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Trev's Travels 06-07

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AFC Totton v. Truro City
FA Carlsberg Vase Final
Saturday 13/05/07
  
Well we're finally here, the last of the 'Travels' for this season, and what a way to finish, with a Cup Final at the new Wembley stadium. (I wonder how long it will be known as the 'new' one?) Unfortunately it's not to see Sheffield. That was scuppered early season when Macca had his 'We'll concentrate on the League this season" head on. Thus doing away with uneccessary cup matches to clog up the fixture list in our quest for the Holy Grail. Okay then , the Holy Unibond League.
 
It was Stu's idea for this as our original plan backfired. Me, him, Liam and Mr. x went to see Donny play at the new Keepmoat Stadium in the Johnsones Paints Trophy. He said that if they got all the way through shall we go to wembley to see them? Well that never materialised due to the fact that the final was being held at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff (which we didn't know at the  time). So when he told me about this game I checked my diary and bingo, it fell on my day off so I was up for it. I asked John and Deano, Deano saying he would love to go, but once he knew the date his plan was shot down as him and Marilyn would be on holiday in the Lake District. John was in agreeement and said he'd ask his Helen (the footy mad daughter) if she wanted to come. Helen's reply was, "No, not really dad. If I go to Wembley and want to go and watch my team (Sheffield Wednesday) play there. John's reply to her was, "Well I can't afford to take that chance of never getting there!"
 
It's going to be a one car job, with both Stu and John sharing the driving and we're going in Stu's car. First of all though  John picks me up from home to drive over to Stu's , where we park Sammy on the drive for the day.  
  
After a teary farewell from Lynn for her 'boys' we're ready to go. Stu asks John if he'll drive the first leg as far as Newport Pagnall. John replies, "Newport Pagnall ? I thought I'd only be going as far as Chesterfield." First he familiarises himself with all the controls, and then promptly stalls the car ! Just on the outskirts of Chesterfield he tries to drive us into some shops instead of the garage, but we forgive him, after all, he's got all on looking which lever to press or knob to twiddle without the added distraction of looking where we should be heading.
 
We start talking about speedway for a while as Stu has started taking Liam to watch it. They haven't been to Sheffield yet, as it's at night time(what with schooll for Liam) but have been watching the youngsters race at places like Buxton and Scunthorpe on a Sunday.Me and Stu were reminiscing about the old days when they had the World Final at Wembley. Liam was a bit restless then so me and him settled down with his portable DVD player to watch 'Little Britain Live' whilst the other two watched the windscreen wipers go back and forth due it now raining heavily. Stu says, "Look out for a James Irlam." So I lift my head up and he says, "Not now, but they'll be one along in about ten minutes!" He's got supervision. Whilst we're busy watching the DVD, Liam is busy eating some chocolate.It was only on closer inspection that I saw it was the Hershey's that Jeanie had sent over for Stu ! There's not a James Irlam in sight as yet, although both Stu and John have been shouting out Eddie Stobbart's as they pass by us.
 
We arrive at the services and it's time to stretch our legs and get a drink.Tea for the old 'uns and a Vanilla Latte  for Stu, Liam deciding he doesn't want anything. We find a table and John then starts spotting more lorries. He's got a good advantage here being as both me and Stu are facing him, but facing away from the window overlooking the motorway. Stu then indulges in creating a sculpture of modern art, comprising used napkins, spoons and stirrers and calls it 'The Drowning Man'. Liam renames it 'Steve Redgrave', as it does resemble someone rowing. Stu takes a picture of it on his phone and sends it to me and I then send it to Leanie in America, just so she can see just how 'off the wall' we are.
 
Suitably rested, we dodge the raindrops and head back to the car, Stu taking over the driving now. Back onto the motorway and Stu sees an Eddie Stobbart and says "Ooh look", pointing at it (John looked at Stu and just kept quiet) , so I pipe up with "Eddie Stobbart !" and they both start laughing and I carry on with, "That's just great, you're even taking pity on me now!" Finally arrive at Stanmore tube station.This is where we're leaving the car and catching the tube direct to the stadium. We find the machine to pay to park the car, and Liam says (in his best South London Accent). "That money's for the council." It was SO funny to hear him. The train arrives and we hop on.The doors are really fierce, a fact verified when two guys tried to get on at the last minute.Only one of them made it, the other was still outside, but his plastic bag was stuck in the door and it just ripped it out of his hand as it set off., "His mate yelling that he'd meet him at the next stop. Liam is busy playing with his phone and Stu says to us, "Have you got a Nokia?" John replies with, "No, I've just got normal ears." Thank the lord it's the last game of the season ! Arriving at Wembley Park station we start to make our way to the exit and the big expanse of steps and there's two big coloured women stood on the steps with megaphones yelling, "move along, move along." at everyone.It was almost like a rap song, as we dance our way down the steps. It's only very light rain now, so we take a couple of pictures looking down Wembley way and then go in search of food. Just as we're approaching some shops the heavens opened and everyone started running for cover. We managed to find our way outside a cafe that sold fish and chips, so in we went as it would serve as a warm and dry sanctuary as well as being able to satisfy our hunger pangs. Stu decides on a saveloy instead of fish and Liam ends up with kebab meat and chips and a very spicy sauce. As we're getting served we meet a couple of lads from Nottingham.They recognised where we were from because John had his Sheffield FC rain jacket on. It turned out that one was a qualified referee and the other was a linesman and they'd actually officiated at a couple of our games at the Coach and Horses ! After we had finished eating (and it had stopped raining) we made our way back up Wembley way and called at the souvineer stalls. They had some badges on sale depicting the FA Vase and both teams names and the date. They were 2 each, so me and Stu got one. Just as we're walking away John spots a sign that read...Badges 2 each or three for 5. So the cheeky bugger goes up to the bloke and says to him, "My two mates have just bought a badge each, so can I have one for a quid?" The bloke was so gobsmacked and probably couldn't think straight  after that so he just nodded his head and said yes, with a look of bewilderment in his eyes.  Outside the stadium we go and look at the statue of Bobby Moore which looks quite impressive, then it's time to find our entrance. Once inside, we go and take a look at the toilets. Yes, I know it sounds gross, but we wanted to savour the delight of actually being able to have a pee stood on dry ground. Believe me, if you ever got to a game at the old Wembley and went to the toilet ,then you'll know what I mean ! We go pitch side and yes, it is impressive, so we take turns with the camera's taking our photo's of one another with the pitch in the background. There's an artist near the entrance to our block, who's actually in the process of finishing off an oil painting of today's occasion, so Stu gets him to take a photo of all of us. As Stu commented, "Well he's an artist, so if he can't take a decent picture of us then who can?" The pitch looks just like a green carpet and John says, "Do you think Pete Bowden's been down to get the pitch right?"  When Stu got the tickets, he said we'd be sat with the Truro City fans.So I was expecting to be surrounded by big, burly, bearded cornishmen, all with their plastic bags full of home made pasties, but there were none in sight.In fact the only bearded ones were us ! Anyway, despite our Sheffield colours we were going to cheer for them. Just before the half hour mark, (now where have I read that before?) Stu gets his camera out as Totton are pressing a get a corner.I take one look at him and say, "Bound to be a goal on the way then Stu, as you're already poised for action." The answer was of course, yes, as Danny Potter opened  the scoring. Just before half time our adopted team of the day drew level as Kevin Wills fires home from just inside the area.
 
At half time we here that in the Premiership Tevez has scored to give West Ham the lead at Old Trafford and United are losing at home to Wigan ! Back to our game, which is very entertaining and gets better for us with just under an hour played when Wills once again pops up to give Truro the lead. The game is wide open then as Totton press forward for an equiliser while Truro try to hit them on the break.Truro have a lucky escape when, after intense pressure they just manage to clear the ball off the line. The Cornishmen then deliver the killer blow as Joe Broad scores thier third goal, cue ecstatic scenes on the terraces at our end of the ground, and the start of an early departure of the Totton fans. That's how the game finished and we waited for the trophy to be presented. It's a bit different from the old stadium in the fact that the players have to go up two flights of stairs and under one of the stands before emerging on the balcony to get the cup from the  Royal Box.The players looked bloody small and miles away from where we were stood, but thankfully it was also being shown on the big screen at each end of the ground. We walked back to the Bobby Moore statue as John wanted his photo taken , and while he was waiting he actually met someone who played for the club in the 1977 final! He thinks he said the guy was the captain, but he didn't manage to get his name. Back at Wembley Park station, me, Stu and Liam put our tickets through and the gates open to let us on to the platform. John is still trying to thread his into the slot until we shout to him, "John, it's open !"  He was that busy concentrating  trying to get it right. There were plenty of people waiting for the tube, but the trains were quite frequent, so we weren't waiting very long for one. back at the car and off we go, homeward bound as we listen to 606 on the radio and catch up with the rest of the days football stories. Of course, it's all about West Ham's survival in the Premiership and United being relegated. Usually both me and John would be gloating that United had failed again, but on this occasion I think they've been hard done by because of the ineptness of the 'suits' at the F. A. headquarters in not docking West Ham points over the Tevez affair.
  
Liam wanted to watch a dvd again, but we couldn't find the lead to plug into the car, (it was still in the boot somewhere ) so he ended up having to play it with it's batteries, which didn't last long as they were flat ! Stu does a bit more lorry spotting and it doesn't seem too long before we're pulling into the services at Northampton for a break and so Stu and Joh can change driving duties. First off though is food and drink to keep us going. Now normally motorway food is expensive, but after seeing the prices they were charging inside Wembley, we thought that it was a cheap option for the day! On the road for the last leg of the journey with John doing the driving now, while me and Liam watch 'Little Britain' on the dvd, (having found the cable in the boot.) Glosso calls to tell us about the United score , just in case we hadn't heard and tries to wind Stu up, but Stu tells me to ask him. "what was the Rangers score?" Knowing full well that Rangers had lost, and Celtic had won.(Stu is a Celtic supporter, Glosso goes for Rangers ). He just laughs and wishes us a safe journey home.
 
Back at Stu's, and we swop cars and get back into Sammy for the last leg across Sheffield and home. A great day out and a fitting end to what has been such a memorable season for all of us. At last, with our promotion they'll be new grounds to visit (work schedules permitting)   this coming season, so see you all then and thanks again to everyone for taking part in the Travels (whether you intended to or not !) Until next time.....
 
Happy Travelling
Trev     

St. Helens Town v. Nelson
24/04/07
 
With Sheffield's season already finished, it's alternative football tonight as it's far too early in the year to stop going to see any footy at all. With John writing a jokes page for St. Helens it gave us an ideal opportunity to go over there and see his mate Jeff and also pick up the season's programmes which Jeff saves for him. It also gives me and Stu the chance to take a visit as we've both missed out due to work or holidays on previous occasions when John has made the trip.
 
Once again it was precise planning that saw John pick me up, this after first calling at the railway station to pick Helen and Lynne up after their jaunt down to London. Then it was straight back to their house to await Stu's arrival. Fifteen minutes later and it's all systems go as we get in Stu's car, (which was a big and pleasant surprise for John, as he thought he was doing the driving tonight). It's nice and sunny as we drive along, listening to Chris Evans on the radio and generally catching up with each other (especially Stu) as we hadn't seen him for about a month due to work commitments.
 
Somehow we got onto the subject of collective nouns, (don't ask how, it's just one of those things), you know the sort of thing...a herd of cows, a shoal of fish. Well , Stu says, "Do you know what they call a group of ghosts?". John says, "No idea." So Stu tells him, "It's a fraid of ghosts." "Oh right," replies John. Me and Stu burst out laughing, then it suddenly dawns on John what he's just said. "I can't believe I fell for that!" He said smiling, while looking back at me writing and adding, "Yes Trev, I bet you're putting that in the travels aren't you ?" Of course I just smile and nod, and carry on writing.
 
Just before Tintwhistle Stu looks over the moors and says, "Isn't that a lovely view? Look, there's a herd of cows gambolling in the field." John corrects him by saying, "No Stu, it's sheep that gambol." "So what are the cows doing then?" asks Stu. Quickly John replied, "They're playing poker...but not for money." Well we thought it was funny at the time. Then it's onto lorry spotting, even though I told them both the season was over. Stu spots a couple of James Irlams then they both shout at once as the elusive Prestons of Potto lorry trundles by. Of course, I'm missing them all as I'm busy jotting notes down on my pad. Chances are I wouldn't have spotted them first anyway. Stu has this uncanny knack of being able to spot one of the chosen three about half a mile away on the other side of the motorway, whereas they've almost passed me by the time I'm shouting out their names, but I'm not bitter...honest.
   
We arrived at the ground with time to spare and went in search of a chippy. Out of the car park and back to the pub on the corner.(have you noticed how a lot of our directions use pubs as reference points?) Stu points the way to where he thinks there is one. It is, it's a Chinese one called Chans. John does the honours as I tuck into chips and onion rings, Stu has chips and curry and John just has a fish. It's that freshly cooked it's still flapping ! Stu says, "It must be Jackie's day off." We looked puzzled until he says "Jackie Chan?" We just look at him and sigh before carrying on eating. As we're stood outside Stu pulls us to the side of the shop and points to a little alleyway saying "We're okay for time, the ground is just there." Sure enough, we'd walked about a quarter of a mile to get here, when all we needed to do was turn right when we got out of the car and the alleyway was straight behind us !
   
 After our feast we go into the ground and meet up with Jeff and have a natter before the game starts. He has to leave us just before then as he's match announcer, reporter and general odd job man for the night, but we'll see him at half time. St.Helens are playing at Knowsley Road, which is actually the home of the towns rugby league team, so it's a decent ground, but looks a lot different from when I've seen it on the tv.  We go up to sit in the stand, which believe it are not takes us ages to decide where to sit, which is a bit sad being as there are only about 40 people here altogether. Just before we do put our bums on seats John asks Stu, "What's up Stu, can't you find three seats together?"
   
Tonight's opposition is Nelson, who of course we played earlier in the season in the FA Vase and we're fortunate to come away with a 1-0 victory. It appears that we're actually sat just behind the club members from Nelson who've made the journey over for the fixture. Looking at the league table, it appears that this is a bottom of the table clash, although neither team are going to end up in relegation trouble, so we have a chat to the Nelson people about our teams respective fortunes this past season.
   
Things start badly for the home side who go a goal behind after only a couple of minutes when Stanford rifles the ball into the top corner. Things got worse twenty minutes later when Payne hit a hopeful shot from just inside the St Helens half and goalkeeper Leather was seen juggling thin air as the ball went over him, much to the astonishment of the crowd, but we thought it was hilarious ! The home side finally  stooped panicking and started playing and reduced the arrears just before the half hour mark when Hatton cut inside the Nelson defenders just inside the area and fired a shot which was bulging the back of the net before Brooks in the Nelson goal had a chance to move. The sides were level on thirty five minutes when a corner evaded everyone except Jones who was lurking at the back post to put the ball away. There was no time for the home side to enjoy this revival though as a minute later the visitors again hit the net, Mugan on hand to turn the ball home. So half time came and what a first half ! As Stu would say, it's typical end of season fayre. John is in seventh heaven as he's never seen so many goals when he's come over to watch them before. Me and Stu say it must be Deano's fault then (as Dave was John's travelling companion on previous visits) . 
   
We have a walk down to find Jeff, now helping out serving the Nelson committee members with refreshments, to which we had been invited to attend. So we had our fill of sausage rolls and sandwiches, washed down with a cup of tea, and resumed our places  back in the stand.
   
As the second half kicked off Stu comes up with, "St Helens are good, but they're not a patch on Nelson. Get it ?" We tried to ignore him, but being as he was our only way home we laughed. On the pitch it was the visitors who stretched their lead with ten minutes of the second half played when a free kick into the area was only half cleared and Ridehalgh had plenty of time to pick his spot and slot the ball home. At this rate it looked like there were plenty more goals still to come, and thats how it proved. A double substitution by the home side seemed to galvanise the team and they started to take the game to Nelson. Just past the hour mark Dyson beat the Nelson offside trap to run on and beat the keeper before tapping the ball home. The game was end to end stuff now, more like a cup tie. Nelson's defence were getting pretty shakey, their best form of defence was to attack and go for a fifth goal to kill the game off, while St Helens were trying their best to salvage at least a point from the game. Each attack looked like it would lead to a goal, but good goalkeeping and poor finishing kept the game finely balanced. With less than five minutes to go the hosts got the breakthrough they needed.Taylor beat a defender to get into the area but was pulled back, the referee having no hesitation in awarding a penalty to the hosts. Some would say it was a dubious decision, but as neutrals tonight we agreed the ref got it right. With the way the game had gone we half expected the kick to end up over the stand, but Dyson stepped up to covert the kick and level the match. Surprisingly there were no more goals, so it was honours even for both sides. Nelson were probably disappointed at having only come away with one point, having never being behind in the game, while St Helens could breathe a sigh of relief at gaining one point after a below par performance (according to the regulars.) As for us, we were delighted. A good game of football and plenty of goals, plus food as well !
   
Back below the stand we went to say our farewells to Jeff and the others who were there. Stu was taken aback when one of the regulars walked in wearing a Watford shirt. So they got to trade insults at each other (Stu's 'other' team Luton are Watford's worst enemy.) It was all done in good fun, and the fact that both of them were relegated this season from their respective leagues gave them both plenty to moan about. We eventually bid goodbye to our hosts and made our way back to the car and homeward bound. We got to listen to the radio and those two were still lorry spotting , even though it was now dark. I mean, come on, is that rubbing it in or what...I can't see them in daylight so I've no chance at night. I just sat back and listened to the radio. Altogether it was a good night out. Just one game to go and that's it for this season. Mind you, we are finishing off with a trip to the new Wembley. Until next time ... .
  
