Trev's Travels 09-10

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Keep a breast of Clubbies on the Road, with Trev's Travels 2009-10!

Leek Town v. Sheffield FC 07/11/09


Well it's finally come around's pie day! Yes, we're of to Leek Town who last year had the best food on offer according to us. Well John ended up having two pies and even Deano was tempted and it's not often that happens. No sorry, I'll rephrase that last ALWAYS happens, but last time he gave in quite easily and in fact he even mention about next (this) season's fixture on the way back last season. We have an extra supporter today as Jeanie is over from the States so she's really looking forward to the trip as she enjoys getting to the live matches when she's here. Stu's here too today so he'll be match reporting so I can just do the travels and eat! I need to build me strength up as I've actually got a touch of Pneumonia, yes, it's true. Jeanie spent her first full day here sitting around the NHS walk in centre for two and a half hours while I got checked out, but there was no way I was missing this trip. 


We had a lazy morning with a trip over to Firth Park shops where Jeanie picked up some wrapping paper and she was busy wrapping up some Christmas presents when we got back while I 'supervised' her. She'd already sent a load of stuff over early, to avoid the postal rush, and the rest she's brought over in her luggage. In fact there was more chocolate, gifts and other goodies in her bags than clothes!! We meet John down at the bus stop. Deano is back on board after missing Tuesday's game due to not being well.......he didn't want to risk missing today's feast, err, I mean football match! We'd only got as far as Rutland Road and Jeanie spotted an Eddie Stobbart, which surprised us all, her included. It was a pleasant journey as we just sat back and relaxed listening to the radio. We arrived in plenty of time and John finally got parked on the main road. He'd already turned the car round, but wanted to move a bit further back behind another car so I was trying to help him by watching for cars coming along the road. It was a case of, "Okay John, no, hold it!" This went on for about ten minutes until he finally managed to find a decent gap in the traffic. At least I think that was it. It may well be he was sick of my 'help' and just decided to go for it! We met Stu, Liam and Craig just as we crossed the road, Jeanie could see just how much Liam had grown as he was just about as tall as her now. She'd brought some chocolate for Stu (as he love's Hershey's, and can't eat normal British chocolate), so she got an extra hug for that. Anyway once inside the ground and with programmes sorted out it was off to the snack bar (Jeanie's treat). Dave had already gone on ahead. After the fillings were read out to us we put our order in and once again, the pies were brilliant. Even Jeanie was impressed and she's not a big pie eater, (or even small pies come to think of it, lol.) Deano had almost finished his before we'd even got served and was already at the back of the queue ready to purchase another! When he got served he was telling the staff how we've been advertising them on the BTF site.


After we've enjoyed our fill we make our way to behind the goal as the game is about to get under way. We stand at the back of the covered shelter, although not too far back as the rain (which has just started) drips off the sloping roof. Jeanie has gone to the front to take some photos so she can show her nephew Tommy as he loves playing football and already has numerous articles of Sheffield FC clothing and merchandise courtesy of yours truly. There's sweeties galore doing the rounds today, and biscuits too. Sheffield take the lead when Ben Leonard heads home right in front of us, even though the announcer gave the goal to someone else, it was definitely Ben who got it. Jeanie then trips up the step on her way back to us. Naturally we're all concerned about her, and all she's worried about is that she didn't damage her camera. Thankfully both were okay, just damaged pride. I then go round to the others with our bag of goodies that Jeanie brought over with her. When I get to Tim and Stu they ask how Jeanie is and I tell them she's okay. Tim then say's, “Well at least she didn't fall over with a plate of chips and a cup of coffee like I did at Goole." I replied to him by saying..."No, she's not advanced to that level yet" amid much laughter. Leek equalise five minutes later and that's the way it stays until half time.


We decide we're still full from earlier on so give the snack bar a miss and walk round to the other side of the ground. The second half gets underway and once again the lads start to dominate and retake the lead ten minutes into the half when Matt Roney takes advantage of a defensive slip and puts the ball into the far corner, beyond the reach of the keeper. Leek start to press, but they have to be aware of getting caught on the break as we still look capable of adding to our goal tally. Then the substitutions come into effect and for some reason both our wingers are taken off. We all found this a bit baffling to say the least, and it enabled the home side to pile on more pressure as their full backs now had no one to mark and could get forward at every opportunity, and they did just that. With time running out the inevitable happens and Leek equalise once again with just three minutes remaining. Thankfully we didn't concede another one and the game finished 2-2. There was much discussion about our 'tactics' whilst John collected the man of the match votes. We thought both him and Deano had got lost, but they'd gone to the toilet, ready for the long journey home. Actually it didn't seem that long a trip on the way home, despite the disappointment of only picking up one point. John dropped us off at home and back into the warmth of the house. Jeanie said her wrist was really hurting her and I was busy coughing so it was quite an evening as we sat eating our home made soup and catching up on some TV shows that she likes to watch when she's here. We spent the rest of the night moaning and groaning in bed....oh come on now! (You dirty minded buggers!!!) My lungs were hurting every time I tried to breath and her wrist was giving her pain. The postscript to this is that once again Jeanie got a look at the workings of the NHS as we spent an hour and a half at the Northern General on Sunday morning while she had a half pot fitted due to her having fractured a bone in her wrist. That's something she wasn't expecting to take back to America with her!! Until next time.....


Happy Travelling



Brigg Town v. Sheffield FC 03/11/09


Last day at work before my week off, as Jeanie's on her way over the 'pond' tonight and I thought it would be a doddle. Shows you what thought did! The work got done but not as we planned due to 'circumstances beyond our control' that can't be printed in case of prying eyes. Still it's over with now, and after some last minute shopping in town it's time to relax for an hour or so, hoping I don't fall asleep in 'The Chair' before John picks me up. No Stu so I'm match reporting too, but at least he'll be back to take up his duties on Saturday at Leek.


Deano's not too well so he's giving it a miss. Well, we're all getting older now, perhaps it's just wear and tear of watching Sheffield FC for over ten years! It's an early pick up from John being as it's rush hour time and we want to get there and get parked up. It was chucking it down an hour before he turned up but thank God it's stopped by the time I get in the car. We’re hoping it stays that way as we don't fancy being up there in the pouring rain. We do have a few showers on the way over there, so what with that and the fact that it's pitch black there's no lorry spotting tonight. Actually, as I was up early for work it's an ideal time to just sit back and relax listening to Chris Evans on the radio and have a powernap, which I may add is totally different from when I rest my eyes! There's hardly any hold ups and we arrive there in plenty of time so sit in the car for twenty minutes with the radio on.


Naturally, once we decide to get out of the car and go in the ground our first stop is the snack bar. It's already past seven O'clock but as yet there's still no hot food to sell, the girl serving said, “It’s on it's way." It actually turned up just before kick-off as the captains were shaking hands ready to start the game. Thankfully I'd had something at home so I wasn't too hungry anyway, but John had more or less picked me up straight from finishing work. I called Deano with the team news as John got some food and then we took up our position behind the goal. Brigg had some ex-Clubbies in their side, but the one that made us prick up our ears when the teams were announced was that of Picko, who was named as one of their substitutes. Funnily enough it's a co-incidence that Picko was the very first winner of the BTF Player of the Season award for 2002-2003 and we actually presented him with his prize before our League Cup Final game against Ossett Albion.


Anyway, enough of that, lets get back to tonight and we're certainly hoping for a better showing than what we put up in the league last year when they beat us both home and away when they were crap as they only won three games all season! I go and have a natter to Rob for a while before rejoining the others. The ball is being launched way up into the sky and for a moment I thought they'd got an extra floodlight, until I realised it was the brightness of the full moon. Apparently Tim had the same problem. It's bloody cold tonight, which is no help to me as I can't put gloves on in case I miss anything to write about for the match report, but thankfully there's not that much happening so get the chance to slip my hands in my pockets at every opportunity. Last minute of the half and at last we have something to celebrate as Jacko puts us into the lead. The Brigg subs come out for a warm up as the rest of the players trudge off and we shout Picko over for a natter. It's nice to see him again, and he still remembers us too. I just hope he doesn't spoil the evening by coming off the bench to score against us! John goes back to the snack bar for some soup while I walk round to the far end with Andy and Caroline. Our subs are busy warming up at this end and Ben Leonard manages to fire a shot which is not only way over the bar, but it actually goes through a hole in the catch fencing behind the net and he has to set off in search of it.


