First Team Regular
Feb 21, 2018, 9:36 PM
Location: Beside the Spinnaker Tower
Team(s): Hemel Hempstead Town FC, Trust Portsmouth FC and The Reds of Cincinnati
Look away now as it’s not the Non-League this time ..
Barnsley 1-2 Burton Albion (EFL, Championship League)
- played at Oakwell Stadium, Barnsley
Att – 11,774 (official); Entry - £23; Programme - £3 (nice job); Parking - £5; Badge - £2.50 .. and a Hot Choc for £2.
Weather – cool, decent and dry
Travel – M27, M3, A34, M40, A43, M1 off at Jct 37 in 4 hours .. back via M1, M25 and near the A3 (4 road closures along the way) .. indoors by 3.0am.
Colours – Tykes in red tops and white shorts .. Brewers in all yellow with black trim to shoulder blades.
So tonight’s destination .. a game 240 miles away .. and its amazing how we just set the mind and then off we go .. for me a simple case of the penultimate ground in the Championship .. but I suspect other’s who passed me by were on a more personal trip to watch “their” team .. taking in those high emotions under the bright lights, which the Oakwell Stadium had in abundance, as I crawled into the South car park at around 6pm, after a steady drive up from the south coast .. with a classic relegation 6 pointer on hand .. an immense game for the winners if found.
Loved the ground .. had a seat in the lower East at halfway .. the Brewers travelling hoard up high in the North .. the majority of Tykes in the South, CK Beckett .. and the main old ‘an .. a throw back to those real times, over in the West .. reminding me of a smaller north in the home city, just more exposure here to the elements if it rained.
The evening out attracted the local folk, who probably were able to chew through bricks from the adjacent terraced houses, if asked to go through a brick wall for their team .. wearing modern woollen on top and the traditional flat .. arriving nervy .. expectant .. especially with a new Manager to contemplate this night .. ever hopeful that perhaps an odd loanee from Josè may assist as time moved on.
The game was pure theatre .. three great worldy strikes on 1 and 45 (see link) by the visitors .. and on 75 for our hosts .. then latter denied an equaliser on 88, as flag went up to stop hysteria .. after the Brewers had controlled the first hour and then chose to stop playing .. sat back and let the mass ranks of red let their frustrations out, trying to will the ball into the net .. but all to no avail, as five minutes of stoppage passed .. the six pointer was won .. and Albion were off the bottom .. leaving the Tykes thankful that Sunderland had also lost .. nerves a plenty still to be dealt with .. going into the last few months of this season.
.. and my lasting memory will be of the supporters I sat next to .. from one, stating it was the worst first twenty minutes seen in the last two years .. another dissecting and commentating on every misplayed pass and player’s decision .. the majority in frustration of the Ref’s decisions .. but all offering such humour throughout, during an evening of total disbelief .. as they watched their team lose .. knowing another brickwall has to be knocked down .. when they come back to support “their” Club .. win, lose or draw.
Brewers 2nd goal - https://twitter.com/redlegTudor/status/966048835469488128
Grounds = 524, Leagues done = 11 (40 to go); Games (18/19) = 93; New Grounds (18/19) = 59; Goals (18/19) = 318; Ave goals/game = 3.42; Last new ground = Northampton Town; Next = Mon 18th February 2019.
(This post was edited by hemelhopper on Feb 21, 2018, 9:42 PM)