 Happy Travelling
 Trev

Retford United v. Sheffield
                              (14.04.07)
  
Well today's the big one, and if we have the remotest chance of winning the championship then we must win today. Apart from that, it would be nice to beat Retford in open play this season.By some strange quirk though the game will not get all that much attention, apart from in the 'Star'. This is because all the focus will be at Glasshoughton who take on Maltby. Yes, doesn't sound too thrilling does it unless you support one of these teams, but both BBC,ITV and Sky will have television camera's there. The reason being that legendary Liverpool 'keepr Brude Grobbelaar is making his debut (and only game ?) for the home side to boost their coffers. I hope it goes well, I'm sure they'll be a massive crowd there. I'm working today and in a somewhat fragile state. I've been off for two and a half weeks, but managed to pick up some kind of bug just before I was back at work on Thursday, but there was no way I was going to miss this match.
  It's a lovely hot and sunny day as I wait outside the museum for John. I'm half tempted to buy an ice cream, and even two assistants from the Starbucks across the road have been in the park with little samples of their produce for people to try. Of course, once John does arrive, the first thing he say's is, "You could have bought us all an ice cream Trev." It must be warm as even Deano has a tee shirt on today. So off we go as we listen to the radio and yes, I do 'rest my eyes', but this is partly due to lack od sleep through illness and taking medication which says could make you drowsy, although both John and Deano said they couldn't tell any difference in me ! (cheeky buggers).  The journey is quicker than I thought and we easily find a spot to park the car. I'd already asked Paul to get the programmes just in case we were going to be late arriving.There's a big crowd, as expected and a very healthy following from Sheffield too. As well as all our regulars there's also quite a few people I've never seen before, I mean, even the Chairman has turned up ! John gets himself a plate of chips while I settle for a cold drink, I'm still only eating very lightly at present, I can't even face nicking one of his chips !
   The game starts and we make our way to our place behind the goal. Some of our 'new ' supporters are stood by, although they're not all that interested in the game, more concerned with whose getting beer in ! Despite controlling most of the half there's still no score as the referee blows for half time. This time it's my turn to queue up for the drinks and it's cold cans of pop all round as we wander towards the other end where the Retford flag is displayed. We do respect it and stand just to the side of it. By now I'm feeling slightly hungry so finally eat an egg mayo sandwich I'd brought with me.I would have prefered pie and chips, but still only eating easily digested food at present. Once again some of the 'newbies' have decided to stand near us, which is okay until they start swearing their heads off, much to our embarassment as it wasn't called for. There is some good banter going on in front of the clubhouse between both sets of fans though. Sadly our day of glory never materialised as Retfords Neil Harvey scored two goals to not only win the game, but take Retford into first place on goal difference. It was a case of 'What if' as we recounted the chances we had. I manage to have a work with Forest badger, the Retford suporter whose flag we were stood near. Of course, he was well chuffed with the result, and we'd have been the same if it was us that had won. Thankfully, he didn't rub it in too much ! We spend the journey home listening to the local football results as we relax with the sun still shining brightly. We may not have won, but at least we all got a bit of a suntan today. It's hard to believe that it's still the middle of April and our season has now ended, still , I suspect I'll be going to some more matches before the summer arrives, even if the games don't involve Sheffield.
  On that note, I'd just like to thank eveyone who contributed to the 'travels', (whether they realised it or not), and hope you all got as much fun reading them as I did writing them. Have a great summer and we'll start all over again next season !
 Until next time.
    Happy Travelling
        Trev

Tadcaster Albion Ladies v. Sheffield Ladies
 
An unexpected bonus this week as we get to see the ladies playing under floodlights. John is a bit late picking me up, but we blame his work collegue Pete who he's dropping off. He usually does this on a Friday's if I'm going over to his house before badminton. Anyway, I get in and away we go , chatting away. We get up to near where Pete lives and John pulls the car up and says, "Right pete, see you tomorrow." Pete looks at him and says, "John, I'm going down to Tesco's today....it's Thursday." John says, "Oh yes, I remember you telling me earlier. It's because we've picked Trev up, I thought we were off to play badminton and you were going home." You see, I even get the blame when I don't know what's going on...(No the comments Deano !). I speak up and say, "I fear the worst now Pete.I don't know if he'll find his way to Tadcaster."  John chips in with, "Tadcaster? I thought we were going to Doncaster !"
  I thought we'd be in for a nice sunny evening tinight just like the past few days, but no, it's been raining for most of the day so it's dull and cold. We arrive at Tesco's and it's all change. Pete gets out of the front to go shopping, I jump into the front and Deano and Maz are there waiting to be picked up so they occupy the back seats.It was that well executed you'd think we'd been practising it ! We drop Deano and Maz off, Deano had decided against joining us tonight, so there's just time for John to get a shower and change and then we're off.  Although the lorry spotting has officially closed for this season we carry on through habit. Well, I should say John does, as he's first everytime spotting one James Irlam and four Eddie Stobarts, now surely that's just being greedy isn't it ? We arrive just before 7.30 and it's still light, just. As we walk into the ground John says, "I could just eat some fish and chips." I tell him, "Me too. I was looking for a chip shop as we approached the ground but couldn't see one." We meet Dennis inside who's decided to come along to give his support. Me and John go and stand by our dug-out while Dennis stands behind the goal our ladies are attacking. The referee is quite a character. He's trying to be friendly with everyone but also officious too. Two instances stand out. The first was when Tadcaster were taking a free kick in their own half for an offside decision. As often happens, the defender throws the ball a bit further forward than where the kick should be taken. The ref shouts, " Take it back a bit.I don't mind you pinching a few yards, but that's taking the piss !"  The other one that made me laugh was when Nell was telling him that he'd wrongly given an offside call against her. He turned to her and said, "No, it was offside, watch it on the video when you get home." The girls have the better of the half and go into the break one nil up thanks to a great goal from Jody. She lobbed the ball over two defenders before chipping the ball over the keeper from 25 yards out. If it had been a premiership game they'd have been rerunning the goal over and over again.
   We have a half time cup of oxo, courtesy of Lynne, who'd made up a flask for us, and we were ready for it too. The second half was just ten minutes old when one of the Tadcaster players went down seriously injured, she'd got a cruciate injury.She was only a yard from the touchline but the referee refused to let anyone move her. He told the players they could leave the field to keep warm, which was great apart from leaving the poor lass lying on the field in the cold and damp! An ambulance was called so we had to wait for that. Now our players were concerned for the lass too, but the ref refused to move her to a warmer place so the game could continue.Apparently he knew best . This, despite the knowledge on our team which consisted of two physiotherapistas , a paramedic and a doctor ! He then decided to abandon the match, this, despite the protests from both sides that they wished to carry on. He was having none of it, he went to get changed and he was gone. (Perhaps there was somrthing on the tv he wanted to get home for.) By now both sets of players were back on the pitch keeping warm having a kick about. Helen had come over to tell us what the ref had done and there was a big discussion between the two managers on the field. Nigel, (who's a qualified referee) said he would take over so the game could be finished, if everyone was in full agreement. The Tadcaster side were quite happy with that, so a quick call to the league to ask if that would be okay (which they said was fine) and the game restarted.
  Our ladies were dominating the game, in fact Caz was bored stiff at the other end and kept on shouting to us to ask how long was left. To be fair, Nigel did a good job as it must be difficult to be unbiased when you arrive with 'your' team and then have to referee. Mind you, it didn't stop us (and our bench) from telling him when we thought he'd got a call wrong. We even burst into a chorus of , "You don't know what you're doing !"  Despite all the pressure there were no goals this half, and, being as this is a travels I'll just give Lisa B. a mention for the miss of the season. There you are Lisa....fame at last !  So just after 10pm we finally heard the full time whistle. We said our goodbyes and were off on our way home. It was then we both realised that we hadn't heard or seen Dennis since the hold up in place. So we assumed he'd left before the end. (postscipt - He later told us he'd left when he saw the ref leaving !) It was a pleasant trip home, not too mush traffic on the road and back into the warmth of home somewhat later than originally anticipated. Until next time.
  Happy Travelling
      Trev 

Garforth Town  v.  Sheffield
                                 (31/03/07)
It's a glorious day today and we have two extra supporters to cheer the lads on this afternoon as Jan and Tanja are over from Germany and are hoping to see a Sheffield win, especially after last week's goalless draw. In fact there's that many of us that I'm actually travelling with Paul, Debbie and Victoria as there's no room in Sammy for yours truly, and, despite John's idea, I am NOT strapping myself onto the roof of Sammy ! Thankfully Paul took pity on me, or maybe he just got fed up of me begging him on my knees to give me a lift !
  I only have to walk down to the hospital (NGH) for my lift and Paul has already spotted me as he turns the car around. Debbie jumps into the back so I can sit with Paul and help him navigate being as he's never been to Garforth before. I think my reputation as a navigational wizard has taken on extreme proportions as Paul has a Sat-Nav already in the car. I was going to ask him if he'd actually bought it this morning, knowing that I was coming along with him ! Actually it was very good as it got all the directions right leading us onto the motorway, not like the one Geoff (Bray) had when we went on a mystery tour up to the North East.
Once on the motorway Paul decides it's now safe enough to turn the Sat-Nav off and we have a chat about the club as I tell him about my early days seeing them at Owlerton and Don Valley. Thankfully, he managed to stay awake.
  I can't believe the weather today as it's really hot (for us at least). I mean, it's a Bank Holiday weekend and it's usually raining then isn't it ? What is the world coming to? Anyway, I'm taking advantage of it as even I've got the shorts on today !  I actually spot three Eddie Stobarts on the way there, and Paul says he'd be a witness to that too. However, I told him it wouldn't officially count as there has to be at least two of the spotters in the same car to stop any cheating or in my case bribing...but I just wanted to get it down in print being as it's rare enough for me to see one, never mind three ! Debbie and Victoria are busy in the back playing tug-of-war. They're using debbie's long hair, she's taken a strand out of her head first. It's a good job we're not travelling all the way up to the Norh East or she may have ended up with a bald patch like me .
   Shilts passes us, giving us a wave, followed a little later by a police car with it's lights flashing. We all hope that they're not chasing Shilts as we'll need him this afternoon, but thankfully we see them drive past him. Just before we reach the exit of the motorway I point to the stand and say "There we are Paul, you can't miss it." and despite him putting the Sat-Nav back on it was ME who got us there.....honest !  We've got loads of time and the ground isn't open yet, but one of the officials lets us go inside for a quick look round, so I give them all a guided tour, even to the top of the stand and back down again. Then we go back out and I talk to Margaret , Mick and Andrew while Paul and his family go into the clubhouse for a drink. Andrew was clocking up his 100th consecutive sheffield game today.  I was just sending John a text when I saw them arrive in Sammy and they grabbed the last spot in the car park. It was gone 2.15 before the turnstile was opened, Deano commenting, "Not very professional is it for Unibond ? Mind you, they'll not get promoted anyway." Tanja has come well prepared, she's brought along a book to read, plus she's got her anorak too.To her it's still the middle of winter !
  We usually go and perch ourselves in the stand when we come here, but being as it's so warm we take advantage of the weather to stand behind the goal instead. Now a few years ago, Garforth brought over the former Brazilian player Socrates to play a few games for them which brought much publicity and the club also got involved in the Brazilian Football Schools programme and now run games on the two small all weather courts just either side of the stand. The first team even play in a Brazilian strip, the only thing missing is the skill factor !  Now you know how the Brazilian fans are always flambouyant and noisy with their drums and horns, well the Garforth fans are trying to do the same. Unfortunately one drum and horn does not have the same effect ! Sue saying " Whoever gave that kid a drum needs hanging, " On the pitch ( I use the word pitch as a general description to describe the area where the players are running about on.) it's a scrappy game and it's only six minutes old when Sheffield are reduced to ten men as Marshie gets his marching orders from the referee. It doesn't get any better as the home side take a two goal lead into the half time break.
  We walk round to the snack bar, but not before one of the locals decides to barge past some of our supporters saying " You should move out of the way." Well, that was the printable version, well done you moron, it's people like you who cause trouble and then are nowhere to be seen, giving clubs a bad name. Jan is treating us to the drinks, him and Tanja are flying back home in the morning and at present it looks like he's going to see the lads lose for the very first time. I knew it was going to be a bad day when I saw Geoff (Bray) here, he came to watch us when we played Retford at home....need I say more ?
  The second half is a much better performance from the lads and in fact they did have some good opportunities to get something out of the game (apart from a suntan that is). Tim says, "Look at all that sand." As the ball bobbles along in the middle of the park. Paul replies with, "It's like playing on Copacabana beach.I'm looking round to see where the statue of Christ is !" Even when the ball wasn't in the sand it was on the wings which were very uneven , a fact noted by the number of players who needed treatment for turned ankles. Back in the serious corner,and Tanja was almost half way through her book by now and I think she would have finished it if the game had gone to extra time. The referee brought the game to an end and we all stood and waited while Macca got the lads together for the post match 'huddle' then we applauded them off. Even some of the Garforth faithful stayed to clap them off too. They may be noisy and passionate (like us) but they appreciate good football and it does take two teams to make a match.
  We go back to the car and Debbie says to Victoria, "You'll have to ditch the lucky teddies now (she'd brought two today.) and bring something else for Monday's game. The only bright spot of the day was that the Owls won and the Blades lost, but even Leeds look like they're going to escape relegation now. It's a steady drive home as we listen to 'Praise and Grumble' and also talk about our next few games. Paul drops me off near home, and by the time I get to the house John is just pulling the car round to drop Jan and Tanja off, how's that for a bit of co-ordination, and it wasn't even planned. We end the night at Joy and Les's with a curry and some wine. Only one more 'travels' to go for this season and it's the 'biggie' at Retford. So let's all go there and party ! Until next time.
    Happy Travelling
        Trev
 

Eccleshill United v. Sheffield
                             (20/03/07)
  Well the weather forecast for the start of the week said that most places around here would be covered in snow, so I was half expecting to get a call from John to say the game was off so I could put my feet up and watch the telly instead. But it's been bright sunshine just about all day, even if the temperature has been freezing cold. John picks me up on the way home from work before heading off into town to pick Deano up from work. Then it's back the John's so he can get changed and also Deano can make himself a sandwich. One of John's cats (Oscar) is waiting outside ready to go in. The garage door is open, but he's much too proud to use that. He also has a habit of lying on top of the tv and falling asleep, (the cat I mean, not John) which is okay until he decides to roll over.Which usually then sees him falling off the thing. He then sort of stands up and looks around as if he's wondering 'Did anyone see me do that?' Back on the road and we pick Deano up once again and head for the motorway. John spots the cab of an Eddie Stobart, but then makes up for it by spotting a complete one just a minute later.I've stopped scoring for this season as John is that far in front in the lorry spotting this year that no one is going to catch him.Deano has also fulfilled his target for this season.He said he wanted to finish bottom of the league and he has. Stu was way behind John but still a long way in front of me.Just think how close it could have been if he'd been able to make more trips with us this season. Which just leaves me finishing in mid table obscurity.I blame it on resting my eyes too many times during the trips.
  It's a pleasant enough journey as the sun sets and darkness descends all around us as we listen to 'Drive Time' on the radio. We arrive in plenty of time and head into the clubhouse. John is hungry, so avails himself with some pie and peas while I just have a cuppa. Holmsie is just finishing some food too, so it looks like he must not be playing tonight. We sit and chat with him as he tells us he has his (annual) thigh strain. We think it's just because it's so cold tonight.He's actually brought Wardy up with him tonight and, as he's not playing asks if he'll be able to have a man of the match vote as he said " I'll vote for wardy now."
   I'm busy writing down the teams as I'm multi-tasking and Holmsie thinks I'm writing about him for the travels. John says, "You have to be careful with Trev about, or you'll end up in print, whatever you say." I tell him that he's safe tonight as I'll not be too unkind.Tim and the gang turn up and after the 'Hello's' he comes over to me sheepishly and asks , "Trev, can I be excused on Saturday?" It appears he has to attend a wedding in Cheshire, and on a Saturday in the football season.......can you believe it ?  I give him permission, luckily we'll be at home that day, so I'll not be able to put any sarcastic comment in about his absence. We ask Holmsie if we're on tv tonight, being as the football commentator John Helm is here.He's sat on the far side of the clubhouse talking to an older man, I wonder what he makes of the game at this level, having watched football in some of the finest stadiums in the world.
  It's time for the game to start, and we leave it until the very last minute before venturing outside. We're kicking towards the clubhouse first half so we don't have far to walk and take our places under the cover. I'm wrapped up like the Michelin man so I'm warm enough, apart from my finger ends.Holmsie keeps on about how cold it is, and says, "I admire you lot, standing out in weather like this throughout the season. By now, he's pacing about, trying to keep warm.We tell him that we get used to it. Thankfully Wardy and Gav make things a little warmer by scoring for us, to send us back into the clubhouse at half time with a deserved lead.
  The second half sees us make the walk round to the open end, where there's no shelter from the elements. By now, Holmsie is no where to be seen. He had talked about sitting in front of one of the windows in the clubhouse and watching the rest of the game from there. I think he just stayed at the other end, ready for a quick getaway after the match. There's plenty of effort but no more goals to keep us entertained, and , thankfully, the few chances Eccleshill create are ending up in the car park.
   There's no hanging about when the whistle goes for full time. Just enough time for John to collect the man of the match votes and then it's back to Sammy and get the heater on. I've jumped straight in the car complete with all the layers of clothing but I'm still glad of the heater as my feet are like blocks of ice. I eventually have to ask John to turn it down a bit though as I start to melt ! Stu calls to find out the details of te game and tells me that Bruce Grobbelar has signed to play for Glasshoughton. I tell him to stop kidding (although it was a lot stronger than that) but he said it was true and was going to send me a link to view it on the computer.After that it was a quiet journey home as we listened to Steve Harley and his 70's/80's show. He must have the easiest half hour in broadcasting as he usually picks some well known and obscure tracks, but one thing you can guarantee is that the songs all last about six minutes. So by the time he's done talking and reading out requests he's usually only played about a six songs all programme.  Back at home and it's a cup of coffee tonight with some Bailey's in it.Purely for medicinal purposes you understand. This should be the last cold night for this season as our other away games are due to take place on Saturdays where we'll be stood in bright spring sunshine and the warm glow of an afternnon sun. Okay, okay, ....I think I've put too much Bailey's in the coffee ! Until next time.
       Happy Travelling
           Trev

Liversedge v. Sheffield
                               (17/03/07)
  It's my first day off after thirteen days, and boy am I ready for it. Of course, being off doesn't mean I get that much of a lie.Well, waking up at six in the morning is a luxury lie in to me, and that's what usually happens with today being no exception. The morning is spent doing the usual stuff like getting some food in and moving some of the dust around the house ! I do have some time to relax, and of course, then I'm on the last push to get ready before it's time for John to pick me up.
  I got to do a quick weather check on the way to the shops earlier, and it was no use at all.Going there it was cold and wet, on the way back it was dry and sunny ! I guess I'll just 'go with the flow' and try and cover all eventualities. It's a steady drive up, I even take a few minutes (and the rest) thinking with my eyes closed. Okay, I was dozing ! We even managed to find the little entrance to the car park with no problem.
   Straight inside and I make my way up the steps to the snack bar, followed by John. The usual man isn't on duty today, it's two ladies, so I place my order. Two teas and two pies. "Milk and sugar ?" One of them asks, about the teas. "One with sugar and one with less milk than the other" I reply. "Which one wants the sugar in ?"   "His" I say, pointing to John. She looks at me with a pityful look. "No love, which of these (pointing at the cups of tea) wants the sugar in?" I KNEW it was a bad idea having a day off ! Eventually John helps to sort it out. Needless to say when I put the order in for two pies with peas on one of them, one mince and onion and one steak and kidney, we then had the same scenario as to which one was getting the peas. Thankfully I managed to sort this one out all on my own, but I was sweating I can tell you ! When we were all served we sat on the benches just in front of the clubhouse, overlooking the pitch. There was quite a wind blowing here, at least it was cooling the pies down so we only got second degree burns in our mouths. Steve hands me the team sheet to copy, being as I'm multi-tasking again as Stu is working. Taking a look at it I ask, "What's up with Jamie Holmshaw?" seeing Ross Turner down as our goalkeeper for today. "He hurt his back in training." replied Steve. John then pipes up with, "Are you sure he didn't strain it picking the ball out of the net after the Retford game?" He then  asks me for a look at the team I'd just written down. Looking down the players he then hesitates and says " Pingu?" I look at my writing and say, "No, it's Powell "He was in that kind of mood, and he'd already taken his tablets too!  The first half saw us kicking towards the covered end , where most of us were stood. Thankfully this time there were only a few of the annoying little local brats here today, but of course, they had to come and stand near us.At least they weren't swearing as much as last year. Plenty of effort and chances in the first half but it remained scoreless.
   Half time and this time we played it safe with just a couple of drinks from the snack bar, but I let John have the responsibility of ordering them this time. Deano and Maz had already made their way down to the far side to put the flag up. As we're now in the open Deano has got his 'Quins' hat on, referring to Harlequins rugby club, who he takes interest in following. Just before we reach them John says to me, "Have you seen Deano's hat?" "Yes," I replied, not thinking anymore about it .That is until John comes up with, "Anyone reading that will take one look at Deano and think....Bloody Hell, there's not four more of them like that is there?" I nearly choked on my tea with all the laughing.
  Onto the game and we got talking to their keeper. We recognised his face but couldn't remember where we'd seen him before. He told us he'd been at Glasshoughton and also Harrogate Rail.He was a good sport all afternoon, always coming back at us when we commented on his goalkeeping 'skills'. At last the lads got the breakthrough when Marshies shot took a big deflection into the net. No doubt he'll claim it but I actually put it down as an own goal in my report.That is, once I'd sorted out which book was which. You see, it's all well and good this multi-tasking, but sometimes I pull the wrong notepad out of my pocket and just scribble away. It's only once I get home and sit down to write the bloody things that I wonder what the hell I've written ! Mind you, I even do that when I'm just writing the 'Travels'.
  The referee blows for full time and it's another three points on the road. Not only that but it's the third time on the trot we've won here in the league, the only loss being last years League Cup Final. DOH........... I promised myself I wouldn't mention that ! It was nice to be travelling home in daylight too. We're back in this area on Tuesday when we travel to play Eccleshill, so let's hope for another three points there too. Until next time.
         Happy Travelling
             Trev

