Away Day Robins
Harrogate Town - Story 1
F.A. Cup 2nd qualifying round 28-09-02
The latest away day for the Blackburn and Darwen Robins was the F.A. Cup tie at Harrogate. The weekend started on Friday when Dave and I travelled over to Harwood to get stocked up with butty material, and more importantly, beer. We got plenty of bargains at your caring, sharing, wonderful, friendly, fantastic, sexy Co-op Superstore, who are not only all these things but are extremely generous as this football club knows only too well.
Unfortunately I had to go in the car as the family wanted to go shopping. As we arrived in the town at 1.00 on Saturday, Dave phoned me to say that the coach was just setting off! Meanwhile I thought that I’d find a car park and walk to the ground. When I found one, I thought that it was strange that there was no price list, until I got inside-£5-50 for the afternoon! Patsy soon brought me round with some smelling salts and luckily the place was full-PHEW! I dropped the girls off and Andy and I set off in search of the ground.
We stopped off at a Vets to ask the way and whilst I was in there I noticed that a lady had brought her cat in to be looked at.
“Is it a Tom?” I asked.
“No it’s in this basket,” came the reply!
I decided that we’d be better off guessing where the ground was, and indeed, we soon found it.
The nice man on the gate thought that I was a player but I was honest and paid my £6, and the car park on the ground was free. You all know about the game by now, we put up a fantastic display and were very unlucky not to come away with a positive result. Despite the 2-0 reverse the players were given a good ovation at the end by both sets of fans.
On the return journey we stopped off for fish and chips at the best Chippy in Yorkshire which is in Skipton. Great food, warm and sunny all day, tremendous performance by the lads, if you missed it, you missed a treat so let’s see you all at Colne on Saturday, and remember…………
Rally Round the Robins!
Harrogate Town - Story 2
The latest report from the Blackburn and Darwen Robins comes from the big FA Cup game in September.
So that we could ALL enjoy a drink or two, we got lifts to the Showground where we were catching the Burnley FC team coach. Fat Phil, Jimmy ‘Mad Dog’, Andy ‘The Hat’ and myself arrived early at 11-30 to make sure that we got at a table and Michelle and Auntie Sheila arrived soon afterwards.
Us ‘Youngsters’ went for a game of footy on the adjoining field which was soon awash with scouts. Could it be they were eying up my mercurial skills? Had they come to watch the dribbling of Jimmy? Was it the great defensive qualities of Andy? No, it was Fat Phil in goal who was not surprisingly unbeatable.
By 12-00 all the players had arrived but we were going to be without Deano and Ryan which meant that the midfield were probably going to be over run. The coach should have been there by then, but as the minutes ticked by, we began to get worried. What if it’s broken down, what if it’s gone to the Interlink by mistake, or maybe it’s been wrecked en-route, it had got Burnley FC plastered on the side. It finally turned up at 12-30 but thanks to some players bringing their mates, we were over-booked, leaving a couple of supporters having to drive. We managed to get a couple of tables and out came the beer and cards. Tempers soon began to fray as I took all Andy’s and Sheila’s cash off them playing at pontoon. After a particularly tense game, we had to be pulled apart by Harry and Eileen-well, there was 25 pence in the kitty!
Arrived at the ground at 2 o’clock so it was straight into the club house for a couple of pre-match pints and a chat with the locals. Unfortunately we couldn’t tell a word they were saying and after we kept asking them to repeat what they’d said, they seemed to be getting pretty angry.
“If tha’s spah tin yon scahvs in’t grouand, tha’ll get tha lip split ah reet?”
“Uh, yes, it’s very sunny isn’t it?” “Come on lads, lets’ get the flags up.”
On a glorious day and a lovely playing surface the Robins kicked off attacking the Town End cheered on by around 15 supporters. The
players had their instructions-keep it tight for the first 15 minutes because last time we were here Harrogate scored with their only two attacks in the first half an hour. 5 minutes-ball through the middle 1-0. 12 minutes-cross into the box 2-0-game over!
That really knocked the stuffing out of the team and the supporters who were hardly heard for the rest of the game. If we could have held them for a while, we would have grown in confidence and they and their supporters may have got frustrated. As it was, the game was finished as a spectacle and although the defence held firm and Eastie and Sam tried to create something up front it was to no avail and we were pleased to get to half time still only two down.
Into the directors lounge for free tea, sandwiches and cake. As usual we were given a great reception by all of the Harrogate Town officials, from the gate man to the Chairman and hopefully the club will go from strength to strength. What with that, free transport to the game and complimentaries to get in the ground, it was a helluva cheap day out. Decked the outside of the director’s box with the flags and scarves and gave a good blast of the bugle to try and inspire the lads to a 2nd half revival. If we could get one back Harrogate could get edgy.
While our dream was slowly slipping away during the game, Fat Phil was slowly working his way through the left over food in the lounge. We never looked as though we’d get back in the game and Harrogate completed their win in the 80th minute when two bits of slack marking in the box left a forward free to pick his spot from inside the 6-yard box. To have stood any chance we really would have had to have a full strength side and everyone playing at the top of their game, we had neither and the 3-0 score line was a true reflection of the game.
Back into the club house for another couple of pints and very possibly a good kicking from the ‘meat-heads’. There were about 8 big skinheads eying us up when suddenly the result from Old Trafford came through. Man United 1 Rovers 2-HURRAY! They were jumping up and down and we were jumping up and down-and all was forgiven-PHEW!
Got a ‘takeaway’ from the bar and boarded the coach at 6 o’clock. More beer and cards on the journey home but this time we played ‘Old Maid’ so that I wouldn’t take away the little money that the rest of the crew still had.
Got back to Harwood at 8 and caught the bus back to Blackburn. Phoned the wife up to come and give us a lift home.
“Right, drop what you’re doing and come and give us a lift home, and on your way here stop off at the Chinese and order some supper! Oh, and hurry up ‘cause we’re down-hearted.”
If you missed it, you missed a damn good day out despite the result; at least it was only to be expected. The day had cost us hardly anything so many thanks to the club officials for their generosity. This is what you call a Football Club!
Join us for the next away game and remember…
Rally round the robins!