Caroline is putting yet another coat on top off the one she's already wearing, and I can't blame her as it's getting colder by the minute. I'm now having difficulty writing as the pen is freezing up and my hand can't stop shaking. It's hard work trying to decipher what I write on a normal day! John has almost finished his soup and he pulls the spoon out of the cup and it's like he's done a 'Uri Geller' on it as it's all bent and twisted. We said we doubt it was because the soup was that hot, it was probably a chemical reaction between the plastic spoon and the chemicals in the soup mix.....I wondered why John was looking 'glowing'! Picko does come on for the home side but we reassure ourselves that we'll be okay as he'll probably be caught offside for most of the time he's on the pitch. Despite this it's the home side who are pressing as we defend deep. The Brigg number 6 has a glorious chance to level the score but puts it well wide from about five yards. We yell out, "Spanner foot" and Tim adds, "Do you want to borrow my foot?" which we all found hilarious! Ashley is now our lone striker as we hang onto the goal lead and time after time the assistant referee keeps flagging him for offside and some of those he's just guessing at as we tell him that Ash isn't fast enough to get caught offside. It obviously worked as a ploy though because in the last minute, whilst the Brigg defence were stood waiting for the flag as Wakka launched a big kick downfield Ash was onto it and he had time to compose himself before walking it round the keeper and into the net, to make the score more convincing, and also relieve the pressure we were under. The final whistle blows and it's three points for us. We clap their keeper off the pitch as he'd more or less kept them in the game with some good saves, let's say he was grateful for the applause but let us know exactly what he thought of his own strike force!


Back to the car and because we were parked near the exit it was a quick getaway. It was a smooth and uneventful ride home up until near the Meadowhall exit when all of a sudden we were confronted with row upon row of traffic cones. In fact they were that tightly spaced that we actually missed the turn off and ended up going over the flyover and coming back through Chapeltown. Once John had dropped me off I set about the match report, although not all of it as I intended to finish it in the morning before going to pick Jeanie up from the airport. It was cheese on toast for supper before heading up to bed and getting ready for the start of a week off. Until next time


Happy Travelling



Goole v. Sheffield FC 31/10/09


What with Bonfire Night approaching and also Halloween I suppose you could say it was appropriate that we were visiting the Ghoulies today. Okay, I know their nickname is the Vikings but a bit of poetic license never hurt anyone. I mean let’s face it; they're just ripe for the picking with the name of the Victoria Pleasure Grounds for a stadium which looks just ripe for haunting, especially with that big concrete penis outside the ground! Anyway, back to today and I can relax as Stu will be joining us so no match reporting for me. Actually it's Stu that's picking me up from work and it's his first away game of the season, even he can't believe it's so late into the season to get his first one in, but work commitments have to come first although I'm sure he said that he'll be free for Saturdays from now on.....give or take the occasional wedding anniversary!


It's the kids Halloween tea tonight so I've been busy with the others at work making sure they've got everything ready for that, things like Witches Lips and Blood Drip and Curly Fingernails ! I'll let you guess at what they could be because I'm not telling you.


Thankfully I get out on time and Stu shows up a couple of minutes later, along with Liam whose he's dragged along for the ride. Young Liam is growing up fast and is becoming a typical teenager, we have to call him young Liam as opposed to little Liam as he's about as big as both me and Stu now. Liam sits in the back while I sit next to Stu  and we have a good chat as he's telling me all about the team that Tim runs (with his and Glosso's help) and which both Liam and Billy are members. He even produced a programme for them too which looks good. The journey only takes us just over 45 minutes before we're rolling up outside the ground and find a parking space right next to Tim and Billy, who must have only just got there themselves a couple of minutes before us. I give Deano a call to see how far away he and John are but there's no response, which makes a change I suppose as it's usually him who rings me and ends up with the voicemail message! Some of the other regulars are already here and we're busy talking to them when John calls me to ask whereabouts we are. I tell him we're already inside the ground. He's just arrived himself and was only ten minutes behind us. In hindsight he could have picked me up from work but we weren't sure of the traffic and I couldn't get out any earlier than my proper finishing time today. He's on his own so when I ask where Deano is he tells me he's staying at home as he's not feeling too good.


As usual our first stop is the snack bar. I've been really good today and hardly had anything to eat at work as I've been looking forward to the home-made meat pie they have here. That's the one good thing about coming here, the food is excellent. I was going to get pie, chips, peas and gravy but the guy just in front of us had ordered that and when I saw the size of the portion I said to John, "Bloody hell John, I don't think I could manage all that without dropping half of it on the floor." John felt the same so we dispensed with chips and just had the pie and peas instead. Once we'd devoured that it was back there again to get a drink, we usually do it this way as it's easier than juggling a tray of food and a drink at the same time, especially if you're stuck for somewhere to rest the stuff while you're eating. Anyway, John decides he's still got room for a chip buttie so he gets one of those instead while I get a can of Coke. As we were stood there, and John had already placed the order one of the ladies said, "Are you together?" To which I replied, " Yes, but don't tell his wife" and John added, “It’s only a Saturday affair!" She just burst out laughing and said cheekily, "Well you make a nice couple"


Weather-wise it's quite pleasant with the sun still shining, even if it had lost most of its warmth. I'm well wrapped up anyway as it was chucking it down when I set off for work earlier this morning. To say the first half was boring was somewhat of an understatement. We were stood on the grandstand side facing the houses overlooking the ground and at one point Tim turned to me and said, "There’s fifty two windows in those houses Trev." As if to make a further point, every time a train went past (the track runs just outside this side of the ground) we would all turn and wave at it. To compound our misery Goole score and go into half time one goal in front. I forgot to mention that this was Daz's first game for Goole, having left us just over a week or so earlier. We'd managed to get a couple of comments to him during the first half that brought a smile to his face.


We're both still full from the food earlier so just walk to the other end of the ground and sit down on the terrace and wait for the second half to start. The others, who've been for refreshments gradually make their way back to join us. Tim is making his way up the steps with a coffee and some chips when he takes a tumble falling up one of the steps. Naturally the food and drink go flying but thankfully Tim is okay, just a bit shocked. He's not bothered about anything else to eat or drink despite us asking if he wants something else. Ten minutes into the second half and things are looking a lot better as Cusworth equalises for us. We score again just after that but the linesman had flagged for offside which looked a bit dubious from where we were standing which was just in front of where the linesman was. As we debate the issue someone says, "We'll have to give him the benefit of the doubt as we haven't got action replay." John pipes up with, " I can draw you a picture of it if you like?" Just past the hour mark and Goole go in front again but this time the lead lasts only two minutes before 'Cussie' grabs his and the teams second goal of the day. It was now end to end stuff with the locals living up to their reputation, getting on the referee's back every time we gave away a free kick. No more goals despite a couple of close shaves for both sides and another point gained on the road.


We say goodbye to Stu as I'm travelling back with John and I wait while he gets the man of the match votes. Once on the motorway I actually managed to spot an Eddie Stobbart. We’d been following it for a while before I recognised it, after that we just listened to the radio as it was too dark to see much else (for me at least!) Once John dropped me off at home it was an evening of relaxing in front of the telly. I was still full from the meal at the game so just had a cheese sandwich for supper. Mind you, I followed this up with a slice of lemon cake and cream that I could hear crying to be eaten! Until next time.


Happy Travelling



Belper Town v. Sheffield FC 13/10/09


Well it's just over a month since we were down at Christchurch Meadows to see the lads take on Belper in the league, and now it's time to witness both sides do battle again under floodlights as we take our first steps in this season's Presidents Cup. I'd actually forgotten all about this game until Stu reminded me on Saturday. He can't make it due to work, in fact due to the store altering his hours he'll not get to any midweek games unless he's on holiday or off sick, but the compromise is all his Saturdays should be free come the end of this month!