Manvers Ladies v. Sheffield Ladies
                           (04/03/07)
  Once again it's my day off, so I spend the morning lazing around and watching the highlights of the Owls beating Leeds which was very satisfying. It's been fine this morning, but of course, now it's time for John to pick me up it's raining pretty hard. With the images of our trip to watch the Ladies play Greatfiels Belles earlier in the season, (in a monsoon !) I make sure I'm well wrapped up against the elements this time, I've even resorted to the hiking boots and waterproof trousers, well, I think they're still waterproof......we'll soon find out.
   John called into the house first, as he wanted to see an ecard Jeanie had sent him and couldn't access on his own computer. It was entititled 'Sarcastic Wednesday' and made fun out of a day at work.It was really funny but too much to explain on here. I told John he ought to send it to his American bosses who think they know it all !
   Into Sammy and off we go. No problems until we get to Rotherham, then we have to follow the one-way system which ends up taking us back along the main road the way we've just come ! We finally get the right turn off and are soon back on track and find the ground with no more problems. The pitch is like a mud bath as we sit in the car watching the players warm up. John had phoned Helen earlier in the week and said someone had told him that Manvers played on an all weather pitch. Helen had told hom, "No John, it's more a case of they play in all weathers !" We listen to a live CD of the Dixie Chicks which I got him for his birthday. Can you believe the old bugger is 58 ?
  Eventually it's time to brave the elements. Thankfully John has two big umbrella's in the car which should help keep us dry. Luckily it's not too windy either, otherwise we'd be doing an impromptu performance of 'Mary poppins' as we sail over Wath ! Thank God for the brollies, they're certainly keeping the majority of the wet stuff off of us, even the subs are taking shelter under them.  Considering the conditions, the ladies are playing some quality football and on the deck too. After numerous chances they finally get the breakthrough when Gemma sends a piledriver from 25 yards into the top corner of the net. Lisa B. doubles the score before the break with a neat turn in the area to slot the ball between keeper and post. As the ref blows for half time they all scurry off to the warmth of the dressing room.
   John has made a flask of bovril (sorry, I think it was more than likely Lynne that made it) anyway, the main thing is it's here and we're very much in need of it.Even if it's just to warm our fingers on round the cups. As John is unravelling the sugar for himself the bag blows out of his hand and across the pitch, eventually coming to a halt on one of the penalty spots. As he sets off to retrieve it I yell, " Don't forget what Lynne said about getting mud all over yourself !" Luckily he manages to stay on his feet, but his trousers are splattered with mud anyway, but in his defence (your honour) it wasn't his fault. Most of the marks were from where the mud has splashed up as the subs were running up and down warming up.
  The ladies eventually (and reluctantly) make their way back onto the pitch. Within five minutes of the restart they've scored again. Sarah sending over a low cross which was dummied by Lisa B. , leaving Lynn with a shot low into the corner as the Manvers defence stood watching. Ozzy was the first sub to brave the elements, shortly followed by Kate. Meanwhile back at the business end of things Sarah increased the lead with a left foot volley which was the cue to finally throw on our last sub Hayley, who really stood out.Not that she was playing any better than the others, just that she NEVER got dirty ! With ten minutes left the home side spoilt our day by scoring . I know, it sounds a bit petty , but with such an outstanding performance, we were hoping for a clean sheet, and to be fair, Caz had hardly anything to do all match. But a spot of pinball in our area from one of Manvers' rare attacks saw the ball fall to the feet of ex-Sheffielder Sue Johnson who made no mistake. The game was made safe (as if there was any doubt by now) by Hayley two minutes later, who finished off a fine flowing move. When the ref blew for full time you could see the delight and relief on everyone's faces. Then it was time for celebrations, which basically saw the team going mental and wrestling each other to the ground to see who would be the muddiest ! I'll tell you girls, some people will pay good money for that type of thing. Let me know and I'll try and get you some bookings ! Of course, Hayley was a prime target, and despite her effort to stay clean during the game, the girls made sure she was fully submerged in the mud before leaving the pitch.  I wish I had brought my camera because most of them would have passed for commando's by the time they'd done larking around. We said our farewells and headed back to the car, not as wet as when we went tp watch them play Greatfield Belles, but certainly on the soggy side ! Hopefully this will be our last match watching synchronised footy ! Until next time.
      Happy Travelling
           Trev 

Arnold Town v. Sheffield
                            (17/02/07)
  It's a leisurely morning for me as I'm off today. In fact I'm that laid back I'm on the last push to get ready in time for John picking me up. Once again it's a bright and sunny day, but it's deceptive too as it's pretty cold outside . It's Maz's birthday today, so what better way to enjoy it than a trip to Arnold !  Well actually, it's probably our last trip here, and I'm not being big-headed about our promotion hopes.It's just that finally they are due to move to a new ground, so unless they gain promotion (assuming that we will........oh that's such a big word !) well it'll be the last time we play here.
   Of course, now we've set off for the game it's gone all dull and cloudy. John is full of cold today, it started yesterday, so he's coughing, sneezing  and spluttering, and sniffing Vic.(For the uninitiated, Vic is a medicinal vapour rub, it's not another person in the car !)  It doesn't stop him spotting an Eddie Stobart though as soon as we reach the motorway. We settle down and listen to the radio. To say he's ill, doesn't stop him in the lorry spotting stakes as he soon makes his FOURTH spot of the journey, only this time it's just the cab of an Eddie Stobart, so it's refused.  I threaten to ban him for using performance enhancing drugs (mainly the Vic ) unless he bucks his ideas up.
  We arrive and pull into our usual car parking spot just the other side of the pedestrian precinct and say farewell to Maz as she embarks on her shopping trip. Actually she does this every time we come here and usually ends up with at least one pair of shoes or boots courtesy of the Clarks shoe store. The rest of us wander into the ground and first stop is the snack bar (as usual) for me and John where we indulge ourselves with sausage and chips and a cup of tea. Before the game starts the Arnold keeper , Lee Broster, who did such a good job for us last year, was presented with a plaque to mark his 200th appearance for the Eagles. We acknowledge that, but not before someone (I think it was me) shouts 'Don't drop it Lee', as it's handed to him. There's no Stu today as he's working once again. I think he's losing the plot.This is the guy that actually does the staff rota's and he's doing more Saturday afternoons now than he's dne in years. 
  The home side have now got rent-a-crowd with them, he's a one man band banging a big drum , along with his little followers, all I know is they're bloody noisy, which is far more noticable being as we're kicking towards the shed end and take up our position just to the side of the covered area. They're singing away and taunting our lot, saying 'Can we sing a song for you?' John turns to me and says, " It proves that Care in the Community doesn't always work !"  They're also giving their ex-player Dave Wilkins some stick on his first trip back to play against them. Mind you , at least it's only verbal, out on the park, the home side are virtually raping him and the ref just smiles and waves play on ! Talking of the pitch, it's really hard to describe. It's certainly uneven, I suppose the best description I can think of is a cross between a ploughed field and a sandpit ! Maz turns up empty handed, she couldn't find any footwear she liked this time. In fact I think it's the only time since I've been coming here that she's actually left Arnold empty handed !
  Just after the twenty minute mark we thought we'd all gone deaf, as Vill opens the scoring for us, and there's a deathly hush from the home fans. Mind you, credit to them, it only lasts a few seconds, then they're off again. Only this time time Tim gets our lot singing back at them..'It's all gone quiet over there' and 'Sing when we're winning'. It's all good natured stuff. Half time, and John decides to sit in the stand for a while as I go to get our refreshments, I guess the Vic is taking more effect now, either that or he's overdosed on the stuff ! I return with the drinks as he says, "Oh thanks Trev, or should I call you nurse Trevor instead" much to the amusement of the others.
   We move round to stand behind our dug-out for the second half. We can still here the bloke with the drum, but at least it's not as loud now . Just before the hour mark Wilkins celebrates his return to his former ground by tapping in our second goal. Now it's bad enough when your team is losing at home, but it's far worse when it's your ex-player who gets the goal.......especially when you've been slagging him off all match.  Not long after that, Macca substitutes him and we give him rapturous applause as he leaves the field. That was how the game ended and then John gave me the 'honour' of handing me his book so I could do the Man of the Match votes, being as he wasn't feeling up to it. Even then, people were telling him their choices as we walked around and he just pointed to me and said, "Tell Trev today, I've left him in charge." Of course , we have to walk past the Arnold 'band' as he's packing up his stuff, but he was okay , shaking my hand and saying " It's only a game."  As we wandered back to the car we realise that there was no need for the floodlights to be turned on and we're actually setting off for home in the daylight, which makes everyone feel better. We listen to the live match on the radio on the way back....Man. United yet again ! I actually spot an Eddie Stobart and am that chuffed about it, but I'm soon brought back to reality as 'Eagle-Eye' Shepperd bags his FIFTH of the day !  Stu phones to ask about the game and then it's straight home and I decide to treat myself to some fish and chips for supper. Until next time.
        Happy travelling
           Trev

Carlton Town v. Sheffield
                               (03/02/07)
It's a new ground to visit today as we head to Carlton. It's also bright and sunny, meaning that it's pretty warm sat in the back with the sun beating through the windows. It's a detour to Gleadless to pick up Stu.There's no Liam as he's going to a party so it means we can all get into one car. We listen to the comedy programme on the radio as I take up my usual stance of 'resting my eyes' along the way. Carlton's ground is on the way to Gedling, but thankfully at least we're travelling in daylight this time and will avoid Nottingham city centre at all costs, despite Stu doing the navigating from the back seat. We made it to the ground with five minutes to spare before kick off. We didn't have Sat Nav.....more a case of  'sat in the back nav'! I'd phoned Bill earlier to get theprogrammes for us, which as usual he did, just in case they ran out before we got there. Me and John head straight for the snack bar which is in the clubhouse, while Stu gives us his order and goes in search of a team sheet. it was like a Sheffield injured get-together as our current players who were all out injured were having a medicinal pint to help the healing process.( I guess it's better than being subjected to Snowie's heat lamp.) We're all having sandwiches and teas, so John grabs one of each and wanders out to find the others, leaving me with two teas and two sandwiches. Of course, Stu is now stood with Deano behind the goal, so it's a case of putting the sandwiches in my pocket, in order to get everything there in one go. Luckily nothing was spilled and the sandwiches survived.That was the highlight of the day really. The first half saw chances created but missed and after the break Carlton scored. Not only that, but the cheeky buggers went and got two more ! To compound matters Matt Roney was shown a red card for next to nothing. Thankfully Deano was giving us a bit of amusement by videoing some of the action, and we were stood around him making up a running commentary...posse style ! Not a lot more to say really, in fact we were very quiet on the way home. Just to top the day off, at the last minute I decided to walk down to the paper shop for a Green 'Un, and guess what ? They'd all been sold ! Until next time.
      Happy Travelling
          Trev

Sutton Town v. Sheffield
                                (16/12/06)
It's holiday time for me as Jeanie is over here. We spent the night at Joy and Les's, housesitting while they were in York for the weekend.We were up early due to the fact that both Ella and Amber wanted feeding. Monty wasn't all that hungry, but said if we were having a cooked breakfast he wouldn't mind a bacon sandwich ! John texted me to let me know he would pick us up at the old library. It's the first time he's ever specified it as the OLD library. This is due to the fact that the other day when he was driving through Firth Park he spotted the (new) library. The thing is, it's been opened for over four years !
   We arrived at the bus stop bang on time, despite Deano pointing at his watch, trying to indicate that we were running late. It's stopped raining for today (so far) after yesterdays downpour. In fact it's bright and sunny at present. We settle down, listening to the comedy on the radio and even Jeanie is laughing at some of the jokes ! 
 Once we're on the motorway I rest my eyes for a little while before both John and Deano spot some lorries. I was looking then as well, but the sun was in my eyes (honest !) John then spotted a Preston's of Potto, but I told him he couldn't claim it as it was only the cab. He said it was a flat back truck, so, being as it's near Christmas I decided to give it to him. He then goes on to claim a hat-trick by spotting a James Irlam too. Deano said , "A true hat-trick in this situation would be spotting one with your left eye, then one with your right eye and finally one with no hands on the wheel." I'm glad John never thought of that in the first place.
  We found the ground first time and as entered the lane leading to the turnstile we found the car park full. Deano thought he'd spotted a place, but on closer inspection there was a smaller car already parked their which we couldn't see because of a van in front of it. So we drove back up the lane and parked at the top. As we walked back down again Tim drove past us pipping his horn and laughing, trying to scatter us off the road. We had the last laugh though we , he too, ended up driving back up the lane. We could have told him the car park was full and saved him the trouble of trying to find a parking spot.
   Inside the ground it's straight to the snack bar. John decides he wants a bacon sandwich while we just have a drink. While he's waiting for the sandwich to be cooked we stroll outside and talk to the rest of the gang. They'll all asking Jeanie how many games she'll be watching on this trip, I help her out by pointing out we'll be at all the Sheffield games that the weather will allow as we're hoping there's no postponements while she's here. Ten minutes later and John is back with us, eating hot-pot ! Apparently, they couldn't get the griddle to work so he got something else before he died of starvation !
   We're all in a good mood as the game starts and the lads are kicking up the slope. Jeanie is busy handing round some sweets she'd brought over to everyone and then, with just eight minutes on the clock Sutton go and score with their first attack ! It is, literally, an uphill struggle then for the rest of the half, but thanks to some crap finishing of the home teams strikers and some great saves from Holmshaw, we're just the one goal down as the half time whistle blows.
 Back  at the snack bar, and this time the griddle is working so I decide to join John in ordering a bacon butty, and very nice they were too.
   The second half isn't much better for us as the team are not playing that well at all. With time ticking away, we're all wondering if Jeanie's magic charms have deserted the team. John asks me, "Trev, when is the next flight back to America?" Much to the amazement of Jeanie. It's a good job she's got a weird sense of humour like we have. With time ticking away we finally get back into the game as Vill powers a header beyond the keeper and into the corner of the net. At this point. I think we would have settled for a draw, and, after the performance think ourselves lucky to get that, but more was to follow. With us now shouting the team on, Chris Dolby hits a sweet shot from a fairly acute angle past the keeper and into the net. Cue lots of shouting and jumping around from the posse, and stunned silence from the home crowd.There was mass relief when the referee finally blew for full time, from us at least. Some of the home fans weren't so happy, commenting to us how 'they was robbed'. The thing is, we were smiling away and agreeing with them, which totally threw them, and in a way made the victory all that much better !
   No problems on the trip home. although first stop for me and Jeanie (and John) was to his daughter Helen's new house. This was so she could meet Jeanie again, and we could also look at her cat, which is called Ella. We were treated to a cuppa and some buns too.In fact Jeanie liked them that much that she made a note for us to go and buy some so she could take them home with her. After that it was back to our 'other' home for the weekend to look after the pets. We treated ourselves to a fish and chip supper, although we were careful not to eat this in front of Monty, them it was time for a relaxing evening. Well, as relaxing as Ella and Amber would allow.That was it game wise for Jeanie for this trip and once again the team remained unbeaten. She'll be back late October/early November next season, so lets hope we're playing some top sides then, we're sure to pick up three points each game.
      Until next time
         Happy Travelling
             Trev

     Selby Town v. Sheffield
                               (02/12/06)
 It's a day off for me today, so forst job is clearing out the airing cupboard as I'm having a new shower fitted. Thankfully the man arrives nice and early and it doesn't take him long at all. It's all done in an hour, just waiting for the electrician now (who's coming Monday) to connect the power and then it'll be all systems go.
   The rest of the morning was spent wrapping Christmas presents up. This is due to Jeanie , who arrives here  on Tuesday, and it's her pressies I need to get done and out of the way, ready for her to take back home with her. Of course, while she's here we'll be taking in all the footy matches that Sheffield play and she is a sort of lucky mascot, as we've never been beaten when she's been there.
   It's a bright and sunny day, although there is a nip in the air, which is to be expected at this time of year.John is in good lorry spotting form once again, leaving me and Deano for dead with his eagle eyes, Stu will have to do wonders to overtake him, especially as we all don't travel together that often, which sort of puts him at a big disadvantage !
  No problems on the way there and it's straight into the ground and into the snack bar. I'm not hungry at present but John tucks into a pasty and peas, while Sue walks past us with a steak pie that looks just like a steak bake from Greggs.The smell has set my tastebuds going so I vow to grab one of those at half time. About five minutes before kick-off, Sue is back again, she's having another one !
    The lads are kicking towards the old stand, and  with the sun in our eyes it's difficult to see everything without shielding our eyes. It doesn't stop us seeing G.T. put us in front though. Deano is busy playing with his camera, getting action footage which he'll use on Youtube and put onto the site.The lead increases when Chris White hits a scorcher into the top corner, a possible goal of the season contender without a doubt. Obviously we're in a good mood at this stage and it's only slightly dampened when the home side pull one back on the stroke of half time.
  We take a slow walk back to the snack bar and guess what ? No more pies....bugger ! in fact there's little choice left at all so we end up with a couple of teas. Thankfully I've still got some mini toblerones left, so I hand them round and eat some myself too. Deano is pointing the camera at Caroline, who's just back from Portugal and also at me. I thought he was just taking a couple of photo's but he was actually filming us, the git !
 Round to the far side and within two minutes Vill has put us further in front, a crucial goal at this stage. As it was, the lads controlled most of the half anyway, and when Selby did break free they wasted some glorious chances. Of course, with it being December, we were all for singing the football edition of 'Jingle Bells' and also' Top of the League', but we held off until the final whistle, and then we started.
   As the players were shaking hands, the Selby manager (I think) went mental and landed a fist on Whitey, I guess he wasn't too impressed with his goal. Needless to say there was a free for all until the referee restored some kind of order.Reading the Selby programme later, it seems they don't really like us, but who cares ! Just because we hammered them before and also stopped them winning the league and (thus gaining promotion) with a last minute goal AND playing the night before too, well I guess they just can't handle it. I know I'm droning on a bit, but they got what they deserved, which was NOWT !
  It was a very happy trip home for us, and we didn't care that John spotted two more Eddie Stobart lorries either. Once at home it was a quick change to go babysitting down the road at Joy and Les's. They were out on the razzle so I had to look after Ella (dog), Amber (cat) and Monty(goldfish). Ended up watching Take That on the tv. It wasn't my choice, it's just that it's Monty's favourite boy band at present ! I could see him singing along too. Thakfully Joy and Les returned before the programme had finished, so I made my escape to watch Match of the Day. Until next time.
      Happy Travelling
          Trev

