowers he treads on my foot in a blind panic, bad memories of the time he got hit on the back of the head at the Coach and Horses, and that was by one of our players! Believe me, it was funny to see it.
   Eventually we go into the ground, Chris putting up his cherished flag next to Deano's behind the goal, while we spread ourselves out. Looking at the crowd there are as many away fans as home ones and quite a few of our regulars are missing anyway. Caroline is stuck in Manchester airport with her mate, awaiting their flight to sunnier climes, and Andy is on his way from said airport as fast as possible to get here. He actually makes it with about 20 minutes of the game gone , which isn't bad considering he didn't leave Manchester until about 1 o'clock or thereabouts. By then the lads are already in control of the game having scored from a dubious penalty. We try and tell Andy the wrong score on purpose, but it doesn't last long until he knows exactly what's happening. John is busy distributing the giant buttons he bought this morning and, as usual, Geoff shoves his hand right into the bag and splits it open all down the side, plus taking a great handful too. His excuse was, "I wasn't here last season so I'm making up for lost time." Jon Boulter puts us further in front and Tev is also on the scoresheet to give us a comfortable half time lead. Time for some drinks, so we wander over to the snack bar and John is taking the orders. It's getting more and more complicated the nearer we get to being served. I'm asking Bonno's girlfriend what she wants to drink- calling her wonder she was ignoring me as her name is Karen. Seems I'm as bad at names as I am at navigating! We finally all go back to join Stu and Geoff, only to find that Liam didn't pick his drink of pop back goes John to get him another. The second half is literally a stroll in the park...a very hot and sunny park at that as Sheffield withstand what little pressure the home side can muster and even score again as Duncan gets a goal on his return to the side. There's a few hold ups as the balls keep being kicked into the adjoining gardens .Stu comes out with, "They've lost more balls today than John Bobbitt!" We even have some fun with the linesman, as we help him with his decisions (in our favour of course.) The final whistle blows as we comfortably run out 4-0 winners and our reward is a home tie next Saturday against Mossley. We all go to the clubhouse to get the other results, and then it's time for Geoff and his passengers to start on their way home. Me and John go back to the coach to finish our sandwiches, but not before Geoff decides to try and knock us down first...just for the laugh! Macca and Lee have gone to the nearby supermarket to purchase some celebratory liquid refreshment for the players to drink on the journey, and once they're all on board it's homeward bound. We watch the rest of the video and I 'rest my eyes' at some point. It takes us just over two hours to get back to Tankersley and the car park is full due to wedding receptions taking place.So we go the long way out, (but we still found the right way Geoff) and head off towards Rotherham so John can call in at work to set some reports running as it will save him a job in the morning. Then it's a quick stop at the garage to pick up tonight's Green 'Un and home. The sandwiches certainly filled me up today as I don't even bother with the Jaffa cakes. Just a cup of tea, a quick call across the Atlantic to let Jeanie know about the game and then upstairs into the land of slumber. Until next time.
     Happy Travelling

Parkgate v. Sheffield (12/8/05)
Well, here we go again, this time it's the last of our pre-season matches, and a late change. This match was due to be played tomorrow, but Parkgate wanted to move it forward to Friday night due to the cricket.So it's a sort of good news/bad news for me and John. It means we miss our usual weekly session of trying to keep fit via a game or two of badminton, but it also means we can go along to Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon to see the Owls. An extra bonus for me too is that I don't have to lose any time at work  tomorrow (which I would have done originally with the game due to kick-off at 1 PM).
   So much for the weathermen too. Today was supposed to be the hottest day of the year so far, but guess what? Yes, you've probably got it in's done nothing but rain off and on all day. Thankfully it's not raining when John picks me up, even though it looks like we're heading straight towards the very dark clouds on the horizon. There's also a surprise too.For as well as Deano being in the car, we're joined by Maz for her first game of the new season.Perhaps she'll be the 'lucky omen' and we'll actually win a match now! The main topic of conversation on the way to Parkgate is who has read the latest 'Harry Potter' book, what new movies have we seen and a review of the latest serial over from the States that's being broadcast on television...'Lost'. No, it's not a documentary about me and John on our travels! Although....John actually does say, " I always have difficulty finding this ground." (Only this one John?) So of course , the inevitable happens and we do get lost.In a way it's a good thing though as we get a tour around Rawmarsh and Deano and Maz were only saying earlier how one of the girls in their office had just bought a new house there, so they can give her the low down on all the area when they get to work tomorrow. We do get back on track, re-tracing our steps and finding that in fact, we'd just turned down one road too early.
  The sun is shining as we park 'Sammy' and it's even free to get in, the night is getting better all the time ! We decide to stand near the halfway line tonight. The pitch is looking good and both teams are playing some good football. In fact it's the home side that take the lead.John is busy handing out the Minstrels and Tim also offers me something. I forget what it was but I only accepted the once! The rest of the time I kept to the Minstrels, apart from the three or four occasions when Sue forced me to eat some of her fudge( you believe I needed persuading!) We did eventually run out comfortable winners, scoring three goals without further reply, although Pete Smith was getting some grief off the assistant referee who always seemed to be penalising him. We heard Darren Holmes shout to him, "It's 'cos he doesn't like your face Smithy." To which one of our lot said, "It's because he's got a face only a mother could love!" 