After work I've just got time to check my emails, but can't access the computer. Well, it'll turn on but then it say's there's a fault on the server, so I try the usual of turning everything off (going to make a quick cuppa) and turning it all back on again but still no joy. I don't have time to ring the help desk as it's time to go and meet John. I don't intend using it again tonight anyway as I'll do the match report tomorrow after work. If the computer is still playing up then I'm going to have to phone one of the guys at the help desk and boy do I hate that. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not that computer literate, so when these geeks start talking to you and using words that would get you a million points on a scrabble board, then my head explodes!


Anyway, back to tonight and John calls me to say that he's setting off a little earlier. In fact when I answered the phone I actually said 'Kitchen' which made him laugh, for some reason it was as though I was back at work! I get down to meet him on time and off we go to pick Deano up from work. It's still light at the moment, but in a couple of weeks when we alter the clocks we'll be setting off in the dark for the evening games. We get to Deano's work a little earlier than expected as the traffic was so light. John tells Deano this as he gets into the car, then he adds, “It’s probably going to be a nightmare the rest of the journey." Surprisingly, apart from a very small hold up on the ring road the traffic is free flowing and we're making good progress. Once we reach the motorway it's almost dark and it's only twenty five past six. Me and John spot a Preston’s of Potto and shout at the same time. He says, "That's a draw Trev" so I'm well pleased at that. Soon after he spots an Eddie Stobbart but I tell him, "I'm still basking in getting a draw against you and that will keep me happy all night." Needless to say, he then reels off four more 'Eddie's' at regular intervals. Once we depart the motorway it's a straightforward  drive, apart from just before Belper when we got stuck behind a lorry. At the ground we are waved through the gates once again and end up parking in more or less the exact position we were in when we came down here for the league match. As you have to pay to get in on the gate, John paid for us all to save any messing about and we'll settle up with him later.......maybe! As we'd been listening to radio 2 on the way down as usual we arrive just as it's time for Desmond Carrington's show, and he starts his show with the song, 'I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts' which me and John join in with before we suspend the sing-a-long and get out of the car. I go and get the programmes, then , as per usual the first stop is the snack bar. John says, " I'll have a chip buttie to start with." So one of the ladies goes to get his order prepared while the other one asks what I want. I plump for one of the specials of pie, chips, peas and gravy. When the first lady returns with John's order I told her I was paying and also what I had ordered, so she took the money for both meals. When the second lady returns me my order she tells me how much it is and I tell her that I've already paid her mate. She said, " Well you can pay me too if you like?" I told her, "I'll pay you in kind", to which she replied, " It's the best offer I've had." Of course, Deano then chips in with," Don't make promises you can't keep Trev" which has a few those waiting to be served laugh, me included. As we're all sat down at one of the tables one of the local old codgers hobbles over to us and asks, "Is it you whose doing the golden goal?"....Bless him. In between eating I'm writing notes and also writing the team down for my 'other' job tonight. John looks over and asks, "Are you okay Trev, you haven't eaten much?" I tell him I've been busy, plus the food is too hot at the moment too. I eventually devour what I can and John to get us drinks. I tell him I want a bottle of orange. While he's at the hatch he shouts over and holds up a couple of bottles so I can indicate which I want. After I've picked he brings it over and it's massive. It didn't look that big from where I was sitting. Never mind, if I don't drink it all I can put it in my bag and drink the rest some other time.


Once the teams have decided which way they're kicking we make our way to the appropriate end. Tim is telling me about when they arrived here. The bloke on the gate said, " It's only a quid for the little 'uns." So Tim said, "Well that's one for me and four little 'uns. They look a bit old, but that's my driving what's caused that." Needless to say the bloke wasn't having any of that.


Both sides are depleted of key players, and in fact Belper have an ex-Clubbie in the net tonight in the shape of Martin Kearney. There's little to cheer and Belper take a two goal lead. We're bored and when Kearney goes to take a goal kick John say's to him, " Hi Martin, how are you keeping?" He didn't subtlety in John's pun. It may be a long night for us. Jordan manages to pull a goal back for us and that's the way it stays for the remainder of the half. Tim is still in his shirt sleeves, although John has offered him a sweater should he get cold enough to want to use it. As we're walking round to the snack bar Deano calls to him," Tim, are you sure you're not cold because I can see your nipples sticking out!" Even his wife Sue comments on his man boobs!


At the snack bar John has his second helping of the night, this time it's a hot-dog. I just have a coffee. Of course with it being the President's Cup the game will be played to a finish tonight, so we're all hoping that it doesn't go to extra time or penalties. A minute into the second half and we're awarded a penalty which Jordan converts to level the game. After the joy of scoring we then groan as the scores are level, but there's still 44 minutes left so hopefully one side can win it in that time surely. With less than ten minutes to go Joel scores as the ball trickles between a Belper player and the post he was supposed to be guarding to give us the lead. Shortly after we get another corner and once again the Belper player takes his position on the post. Tim gives him some helpful advice as to what to do if the ball goes anywhere near him , which brought a smile out of the player. With a last throw of the dice so to speak Belper equalise in the very last minute of normal time which results in the biggest sound all night as the home fans cheer and the Sheffield fans groan at the prospect of extra time and a late night finish ! Of course, there are no goals in extra time, despite us shouting 'Shoot' every time anyone got near the goal, whichever side it was! So it's another delay as the referee takes the details of whose taking the penalties. Me and Deano had wandered down to the other end of the ground for the last part of extra time and were now making our way back to the others who were stood by the goal where the kicks would be taken. When we reach the penalty area I told him I was staying here as I had a good view and could also record the players taking the kicks for the match report. Well, we lost the shoot-out 3-1. Kearney saving two of them and even getting his hand to the one we scored too. John did a very quick man of the match vote as most of the fans were in a hurry to get home. We had a quick chat to Neil who we know through Stu and Deano, who knows him through work too. He's the one who lives in Belper but usually goes wandering off to watch other games instead of his local side. On the radio it's 'The Organist Entertains’! There's nothing else much to listen to, and after that it's Malcolm McLaren telling us the life story of Serge Gainsborough. Oh what a wide range of music we've had tonight! John makes great time getting back to Sheffield and I'm home just not long before midnight, a lot later than anticipated but still. Well that's another cup run out of the way, more opportunities to concentrate on the league. Being as it's so late I end up having a bowl of cornflakes which is a sort of supper come breakfast as I'm on earlies tomorrow....oops, no, it's today now! Until next time.......


Happy Travelling


Cammell Laird v Sheffield FC 29/09/09


Tuesday night travelling to Birkenhead? When the fixtures were released I thought, hmmm, think I might be missing that one, but here I am. Actually I WOULD have been missing it as I was down to work until 4.30, but managed to changed shifts to an early start. With all the other BTF guys indisposed I'll be multi-tasking again, and it's thanks to Mick and Andrew for the transport once again. Having met them at their workplace for a previous trip this season I knew exactly where I was heading and set off from home for a brisk walk to meet them. I thought I might have been pushing it a bit fine, but in the end I actually slowed down and still managed to get there fifteen minutes early. Once they knew I'd arrived Mick came and opened the car door so I could sit in the car until they'd finished. Bang on 4.30 and we're off! Despite it being a nice day there are quite a few clouds about now, then again, we are going to be going over the Pennines to 'The Dark Side' so it's to be expected, it's still warm though. Mick has changed his car since my last trip, so now I'm travelling in a nice, new, shiny.........silver one. Well what more do you want me to say? You don't honestly expect me to know what make it is too do you?