  Armthorpe Welfare v. Sheffield
                                (21/11/06)
  It's a cold November night (of course it is !) as we set off for Armthorpe. I tell John that the Scissor Sisters are playing at the Arena, so we avoid it at all costs and make our way towards Donny.It's an uneventful journey, just listening to the radio and we manage to find a parking slot opposite the ground. Once inside, it's straight to the clubhouse for a warm and some refreshment. The heat (and steam) hits you as soon as you walk in as our glasses mist over. John is well on the way to normal health as he indulges himself with pie and peas. Some of the others are already there, but it's as quiet as a doctors waiting room. I think we're all wishing we were nice and cosy at home with our feet up watching Champions League football on the box.
   The host have changed their strip this season. Instead of the familiar green and white hoops they've now gone to an all white kit. Strangely  I can't think of another team in our league who has this for their home strip. It does stand out under the floodlights. They've improved the ground a little too by putting up wooden fencing around the side of the pitch. The only drawback for us is that now we can't hang up the flag as our previous posts are now covered over.
    The lads get the perfect start by racing into a two goal lead inside the first ten minutes, but then it was a case of missed opportunities for the rest of the half. Despite their lowly league position I though Armthorpe were playing okay, certainly one of the better sides we've come up against just lately. With no more goals to cheer we troop back to the warmth of the clubhouse for a half time cuppa. John is certainly making up for all the food he's missed these past few weeks as he's got his eating head on and decides to have a bacon butty. I must admit , they did look and smell good and in the end I too succumbed to the temtation and it was well worth it.
   The second half sees us pressurising the home keeper who in fact is playing with a very bad thigh strain. Everytime he goes to kick the ball he lets out a cry of genuine pain. At first we didn't really care as his kicks were often landing at our players feet, but after a short while we really felt for the guy and were even shouting at their bench and players to at least get someone else to take the goalkicks for him. We can be very cruel I know, but it was genuine concern for this guy, you see, we do care....sometimes.
   By now Dennis had appeared. We asked him where he was in the first half. He said he'd arrived late , so watched it from outside the ground  over the wall and then just strolled in at half time once the gate had been left unattended ! There were no more goals to cheer but the lads had done enough to earn the three points.
   As usual we listened to Steve Harley on the radio on the way home and it was a pleasure to get back into the warm of home and a nightcap of a coffee with a Bailey's in it. Purely for medicinal purposes you understand ! Until next time.
      Happy Travelling
         Trev

 Durham City v. Sheffield
                              (18/11/06)
At last, a day off. So it's going to be an early start today as we're taking the coach to watch the lads in this F.A.Vase game which, as usual sees us with an annual trip up to the North EastAt least if it ends up being a draw the replay will be at home which will be a lot easier. We were looking forward to visiting Durham itself, or at least looking round their impressive stadium, but today's fixture isn't even in Durham. This is due to the fact that their pitch has an artificial surface and F.A. rules say that the cup matches must be played on 'proper' surfaces, so today's excursion is to a little hamlet called Esh Winning.Let us hope that that will be the case and not Esh Losing !
   It's a beautiful sunny day with not a cloud in the sky as John picks me up from the library, it's bloody cold though. First stop is Meadowhall. We thought John was taking us shopping, but he just needed to post a letter and this was convenient as we headed for the motorway.Deano has been telling us about the latest Beatles album (Love) which George Martin has produced. He's been on the website looking at old Beatles songs and changing some of the titles to suit our team, such as 'Club Me Do.' So we're busy thinking up other adaptations of song titles that he can use. Some of them were a bit off the wall, but what else would you expect from us as we come up with the likes of:- 'Back In The NCEFL', Across The Unibond',' Eight Games A Week' and 'Can't Buy Me Club.' There were plenty more, but you get the jist of it.  By the time we've exhausted the song titles we're already at Tankersley where we wait for the coach. It's even colder now as the wind seems to blow straight through us as we wait for the coach. I've done the catering for me and John today, but no doubt we'll still end up having a pie or something once we get to the ground.
   Once we're all on board it doesn't take long to thaw out and we both settle down to read while Deano listens to some music on his I-Pod. Stu is sat opposite us and he points out to us a James Irlam lorry. We tell him to make the most of it today as he'll get no competition from us as we intend to read (and sleep in my case) for most of the trip.
   Little Billy and Liam are sat behind us, and  Liam has his portable DVD player with him, once again playing episodes of  'Father Ted.' . At present though he's playing on his Gameboy, or whatever it is the kids are into today. Billy is busy listening to his CD player. The only thing is he's singing along and we can all hear him. It was funny when he got to the high bit in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' as Stu and a few other also joined in on it. Stu keeps on spotting the occasional lorry and makes sure he tells us all about it, getting Andrew to verify the sightings. I'd brought him some German programmes and footie magazines from Jan, so he was busy telling Andrew all about the football scene over there and trying to read some of the articles, which generally made us all laugh as he tried to pronounce the names of teams and players.
  As usual on our coach trips, we're that well ahead of time that we pull into some services in order to have a break and stretch our legs, not forgetting the purchase of a cuppa of course.Back on the coach and a bit more reading as we approach our destination. We then 'do a John' and take an unscheduled detour, before finally finding our way back onto the right road. Arriving in Esh Winning Stu starts to take some photo's of the main street, a narrow street where all the houses have white double glazed doors. We carry on and find the ground, which is basically in the middle of nowhere ! It looks very picturesque with all the rolling hills, but I'd hate to be here on a cold December evening. As it's still early, Stu and Bill venture forth in pursuit of programmes for all of us. They do eventually return, although we did think at one stage that they'd got lost. Eventually we decided to go into the ground and headed straight for the clubhouse where we took over one corner of the room. Some lads had plates of chips, so I went in search of some refreshments for me and John. Gwen was already waiting in the queue too. It took absolutely ages to get served as they couild only cook enough chips for two butties at a time ! It's a good job we went when we did, because if it had been at half time we would have missed the second half waiting to get served.
   The game started with us kicking down the slope. Yes, it was like a North East version of Sandygate ! It was fairly tight early on with little to choose between the teams. We created some good chances and should have been ahead by half time, but it was goal less as we went in search of a hot drink to help thaw us out. Although we were kicking up the slope for the second half we still had most of the play  but just couldn't find the back of the net. Just to compound matters, Durham went on a break and scored, even though (apparently) their player was well offside. It was too far away for us to judge properly, and that my friends was that. No dramatic fightback to write about, just the fact that we'd created a hat-trick of sorts by losing our last three games and in the process being knocked out of three different cup competitions, not a record we'd like to repeat.
   As the whistle blew for full time me, John and Deano didn't bother going into the clubhouse. Instead we made our way back to the coach and consoled ourselves with the sandwiches and flask of tea I'd brought for us. The players didn't hang around too long either as everyone wanted to get back home and it was fairly quiet on the journey home. I took another opportunity to catch up on some reading, as did John. It certainly seemed a lot quicker getting home, which was good, and Sammy was waiting for us in the Tankersley Hotel car park. John stopped off at the garage so I could pick up a Green 'Un and then it was home and I consoled myself with a packet of Jaffa Cakes. Oh well, I guess we can now use the cliche of us being able to concentrate on the league. Until next time.
        Happy Travelling
           Trev

White Rose Ladies v. Sheffield Ladies
                               (12/11/06)
 After yesterdays exit from yet another cup competition for the men, we decided to have a trip out to see the ladies play down Leeds way.They were playing White Rose, a team who they have never beaten (in fact I don't think they've ever got a point off them) away from home. As I was working and it was a 2 o'Clock start I got out early and John was waiting for me. We set off tpwards the Parkway, and John was in no mood for any niceties as he took on the character of Doctor Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. Now, our John is normally very mild mannered and you could say , a gentleman of the road as he is always courteous to other drivers. Well not today.
   We'd only gone as far as West Bar on the new bit of ring road and he's already berating the driver in front for not pulling away from the traffic lights as turned green. "What colour green do you want?" He shouts, among a few other things. It was always going to be touch and go to get to the game for the start but we hit a major hold-up at the end of the Parkway as we were stuck in a long line of traffic which was hardly moving. Although we had the local radio station on, there were no reports of any accidents as we sat and watched the motorway traffic roll freelly by to our left. After 20 minutes we finally got to the head of the socalled hold-up and guess what? There was nothing there ! The workmen who were trimming trees on the island had laid down a set of cones to channel the traffic all into one lane for no apparent reason as it wasn't even where they were working. Once again John resorted to Tourette's syndrome as we pulled onto the motorway and he pushed metal to the floor. Poor Sammy must have wondered what was happening as he flew past the other cars, hugging the outside lane, while I was hugging the dashboard !
   Thanks to Helen's directions we had no trouble finding where the ground was and pulled into the car park. As we thought, the game was already underway, play being halted for a while as Chris was being treated for an injury. We walked round to where Helen and Nigel were and were pleased to know that in fact we'd only missed about the first ten minutes as the game kicked off late. We thought we'd missed about twenty five minutes.
   The team were playing well within themselves and were unlucky to reach half time with no goals to show for all their efforts. The second half saw them kicking into the wind, which in fact was better for them as the ball wasn't running away so much. The pitch was very bumpy and I said to John, "There's a lot of uneven bounces out there." He replied with, "Are you refering to the pitch Trev?" Cheeky Bugger!
    Despite someoutstanding play, the ball just wouldn't go in, the closest being a shot that hit the bar near full time. It was a point well earned but with a little luck it could have been all three. We were fortunate in that we were just walking back to the car when the rain started, so at least we kept dry this afternoon.
   It was a much more relaxed journey back to Sheffield and time for me to unwind and relax with some spicy chicken and rice. Not your packet stuff either, but the real deal as made by my neighbours who sometimes take pity on me and send me food over.Until next time
      Happy Travelling
         Trev

    Hallam v. Sheffield
                                     (08/11/06)
So here we are, our first visit of the season to Sandygate as we hit the cup trail once again, this time defending the S&H Senior Cup which we're trying to win for the third time on the trot. It's a 7.30 kick-off tonight,just in case the game goes to extra time.We don't want the old buggers falling asleep in the stand as I'm sure they'll be missed back at the home.
  John picks me up on his way from work and we head home so he can have a little relaxation before setting out again. He's still suffering, but plodding on gamely. As he's getting ready he asks Lynne where his lucky socks are. She say's, " I've got them warming for you on the radiator, but don't expect this everytime, it's only because you're ill." (Bless her.) He says he wants an extra pair to wear tonight and goes in the airing cupboard to get a pair but comes back empty handed as he can't find any. Lynne just moves him aside and finds a pair straight away !
  Off we go, picking Deano up along the way and we're there in ten minutes. As usual, it's ten degrees colder up here ! After getting ourselves a drink we see Tev's dad so go and speak to him.Tev is now playing for Hallam so you just know he'll end up scoring against us........it's an unwritten law that ex-players have to score against their old team isn't it ? I also spot Phil, (that's Chris's dad who now works in Scotland) and go and have a chat with him. We were talking about football in general and how we always have a fixture pile up towards the end of the season. So he suggests that it would be a good idea to lose tonight to help ease that burden. I told him, "Yes phil, in principal it's good, but not to lose against Hallam in any fixture, plus we want to win the trophyfor the third time on the trot." He replied with, "Good luck, because I think it'll be a close game." Despite supporting Hallam he's normal in every other way, and even comes down to the coach and watches us when Hallam are away.
   We make our way to our territority in the stand and take our places as the teams run onto the field. We're kicking down the slope to start with and almost get a dream start as we're awarded a penalty in only the second minute, but Whitey's spot kick is saved. We do grab the lead a couple of minutes later though as Dolby puts us in front. With twenty minutes gone though it's back to 1-1 and guess who scored ? Yes, as I said earlier, the unwritten law applies  as Tev levels for Hallam. Things go haywire then as he goes and puts them in the lead ! Just before half time the home side go further in front through some comical defending as the ball is trying to be cleared and the bal hits Tev and rebounds into our net ! Now, I like the lad but I'm slowly going off him. I mean, okay, One goal against his old club fair enough, but a hat-trick in the first half !!!
   We defnitely need a drink now as the players troop off for half time. Second half sees us straight on the attack both on the field and in the stand, as we have a war of words with Guy Glover (ex-clubbie and now Hallam manager), as he rants at the referee whenever a decision goes against his team. The lads get back into the game as Whitey makes up for his penalty miss by scoring this time. Our expectations were soon dampened though a minute later as the home side once again opened up a two goal lead. It was all Sheffield now, but the lads were running out of ideas and time as Hallam were content to sit back and hit us on the break. Hope was restored with ten minutes to go when Darryl Winter thundered a shot in but it just wasn't to be and we exited the competition much to the delight of the home fans and Mr. Glover, who milked the victory by kissing his shirt badge in front of us as he walked off the pitch.
  On the way out we met Tev's dad who was appologising to us for Tev's hat trick. Mind you, he did have a smile on his face as he was saying "Sorry." At least we could laugh with him about it.
   Oh well, this is the first of a run of three consecutive cup games, so, one down and two to go. Until next time.
        Happy travelling
           Trev

    Greatfield Belles v. Sheffield Ladies
                                 ( 10.12.06)
  So, with Jeanie being over here me and John were wondering what to do today. Once John found out that Greatfield Belles play in Hull, that gave us the answer, treat her to a Sheffield Ladies away day ! As usual with my overseas visitors and the coast, we woke up to howling winds and rain, REAL football weather. We weren't too concerned though, because if the game was called off we'd just do a spot of sightseeing and have a trip over the Humber Bridge too. Yesterday Jeanie was at the first team game and both Gwen and Marilyn commented to her how it drops about ten degrees in temperature when she comes over here, but on the plus side, she's never seen the first team lose yet.
   Back to today and John picks us up early morning as we have a leisurely drive over there. We pulled into Morrisons at Ecclesfield which had her jumping up and down as she thought that today's trip was just to the supermarket so she could stock up on Jaffa Cakes and sweeties to take back home with her, until John pointed out that the store was still closed, we were just calling for petrol. Onto the motorway and we're listening to John's Paul Carrack CD, re-living last night's concert which we went to at the City Hall. About half an hour into the journey John spotted an Eddie Stobart ahead of us, then Jeanie pointed it out too. She said to me "Honey, do you have your glasses with you ?" and even before I could reply, John was already laughing, waiting for the punchline. "Yes, I've got them here(holding them in my hand)." I replied to her. "Well, perhaps it may help if you put them on," was her cutting comment . I hate to admit it, it was good at the time. Mind you, she'll pay dearly for it.....I'm going to cook for her !
  Arriving in Hull we had no trouble finding our destination which was 'The Deep' (The world's only Submarium). In plain language, lots of interactive stuff for kids with real life fishes as well.) We had a good couple of hours there and even had some lunch too, although non of us had fish and chips, I think we'd been put off seeing the creatures swimming around.
  By the time we got out it was very windy and raining, but as yet we'd not had any information that the game was off, so we followed the directions to the ground, arriving just in time to see the girls having there pre-match huddle as we attempted to put our coats on in the howling gale ! Traipsing through the mud, trying to keep our balance, by the time we'd got to the touchline to join Helen and the substitutes we were informed that Nell had already scored for us. Thankfully the wind and rain were at our backs, all we needed to do was make sure our feet were firmly planted on a bit of grass instead of mud. At one point Jeanie wanted to turn the bottom of her jeans up but said she was waiting while the wind died down so as not to get blown over face first into the mud. I was laughing at this as I could just picture that sight !  The home side equalised against the run of play but normal service was resumed soon after as the girls rattled in five goals before half time.
  As soon as the whistle blew everyone came over to put on extra tops against the cold while we had a little stroll to get the circulation back into our legs. It must have been the shortest half time break on record as both teams wanted to get on with it to get the game over with as soon as possible. The wind was playing a major factor in the game, blowing across the pitch. Jodie took advantage of this from a corner kick when she crossed the ball very high into the area. The ball just hung there and then the wind helped it straight into the net. In fact it was a goalfest with the girls winning 13-2 ! The two Lisa's scored at least eight goals between them and I think Jodie got a hat-trick too but I can't be sure as the goals were coming thick and fast. Poor Caz in our net was fed up, we told her she may as well come and stand with us to try and keep warm. When we told her that there was still 15 minutes left to play it must have seemed like forever to her !  You know how players are not all that keen on being substituted ? Well I've never seen anyone so happy to be told she was being replaced as Kate as she came running over from the far touchline to immerse herself in about five layers of clothing ! The game ended just before it almost impossible to see the ball and everyone hurried back to their cars. We were so glad to get into Sammy, despite the fact that the backs of our clothes were soaked and it felt like we should have been wearing incontinence knickers when we sat down ! Once we were on our way I texted Deano with the score and to tell him how very wet and cold it was and you know what the cheeky sod replied with ? "I'm sat in front of the telly all nice and warm with a cup of tea and some Jaffa Cakes and once I've had those then I'll be having a roast chicken Sunday dinner"........the bastard !  Before reaching home we saw a hat-trick of Eddie Stobarts, all following one another. Once we were home it was time to relax, eat and put up the Christmas tree before settling down for some telly in the luxurious warm. Jeanie said, "Well Trev, that's an experience I won't forget in a hurry !" Until next time.
      Happy Travelling
         Trev 