   As we're walking back to the car I said to Maz," Well, that's it then Maz, I told you before kick-off , if we win you've got to come with us to Jarrow." She was trying to make the excuse that she couldn't as the coach was already full but I told her it would be okay as we could leave Deano behind! Somehow, I don't think she's going to take the offer up.
   We found our way out of Rawmarsh with no problem, and it was still daylight...just. We couldn't help but notice Rawmarsh's finest dressed up for their slappers night out in downtown Rotherham! Deano say's, "I don't fancy yours Trev, and you had first pick!" John replied, "I don't fancy mine either." We call in at John's work so he can turn his computer off, such dedication! Then it's home for me and a nice cuppa. No Jaffa cakes tonight , instead it's chicken curry, rice and home made chapati's from the neighbours, they must think I need fattening up!!! (Watch it Deano).  Until next time.
       Happy Travelling

Maltby Main v. Sheffield (20/7/05)
Well folks, here we are, back once again at the start of another season. It's hard to believe it's only just over four weeks since I watched my last 'Travels'. So, after the delights of watching Sheffield's two cup triumphs, a trip to the magnificent Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, as well as visits to both Manchester and Blackburn, where better to start a new season than the palacious surroundings of Muglet Lane Maltby, to begin a new season! With the new Harry Potter book just released do you think that all the people who visit Muglet Lane are Muggles?
   Oh well, enough of the hilarity, there's a long season ahead of us, and I've barely had chance to refill my pen! It's a welcome back to the Sheffield team for Duncan (Bray) Unfortunately, it's also a welcome back to his dad Geoff! Hiya Geoff, I'll have a tea and a sausage roll.There is one thing about all this, matches will never be dull with Geoff around.
   Last week, Stu's wife Lynn, told Stu to tell Geoff that she's only just got Liam speaking properly again after his 'English' lessons he used to give Liam each Saturday afternoon! Speaking of which, neither Stu nor Liam are here due to Stu's work commitments, and Billy two pies has decided to go and watch Hull playing at Burton Albion. Most of the others are here,Andy and Chris back from holiday along with birthday girl Caroline.Then there was Tim and Sue, with little Billy.The school holidays have only just started and there already looking stressed out!
  It's a lovely sunny evening, but a bit on the blustery side.It hasn't stopped John wearing his shorts though.John's got this seasons 'Travels' off to a good start as I can confirm that he's left his mobile at home...nice one!  We're all stood chatting as the players warm up. when a couple of the locals bring a bench out and take it towards the dug outs. John says, " Looks like they've heard that Duncan is back!" About two minutes later , who should appear? The one, the only, the scourge of all referees and their assistants.Yes, ladies and gentleman, it's Geoff Bray!!! He's come straight from work (whatever that may be) and looks like he's just fell out of Burtons window.Almost didn't recognise him as he was that smart, until he opened his mouth! I thought he was wearing a Mickey Mouse tie, but in fact it was a Barnsley F.C. one, (no difference really!)
  His first comment to me was regarding last weeks episode of me getting the chewy on the touchline at the first attempt.Apparently, he said it didn't count as he'd given me the chewy in the first about competitive! I can see this competition going on all season.I'll just have to remember to bring my own to the matches. As for the game, well it was a typical pre-season affair, although Sheffield did have most of the play and went into the lead before half time. At the break, there was chance to get a drink as there were no refreshments on sale.
   Chris is telling his dad that they have to stop on the way home at Burger King so he can use his voucher, for a double cheeseburger, Caroline says she'll join him while Andy can just watch them! Sue has a voucher for some free crisps, and says, "Hey, we can almost have a picnic with this lot!" Then for some reason, and God knows how we got on the subject, Sue and Caroline are telling us about the delights of waxing!!! they were only talking about their legs by the way! Sue was also repeating that she was only 36 years old,as the subject of birthdays came up.
  Geoff showed me one of his business
 cards..a large 'W' followed by a picture of an anchor! Yes, to say it was only pre-season, the banter was flying about. The second half saw the lads snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as Maltby scored twice in the last 6 minutes, with Sheffield having missed a penalty earlier, but who cares? We were having a good time anyway. After the goodbyes, it's back on the road homewards and Deano is first to spot an Eddie Stobbart lorry, but the jury is out as to whether or not he gets any points for this, being as it was only a friendly match. 
   We have a detour to the all night supermarket for John to pick up some stuff. Deano follows him in not long after. When John comes back, he puts his stuff in the boot and is about to drive off when I say to him, "Hang on John, haven't you missed something?" He hadn't noticed that Deano wasn't in the car. ( I know, it takes some believing doesn't it!)  . Once he's back it's off to Firth Park to drop me off. Just as we're turning up Addison, we spot an armoured car (John thinks it was called a scout car) and he said, "I know it can be a bit rough around here Trev, but that's taking things a bit too far." In fact they actually turned round after dropping me off just to have another look to make sure we weren't imagining it.
  Back in the house , I settled down to a nice cuppa and some cheese and crackers. Geoff gave me that idea, as earlier , during the match, he refered to me and Deano as Wallace and Grommit, although he didn't say which one we were. So, one down and lots more to go.......Until next time.
       Happy Travelling