As we make our way along the Woodhead it's bright sunshine and low cloud, finally managing to get past a lorry we'd been stuck behind since the Stocksbridge bypass. As we reach the summit of the Pennines it's lights on as it becomes very misty/foggy. I hope it clears by the time we're heading back home. Mind you, by then I'll probably be seriously looking at the back of my eyelids! There's just a slight drizzle now as we head up Mottram Hill and do you know something? We haven't had to queue at all, right the way from Sheffield. We've been able to keep a steady speed without any traffic jams at all, which is certainly a first for me travelling this way. Mick has a go at naming tonight's team; we'll see how successful he is when we get there. We're making really good progress and pull into some services for a bite to eat and a stretch. Mick and Andrew get themselves a burger and fries as well as a drink. I'm restricting myself to a drink as I fancy a pie once we get to the ground. We're being served in the Wimpy outlet. It's going back some years, in fact decades when I used to go to the Wimpy in my youth, usually frequenting the one which was situated at the top of Division Street for a hot chocolate or a frothy coffee after a night at the pictures before the bus came.


Although we had a twenty five minute stop we're still well on schedule and arrive in plenty of time to get parked in the Social Club car-park. In fact one of the match Stewards was just walking across the car park and told us to go in and have a drink, but I told him I had a prior engagement with some food!


Into the ground, and once I'd got the programmes it was off to the snack bar. Bert was already in there as well as Stefan. They said about seven supporters had travelled on the coach, so even our support is going to be thin on the ground which is bad news for the home side as if it had been a Saturday game they'd have been guaranteed at least 40 or more of us to swell the coffers. Anyway, food. They were doing pie, peas and gravy so I settled on that and very nice it was too. As I was outside talking to Ben and Matty Outram's dad, Matt's dad was telling us about them almost missing the coach. Originally Matt had got a lift organised, but when that fell through he rang his dad and they agreed to meet at some junction just off the motorway. Anyway, with time ticking away and his dad waiting patiently, Matty called him and said something like, "What junction did I tell you?" When his dad replied Matt then said, "It's the wrong one, I meant the one before that!" Or something like that. It certainly made us laugh anyway.


There's a slight wind blowing and it's spitting with rain too, but hopefully it will hold off for the game. I give Deano a call with the team news so he can get it on the site and then, once the teams have decided which way they're kicking go and join Ben, Rob and some of the others. There's a loud mouthed local nearby who's giving Ben (Starosta) and Matty the verbals every time they go past him. He's foul, abusive and so annoying, but of course he thinks he's so clever. He must be the local wind-up merchant. I wonder if he'll show up at our place when they come to play. I'm sure he'll get short shrift from our stewards and supporters. There's no score at half time so I wander back round to the other side and give Deano a call to tell him what's been happening. In fact I have to call him twice because the first time I rang, just as I was about to speak the bloody loudspeakers started blaring out and I couldn't even hear myself talk!


It's like we're a different team this half as Cammell come at us from the kick off and are very commanding all over the park and making us look second best. With a quarter of an hour left to play and still no score we're all in agreement that to get a draw would be a great result. Of course, no sooner have we said that then they go and score! Worse was to follow as, having used up all our substitutes, Laurence Gaughan then suffers concussion and is stretchered off, leaving us a man short. With time nearly up the referee indicates an extra seven minutes (for the Gaughan injury), but Cammell score again to seal the points. It was frustrating to say the least, because we only started to play this half when the game was beyond our reach. To cap off a crap night Chris Adam then got a straight red for lashing out at their keeper. I quickly got the man of the match votes, which didn't take long due to the limited number of our travelling supporters and then we were back in the car and off for the drive home. Now you're not going to believe this, but I actually stayed awake for the whole trip home.....even I was surprised! My night was finished off with a midnight snack of choccie biscuits and a cuppa, half of which was stone cold next to me when I woke up for work the following day, but at least I remembered to turn the telly off for a change! Until next time.


Happy Travelling



Belper Town v. Sheffield FC 19/09/09


It's work today, after spending yesterday evening watching the Sheffield derby with John and Lynne at their Daughter Helen's house. Okay, so the Owls lost 3-2 but it was a damn close thing after giving the Piggies an almighty scare in the second. Despite the defeat I'm sure Brian Laws was the happier of the two managers with the overall performance.


Anyway, onto today and after finishing my shift I'm finally out in the sunshine. There's some kind of fair going on in Weston Park so it's very crowded around the hospital and the park gates. I wander up the road a bit as there's no way John is even going to be able to manage to pull in at our usual spot. There are a few clouds about but it's still warm and the sun is doing it's best to make a full appearance. Today Deano has got himself ensconced in the back seat, so I take up the navigating seat next to John. Once we're out of the main traffic and on the motorway it doesn't take John long to spot an Eddie Stobart, it was actually in front of us. In fact John has to point it out to me as I'm looking in all directions for it. Anyway, being as it's on 'our' side we always try and spot what the lorries are called as each one is named individually with a girl’s name. This one was called 'Francis Maureen'. We've got Pick of the Pops on the radio from the weekend of 20th September 1967 and there's some good songs on there from this particular week such as The Supremes, Traffic, The Move, Small Faces Tremeloes and Scott Mackenzie. Does anyone else remember any of these people or is it just us old buggers in the car? Guess who was number one that week? Englebert Humperdink!!!(Sounds like a new foreign signing these days) The lorry spotting carries on with John just calling ahead of me as an Eddie Stobart goes past on the opposite carriageway, where there's quite a tailback of traffic. I'm trying to look ahead to try and spot one in the queue but to no avail as I'm not looking far enough ahead as John gets another one. You do know he's partially deaf and colour blind don't you, so it makes it doubly annoying that he keeps on beating us all every trip with the lorry spotting. Even on the odd occasion me and Deano have sort of teamed up against him, it's still a waste of time as he always comes out tops. After we leave the motorway and head into Belper we're confronted by a red elephant in a fireman's uniform and no, I haven't been drinking! I thought it might have been Neil, Stu's drinking and travelling buddy whose home club is Belper, but he'd already told Stu he wouldn't be coming to the game as he doesn't usually watch his home team! It was in fact the local fire brigade doing some fundraising outside their station, so at least that cleared up the appearance of the elephant.


John actually gets to drive into the ground today, as usually the stewards direct us down the lane to the car park behind the social club. He parks the car behind the away dug-out, facing away from the pitch so at least if a stray ball should hit the car and the glass breaks , it will only be the rear window and not the windscreen, and anyway, Deano is sat in the back today so I'll be okay should that happen ! I go and get the programmes and text Stu as he's working today and is not sure if he'll get to finish in time. It's also his wedding Anniversary again and when he told me the last time I saw him I told him, “But you only had one last year!" I even told him to bring Lynn with him and treat her to a meal at the snack bar, which is where me and John are heading right now. The food here is (in our opinion) one of the better places we've visited, and I even held off having something at work as I wanted a pie and chips from here. John decided on pasty and peas, for now anyway. They have some garden furniture set out just in front of the servery so we take the opportunity to sit down and enjoy our 'picnic'.


We're hoping for a better game today than the corresponding fixture last season, which was probably our worst all year, not helped by the fact that it arrived at the time when the club were restructuring the set up and many of the players decided they'd jump ship and go in search of better money instead of pitching in to help the club in their hour of need. No need to name them, we all know who they are....make that were. The lads make a dream start to the game when Jacko puts us one-up after just three minutes with a tap in that Leigh Walker couldn't get to.  Belper equalise then the game turns scrappy with a fair few bookings, although the referee for some reason failed to book the Belper left back despite his constant blocking of Matty Outram when the winger was in full flow. He was probably still upset because Matty put him into the side hoarding earlier in the game! Of course, Matt picked up his customary booking for this transgression, and later on Hobbo joined him in the referee's notepad. I wonder if these two have had a secret bet for the season to see who gets the most bookings/sendings off? If they have perhaps they've kept it quiet from Daz as they don't want him to walk away with the honours! The officials just weren't on the same wavelength with each other as the ref made some dreadful decisions and it was comical for a while when his assistants were flagging one way and he was playing advantage the other but after a short while it soon became very annoying. The thing was, he was bad for both if that makes it any better! The home side took the lead in added time at the end of the half after Crossy's error.

 We wander back round to the snack bar and John is still hungry so has a chip buttie this time while I just need a can of coke, especially as the sun is shining now directly towards us. We take up our place next to the Belper goal and are near enough to have a conversation with Leigh in the Belper net, usually going something like 'You were lucky with that one Leigh'.