              Glapwell v. Sheffield
                              (04/11/06)
Once again, it's a pick up from work for me.We have a pleasant run down, listening to the comedy on the radio and also getting a spot of lorry spotting in, Stu better watch out as John is looking to make the Lorry Spotter Championship his own. We just manage to get in the club car park before it's full, John manoeuvring Sammy into a spot, having first told me and Deano to get out while we can as he would be parking right up against the wall and if we didn't get out beforehand we'd just have to stay there and he'd text us the score!
   He's feeling a lot better at last, in fact when we get in the ground he even decided to tackle a chicken and mushroom pie.We're still waiting for the tea's though, as the snack bar lady dispatched one of the local up to the nearest filling station to buy some milk! Our other invalid ,Stu, then arrives with Liam of course. His back is feeling a lot better, but now his knees are hurting ! He'd called me earlier on the way down to say they were on their way. Lynn was driving them here, and I could here Stu giving her directions as he was chatting. Apparently she'd already missed one turn off as she didn't see the sign for Doncaster. Now this sign is green and bloody massive...even I couldn't fail to spot it ! She's not a big footy lover, despite the constant interest of her two 'boys' so she's decided to sit in the car reading for the first half.
  We finally venture outside as the players take to the pitch. It's a bright Autumnal day, which means it's sunny but bloody cold, and the leaves from the trees are all over the pitch. The game starts, and Glapwell score with their first attack. I wonder if this is one of Macca's tactics to give us fans value for money....." let the opposition score first, just to make it interesting " Liam then decides he's hungry, so goes and buys a pie. He likes it so much that he asks Stu if he can have another one.........I start wondering if Stu really is his dad, or is it Billy two pies ! Midway through the half one of their players goes down injured and has to be carried off. There's outrage from the home supporters as they said that Jonah assaulted the guy by elbowing him, but it's strange that the assistant referee who was stood near to the alleged incident never saw anything. Half time saw our players troop off the a round of abuse from the local yokels. All the talk was about the 'incident' and not the game with one or two of their fans saying that their player was unconscious and had been rushed to hospital, when in fact, he was sat up in the medical room drinking a cup of tea. Back in the clubhouse it's time to get the drinks, this time there's an extra one to get as Stu went out to the car to bring Lynn inside so she could 'enjoy' at least one half of football.
  Back outside and we make our way up to the far end, Stu and John stop at our dug-out for a while as me , Lynn and Liam go behind the goal to join the others. Liam is asking me all about 'Dream Team' and how long I'd been watching it. Stu and John finally rejoin us and Stu is telling us about the fact that one of our substitutes is Mat Roney. He says he's going to attempt to get him and Dave McCarthy mentioned together in his report in a kind of Italian way.(read it to find out if he succeeded).
   Back to the game and Sheffield at last take a hold of the game by scoring two goals in the space of two minutes. Despite some late pressure, they hang on for the victory and yet another three points from our travels. John attempts to get the man of the match votes as we walk round in single file down the side of the pitch with various posse members telling us their vote and everyone then passing it on the John. It's pretty bad tempered as the players walk off the field, with the Glapwell officials swearing at the team and everyone with their own version of what went on whether they actually saw it or not.
   As for us, well we were just glad to get out of there and back to the land of 'clubworld' in the car as we listened to the footy round up. I was thinking that maybe the club could have theme days for the rest of their home fixtures , based on popular television shows of the Seventies. Of course, when Glapwell come to visit then we'll base the day around that not to be missed , Friday game show...........'It's A Knockout ,'  Until next time.
      Happy Travelling
          Trev

Dinnington Town v. Sheffield Wednesday
                                 (26/10/06)
 It's an extra travels tonight as I'm off to see Dinnington in their game against a Sheffield Wednesday side (mainly youth team). This is to officially see the switch on off their new floodlights. The fact that they've been using them all season seems to have escaped everyone's attention.
  With me finishing work at 4.30 I'd agreed with Stu that I'd get the bus and go straight to his house as I would have to go through the city centre anyway, and the traffic is fairly busy at that time. The game is near enough for Stu to travel to and, after all, he wants to drive there in order to see how his back is, being as he's returning to work next week. I get a call from him while I'm still on the bus, he's just checking my whereabouts and also asks if I fancy a bite to eat when I get there. Well, you know me folks, never one to refuse food ! 
   So when I arrived, Lynn was busy ironing Liam's karate uniform while Stu got our meal on the plates....bangers and mash ! Got to say, I was ready for it, and very tasty it was too. With Lynn finished and Liam now ready for karate, they set off to take the little one to his class whilst me and Stu tucked into the food. When Lynn got back she said that Liam had decided that he wanted bangers and mash too for his supper after class.
  Once we were all fed and watered  it was time to set off. First stop was the sports centre to drop Lynn off so she could pick Liam up. It only took about twenty minutes to get to the ground and the car park was almost full. We saw big Steve there, of course he'd come to cheer on the Owls. There was a fair size crowd there and we managed to get a few words with one of our ex-players Liam Cartledge. We told him, he ought to get a hat full of goals tonight against these young lads.
  For the first half we stood on the sidelines.Stu got talking to a bloke and they were rabbiting on about Dinnington and Central Midlands football in general. As a sideline to the game we also watched the local youths squaring up to each other...mind you , they were only five or six year olds, but it was funny to see, especially as their dads just carried on watching the game. It was Dinnington who opened the scoring, with Liam heading home from a corner. was this the start of a goal feast ? Not exactly, as the young Owls side drew level just two minutes later.
   Half time and we make our way to the snack bar to get some drinks to warm us up. "What do you want Trev ?" asks Stu, just as Lynn calls him on his mobile. He moves out of the queue to answer the phone while I wait for our drinks. When we get to the front, I order two teas for us, Stu then says, "Can you get them Trev, it'll be my treat, only I've not got owt left on me to pay with . " Nice one Stu.
  Second half , and this time Stu ends up talking to a different bloke , but still about the same stuff, he's a fountain of knowledge....among other things I could think of ! Liam isn't on the pitch for the second half, but being as it's a friendly, he does make a return to the action mid way through the half. The youngsters are certainly fast, and are giving the home side a good run for their money. Their enthusiasm is rewarded two minutes from time when they take the lead, and are able to hold on to it until the final whistle. Overall it was a good night for the club and apart from the result I think most people went away happy.
   Stu said he was feeling tired which was understandable, but overall, he passed his 'fitness' test. Thankfully, he wasn't too tired to drop me off at home. Until next time.
       Happy Travelling
          Trev

  Pickering Town v. Sheffield
                                (24/10/06)
It's off to Pickering yet again for a night match, and it's a first for this season as I'm travelling up with Billy Two Pies and Mal, Deano is also with me too. This is due to our two regular drivers being incapacitated. Stu is still in pain with his back, so he can't drive or sit for any considerable length of time and John is still suffering the effects of his bout of Pneumonia and couldn't face the trip, even if someone else was driving. Originally I'd just called Bill to ask him to get the programmes for all of us, but when I explained none of us would be going because both our 'regular' drivers were out of commission he offered to take me and Deano, so a few phone calls, and arrangements were put in place.
  I was working a bit later today, so after a quick dash home there was just time to get my footy gear on before I'm out of the house again, first stop is back to town where I'm due to meet Deano.Once that's completed we search for the number 52 bus stop, as Bill is picking us up at the Asda supermarket at Handsworth. We're busy chatting in the queue when a bus turns up, and promptly drives straight off, due to the fact that the ignorant sods in front of us wanted a different bus, but never asked if anyone wanted THAT one !!! We certainly made sure we got on the next one when we saw it approaching. Believe it or not it's another nice evening, sunny and not too cold at all. Once we're at the supermarket we wait for Billy, in fact if we'd have thought it out we could have got here earlier and gone into the cafe for a bite to eat.He turns up and off we go.....round and round the car park , as we can't find the way out !
   Eventually we're out and on the motorway, talking about footy for most of the journey. It's 'our' birthday today as the Club is 149 years old, same age as our president I think.I wonder if Pickering will give us three points as a birthday present ? Me and Deano decide to 'rest' our eyes as the clouds start to gather and the rain starts, but not before we managed to get a little lorry spotting done, not many spotted, but they all count in our own battle at the bottom of the table. We've made great timing as there were no hold ups on the motorway as we pull into the Pickering car park just before 6.30. We just sit there for a few minutes as everything is still in darkness. Bill tells us there's a chippy just round the corner, so we decide to go there to stretch our legs, kill a bit of time, and get some food. First of all I have to do some gardening by watering the local bushes at the side of the car park, this sets Deano off too, so he does some gardening of his own. We then follow Bill. "Just round this corner lads,only a few yards away." Well I'm not sure how Bill measures his yards but we were walking for about ten minutes.....I think we were actually on the outskirts of Scarborough before the chip shop came into sight! Bill just had chips and gravy, as he said he was saving some room to have a pie at half time inside the ground. He did confess to having two pies last year, which I saw him have, what I didn't know at the time , which he just confessed to was the fact that he had fish and chips before the game too ! Mal just had chips and gravy too while I was all set for fish and chips, that was until Deano said, "Hey Trev, they do Spam fritters." Well, that was it. I hadn't had one of those since I was at school...yes, ALL those years ago, so I had one of them instead of the fish. Deano went mad too, having  haddock and chips. That's two away matches where he's been pigging out with the rest of us, we'll convert him yet ! We stroll back to the ground, eating as we go. We manage to finish the meal before we get back to the ground and Deano has some Wet Wipes to clean our hands with, only trouble was, we couldn't get into the packet, so ended up ripping it apart.
  Once in the ground, it's time for a cuppa to wash the chips down. They've decorated the clubhouse since last season. It now has new tables and a new carpet, the food's still good too, with the complimentary biscuits for those who get there first.
   The game kicks off with us kicking towards the clubhouse. Tim Sue and Billy turn up, they just made it into the ground as the game started. It's a dream start as Whitey fires us in front on six minutes. Four minutes later and this time it's Vill in the right place to slot home goal number two. The night gets better after twenty minutes as Whitey gets his second of the game from the penalty spot. We can't believe it, and by the sounds of the grunts and groans from the stand, neither can the locals. To be fair though, we've been in total control throughout the game. Then a moment of amusement brings more delight for the travelling faithful. Club get a corner, and as it's put into the box, Brownrigg swings a foot at it and sends it straight out to the touchline instead of goalwards, but the ball is sent over again and this time he makes no mistake, diving in to head past a bewildered Pickering keeper. Pickering did manage to pull one back just before half time when a long range shot hit Brownrigg, deflecting past Holmshaw, who originally had it covered. Sheffield could still have gone into the break 5-1 up, but after doing all the hard work, Gav missed, what was for him a sitter, putting the ball the wrong side of the post. However, you can't really complain being 4-1 up at half time at Pickering. In the clubhouse, there were long queue at the bar as the local were in need of something stronger than tea to get them through the second half ! I sent a text to Stu, while Deano sent one to John, and both of them thought we were making the score up. The second half saw club content to soak up the pressure and just hit the home side on the break. Pickering did pull another goal back, while at the other end Vill saw one effort come back off the post. We were enjoying ourselves, isn't it amazing how it never feels as cold when you're winning. We wanted the team to get more goals to really rub their noses in it, but in the end a 4-2 victory was more than we could have hoped for. It certainly made for a very pleasant journey home, along with our usual Tuesday ritual of listening to Steve Harley on the radio with his ' Sounds of the Seventies', not only that, but it seemed a quicker journey home too. Bill made sure me and Deano weren't wandering the streets by dropping us off at home. I celebrated with a bowl of porridge before bed, and thinking about what Stu and John were going to say the next time we saw them. Until next time
       Happy Travelling
          Trev

Glasshoughton Welfare v. Sheffield
                             ( 21/10/06)
It's a beautiful sunny day as John picks me up from work.It's hard to believe we're almost at the end of October, mind you, it is  starting to feel a lot cooler at night, or perhaps it's just me getting old.I'm looking forward to today's game as it's a couple of season's since I was last here. Last year I was at Ocean City in New Jersey, standing by the Atlantic Ocean in the sunshine, while you lot were freezing your extremities off!
  We head out towards the motorway through Hillsborough, and it takes us over twenty minutes just to get past the ground, due to the Owls being at home. You watch, now that Sturrock has been sacked, they'll win today! Once we reach the motorway, I decide to 'rest ' my eyes, but not before John spots an Eddie Stobbart and tells me to mark it down. I started a league table for our lorry spotting (yes, go on....HOW SAD !) anyway, Stu is just in front of John with me and Deano so far behind we're almost falling off the bottom of the page.We arrive in time to claim the last parking spot in the car park and head into the ground and straight to the clubhouse.John gets the teas and sausage rolls and when the bloke only charges him a quid he says, "I'll be back soon for more."
   The teams are out so we walk round to the far side, into the sun and would you believe it, Glasshoughton score more or less straight from the kick-off. It doesn't take too long to draw level though as G.T. shoots and scores, only for the home side go in front again after a defensive mix-up. Today we have a female assistant running the line, and, although we're not being sexist, it would have been better if she had gone shopping instead., and that was one of our women supporters who came out with that. Mind you , Deano had a good one as she failed to spot a handball by one of the home team. Deano shouted, " I bet you'd have spotted his hand if it was giving you a box of chocolates!"
   Half time and it's back into the clubhouse for more goodies. Little Billy is hobbling about on crutches. He's hurt his ankle playing football, gaining everyone's sympathy. We just go for the jugular and blame his dad (Tim) telling Billy to own up and tell us that it was his dad that kicked him. Back outside for more entertainment from the assistant, frustration more like. Thankfully super-sub Picko saves the day with an equaliser four minutes from time to at least gain a share of the points, and me and John are happy as the Owls have won too. It's still nice and sunny as we drive home listening to the footy results and the comedy that is ' Praise or Grumble' on the radio. We even see Bill and Jackie pass us on their motorbike, leaving us in their wake, Silver Dream racer or what !
   Next up is our usual night trip to Pickering, there's a surprise. I'm sure the fixture planners are having a laugh with us. They must look at the games before the season starts and then say, "Right, Pickering v. Sheffield. let's make sure it's a midweek game , preferably in the winter months." Oh well, not to worry, we'll be there come what may. Until next time.
     Happy Travelling
        Trev

   Thackley v. Sheffield
                         (10/10/06)
 It's a dark Tuesday night, it must be Thackley. We nearly always seem to play them midweek, but not to worry, we're all in a good mood, the reason being........hot-dogs ! They're the best we've had over the past couple of years and this year we tend to pig out once again ! As Stu is still incapacitated to drive the whole distance, he's picking me up and driving us both over to John's , where he'll take us the rest of the way. First words that Stu greets me with as I get in his car, "Have you got some paper and a pen?" It seems he's come well prepared to do the match report as usual ! I ask about his back on the way over to Johns. He says, "It's killing me. I went swimming today and felt great in the water, so I swam and swam. Of course, by the time I got out I forgot what a difference it is being out of the water !" As we get nearer to our destination we spot Maz walking up the road after finishing work. We pull over to offer her a lift, but she declines, saying, "I've been sat down all day, I want some exercise." So we carry on, Stu pulling out in front of a car, who's driver signals his annoyance by beeping him loud and long. Stu just shouts out, "Yes, I can hear it works."
  As we pull up outside Johns, he's just getting into the car. Stu parks on the driveway and we lock up and jump into Sammy, Stu once again taking the front seat. John says, "It's like a bank robbery, when the crooks drive so far, then exchange cars to throw the cops off the scent." We set off down the road and Deano is just locking his door as we arrive. We tell him not to bother as Maz arrives a minute later. She's not going to the game tonight, prefering to relax at home instead of standing about in the dark watching some blokes kick a ball about ! It's getting quite misty as we head for the motorway and guess what ? We're just about at the end of the slip road when Stu spots an Eddie Stobart. He's that chuffed with himself, he even starts clapping. I'll not tell you what comments we made as it might upset some readers of a nervous disposition ! One things for certain, I'll finish bottom of the spotting league. I have enough trouble during daylight, but now it's dark on our travels I've no bloody chance, and that's with my glasses on ! There's a few more 'spots' along the way with Stu getting most of them,John getting the others , with me and Deano getting nothing at all, so we give up and just sit back and enjoy the journey listening to Chris Evans on the radio. Once he's finished, it's time to put on 'our' CD for what's left of the journey. Once at the ground, we park next to Bill and big Steve. We're busy singing the ooo-ooo song, but he's taking no notice of us, he's in a world of his own busy reading the programme.
   Straight into the ground and we head for the snack bar. I order hot-dogs all round and tea for me, John and Stu. John's a bit late catching us up and he's still unwell and doesn't want any food so we know he must be ill to pass up this chance of food. I change the order, soup for John instead of tea and one less hot-dog, which totally confuses the woman behind the counter, but we sort it out eventually although it's a good job she wasn't busy or else I'd have been strung up for holding the queue up.
  Once the teams have decided which way they're kicking, we go and take up our usual residence behind the opponents goal. Although it's dark, it's quite warm which makes a change. The referees whistle blows and the game gets under way. Thackley are first on the attack, and they score ! Sheffield restart the game, and they score too, with G.T. firing low and hard into the bottom corner. It looks like it's going to be quite a night. Thankfully the games settles down. Sheffield taking control early on and doing most of the attacking. 20 minutes gone and the lads take the lead as Andy Brownrigg gets on the scoresheet. There's no more goals this half, but plenty of chances. We're doing our best to encourage the lads singing songs from Deano's CD compilation (mainly the ooo-ooo song), much to the embarrassment of Caroline and Andy who gradually start edging away from us to stand on their own.
  As the half time whistle blows it's off back to the snack bar. It's hot-dogs again for three of us as Deano treats us, we even get the last ones of the night too. He's not going overboard though, as we have to buy our own drinks. Okay, I know it probably looks like we're a set of pigs, but we only get here once a season so we have to make the most of it !
  The second half gets under way and the game is sewn up when Gav Smith heads home to complete the scoring. Thackley tried to mount a challenge but were thwarted by a well organised defence. Just before the end Stu wants a pee, and being as the toilets are at the far end of the ground he takes the easy way out by going through the gate into the horses field and having one there. He shouts, "Hey lads, it's a great view from here." As his head pops up over the wall. We're having such a good time, and to complete our gourmet evening I produce a box of Jaffa Cakes which I'd brought with me. Believe it or not, I did share them out as well !
   Once the referee blows for full time we make our way back to Sammy and listen to the CD  again until it's time for Steve Harley's show. He usually plays obscure records from the 70's, the sad thing being that usually at least one of us can recognise each tune. All except for Stu that is, who says that the 70's 'passed him by.'
  Of course, those in the front got some more spotting done, I was having enough trouble just keeping my eyes open ! Back in Sheffield, and Deano is out first before John drops me and Stu off. We get in the 'bullet', (the Millennium Falcon' was scrapped quite a while ago. Apparently, it could no longer reach light-speed !) and make our way off the drive so John can park up for the night. A steady drive up Herries Road and I'm home in no time. I'm that full that I don't even bother with a cuppa and I certainly don't want any supper, so it's off to bed after another evenings entertainment. I didn't mean the game.......I meant us ! Until next time.
    Happy Travelling
      Trev