We're creating plenty of chances but can't make the final breakthrough. Dolbs decides enough is enough and dispenses with the wingers, bring young Joel on to bolster the attack and tells Crossy to 'Launch it forward at every opportunity'. The Belper fans stood behind us are taking great delight in laughing every time we question a decision on the pitch, usually shouting, "Well done ref/liner" With time ticking away the ref indicates there will be five minutes added time, which has the home support in uproar and even we can't fathom out where he's got that from but it's all in our favour as now it's shit or bust with the seconds ticking away, you could almost hear the 'countdown ' clock ticking away in your head! Crossy launches another rocket from defence and it finds Ashley who heads it back into the path of Joel and from twenty yards he unleashes a volley over Walker and into the net for one of the best goals so far this season. Cue mass celebration and delight of us Clubbies whilst there is a deafening sound of silence from the Belper fans. All it needed was a piece of tumbleweed blowing across the pitch to complete the scenario! There was still time for a little panic attack as Belper gained a corner, but thankfully this was safely dealt with and the ref finally blows for full time. John goes round the fans to get the man of the match votes while Deano goes to the little boys’ room before the journey home. We take a slow walk back to the car as it's no good rushing as there's quite a queue to get out of the ground, because at the top of the lane you have to negotiate the traffic lights and just to add extra fun today there's some roadworks directly in front of them. Heading back out of Belper Deano spots two hot air balloons on the ground and as I'm writing at the time all I heard him say (well, shout actually) was, " Left !Left!" At first I thought he was giving John directions, then he told me about the 'two whoppers.....(his words!) in the pub garden which me and John spotted as we drove past. Mind you, when I heard him say 'Two Whoppers' the thing that sprung to my mind was my visit to Hooters earlier this year as can be seen at the top of the 'Travels' page! LOL.


It's Dermot O'Leary on the radio on the way home. as well as the usual looking for lorries. I spot an Eddie Stobart which I'm quite pleased about, until John points out that it's only the cab as the trailer is just blank with no logo on. (You see you have to have both the cab and trailer, both with the company logo to gain any points)  He said he'd spotted one of these earlier , that's why he never called out. Mind you, a few minutes later he spots a proper one. He then gives me half a point as we call for one together, but then he takes my hard earned point off me again because I made a false call. Mind you, I have to admit, I was just guessing at that one as I'd taken my glasses off in order to write and was just going by the colour! I've no chance now as John reels them off one after the other until we reach the turn off for Meadowhall, and boy am I glad of that, there's only so much one can take. Mind you, as an aside to monotony I've become quite addicted to the Aviva advert staring Paul Whitehouse when he shouts out, "Green Army!"  Think I'll have to try that the next time we're all travelling together. Back at Chez Herrington and just time to get the match report done before settling down in front of the TV with a nice ham and pickle sandwich and some home-made choca-mocha gateau which was very nice (and sickly)indeed! Naturally, by the time the football was on I was half comatose so never saw it through to the usual! Until next time.............


Happy Travelling



Carlton Town v. Sheffield FC 31/08/09


After watching the ladies win their opening league match at Ossett Albion yesterday it's back on the road for my third game of the Bank Holiday weekend, this time at our bogey side Carlton Town. As it's my day off I've spent the morning catching up on yesterday's Formula 1 race and also the Moto GP. It looks like another warm day again, even if there are a few clouds threatening overhead.


My timing is spot on as John and Deano arrive just as I get to the bus stop, and off we go. It's also a Bank Holiday Beatles weekend special on the radio so we're listening to that on the way down. They're not only playing the songs, but also re-playing with the Fab 4 from as far back as 1963. I'm busy writing away in the back seat and John and Deano are busy chatting, but John still has time to spot an Eddie Stobart, and then carries on talking to Dave as if nothing had happened, although he did say to him," Did you notice how I involved you in a conversation there to distract you?" We pull into the motorway services so John can make some running repairs to the moulding around the windscreen. I shout out for an Eddie Stobart, even though it is parked up here in the services. Obviously they both tell me it doesn't count as the lorry wasn't moving. However I do spot one on the move just as we rejoin the motorway. We then pass it further up the road and get it's name (each lorry is individually named) which was Holly Hannah. While I'm writing all this down John has already bagged two more and also spotted yet another one just ahead of us. I tell him, "If that one is Holly Hannah then I'm disqualifying you for cheating," but as we pass it I notice it's called Elizabeth May. It carries on like this for a few more miles, John getting most of them, although I did shout for one which I saw coming towards us in the distance, but that was just a lucky guess. In fact Deano said, “You should be writing!" I think he was about to shout for that one. He does actually shout out for one, but as it passes it's only the cab (which doesn't count) which amuses me and John. That part of the motorway must be the Eddie Stobart freeway as things settle down now with no more to be seen. So we settle down for a quiet time, just listening to the radio, although I do have a guest on board as a wasp flew in the car at some point. All was fine as it just buzzes around the rear window, but then it started to annoy me, so I showed it my 'travels' notes by hitting it over the head with the pad, that put a stop to it's annoying antics.


We arrive at the ground, one thing about Carlton is that it has a massive car park so no trouble on that score; it's just a question of where John fancies parking up. He chooses the very back of the car park, I guess he may well be thinking that there's bound to be some shots flying out of the ground, but they're less likely to go that far. By the way have you noticed how when the subs are warming up, and it doesn't matter which team it is they are so crap at shooting with balls going high, wide and not so handsome most of the time? Now, if you were the manager would you be thinking "Why have I put 'him' on the bench?" Especially if it's a striker!


Guess what, as I'm about to get out of the car the bloody wasp makes a reappearance! I must have just stunned it before. Anyway I open the door and let it out. John says," Are you going to leave a Sheffield wasp here in Carlton?" I replied, "Yes, let it find it's own way home. Serves it right for hitching a lift in the first place."


Deano has got his shorts on today and I wish I'd put mine on too. It’s not that it's sunny as it's quite overcast, but it's very warm. Once inside John treats us to the snack bar, well, he treats me as Deano doesn't want anything. I ask the serving staff what pies they have, apparently I have a choice of meat and potato, or.......meat and potato! So I go with that, and John orders himself a chip buttie. I've almost finished the pie by the time John has got served; I think they must have been cooking his chips individually. Oh and by the way, my pie was crap, it was even worse than the ones at the Coach and Horses.


With the teams ready to kick off we make our way to the far end. The big grassy area behind the goal has now vanished, to be replaced by a small enclosed five-a-side pitch, which is very handy for leaning against. The usual gang are here, in fact there are more recognisable faces watching than playing, as the squad is down to the bare bones with players being unavailable due to suspension or work commitments. In fact Dolbs has put himself down as one of the subs for today. Early on Woolley has a shot just over the bar, but the ball lands on the five-a-side pitch and rolls into the net so we start cheering for the 'goal'. Just to the other side of the goal where we are stood we see spot one lonely chair and Deano say's, “Look Trev, they've got a new stand." He has a glance at the team sheet I've got and comes out with, "Oh look, I see they've got a forward with a small penis." I give him a puzzled look, and then he points out the guys Christian name.......Justin! Yes, it's going to be one of those afternoons. It's a pretty lacklustre first half, the highlight being the assortment of sweeties being passed around by Andy, Caroline and Sue! No score at half time and it's back to the snack bar. John asks if I want anything else to eat, I say, "What for the trip home?" (Being as it took him so long to get served before the match), and there wasn't a queue then. I just get a drink. Back at the other end Tim was telling me that after he got served Andrew asked for a cheeseburger and the lass serving him said, "Do you want cheese on that?"