Nelson v. Sheffield
                            (07/10/06)
 I'm off today, well I actually put a holiday in as soon as I knew we were going to be playing Nelson so I knew I'd be able to get there. It's an early start today for this F.A. Vase game as we're going up on the coach. We're meeting it at Tankersley, as it's nearer for us to get there than to go to the Coach and Horses. No problems getting there as we park up next to Jonah. Once the bags are out of the back we walk down to the bus stop, me and Deano in front, John and Jonah following us. Me and Deano are already across the road before we see the other two. John turns around and heads back to the car while Jonah carries on. I say to Deano, "I bet he's left his phone in the car."  He seems to be taking a long time and Deano turns to me and says, " Supposing he's collapsed ?" (He's had some kind of bug for a while where he can't stop coughing and feels washed out all the time). We both looked at each other and decided we'd go and check on him.........after the match ! 
  He eventually turns up. It appears he had his phone with him all the time, but forgot his glasses as he'd had his sunglasses on for driving. The coach arrives and we eventually set off, half an hour later than planned, but being as it's still only 11 O'clock we've still got plenty of time. It's an uneventful journey as we take the motorway over the Pennines. Stu and Liam are sat farther down the coach so there's no lorry spotting today as we're too spread out to judge who said they spotted one first. Me and John take the opportunity to relax and read, and in my case doze as well .  We're still well ahead of time being as there has been no hold ups so we call into the services for a break. It was a choice of McDonalds, Little Chef or the local garage ! Being as we only wanted a cuppa me,John, Stu and Liam went into the Little Chef. We knew the coach wouldn't leave without us as Alan, Steve and Jackie were already in there. You can't really turn up at the ground without the Club Chairman and secretary can you ? As we had our drink, Liam was showing us his karate moves he's learnt, despite almost decapitating himself on the edge of the table, he falls down more that Christian Renaldo !
  Back on the coach and we keep our eyes out for the sign for Nelson which is not too far away. We arrived just after 1 and, being as the place wasn't open yet we stayed on the coach for a while, the players were okay as they could get straight in. Stu has got off to stretch his legs and after a while he comes back to tell us that the gates are open and the programmes are on sale. It's still early but I tell John that I'll go and get the programmes, just in case they haven't printed too many because, as usual it's a good following we've brought today to cheer the lads on. So me, Liam and little Billy go to fetch them. Billy asks for a programme, pays for it then walks through the turnstile instead of just turning around. I said to him, "What did you do that for ?" He just shrugged his shoulders as if to say ' I've no idea'. Thankfully the steward let him back out again and we went back to the others. We eventually decide to make a move and go into the ground. It's not a back little place, on one side there's actually a row of stone cottages which look really good and I comment, "If you're a footy fan it would great to live there, you could watch the game from the bedroom window." We make our way round to the bar, Mick tells us that they weren't quite ready for us this early and were still getting the place ready and Jamie Holmshaw gave them a hand by hoovering up ! We settle down, read the programme and watch a bit of tv. Liam and Billy are getting restless so Stu shows them how to flip beermats. This almost gets out of hand as Liam goes around collecting ALL the beermats in the place ! Thankfully, some kind of order is restored. Deano comments on the tv stand.......it's two chairs put side by side. Then we all spot an empty cabinet in the corner of the room and all shout at the same time, "Is that their trophy cabinet?" Stu takes a photo for posterity.We're hungry now and go in search of food and come back with meat pies, and very tasty they were too. The game kicks off and we walk to the far end. Very few chances and our goal seems to have a charmed life as Holmshaw keeps us in it with some outstanding saves. Stood just behind us are three stewards who are talking to each other. Deano turns to me and says, "I can't understand a bloody word they're saying." I tell him, " It's okay, I can speak fluent Rochdale !" This is a reference to two sisters who work in my department as I'm always mocking them at work. Half time and it's back to the clubhouse for a cuppa. The second half sees us play a lot better but still fail get more than a couple of decent efforts on target. It looks as though the game is going to go into extra time but then we get a slice of fortune as Vill is fouled in the area and , at last , the referee does award us a penalty after two earlier clear cut fouls were ignored. Up steps Whitey to blast the ball home and that's it, we're in the next round. To be honest, it was rough justice on the home side who had certainly played better than us on the day, but there you go....tough ! As we have to wait for the players we go back to the clubhouse and watch most of the first half of England's game against Macedonia, that didn't look too sparkling either.
   Time to go and it's all back on the coach. No stops this time as we all want to get home. Deano is busy working out the headline for the website, trying to include as much historical content as possible. Me and John read a bit more and also have a sandwich before I decide to rest my eyes. No problems getting back to Tankersley and then it's back in the car and home. Despite just sitting down for most of the day I'm worn out. It must be all that travelling and fresh air so it's an early night for me, as I fall asleep before Match of the Day yet again. Until next time
       Happy Travelling
          Trev

Gedling Town v. Sheffield
                      (03/10/06)
 Here we are, on yet another adventure as we go into Autumn on the road to winning this prestigious cup competition. Okay, I know I'm being sarcastic but let's face it, and appologies to Gedling, who wants to be travelling into the back of beyond on a wet Tuesday night ?(Actually, it was dry, so that was a bonus). We've only been here once before and it was blowing a gale, and we were well beaten too that evening. The only bright point of that night was laughing at Richard Davenport's dad trying to find the entrance as he went through a gap in the trees only to come up against a wall !
   It's a car full tonight with Stu joining me, John and Deano for the trip. It's also a bonus for me as it means that I don't have to do any multi-tasking although I may need to do a lot of holding or bending up and down. This is due to the fact that Stu is off work having damaged a lower vertebrae in his back. He was due a late fitness test (i.e.. asking Lynn if he could go to the game) but I sent her an email yesterday pleading with her to let him join us and I promised to look after him, which is why I may be bending up and down, to pick up a dropped pen or holding onto his cuppa for him when we get refreshments.
  I get down to the library just before John and Deano arrive and then it's off to Gleadless to pick up the invalid. Before he can get in the car it's time for a game of musical chairs.....Deano moves from the passenger seat so Stu can sit in front as it should be a little easier for him to get in and out there. I was sat behind Deano, so now I have to move over so he can have his usual seat otherwise he has difficulty getting in and out from the other side. In fact the only one who's still in the seat he started off in is John, and thank God for that !
  As we set off, Stu says, "Even though I've hurt my back, I got an email to play for a team today." So I asked, "Go on then, who was it?" (Knowing full well it had to be a wind-up.) His reply........"Munching Glass Back!" Which I thought was pretty good at the time. It's a steady journey along the motorway and then I notice Deano peering over to the other carriageway. I said to him, "You're looking for the lorries aren't you?" His smile gave it away and then we were all alert. Of course, with the two drivers sat in the front they had the best view and it was no surprise that they were spotting most of the ones we usually look for. In fact Stu was in top form, although I did threaten to take points off him for only spotting a cab and no trailer or just plain guessing ! John would have been up there with him, but he's under the weather with some sort of bug but he still got more than me and Deano.
  We're going a different way tonight from our last visit. This courtesy of Stu, who says we'll be alright going through the centre of Nottingham as the ground is just on the other side. Right ! With about twenty five minutes to go till we get there (well, that was the estimated time of arrival) Deano hands Stu a CD to put on. It's another one of his compilations we'd been talking about featuring all the songs related to certain trips, like the Muppet song (Allow an Hour) and Blue Moon (One Flag) get it ? There's still plenty of room to add more. By the time we get to Chas and Dave singing 'Gertcha' we're well into it. Deano is playing an imaginary piano solo whilst I'm accompanying him on my invisible drum kit ! By now we've slowed right down as we hit the city centre and we're getting some funny looks from the passers by, but we're not bothered...face, bothered ? Then me and Deano decide to swing our arms about in time to the music. Stu just looks at us and tries to sink further down in his seat out of view. Billy two pies calls me, he was going to ask me to get him some programmes but I tell him we're still on the road. It appears he's about half an hour behind us.
  Whilst we've been enjoying ourselves it appears we've missed a turning somewhere and spend the next fifteen minutes or so trying to get out of the city centre. I call Bill back, tell him what's happening and ask him to get us OUR programmes if he gets there before us. As we pass the Victoria Shopping Centre once again , Deano says, " Is this is what hell is like - stuck in the centre of Nottingham going round and round and round ? All this cruising about and we still haven't scored any drugs or met any mucky women !" Eventually we manage to find a road that leads out of the city centre and we're back on track. We've still got three miles to go when Bill  texts me to say he's already there now and he's got the programmes.
  We finally get there five minutes after kick-off. Deano says, "It's no wonder they don't get big crowds, nobody can find the bloody place !" The fun's not over yet though. After we'd al got out of the car and got the bags and coats, we follow Stu, who's busy talking to Lynn on his phone. He takes us through a gap in the bushes figuring it was a short cut, only to come up against a fence. So we ended up walking the proper way round to the entrance and as we're doing that we hear a cheer go up and by the sounds of it someone's scored, and we all think the same thing...we're losing. The gateman confirms it as we enter the ground.
  We wander down to the far end , being as we're kicking that way and go and stand with Bill and big Steve, who tell us what happened. I must admit that the club have made a good job of upgrading the ground since our last visit, although there's quite a smell lingering about. I said it could be the canal that runs alongside the ground but Stu assured us it was actually from a chemical works not far away, God knows what they're making ! John's worn out after the drive so says he's going to sit down in the stand for a while with the rest of the posse. So like the good mates we are....we leave him to it! Thankfully it's not long before we're on level terms thanks to Whitey and then, just before half time he sets up Holmsie who lashes the ball home to see us go into the interval ahead.
   We head to the snack bar, Mick says the tea is crap so me and Stu get a bottle of pop each, John's lost his appetite as he's been sucking cough sweets and doesn't want anything. Me and Stu are hungry so I have a cheeseburger and Stu can't decide between having one as well or a hot dog. In the end he says, " I'll have a cheesedog burger. " The silly bugger. I get him the same a me. Back outside and they've got some power cables running overhead which someone has put some kind of decoration on to make them stand out or maybe to keep the birds off. Anyway, I said, "Oh look, they've got their Christmas lights up by now." Back on the pitch and , (as Stu would say), on the hour mark, Gav Smith ghosts in to score and then White is on hand to tuck away another as their keeper spilled a shot from Daz Winter. The home side do get on the score sheet as Jonah unfortunately deflects a shot into his own net. Just before full time, super sub Picko hits the teams fifth of the night as he goes through on goal. He was actually tackled, but the ball rebounded off his leg and into the net, oh well, they all count.
  After the game we say our farewells to the rest of the gang, who advise us to avoid Nottingham city centre  and head out for the journey home. We do take the different route and settle back to listen to Steve Harley and his 70's radio show. Another staple of our Tuesday night away games. Would you believe we get home much quicker this time. We'll be okay on Saturday as we're taking the coach to Nelson, so if we get lost then at least it won't be our fault. Until next time.
    Happy Travelling
      Trev

Dinnington Town v. Bacup Borough
                            (23/09/06)
 With us having no game today ( I hate having blank Saturdays during the season) me and John decided to take the opportunity to go and see some familiar faces at Dinnington as they play their F.A. Vase tie. This is the reason why we are not playing today, as we are exempt from this round, but will be travelling to play Nelson in the next round.
  It's been quite a while since we last visited them, and since then they've gained promotion into the NCEL Division One. We'll also be able to say hello to Steve Toyne and Liam Cartledge who are just two of the ex-Sheffielders there (among a few others.) I'm working this morning and the first stop when I get out is to the City Hall to book tickets for one of my favourite female artists - Shawn Colvin. With that done , it's off to meet John. Now Sheffield city centre on any day is pretty bad for car drivers, but on a Saturday, unless you're desperate, you just don't take the car there. So we decided to meet at the Hotel Bristol. No, I haven't booked a luxury suite  for an afternoon of wild abandonment with some travel groupies, it's just that there's a garage directly in front of it, so I can get in the car and then we're straight onto the Parkway.
   It's a lovely warm day, there are a few clouds about but they don't look too threatening. With no hold ups along the way we arrive in plenty of time. The first thing to notice is that the car park  now has tarmac laid on it and parking bays marked out. They even have security lights installed for night games too. The ground is now fully enclosed, which must be a godsend for the team, who used to have to erect temporary fencing for each game before they even got to start warming up for the game. Inside they now have their own little snack bar and there's even a small stand behind one of the goals, as well as netting up at either end for any wayward shots, something we desperately need at our place. They've even got floodlights now as well.
  We go and get a cuppa and take refuge from the sun under the covering at the side of the pitch. We get a chance to talk to Liam before he goes to warm up and sit ourselves down on the steps. We're joined by a couple more Sheffield supporters as Mick and Andrew turn up, they must be at a loose end today too. 
  With the game ready to start we decide to stay where we are. The home side attack from the start and are well in control of the game, creating numerous chances. On 15 minutes Liam is fouled in the area and he gets up to take the penalty himself which he scores with ease. Ten minutes later and the game is all square. From Bacup's first real attack they end up with a corner. The resulting kick sees the Dinnington defence playing at statues as Shepherd (No, it's not our John !) has a free header to level the score. That's the way it stayed for the rest of the half.
   Half time sees us venture out into the sun to get some refreshments as this time we indulge in a sausage roll as well as the usual cuppa. While we were queuing up to get served we met a guy from Maltby. He said, " I still can't believe we (Maltby) lost that match on Wednesday night. We're having a laugh with him saying that neither can we.
  Back under the cover and two regulars are asking us why we're here today. We tell them that we have no match and that we like coming to here to see some of our ex-players. In fact Timmsy would have been proud the way we were promoting Sheffield F.C. as the guys were asking questions about the club.
  Back to the game and neither side can get a breakthrough, although there are good chances at both ends. We then have a moment of controversy. With Dinnington attacking, Liam squeezes between two players in the area and is blatantly pulled back. The linesman's flag goes up straight away and the referee says "Play on" Well, there was no advantage at all as all the players had stopped and the linesman put his flag down and started running back along the line. Of course he's getting a right load of abuse from all of us on this side. When we ask him why he didn't stand his ground he said, "It's the referee's decision." We all yell at him that he's supposed to be assisting him and to have the courage to make a decision. He just smiled at us and got on with the game.
   Thankfully with ten minutes left Dinnington got what proved to be the winner. A high cross into the area was headed back into the middle and once again Liam was first there to tuck it inside the post. No more than the home side deserved. We look at our watches and make it that there's only about two minutes left to play.One of the regulars asks the linesman, he looks at his watch and says, " Six minutes plus any time the referee adds on." "How do you work that one out then?" one of the regulars shouts before John pipes up with, " His watch is about as good as his eyes."  Which was a real gem, even if I say so myself. Finally the game is over and Dinnington are through to the next round.
  We wait to talk to Liam and Steve Toyne, who thank us for coming to support them, we tell them we'll be back at some stage in the season saying, " You never know Steve, you may be playing us in a future round." Even with all that's been done here, the players still have to take their own nets down after the game. Ah, non-league football, don't you just love it. Until next time
  Happy Travelling
     Trev

Maltby Main v. Sheffield
                      (20/09/06)
Surprisingly it's a lovely sunny day, you wouldn't think that Autumn is just around the corner. With us only playing at Maltby there's not such a big rush to set off early, although we don't want to leave it too late as their car park is only very small and we want to try and get Sammy parked in there instead of having to park on the road.
  I'm just in the middle of doing myself some poached eggs and beans on toast when my mobile rings. It's Stu, he's now got his new p mobile phone and was just calling to say that he's been able to use his old SIM card in it. I'm half listening to him with the phone jammed between my ear and shoulder while I juggle about with the pans on the cooker. He say's, " I've got your home number in my memory Trev, but not your  mobile number. " Of course, I should be concentrating on what he's saying as I reply, " Well I'll text you the score tonight Stu , then you'll have my number." There's a long pause at the other end of the phone before he says, " Trev, what are you doing now ?"  " I'm cooking something to eat before I go to meet John." I reply.
 "And what else?" he questions me.
  "Talking to you of course," as I flip the toast over.
  " So then, what are we talking on ?" he carries on. The penny finally dropped with a big thud.....DOH  !!! " Oh yeah.........my mobile !"
  His reply, amid much laughter was something like , " You thick twat. I bet you won't put that in the travels." Well folks, here it is in black and white...Trev having a 'Senior Moment !'
  John picks me up, and I tell him the story which brightens up his day as we head for Maltby, having first stopped off at Morrisons for John to get some cash. We arrived at the ground just before seven, but still ended up parking on the main road. As we walk to the entrance we're listening to two locals having an argument as one was saying the other didn't indicate to turn into the car park and it looked like they were going to come to blows which would have been a bit of good pre-match entertainment being as there is no whippet racing at the ground tonight !
  Into the ground and the news is we have two new players in the side tonight. Well, it's not strictly true as one of them is Ryan O'Carroll who's come back after his short stay at Belper Town. The other player is Vill Powell who we've signed from Retford United. I say to John, " I just hope he doesn't take a penalty if we get one." (This, in reference to his miss in the penalty shoot-out when he was still at Retford a few weeks ago.)
  We go to the snack bar where John has a burger and we both have a tea. The bloke serving us asks if we require sugar, they put the sugar in themselves...I think they must still think they're on war rations. So he sugars one for John and puts them  on the counter before turning to get Johns burger. When I ask him , "Which one's got the sugar in?" He replies, "That one." Now he either thinks I'm a psychic or else he's an eye in his arse because he never turns around to indicate which cup is 'That One'.
  Anyway, with drink and food to go, we wander back to the touchline behind the goal ready for the kick-off. David and Deirdre turn up which is usually the kiss of death at an away match and the game starts. Now Maltby's home kit is predominantly red, so tonight we are playing in our blue away strip. We get a corner straight away as one of their defenders knocks the ball behind the goal when the keeper had it covered. David thought this was our team, so we had to explain to him that we weren't in red tonight. I think he got the message eventually.
  The first half is pretty bleak viewing, not made any better by going in at half time a goal down thanks once again to our keeper.( Hey Macca, are you sure that Jamie isn't a juggler in a circus in his spare time ?)
  Back to the tea bar and it's like a well oiled machine with one lad taking the order and the money, one guy on drinks and another one on food. This time it's my turn to sample the burgers and they're not bad at all.
  For the second half we go and stand on the sideline, hoping for better things. The one advantage we have this half is that at least we have the wind behind us. It's certainly helping us as we bombard Maltby, who can't get out of their own half. Despite this, they manage to get a break away and end up getting a penalty which sees them go two goals in front. At this stage we're thinking that it looks like that's it, but then with twenty minutes left Macca does one of his inspired tic-tacs....or should that be tactics ? He brings on all three substitutes at once and within ten minutes we're winning 3-2....not only that, but all three subs have scored ! Despite a few scary moments at the end when Maltby got a few corners the game is ours as the referee blows for full time. The locals are very upset and disgruntled, we're all just surprised and elated of course.
  We listen to the radio on the short journey home, even taking a little detour (on purpose) before John drops me off at home. I'm still wide awake so decide to get straight on with writing the match report and celebrating with a coffee and Bailey's plus a few Jaffa Cakes. Until next time
    Happy Travelling
       Trev

twooldsods.jpg

TWO OLD SODS AT WITTON

Witton Albion v. Sheffield
                     (16.09.06)
There's no Deano and Maz today as they've gone on holiday to the Lake District . Bill and Gwen are also missing as they're having one of their extended breaks in Whitby, so no doubt they'll be watching a game up there today. Tim and Sue are still on holiday too so we're a bit depleted of regulars.Andy will be there but without Caroline who is on a first aid course for work today.What a day to have a course when the football season is on ! Mind you, I'm only making the trip due to having been able to swop my day off with one of my colleagues, so she's filling in for me today.
  The club are running a coach today but as Stu is going he's decided to drive us there as it's an easy trip over the Pennines.He picks me up at home and I seat myself in the back with Liam as we drive over to pick up John. It's a change for him to be in the passenger seat today. As John gets in the car Stu comes out with, " Sorry lads, but I can't make Maltby on Wednesday night." When we asked why not he said, " It's my twentieth wedding anniversary, so we'll be going out for a meal." He even told Liam to tell us the date of his anniversary, which of course he did, but I said , "You've been teaching him to say that on the way over to pick us up." We're not happy about this news as that means he's missed the last three years of going to Maltby, and why should we have to suffer while he gets away with it ? John says, " So, just because it's your anniversary, you can go out when we get back home." We then both say, " Bring Lynn with you and we'll even buy you fish and chips, how about that?" He laughs, but says he doesn't think so on this occasion. When I ask where Lynn is he says she's at home, so I ring her up. Stu can't believe I'm doing this and is laughing about it. When she answers I ask Lynn to verify it's their wedding anniversary as I tell her we don't believe it and Stu just made it up, but she said it was true. I even told her about mine and John's offer of a meal out at Maltby, but she declined, in between fits of laughter that is. Oh well, it looks like I'll be multi-tasking again then, unless of course today's game is a draw. John says, "If there's only one goal in it and it's almost full time we're going to cheer for the other team to score (whichever one it is) just so we can get a replay and postpone the Maltby match." We then help Liam who wants to know about disasters, both sporting and natural. It's surprising what you can remember (even at our advanced ages). When we get onto sporting disasters John says, "Sheffield Wednesday" and just leaves it at that, which makes us laugh. It's then onto lorry spotting, and both Stu and John are in fine form, perhaps that's why I never took to driving, I mean, if I can't see a bloody big lorry then what hope have I got !
  Liam has brought his portable DVD player with him so we're busy watching episodes of Father Ted to do any more spotting, but I do agree with Deano in the fact that it's a lot harder to spot them from the back seat. Stu even spots a James Irlam in a traffic jam about half a mile up the road !
  We arrive earlier than expected and John tells me to phone Lynn again and tell her she could have had an extra half an hour shopping in 'Next' this morning. This is because Stu put a time limit on her shopping exploits, using the picking up of us two as his excuse. The gates aren't open yet so we go into the clubhouse and Stu has a couple of pies....I guess we could call him Stuart two pies now ! Liam has his fill of chips with gravy while me and John just settle for a cuppa, served in china cups and saucers if you please. We thought we'd be posh and drink out of the cups with our little fingers pointing in the air, instead odd pouring the tea into the saucer and drinking it the old fashioned way ! Most of the other Sheffield supporters are already here as they came on the coach with the team. Even Richard Timms is here and sat with them. This mainly being because, even though he's our Chairman, he refuses to wear a tie and the officials won't let him into the hospitality suite without one, but does he looked bothered ? ....No, not in the slightest. I ask Liam for a chip which he refuses to give me so I jokingly ask Stu to tell him to give me one. He does, but he doesn't offer me the plate, no, he picks one up in his fingers for me ! Stu just looks on, words failing him at this point.
  With us all filled and watered we make our way inside the ground. It's a nice ground and a really good set up. Me, Stu and Liam wander round to the have a look in the club shop while John talks to Andy and Jackie. It's a beautiful day as the game kicks off and I ask Stu what he thinks the crowd is. He replies, " Well you know I'm not one to exaggerate Trev, so I reckon there's about nine million here!"( It's one of those days. ) The game starts at a fast pace and the hosts take the lead within three minutes. Thankfully we equalise just two minutes later but they go in front later in the half. At half time it's a visit to the snack bar for drinks all round and Liam says he's still hungry so I have to wait an eternity while he decides on ships or a burger. In the end it's chips and gravy (again) this time I manage to get two disposable forks so I can pinch some chips off him myself !
  We walk down to the far end ready for the second half. Some of the locals have been asking about our ground, as they reckon this game is heading for a draw, so we've been giving them directions. Out on the pitch Chris White is on hand to head home at close range to pull us level. This, despite us all saying that he should have been substituted before this as he wasn't featuring very much in the game. (How fickle we are, but hey, that's supporters for you.) Anyway a minute after that he does go off, only it's because he's been sent off for a second bookable offence. He can count himself very unlucky as he only made three tackles all match and was booked for two of them. At least the referee was consistent as he was about equally as bad with decisions for both sides. As if to rub salt into the wound, Witton then go and score again to get their noses in front once more. With time running out we then had a bizarre scenario which just can't be left out of the travels. The home keeper complained to the referee about a hole at the corner of his six yard box. We thought he was just using delaying tactics but no. One of their defenders put his hand in the hole (which disappeared up to his elbow ) and he pulled out a small rabbit. Even Paul Daniels couldn't do that trick ! Stu tried to get a photo of it as it ran off behind the goal, but it wanted anonymity !
  That was the last bit of action really as the referee blew for full time. Stu wanted to call Lynn but his phone wasn't working. Plenty of power there but you couldn't see anything on the screen , so I let him use mine. He said he'd get a new one by next week. As we drove out of the stadium Stu asked if we wanted to take a look at the Victory Stadium, which is the new home of Northwich Victoria and was only a couple of minutes from where we were. It's a nice place, and as we drove past the bar/restaurant Stu waved at the boy and girl who were serving, but had no customers. Once we'd been around the outside, he turned the car round and we drove back. This time it was mine and John's turn to wave at them....they just laughed and waved back. We pass the time by listening to the radio while Liam plays with his electronic game. I'm not sure what he was playing but it looked complicated to me.....(.bring back Space Invaders, that's what I say!)
  With Deano away it's going to John who's in charge of putting the result on the website tonight so we try and help him come up with something suitable.It starts getting more complicated, so I say, " Just put, it was sunny" This is in reference to when Liam does his match reports for himself. He always puts, it was sunny/raining/cold/snowing/windy etc. You just delete the ones not needed for that match !
  We finally arrive back in Sheffield and drop John off first. On the way home we stop to get a Green 'Un, but they're late out tonight, so after three shops we give up. Back at home and it's time to relax after all that sunshine and fresh air. Of course, I fell asleep before the football even came on the tv tonight. Until next time
    Happy Travelling
      Trev 

Long Eaton United v. Sheffield
I'm not sure if I'm multi-tasking today, as Stu is working until 2 O'clock. If he can get off straight away then he'll be here, but if there's any hold up at work then he'll be giving it a miss, so I'm praying that everything is running smoothly for him today.It's a glorious sunny day and I've enjoyed my day off so far doing bugger all except catch up on stuff on the video and eat !
  John picks me up at the library along with Deano. He was actually sat in the front but has now decided to sit in the back, so we do a bit of  musical chairs before setting off again. About a hundred yards along the road Deano shouts stop! He can't find his glasses (he's wearing shades at present.....Mr. Cool ) he says, "I think I may have dropped them when we picked Trev up."  Guess what ? They were under his bag on the seat next to him.....it's going to be a long journey !
  Onto the motorway and it's a lorry spotters delight today. I see an Edie Stobart, then John does the same so I tell him to keep his eyes on the road. He replies with, "But that takes all the fun out of driving." We're also having a laugh listening to a couple of comedy shows on the radio. John then gets the shout for a James Irlam, this was because I was busy putting a sweet in my mouth and was busy pointing, but couldn't talk. It's getting serious now as on one shout we have a three way tie, all shouting at once. John even tries to sneak in half a lorry. This is when the name of the company is on the cab but not the trailer. In fact he's in sparkling form and gets loads more spots. I was intending to do a league table for us, but I reckon he's already won it and it's only September !
  We arrive at the ground in good time and the car park is almost full, but this is mainly because there is another game taking place opposite the ground, some youngsters are just about ready to kick-off. We go inside and sit down in the sunshine while we wait to hear what the team will be. Me and John are a bit hungry so we venture over to the snack for a cuppa and also indulge in a bacon sandwich too. Stu calls to say he'll be arriving within the next few minutes, which is not bad timing at all being as he no longer has the Millennium Falcon. Deano is saying that he'll miss next weeks games as him and Maz are off on their annual trip to the Lake District. John is saying, "How can you go on holiday in the football season?" I'm behind him, agreeing with what he's saying, until he turns around to say, "You've some need to talk Trev." Before I start laughing. Deano replies, "Yes John, but you never take a proper holiday anyway." He replies with, "I went to Norfolk for three days, what more do you want?"  He told us he has the perfect marriage. He works all week and then goes to football on Saturdays, some weeks it's Sunday too. Lynne has a photo of him in their kitchen, so she can recognise him on the occasions they bump into each other!
  It's really warm as we stand behind the goal near the five a side pens. In fact at one point me and Stu actually sit down on the grass. It's about the best thing to do as out on the pitch there's not much happening there. Deano shows us his jazzy trousers. They actually have zips just above the knees so you can unzip them and wear them as shorts. As he demonstrates this to us,  Whitey (in a good scoring position) looks up and blasts the shot wide. I think he saw Deano's legs and panicked ! We start talking about songs that have inspired us on our travels, as Deano is planning to make a CD for us to play in the car on some of our journeys. As we're just saying, "What about the Muppet song ? We HAVE to include that." We start humming it and Carl turns round, (he's stood just in front of us and it's his first season) and gives us a quizzical look. We just say to him in unison, "Welcome to clubworld!" Dennis has turned up for this match too, in his shorts and shades, so obviously he gets some ribbing as we haven't seen him for quite a while. The best thing on the pitch this half was the substitution that didn't take place. Andy Brownrigg got caught by one of their players and was slightly limping. Macca holds up the number for Darren Holmes to replace him with Dean Sidebottom. Holmsies shouts " I'm not injured, it was Brownrigg that got caught." When Macca asks him if he's okay he says yes...so play carried on as normal. well, as normal as can be when it involves us.
  Thankfully the ref makes us all happy by blowing for half time and it's back to the snack bar for us. Stu is confusing the tea lass with our order as I'm trying to put the sugar in the correct cups. He comments that he likes her top (She's wearing a Celtic sweatshirt - one of Stu's teams.) She replied, "I'm only wearing it because I'm cold and it'll stop me getting my clothes dirty." lol.
   The second half passed us by in a blur. Well actually, I lied. It was like pulling teeth, and I bloody hate dentists. In fact at one stage me and Stu were looking over the perimeter fence and watching the kids game in the next field. We did have the better chances, but failed to convert any. Oh well, sometimes that's the way it goes. At least it was sunny and dry.
  It's a nice drive home and John is still in spotting mode, they must have had all the fleet of Eddie Stobart lorries out today. Back at home and all that fresh air has tired me out. So it's a quick snack of beans on toast then settle down to watch the tv. Of course, I fell asleep as soon as Match of the Day came on ! Until next time
      Happy Travelling
        Trev

Retford United v. Sheffield
                 (05/09/06)
  Well, this is the first 'unscheduled' travels, due to Saturday's draw in this F.A. Cup Preliminary Round tie. At least it's not tomorrow night, as we all want to stay in to watch the England/Macedonia game on the tv. All I can say is, you watch, I bet it goes to extra time and penalties just to drag it out a bit longer.
  It's been a bit mad at work today so I had a bit of a dash as I left later than I intended, giving me just 10 minutes from getting home, to setting out again to meet John and Deano at the bottom of the road.My task is made easier as half way down I see John driving up to meet me. First stop is a drive across town to pick up Stu. Once there, Stu climbs on board and asks John, "Do you know the way John ?" He replies, "No, that's why you're here with us." So Stu goes back into the house to pick up the directions. He said he knew roughly, it's just knowing which turnings to make off the roundabouts once we're nearly there. Funnily enough, the hardest part of the journey was trying to find the way off the estate where Stu lives ! Once we get to the A57 (for Worksop) John says, "You can relax now, I know my way from here." (He thinks !) He then almost misses a turnoff at the first roundabout we encounter.
  Once again the lads start the word association game, this time about Squeeze songs. They're too quick for me , so I just sit back and listen to them. Stu had anticipated for a few traffic jams with our departure time, but there was very little traffic on the road and we arrived in plenty of time. I did get to spot a 'Preston's of Potto' on the way there though. Stu said it was unfair as he was partially immobile due to a bad back, he hurt it at work ....he sneezed while carrying a 25kg bag of spuds . lol   (sorry Stu, but I think it's funny, I know you can't laugh because it hurts your back !)  What's even funnier was that he was telling Lynn, who said, "Okay, let me have a look at it." So he pulled his shirt up and she looked at the side which hurt the most and said, "It does look swollen love, let me have a look at the other side." So he moved round so she could examine that.Stu meanwhile was pleased with all the wifely concern, especially when Lynn sounded very concerned as she said, " I don't like the look of that love, but you know what I think it is?" Stu was very intrigued to know what she had to say, hoping it would be nothing too terminal. "No love, what do reckon it is ?" Her reply........".It's a roll of fat ! " When he told me that I couldn't stop laughing, the tears were streaming down my face.
  Once again we pay the usual fiver to get in, but get this, the buggers then have the cheek to charge 1.50 for a programme. I wouldn't mind if it was any good, but ours was better than that five years ago ! First stop is the snack bar. There's no pies ready so me and John settle for a chip butty each plus a cup of tea, and one for Stu too. He's already disappeared into the bar with Deano as they have cricket on live on the big screen, so we join them and settle down there for a while. It was a surprise to see Clive walk through the doors and join us as he's a Hallam fan.In fact you have to really feel sorry for him as he hasn't been given a very good deal in life. As well as supporting Hallam, he also follows Newcastle and Scotland, it's a wonder he's not on anti-depressants. Perhaps that's why he likes a drink, just to dull the senses. He told me this is actually his seventh Sheffield game, and, as yet, he hasn't seen Hallam play once . There's no Tim and Sue tonight as they're away on holiday, although Tim did tell me beforehand, so I gave him permission to be absent. I haven't seen Billy two pies yet either which is strange as he's usually here before the gates are open.
  It's a lovely warm evening as the game kicks off, there's even a pitch just behind us over the other side of the wall, so we watch that for a while too as one of the players is being treated for an injury, Bill shouting "Have It ! and How wide do you want the goal?"
  There's an early substitution for Retford which sees ex-Sheffield cult hero ...(I said CULT !) Mickey Godber enter the fray. John makes an observation and says to us all, "I know why Mickey joined Retford now." When we ask "Why?" he replies, "Well, they play in stripes so it makes him look a lot thinner !"
   The game is not too exciting and even the Retford keeper turns to us at one point and says, "It's boring this isn't it ?" Bill does turn up and joins us. I thought perhaps he was on holiday too but no, he told us he'd been hiding on the sidelines eating a chip butty and didn't want to come over till he'd finished in case we pinched his chips.
  Half time eventually arrives and it's back to the clubhouse to watch a bit more of the cricket. John gets us a cuppa as we emerge outside for the second half, all praying that someone scores this half to prevent extra time. Well someone does score...it's Mickey Godber who pounces on a loose ball after Jamie 'semaphore' Holmshaw flaps at a corner gifting him an easy tap in.
   Despite this setback the lads are trying hard and we eventually get an equaliser when ace poacher Picko is on hand to steer the ball home after some good work by Tev. With time running out Holmsie has a great chance to win it in the last minute but his diving header goes the wrong side of the post. So, yes, just what we all didn't want...extra time.All we can think about is that we're missing Steve Harley on the radio. Actually the extra time was far better than the game itself and with all our substitutes on it looked a bit ominous when Thorpey limped off injured leaving us to finish the game with 10 men. Despite this we looked the better side and Retford looked like they were just hanging on for the penalty shoot out, which is exactly what happened. Oh well, we got extra time so we might as well waste another 20 minutes or so for the penalties, at least you could say we've had our five quids worth tonight.
   The referee decides the penalties are going to be taken at the far end from where we are so we make our way round to the side of the pitch bang opposite the penalty area. It's Retford to go first and Holmshaw redeems himself by saving it. Up steps Whitey to slot it home..one up to us. Once again Retford have their second penalty saved, this time it's Sidebottom who increases the advantage...two up to Sheffield. The pressure's on now for Retford. Up steps their player who strikes the ball well, but Holmshaw makes his best save of the night to keep it out...come on lads. Up steps Marshie for our third one, we're all wondering how far into the next field he's going to kick it but he fools us all by calmly putting it into the net and that's it we're through ! While we're all cheering and jumping about, Marshie turns to take the adulation of the rest of the team who all rush towards him....then straight past him to congratulate Holmshaw...it was so funny to see, but Marshie went to join in the celebrations too. I've yet to see Sheffield lose a penalty shoot out, but I still don't like them, not when it involves my team anyway. 
   We eventually leave the ground and start the journey home. It's very pleasant as we listen to Mark Radcliffe interviewing the winners at the Mercury music awards. Finally reach home after dropping Stu off and it's time for a cuppa before bed. No Jaffa cakes tonight, mainly because I'd run out, so I made do with a bowl of cornflakes. Mind you it'll save me time in the morning as I'll be up in just over four hours for work. Until next time
     Happy Travelling
       Trev

Ossett Town Ladies v. Sheffield Ladies
                    (20/08/06)
  Well it was quite a rush to start with today. As John dropped me off home last night he said he'd pick me up at about ten past one. Now he thought I was off work, but I was actually working until noon, although I was late getting out anyway. So, at one O'clock, I'm calling him up telling him that I'm only just on the bus in town ! Anyway, we soon solve that by me getting off at Firshill where he can meet me so we can carry on our journey to see the Ladies first away league game of the season.
   On the motorway and John makes the first spot of the season as an Eddie Stobart lorry passes us on the other side. This is quickly followed by another one, but that was drawn as we both shouted at the same time.
  The timing was perfect as we arrived five minutes before kick-off, although we were a bit worried when we pulled into the car park as there wasn't that many cars there and we couldn't hear any noise at all inside the ground. It's quite breezy today but not cold, and , despite a few dark clouds it  surely can't rain as heavy as it did yesterday at Brodsworth !
   The Mickey Godber lookalike who plays for Ossett is there again, only this time she's in goal. Last season she was there centre forward....she's still wearing the same woolly hat though ! With only two minutes gone Sheffield score, but it was disallowed for offside. The ladies are playing well considering this is somewhat of a jinxed ground for them. Although saying that, they did win 3-2 here last year after giving the hosts a two goal start.
  On the half hour mark that's what happens again as , against the run of play Ossett score, then, five minutes later they do exactly the same thing to double the lead ! Half time and we don't even have any outside catering today as my plans to bring the flask were scuppered by finishing late at work.
   The second half once again sees the ladies taking the game to the hosts, who seemed to be somewhat injury prone, going down at the slightest tackle for no reason at all. This is a bit worrying as the ref didn't add on any extra time at the end of the first half. When they weren't going down injured they were kicking the ball out of the ground. In fact on several occasions Nigel had to lend them a ball to keep the play moving ! Five minutes to go and Ozzie finally pulls one back. Even Caz has come out of goal to play as an outfield player but it's all to no avail as Ossett hold on to their slender lead to take the points. At least the ref added some time on this half, but still not enough. It's been a funny weekend with both our Sheffield sides dominating their games and still losing . Oh well, things can only get better !  Until next time
     Happy Travelling
       Trev

Brodsworth M.W. v. Sheffield F.C.
 