Back to the action and the Carlton full back gets injured and takes his boot off, his foot was stood on as he made a tackle. John say's it could be like that scene from Jaws, but instead of 'We need a bigger boat, the trainer could shout out, we need a bigger boot!" The lads toiled away in the afternoon sun but were lacking in the final third, although their keeper made a couple of fine saves. Of course, this being Carlton and with what I said at the start of this article they go and score, somewhat against the run of play. To add insult to injury they grab a second two minutes later. That's the way it finished, so once again we can't break the Carlton hoodoo. Mind you, it didn't help when our best player on the day (Matt Roney) was substituted as all the supply to the forwards dried up as They left Steve Woolley out on the left wing like Billy no mates as they never gave him the ball. John takes the man of the match votes which takes a little longer than usual as the regulars scratch their heads in an effort to pick someone.


Back at the car, and Deano wants to go in the back so I sit next to John and as we set off I read the programme, which takes all of five minutes. Then we listen to Cilla playing some cover versions of the Beatles hits, and there are some really weird renditions. Back on the motorway and it's back to lorry spotting as we both call for the same Eddie Stobart, but then John gets a Preston’s of Potto too. A few more 'Eddies' go by which of course John claims then we have a dispute regarding another Preston’s of Potto as, although it's a full rig-up the trailer doesn't have any sides. In the end I have to relent as he spots another two and I'm able to verify the writing on the framework of the trailer(with much grinding of teeth!) Mind you, John's not really got any opposition on the way back as Deano is in his own world (wherever that is) and I'm too bloody busy writing down all these lorries he keeps spotting!


Back home and I get the match report done and then it's the usual Bank Holiday fare on the telly. I treat myself to a Bailey's over ice and end up watching the Championship footie highlights on the computer before heading off to bed. With all the fresh air and the alcohol I should sleep well! Until next time


Happy Travelling


Ossett Albion Ladies v. Sheffield FC Ladies 30/08/09


A late night for me last night at the Boardwalk so I was glad it was my day off today. I even managed to sleep until just before 7 too! I spent a leisurely morning catching up on watching Match of the Day from last night, and even had time to spend an hour in the garden trying to get some of the overgrown stuff cut down. An hour was my limit though as I was knackered after that and needed some breakfast and a cuppa to get some energy back, well enough energy to allow me to go and fetch the papers and then sit down and read them. Then I remembered I'd still got the match report to do from yesterday so got that done and sent off before getting organised for the game.


Despite all the sun this morning there are now quite a few dark clouds lurking overhead and it looks like it may well rain. I head off down the road to meet John, before turning back as I'd forgotten my glasses. I'll have to start making a check list before I set off in future! It's the ladies first league game of the season and it's an easy journey for us, 'just up the road' to Ossett Albion's ground. The quirkiness of making this trip is the fact that , although it's farther in miles than going to the Coach and Horses, it takes us less time to get to Ossett due to the fact that we get a good run on the motorway instead of encountering urban traffic for all the journey.


Despite the threat of rain it's still pleasant enough, if a little on the breezy side. As we pull into the car park we see that there's a cricket match about to start next door, so John has a re-think about where to park the car as our usual place would be right in the firing line of a wayward slog from one of the batsmen. In the end John parks near the exit so Sammy is shielded by a wall. It should be fun once our game starts as there's bound to be a stray ball or two from our game heading onto the cricket pitch. I just hope that the cricket ball doesn't come flying over our way in retaliation!


The ladies have already beaten Ossett in a pre-season friendly here earlier this month so that's a good omen, although in recent years we seem to have had the upper hand after some season's of struggle here. Charlie is here; as well as some of the reserves. Kelly (Armstrong) is busy pointing out Georgia’s bruised face to everyone, due to the fact that then she can add, " She fell over because she was drunk" Thing is, even Georgia wasn't sure how it happened.......or so she says!


The game starts and after an initial settling in period we start to command the game. Maz puts us in the lead just before the half hour mark and Wakey makes it two bang on half time. Helen and Nigel give their views at half time and the ladies start the second half in determined mood. We can here the cricketers next door shouting 'Owzat!' and also having to hold up play as the football goes over the wall onto their pitch. Back to our game, and there's some pretty keen tackling taking place, with one or two private battles springing up, but the ladies are keeping their discipline, but also making sure that the opposition know just how far far they can go. Just after the hour mark and its 3-0, this time Clare slotting the ball home after some near misses. A defensive lapse inside the last ten minutes allows Ossett to get on the scoreboard and Helen is non too pleased about it, but a minute later she's smiling again as Kerry (Parkin) drives into the area to power the ball under the keeper. In added time Clare gets her second of the game and the referee brings the game to an end and we can celebrate a resounding 5-1 victory. Not only was it a good performance but credit must go to their keeper who had a great game, so imagine what the score would have been if she hadn't been in such fine form?


The cricket game is still on as we walk back to Sammy, and he seems in one piece too. On with the radio and it's homeward bound. There's little traffic so it's a quick return home and time to relax watching the Moto GP before tucking into an alternative Sunday dinner of chicken tikka masala. The rest of the day is spent doing bugger all and looking forward (if that's the right word) to another trip out tomorrow for the Bank Holiday game at Carlton. Until next time.


Happy Travelling


Grantham Town v. Sheffield FC 22/08/09


Well here we go again, the second travels in a week, and John and Deano's first of the season. It's a work day too, so it's back to the old routine of a pick up from the hospital. I'd contacted John earlier in the week to find out what time he would be coming for me as I knew I'd have to finish work early and wanted to let the office bods know I was going to be leaving early....Big Brother and all that !


The sun is shining as I make my way across to the museum gates. The ice cream van is parked there, but I'm not tempted, well, I am, but it's a case of if I get one then I'd have to buy John and Deano one. Deano wouldn't forgive my for ruining his sylphlike figure and John would just get it all over himself as he attempts to keep the ice cream in the cone whilst turning the wheel !Once they arrive I jump in the back and get comfy. I thought John had the radio on and it was Pick of the Pops as Status Quo were singing one of their earlier hits, but he's playing a 'Best of' cd of theirs.(In fact I think it's the same one I have). Anyway it gets us all rocking as we head off along the Parkway. We’re just about to turn off and it's bumper to bumper traffic up ahead. Just as we're about to turn onto the slip road some idiot in front decides that he'll do the same, although he's that psychic he's not even going to look round to see if there's any traffic behind him! It's a good job John is pretty nippy on the brakes and manages to avoid him, as well as giving him a blast on the car horn for good measure. I would have given him a piece of my mind, but there's very little in my head today to spare! It gets even better a little further on as a white van man cuts across us as we're on a roundabout and nearly takes Sammy's front end off. I think John must have a contract out on him today! We're in lorry country, so it's no surprise when John spots an Eddie Stobart, getting in just ahead of Deano. He then gets another one which was following it which we hadn't noticed. He's on a roll today, gaining yet another point for one going the other way. He even spots one half a mile in front of us heading the same way. As he was negotiating a bit of traffic in front I managed to spot one myself... (Major achievement!) But just to put me back in my rightful place of at least second best he shows his superiority he gets another one and then holds his hand up to me, indicating five.....smug or what? Apart from lorry spotting it's a good journey all round, with no delays and listening to Quo all the way as we pull into the large car park of South Kesteven Sports Stadium, or as I prefer to call it......the poor man's Don Valley Stadium ! It's still warm and sunny, which is a change down here as there's usually quite a breeze blowing. I get the programmes off one of the girls outside the turnstile who's doing a good impression of break dancing as she tries to ward off a wasp, much to the delight of her mate who just stands there laughing.


Once inside me and John head for the snack bar, but as yet it's not open. We don't have to wait long, and everything is already there so we both decide on a pie and John garnishes his with some mushy peas. As usual we're stood at the top of the open side, Steve lights up a cigarette and Pat says, “You’re not allowed to smoke here Steve; it's a non smoking area." I'll let you guess at what the reply was! I have one of my old Sheffield FC tee-shirts on and Steve comments, “That’s one out of the archives Trev, there must only be me and you that has one of those left." I tell him”They ought to reproduce some more as I've had loads of enquiries about them" and John tells us that he too has one of the same designs too. Daz is sat down at the top of the steps eating pie and peas, so Deano can't resist taking a photo, in case he can use it in the future. Thankfully Daz takes it all in good fun. It's a fairly lacklustre and scrappy first half although we did have some good chances to get on the scoresheet, but go into the break goalless.


We walk round to the other side of the stand, passing the gates where the players enter and leave the field. The three stewards, I think they we're called Curly, Larry and Mo do their best not to open the gate fully to let us past and one of them is smoking too,(in the no smoking area) but then again I wouldn't expect anything different from this lot as we've had our run ins with them before. Thankfully the second half sees us take a hold of the game and a goal each for Steve Woolley and Andy Gascoigne, both with headers sees us triumph, and we actually finish with eleven players still on the pitch too, so it's a double whammy for the gingerbreads. The local yokels are non too happy though as one of them in the stand is giving their manager all sorts of verbals, which makes said manager leap over the hoardings to go and confront him, it was more exciting than the match, but unfortunately we couldn't stop to see the outcome. Back on the road home and I look through the programme which is actually not bad at all, better than quite a few in this league. John is back to bagging Eddie Stobarts, getting one just ahead of a frustrated Deano. We're now listening to the second cd of Status Quo. We pass what looks like an Eddie Stobart depot and John is shouting, “Eddie Stobart, Eddie Stobart, Eddie Stobart". I told him he's disqualified for being too bloody cheeky! It's a nice and relaxing drive back, and with the sun on my side and after a couple of late nights (for me anyway) I decide it's time to check out the back of my eyelids for a while. I do stay awake though as Status Quo isn't exactly soothing music to send you to sleep is it? John's made good time and we arrive back in Sheffield a bit sooner than anticipated, or maybe he just put his foot down to gets away from Grantham as quickly as possible. It's still sunny that when he drops me off I think about doing some gardening, and that's exactly what I did........thought about it. Instead I got the match report done then settled down for some telly watching before eventually nodding off, and yes, once again Match of the Day got missed ! Until next time


Happy Travelling 



Kidsgrove Athletic v. Sheffield FC 18/08/09


At last, the friendlies are out of the way and now it's time for the real stuff. With Stu on holiday and John otherwise occupied with work I'm once again thankful to Mick and Andrew for tonight's trip. I'd phoned Mick last night to arrange a pick-up point, and this time I'm heading to where he and Andrew work on Saville Street. I've got a rough idea where the place is and once I'd got home from work and got myself organised I set off to walk it, allowing myself plenty of time to get there. In fact I call at the local chippy on the way down and get a fishcake buttie to eat while I walk, that will keep me going for a while, mind you, I haven't had anything since my break at work this morning so I need a little sustenance to keep me going!


Thankfully it's a nice, sunny evening so it's quite a pleasant walk, although I'll probably not be in such a pleasant frame of mind once the dark nights and rain descend on us and I end up doing this. In my head my destination seemed a lot nearer than it was, but I still got there with ten minutes to spare. Anyway, it was good practise for when I walk down to Don Valley and back on Thursday for the U2 concert. I'd sent Andrew a text to tell him I was at the bus stop opposite to where they work and he came out and beckoned me over the road. Both he and Mick were just about ready to leave, so we could all get in the car there instead of them having to pull up at the bus stop for me.


First call is back to their house so they can have a quick wash and get changed. Margaret looks surprised when I walk in, then I ask her if she's selling any raffle tickets and get a slap on my arm for being so cheeky. She makes me a lovely cup of tea though while I'm waiting for the others. We're just finishing our drinks when she goes upstairs and comes back down with Smudge. Noooo, not Paul 'Smudge' Smith, but their cat which was named after him. I mean, come on, that's the kind of headline that would make the front page of the News of the World......Raffle Ticket Seller keeps player hidden upstairs, only allowing him out to play games!!! Anyway people, get those lewd thoughts out of your head and let me get back to the story.......both Margaret and Mick tell me to watch myself as he has a tendency to bite as I go to stroke him, but I have no problem, as he lets me stroke him with no hassle. I tell them I have a sort of affinity with people’s animals who always seem to come to me to be stroked. He's soon off outside though, and it's time for us to make a move too. Mick's daughter is just arriving home from work, so she waits while we pull out, before taking the parking space we've conveniently left for her.


Off we go and all is going to plan as I settle back to start writing some notes, and also getting the other notebook ready to write the match report. I know it doesn't sound complicated, but it wouldn't be the first time I've overlapped both match report and travels in one book and then had a hell of a job sorting out what goes where, because believe me, when I start taking notes, even I can't read them sometimes by the time I'm ready to copy them for the site. Andrew say's, "It's a good job you're not lorry spotting Trev; you've just missed seven of them. They were all parked up at a travel stop." I told him they wouldn't be counted anyway, as the lorries have to be moving, or at least at a junction etc to count. This rule was introduced quite early in the lorry spotting antics due to the fact that once we were passing an Eddie Stobart depot and John shouted out something like Eddie Stobart ten times at least. I tell you, he looks really placid, but you wouldn't believe how competitive he is. He's a proper demon once he gets going!


We come to a junction and who should we pull up alongside? Only the team/supporters coach. Jackie gives us a wave, whilst Bert who's in front of her looks like he's reading. Right at the front Alan Methley looks like he's 'doing a Trev' by looking at the back of his eyelids.


We arrive at the ground and the attendant directs us as to where he wants us to park. As we're walking back toward the turnstile he's walking towards us and Andrew say's, “I bet he wants to know where the team are." Sure enough, as we approach he say's, “Is your team coming down in cars then?" I tell him, "No. They're on their way as we passed the team coach earlier; they're just running a bit late." Mick goes straight inside while me and Andrew go and see the old lady who's selling the programmes and raffle tickets. Well I ask for four programmes, so she says, "Golden Goal tickets?"   "No", I replied, just four programmes. Well she gives me the programmes and I hand over a tenner. Then she says, "I've not got enough change," so I tell her to give me another programme, as Andrew was going to buy one and he didn't have the right money too. There were two plastic containers of money on her table, one with change and ours. I asked her, "Why don't you just give me the change out of that one?" Pointing to the other container. "I can't do that", she said, "that's the golden goal money." You may well laugh...Andrew certainly was. Anyway, in the end, she took my tenner and put it in the golden goal container and gave me the full 10 in change, AND THEN she took for the programmes and almost lost the plot there as she was trying to charge me 1.50 for four of the programmes and just 1 for the extra one I wanted! We go into the ground and head for something to eat. Andrew said he'd asked his dad to see if he could get a team sheet, but wasn't holding his breath as he'd never got one from here. The team arrived half an hour before kick off and were soon out warming up. I manage to scribble our team down as Steve gives me the line up and phone it through to Deano, so he can get it on the site. As the game starts Mick turns up, and true to form, no teamsheet. I spot where the announcer is and wander over there as the game kicks off, primarily to write down the home team from his sheet, but when I ask him he just hands me a team sheet he has on his desk, along with about ten more copies. I walk back to Andrew and tell him the good news so he goes and gets one for himself too.


We're kicking down the slope in the first half and it's quite even to start with, but Kidsgrove take the lead when Leonard handles in the box and their forward scores form the penalty spot. The game then gets scrappy and we resort to lumping the ball forward instead of playing it through the midfield. We do get back on level terms just before the break though when Will Senior's shot is put into his own net by one of the defenders....sorry Will, but there's no way you can claim that one.


Half time and me, Andy and Caroline walk round to the other side, to be joined by Jackie just before the restart....along with about 100,000 midges too!!!!! I phoned Deano with what's happened so far so he can get something online for those who couldn't make the journey tonight to see how we were doing. There's no goals this half but plenty of chances as Sheffield dominate the half. we almost had the perfect finish when Greg's diving header went just wide of the far post. What with all the note taking I forgot that we were now into the proper football of league competition and realised that with John not being here tonight I'd have to do the man of the match votes too!! So I quickly scooted round to the far side to where Pat, Ben and some of the others were before joining the others as the final whistle blew. We had to walk to where the majority of our supporters were to get out, so I got the rest of the votes as we waited for the team to leave the field, and then it was back to the car for the drive home. I called Deano to let him have the all the details and also sent texts out to Stu and John.