I've got a day off at last, so take advantage of it by staying in bed till at least 6.30 a.m.! Weatherwise it's a funny kind of day with sunshine and showers, although we're not laughing all that much when the showers appear.First league match away and it's at Brodsworth so it's going to be a straightforward journey there and , hopefully, the usual three points. It's also the start of the Premiership today and Sheffield United are kicking off early against Liverpool, I'm hoping that John doesn't have it on the radio, but my hopes were in vain.At least it wasn't on when United scored and we do get to hear Liverpool equalise so it doesn't turn out too bad after all. Just on the outskirts of Doncaster we hit a very heavy rainstorm but come through it pretty quickly, only to find the road we're on snaking round to take us back into it. On arrival at the ground the car park is quite crowded but John manages to squeeze the car into a space , only to hear Deano saying that he won't be able to open the car door as it's too close to the next one. We tell him that that's okay, he can sit in the car and we'll text him the score. We then decide that 'Why should he have an easy afternoon ? Let the bugger out so he has to go into the ground like the rest of us  ! We eventually venture outside once the radio commentary has finished and the rain had stopped. I pay to get in, only to be called back by the gateman because he hadn't given me my entrance ticket, they're going all high-tech now in this part of the world ! I wonder if that's why they had the cheek to charge a fiver to get in ! We (Sheffield) must be one of the cheapest clubs in the league this season. The ground hasn't changed much, apart from that vandals had wrecked the snack bar during the close season. It was probably an act of revenge for a dodgy pie someone ate. There is food on though and it's in the bar. John leads us there, eventually arriving after walking round two or three outer buildings.At first I though we were going to have to invest in a Sat-Nav system to get there, it was only when we got inside that we saw the other entrance we passed in the first place. The man behind the counter is multi-tasking today as he's running the bar and the food/teas as well. He eventually gets the order right, and John even has to correct him on how much it should cost.
   Broddy have been drawn at home to A.F.C. United of Manchester in the F.A. Vase and we were talking about what impact the United fans would have here, especially as the bar is so small and there's only one more pub in the immediate vicinity, which is a fair walk away from the ground. I said to him, "I can see the headlines in the 'Star' John. ....United fans go on the rampage at Brodsworth, causing 5000 worth of improvements !" ( Since this was written, that game has been switched to Millmoor.)
  The game starts, and so does the rain, so we all scatter. Tim, Andy and little Billy head for the stand, Deano and Maz walk round to the cover at the other end  of the ground, while me and John take refuge back in the bar which was the nearest place and also we could look out of the large windows at the game. Eventually it stops and John goes out again to stand behind the goal while I'm busy talking to little John (Ball). By the time I go and join him, I just reach his side and the heavens opened again, so this time we trudged round to go and sit in the stand with the others.
   Out on the pitch and despite having all the play, things are not going to plan. Broddy's first corner sees them take the lead as Jamie 'semaphore' Holmshaw drops the ball at the feet of Lee Dews who says thank you very much and taps it into the net. Worse still, he then clatters into Pete Davey, who has to go off injured, with Hilts taking up his usual position and Gav Smith moving into the centre of defence. Half time arrives and we decide to give the refreshments a miss this time , instead we make our way to the far  goal to stand with Deano and Maz.
   The second half  doesn't get much better as, even with Deano's flag up behind the goal for the players to aim at they can't even get a shot on target. Somehow we got back into the game when Holmsies daisycutter eluded everyone to end up in the bottom corner. This spurred us on and the lads went for the kill and we did everything except kick the ball for them. Then, with time running out, Broddy had the cheek to take the lead again as their giant of a centre forward lumbered onto a throughball and shot past Holmshaw at his near post. They even had a couple more chances after that too. The ref finally put us out of our misery by blowing for full time. John was collecting the man of the match votes and little Billy asked him who had won. When he replied "Holmshaw" the poor kid nearly burst out crying until John told him he was only kidding !
   We had the radio on for sports report on the  way home although Deano was listening to music as he didn't want to know the details of the United match as he'd taped it and was going to watch it when he got home. He did know the score though. Thankfully the day wasn't a complete disaster  as the Owls actually won a match and it was away too. Back home and I got straight on with the match report as Stu wasn't at the game. Then it was time to chill out in front of the tv and see if I could stay awake for Match of the Day. Until next time.
     Happy Travelling
        Trev

Staveley v. Sheffield (08/08/06)
It's the last game before the proper stuff starts on Saturday and this is another kind of regular pre-season fixture as we seem to have played them the past couple of seasons too. It's been a nice day today so I decided to wear shorts. As usual John has his on and even Deano is wearing a pair tonight. We head off to pick up Stu, who's gracing us with his presence tonight before jetting off to sunny climes (Cyprus) for his hols.He was busy dozing on the sofa when I went to the door to tell him we were here, being as we were a little early. He was also watching the end of the cricket on tv but told me "Don't tell Dave Bell I've been watching cricket or it will do my credibility no good."  "I won't," I replied, Oops ! He's the only one not wearing shorts, but that's because they're all packed away in the case. A wise choice in hindsight as it starts to rain on our way to the ground. He's not feeling too well tonight but assures us that he's already emitted the contents of his stomach through various orifices so we should be safe. John was a bit worried, but I told him he'd be fine if Stu wanted to be sick as his head rest was in the way, so it wouldn't go down the back of his neck .
  When we get there the rain is still falling so me and Stu go and take shelter in the club shop and look through some old football and rugby programmes.I'm just flicking through a pile and he says "I went to that game, it was my first rugby match." (Doncaster v. Fulham.) It appears that just about every programme that I looked at, he'd attended the game in person ! We finally wander round to find John who's already in the snack bar, Stu even risks having a pie.
  Speaking of pies, there's no Billy two pies tonight as, being as our game is only a friendly, he's gone across the Pennines to watch Accrington Stanley's first home game since getting back into the league after 40 years absence. I bet he can remember when they were there in the first place.
  Although there's a steady drizzle before kick-off it's still not cold, so we're stood behind the goal in our shirt sleeves. Hilts runs past on his way to the changing room and then reappears a few minutes later with a rain jacket over his kit. John calls him nesh as he walks past us on his way to the dug out, he just turns to us and laughs.
  The game starts and I hand round some sweets I'd brought with me. After our lot had taken one I went to where Bill T. Alan and Steve were and offered them one too. Of course, while my back is turned Darryl Winter scores to give us the lead. We're busy having a laugh talking about all kinds of things which are too numerous to mention. With half an hour gone Tev puts us two up and two minutes later Gary Townsend makes it three with a header virtually on the goal line. Just before half time Stu gets the order for the teas and goes to the snack bar. John goes to help him and they're just on their way back out to me and Deano when the ref blows for half time, so we tell them to turn round as we're coming to join them inside being as the heavens have just opened.The game has already restarted by the time me and John decide to make a move to walk round to the cover at the far end of the ground. We had a rainstorm the last time we played here too.
   We arrive behind the goal just in time to see Tev get his second of the night. It's then Gav Smiths turn to get on the scoresheet, not once, but twice in succession as Sheffield go on a goalfest ! Liz brings round some sweets and we all have one apart from Stu, who tells her he's got a poorly stomach. So she starts to rub it for him and I say to her, " I thought you were old enough to know better than to fall for a trick like that Liz !" Stu just smiles. Back on the pitch and this time it's Pete Smith who gets on the scoresheet to make it 7-0.  We have a good laugh as we say there's too many Smiths on the field. There's a wild challenge by one of our players in the middle of the park and the ref calls the player over to 'have a word' with him. We all shout, "Just tell him you're called Smith!" A shot goes wide, and as one of the locals goes to kick it back he completely misses the ball, but it rolls back down towards the pitch as we all have a laugh at his misfortune. He seemed to disappear rather quickly then out of the side entrance, we reckon he'd gone to have a sulk at being mocked by us...it's a mockery, it's a mockery (remember that anyone ?) The game ends and we all try and work out if it was just the seven goals we scored or did we miss any. We walk round to the exit and pass the bloke who left earlier.He appears to be talking to himself, or maybe it's the dog with him he's talking to. Deano comes out with, "Looks like he's been dogging in the woods." Which really creases us all up as we have a laughing fit. Stu comes out with.".Staveley - The dogging capital of.........Staveley" ! It may not sound funny now but at the time it was bloody hilarious. Back in the car and Stu shows us a different way back towards Sheffield. First stop is to drop him off, John doing his usual 'turn-around Sammy' in the neighbours drive, but at least he didn't sound the car horn while he was there. Then it's home for me, a cup of hot chocolate for a change and bed, let the season commence ! Until next time.
     Happy Travelling
        Trev

Sheff. Wed. Ladies Reserves v. Sheffield Ladies
             Holmesfield (03/08/06)
Welcome to pre-season ! After three consecutive nights at the Coach and Horses me and John venture on our travels to watch the ladies in one of their warm up matches.Funnily enough we still go to the Coach and Horses as this is where the directions are from as we know our way to the Coach...we ought to by now although I'm sure John's looking for an alternative route just for a change . On the way there we pass John Ball who's on his way home from work. John pips his horn at him at first which 'little' John ignores, probably thinking it's someone trying to be clever. We eventually attract his attention at a set of traffic lights. Helen's directions were easy enough to follow and we found the ground with no problems, apart from having to park on the country lane outside as the car park was full and there were only about ten cars in it !
  We're just getting out of the car when I hear a whistle so I tell John that I bet they've kicked off early, and, true enough, the game was underway as we walked around to the dug-out.Now here's a novelty, the girls have tried it before too....they play two halves of half an hour each way, then two halves of 15 minutes each way. So they're still playing a full 90 minutes, but can experiment with different tactics in separate periods as opposed to making wholesale changes throughout the game...maybe an idea the first team might want to try ?
  It's a lovely picturesque little ground surrounded on all sides by trees. Sheffield have got some new players on show including a set of twins who are only 16 years old but can certainly play some good stuff. The first 30 minutes ends up with Wednesday leading 2-1, Lisa  scoring for us and then the defence playing 'statues' to let Wednesday equalise, then against the run of play the home side took the lead just before the break.. As I've been off all week and John has come straight from work I've brought some outside catering, so we tuck into sausage rolls and a cup of tea while Greame and Helen give the ladies a team talk.
  Second period and John had given me some liquorice and blackcurrants sweets to try, so I'd brought a few along. Now, normally I suck the hard sweets until there's almost nothing left, but tonight I thought I'd do what John and Deano do, so I chomped at it...and promptly broke a bit of tooth off ! (That'll teach me.) Halfway through the game Pele goes down injured and our substitutes are busy chatting away whilst Helen is on the field calling for first aid. Karla and Alice eventually run out to see what's happening as John shouts to them, " Sheffield's emergency response team," much to their amusement. The ladies pull level when Lisa sends over a cross that Hayley puts away, although I don't think she knew much about it. It must be all that precision coaching the forwards have been getting from ex-piggie Keith Edwards. Pele lifts her shirt up in celebration as everyone starts laughing. Graeme, says. "It's just like Brandy Chastain." Of course, just about all the players said.."Who?" For those who don't know, she was the woman who scored the winning penalty for the U.S.A. in the Women's World Cup Final of 1999 and promptly did exactly the same thing in from of 90,000 spectators and a world wide television audience. She did have a sports bra on lads, so calm down, calm down ! Just before the break , the ball is played out to the right and Rachel scores from a tight angle to put us back in the lead once again. We have the last of the catering before the start of the third period, and Keith Edwards has turned up to see how they're doing, (I bet Hayley's pleased !) No goals this period although Lisa took a knock in the face and then hurt her hand as she fell. She was more concerned about the fact that she could only just move her fingers , I reckon that must be her drinking hand. She sounded as if she was okay though because every third word began with an 'F'. (I wonder if she coaches that to the kids she teaches ? lol)
   Last period and it's a quick turn around as it's getting dark now, it's still warm though. The Owls equalise with a header towards the end and it finishes 3-3. A good game to watch although the ladies were disappointed they didn't win, which is a good sign. We say our goodbyes and make our way back to the car. John tries a different way home from the ground, and surprisingly we don't get lost !  Until next time
     Happy Travelling
        Trev 

   Sheffield v. F.C. United of Manchester (29/07/06)
                                        Don Valley Stadium
 It's a touch of nostalgia today for the posse, as our 'home' game against newcomers F.C. United is being played at Don Vally Stadium. It's a case of deja vu as John drives towards the stadium and we reminisce about the times we spent there watching club, when the full complement of home suppoerters could be housed on one row of seats and there were still some seats spare after that! It's quite busy outside the ground as there's quite a few United supporters come along to watch the game. At present they're busy taking liquid refreshment at all the pubs in the vicinity. We walk over to the entrance and see the sign for admission....7 ! So, as I part with my hard earned cash at the turnstile I ask the woman if she's related to Robin Hood. She say's "It's not as expensive as coming to watch the rugby." So I replied with, "That's why I don't come and watch the rugby too." As I go through I hear John and Deano chuckling away and saying to the woman, "He's not with us." Thanks chaps.
  Once inside, I go and collect the programmes whilst John and Deano try and find the loos. I'm busy talking to Richard Carrington's dad when John re-appears and goes to get something to eat. After a while he asked me "Where's Deano ? He was right behind me when we left the toilets."  He certainly hadn't walked past me so I guess he'd gone into the ground, so we made our way towards the pitch. I spot him stood on the gangway just in front of the 'posh' seats we used to sit in. Richard Timms is stood near there and, as that area has been cordoned off I yell at him (jokingly), "What's happening here Richard ? These are our seats !" He just smiled and replied, "Come and sit here if you want, I don't mind."  We're actually stood until just before kick-off, then go down towards he front where Tim, Andy and the rest of the gang are sat.
  As the announcer finishes giving the team line-ups out, he says, "That's the quietest response I've ever had while doing that." Deano tells the others that, "When I used to do the announcing, there were that few of us fans that I used to introduce the fans to the team , as there were more of them than us !" It's so true, we even struggled to fill a row of seats , never mind a complete block !
 It's a fairly decent game and the United fans are in fine voice, forever singing. It's a pity though that, for supporters of this new club (F.C. United), they're singing all Manchester United songs, the very club they're supposed to have dis-associated themselves with. It's a bit ironic when they start singing  "We're the pride of all Europe, etc. etc." I mean ...COME ON they're only in the North West Counties League !
     Stu finally arrives with Liam, who, thankfully has declined from putting on his Manchester City shirt, I guess he wants to live a little longer. Out on the pitch Sheffield take the lead on the stroke of half time when Marshie rises unchallenged at a corner kick to head home. It silences the United fans for about a millisecond, then they're off again. The second half sees the managers making numerous substitutions, but it doesn't seem to affect the flow of the game. United have their chances, but woeful finishing sees them scoreless whilst Wardie has the chance to double the lead from the penalty spot but his kick is well saved by the keeper. There's a few drops of rain towards the end o the game, but nothing to make us rush for cover. Right up to the final whistle the United supporters never stopped singing, they'll certainly add some entertainment to most of the grounds they'll be visiting this coming season and credit to them too for staying behind to applaude Sheffield off the field after game.
   We make our way back to the car(s) with Stu taunting Liam by saying (in a rather loud voice). "Go on then Liam, sing Blue Moon for us.You know all the words, being a City supporter." Liam just cringes with embarrassment saying, "Dad!" and making a funny face that only kids that age can do. It's a very short journey home for me and only one more day to go until I can have a weeks rest as I'm on holiday...just in time for all the other pre-season matches next week at the Coach and Horses. Until next time
     Happy Travelling
        Trev

                         Parkgate v. Sheffield (27/07/06)
  Well, after sampling the delights of Germany and the World Cup, it's back to reality for this pre-season friendly. We're making the short trip over to last season's Senior Cup Final opponents Parkgate, which seems to have become a permanent fixture in our pre-season build ups these past few years. It's a lovely sunny evening as I wait for John to pick me up. Deano has sat himself in the front, so he can take advantage of the air conditioning. He's having a laugh at me because I've got my shorts on...he's some need to talk!. He said, "We look like the three Musketeers." John added that Helen had told him that we looked like the three gay musketeers, as we're all in shorts and all have beards..(we even all have glasses too - scary!)
  Believe it or not, we found the ground at the first attempt, mind you, some of it was just damn good guesswork. The car park is just about full, but I'm sure it's not just for the game as there is a golf course right next door. Of course, there would be quite a few spaces still available if it wasn't for the knob heads in their flash cars or white vans parking over two spaces ! Just as we find a space, Stu turns up, so we have a laugh at him as he tries to find somewhere to park. In the end, he just went to the entrance and parked it there. He's still on the mobile, talking to someone from work, the ice cream freezer had packed up.You'd think he'd have been a bit more thoughtful and brought some of the stock with him wouldn't you ? After all, we'd have soon have got rid of it and he could tell the powers that be that it all melted !
  Once inside we go and stand behind our dug-out. Luckily I've got my writing stuff on me as Deano wants to get the team line-up. We're all there trying to work out the players by the numbers on their shirts. Deano says, "Wardy's back off his hols." I replied with, "Yes, you can tell he's enjoyed himself, he's got numbers eight, nine AND ten on the back of his shirt!" Macca has brought just about the whole squad with him tonight so it looks like they'll be quite a few changes throughout the evening. It's Rob Ward who opens the scoring after 9 minutes as he scores from the penalty spot.After that bit of excitement, me, Deano and Stu decide to sit down on the step where we're stood. We just get comfy and a young lad wanders over in a world of his own and promptly stands right in front of where Stu is. After numerous attempts to look around him, Stu gives up and stands up again, only for the litle 'un to then climb over the wall and stand next to the dug-out ! Just before half time Gary Townsend scores a beauty as he ambles his way from the halfway line to the edge of the penalty area and lobs the ball over the keeper into the far corner, as if it's something he does everyday in training. So we're 2-0 up as the referee blows for half time. John offers me a drink of his cordial but I say ,"No thanks John I'm alright." He immediately replies with , " That's a matter of opinion!" Much to Stu and Deano's amusement.
 Second half and Macca has took a leaf out of Sven's book of friendly games by substituting nine players , but Maca has gone one better than that, he's even sent the team out in a different coloured kit too !  We're busy talking and occasionally watching the footie when a helicopter flies overhead. I say, " Look, it's James Bond." (pointing upwards.Stu replies with, "No Trev, I think it's that guy from the Barrett Homes advert." He then looks wistful and carries on with, "I wish I had one of those."  I look at him and reply, "What, you mean a big chopper?" Welcome back to the world of Trev's Travels ! With just over five minutes left Dean Sidebottom decdes that anything Gary Townsend can do , so can he, as, from more or less the same angle he chips the ball over the keeper to register the third and final goal of the game. So then, with a 2-0 first half win for theblues and a 1-0 win for the whites, Sheffield win the game 3-0 on aggregate..confusing or what? Time for home, and, would you believe it's actually getting dark as John drops me off, must mean the football season is about to start as summer draws to a close. Until next time
       Happy Travelling
          Trev

Trev's Travels