Mick is taking us back over the peaks and through Buxton. The swaying of the car on the winding roads is sending me to sleep, but I do remember us descending into Buxton. The next thing I knew we were at Banner Cross! So yes, I admit I did nod was all that writing you understand, it knackered me out. Not sure if I was snoring my head off, but Mick and Andrew were too kind to say anything if I was, and, if I was, I apologise if it was annoying you.


Back at home I turn the computer on as I'm going to talk to Jeanie to tell her about the game, and I also look at the site, where Deano has done a good job with a summary of the events of tonight, which is a good job as the match report won't be done until tomorrow tea-time. Oh, hang on....just looked at the clock, make that later today! Despite the lateness of the hour I need a cuppa and some supper, but just settle for some biscuits with my tea, and after a brief chat across the Atlantic it's off to bed and sleep. It's good to be back in the groove again! Until next time.


Happy Travelling



Parkgate v. Sheffield FC 28/07/09


Well what a contrast for the team. Last week we were at a windy Emley, then the team jetted off to Poland to play a game at the weekend and now it's back to playing more or less on the doorstep as we venture to what seems to be our annual pre- season trip to Parkgate. It's another typical summer's day, one minute warm and sunny and the next it's pi...err raining quite heavily! Of course, with my timing it's doing the latter when I step outside. Once again I'm travelling with Mick and Andrew tonight and make my way down to Meadowhall. I've been here more in the past ten days than I have in the past two years! Being as I'm early, I take shelter in the waiting area of the Interchange,  treat myself to a coffee and sit and read a while until it's time to go out to the main road and look for them arriving. Stu phones me, so we have a natter, whilst the wind howls down the phone. What with that and the traffic it's no wonder that every time he said something I replied with, "What?" It's not as busy as last week and it's easy to spot Mick's car as Andrew has his arm stuck out of the car waving at me. I finish my conversation with Stu, who asks me to say hello to my two travelling companions and then off we go. I'll let Stu know the score later.


It doesn't take us long at all to get to the ground, but on the way there Mick gives us a running commentary of the area such as, " There used to be a coalmine where that garage is", or, " You see over there (pointing), that used to be one of the best football pitches in this area, and I used to play there for the works team in the old Yorkshire League." I said, "Would that have been Ye Olde Yorkshire League then?" You see he's a Rotherham lad at heart and still supports the Millers...I'll let him off on both accounts there. It could have been worse; he could have come from Barnsley....or Stocksbridge!!!


Once we've parked up we sit in the car for a while as it's still raining and both of them are telling me about their exploits coaching the under 10's team for a couple of seasons ago which was interesting as well as funny. The rain eventually subsides and we decide to make our way inside. It's a 7.30-ish kick off, but at 7.15 there are only nine of us inside the ground and five of them are Parkgate officials/helpers. Ten minutes to go and some more of our die-hard supporters turn up. It's raining once again so we all sit on one side of the little stand to keep dry, not our usual vantage point as we like to be stood near the dug outs here, but no point getting soaked just for a kick about. Everyone is asking Steve (Hall) about the trip to Poland which sounded good, but like he said there was little time to get to enjoy everything as they were only there for such a short visit.


The game gets underway and apart from a couple of chances from Parkgate's two pacey forwards Sheffield take control but it takes them over half an hour before Will Senior gives us the lead, although we did have an effort ruled out early on for offside. Half time and time for me to start phoning and texting to keep the lads up to date of our progress so far. Of course it's all about fitness so the second half sees us line up with five subs on but it didn't affect the flow of the game. Gav put us further in front with some nifty footwork. Their manager was making us laugh as he was disputing every decision given, in fact the ref had to go over and tell him to calm down. If he carries on like that during the season he's end up with a heart attack! The game was wrapped up with two goals from Ben (Leonard). So, four goals and a clean sheet, not a bad night's workout. In fact I can't remember Crossy making a save in the second half.


We don't hang about as it's straight to the car and off. It's such a treat to be actually walking in the house just after nine thirty, so I'll enjoy it while I can as it will be so different with those midweek trips to Kidsgrove and Cammell Laird etc. etc! Until next time......


Happy Travelling




Emley FC v. Sheffield FC 22/07/09


Well here we are once again. It’s the first travels of the new season as the lads continue with their pre-season friendlies with a trip to Emley. It's like groundhog day for me, as it's only about a month ago I was here with John watching our ladies thrash Huddersfield on their way to finishing runners up in their league.


With Stu unavailable due to the passing of his Father-in-Law, and John suffering with a cold ( he said, 'If I start hunting for truffles in the garden I'll let you know I've got swine flu'), I was stuck for a lift. My usual alternative of Andy and Caroline couldn't make it tonight due to the early kick off so I contact Andrew and Mick, who gladly stepped in to help out. So it's a big official welcome to them both of them. I know they've been mentioned before, but not as one of the numerous friends who transport me to the far corners of Great Britain in order that I can bring you these scribblings to mull over.


After getting home from work and sorting myself out it's a dash over to Firth Park to get the bus to Meadowhall. Mick and Andrew are setting off straight from work (on Saville Street) so we've arranged for them to pick me up under the bridge that crosses over the main road from the Interchange to Marks and Spencer. The buses are usually a nightmare at this time of night, so I made sure to go for an earlier one just to be on the safe side. There was no trouble with them stopping to pick me up as the traffic was stop/start at that point anyway being as it's just before the traffic lights, which only seem to be letting three vehicles at the most pass through before changing to red.


I'd forgot what colour or make Mick's car was, but it didn't matter as Andrew attracted my attention by hanging half way out of the window, waving his arms wildly just to be sure. Well, I got in the car at 5.20, and we pulled into the ground at 5.55! Of course, everything was still shut up, so we wandered over to the pub and waited in there till we could see signs of life at the ground. There were already four Sheffield supporters in there having a beer. After half an hour we made our way to the turnstile which had finally opened and went inside. After all the earlier rain the sun was now trying to shine and it was quite pleasant, although there was a fair wind blowing too. I found Steve and got the team off him. With Deano not being here either, I was able to phone him with the details which he could then transfer straight to the site and the forum, how's that for service? Then I go for a wander and find the snack bar open so get myself a tea. There doing some nice sausage sandwiches too, so I go and tell Andrew and Mick, in case they want something to eat. I would have got one of the sandwiches myself, but had already brought a sandwich with me as I wasn't sure there would be food available tonight.


The game starts and Emley are certainly up for this, getting in some early challenges. They even took the lead, somewhat against the run of play, two goals from new boy Kirk Jackson saw us in front but Emley drew level just before the break with a fine effort from the edge of the area.


I phoned Deano to let him know the score and settled down to eat my sandwich. As usual, changes in playing personnel were made at half time and not long after the restart Joel Purkiss was also brought into the action, his first contribution was to make a run to the near post and clip the ball over the keeper to score! The teams were now using rolling substitutions which was totally baffling the announcer, who at one stage said that one of our players had actually replaced one of theirs! In the end he just said, 'I give up!’ Luckily for him there were no more goals so at least he didn't have to worry about who scored, especially when we had to put him right on one of Jackson's goals as he tried to give the credit to someone else. It was a good game with both sides playing well, even though we had control for most of the game. We didn't hang about at the final whistle as it was straight into the car and off home. As we walked back to the car one of our supporters asked about getting out of the ground. If you don't know Emley, well the ground is down a very narrow alleyway which is easy to miss when you approach it, but obviously when you're leaving the ground it's straight out into the main road and visibility is virtually zero, Anyway, this guy asked what's the best thing to do, so I told him, 'Just close your eyes and put your foot down'. Well it's always worked for John!!


It was a very short journey home as I walked in the house just after 9.30....I quite like these early kick-offs, especially if I'm on an early shift the day after. With time to spare, I even got the match report done there and then too instead of leaving it until the day after. Well next up is a trip to Poland!!! No, I'll not be going to that one I'm afraid, but I will be at Parkgate next Tuesday. Until next time........


Happy Travelling



Trev is on the road again, wearin' different clothes again Trev is turning handouts down To keep his pockets clean..