Away Day Robins

Maine Road


Due to the lack of away games recently, the trip to Maine Road for the League Challenge Cup is the only one I’ve got to report on. We hadn’t been there before so we set off in plenty of time. Unfortunately because most of us work on Saturday morning, it meant that we hadn’t time for lunch-never mind, we’d be able to get a pie or two at the ground-wouldn’t we!! Did the round sand collected Michelle, Big Dave and Jimmy ‘Mad-Dog’ Hughes, before going down to the Super-duper Co-op store on Queen Street to stock up on food and beer for the evening. Just because the Co-op aren’t our main sponsors this season, we’re still tremendously grateful for their efforts last term.
Got to the ground with plenty of time to spare so we stopped at a shop for the newspapers. As we got out of the car, we heard a policeman reading the riot act to a poor old lady. I walked over to them to see what the problem was. The copper was telling her off for driving at les than 25 miles per hour on an ‘A’ road and holding up all the traffic.
“Oh sorry officer, I thought that if we were on the A24, that’s the speed we had to go at.”
“Ohhhhh!!” Exclaimed our disbelieving traffic cop. “And by the way, what’s up with the two old dears in the back? One’s white, one’s green and their hair’s standing on end.”
“Dunno,” replied Grandma. “They were alright before we went on the A85 and the A120”!
Into the ground and onto the snack bar. “Where’s the food, we’re starving?” The ‘food’ consisted of….crisps! Dave nearly had a fit.
The game began with sunshine and a strong wind which was in our favour. The Robins were soon on the attack and the hosts were given the run-around for most of the half. Booby was only called into action a couple of times when the defence fell sleep, whilst at the other end the Maine Road custodian was the busiest player on the pitch. Rogers, Mashiter and Derbyshire were always a threat and the only surprising thing about the first half was that we only had two goals from Matt to show for our supremacy. At one stage the keeper refused to go behind the goal to retrieve the ball, so happy was he to keep the score at 2-1!
The second half saw a much more even affair but we were still the more dangerous side when attacking. Darren spoiled a fine performance by needlessly conceding a late penalty, which led to a nervy last few minutes when the ‘up and unders’ were brought into play. The Maine Road keeper then lost the plot and started to verbally abuse several of the Harwood followers, who I might add, outnumbered the home supporters. The language was a disgrace and both senior citizens and ladies were not exempt from his foul mouthed tirade. Some people are just lousy losers. Still, after we beat them twice more in the league games, maybe he’ll get used to it!
Just a couple of minutes from the end we witnessed one of the funniest moments on our travels this season when an almighty rumbling noise sent shivers down our spines. Grown men cowered in fear, women were screaming and children were crying. Was it a roll of thunder coming from above? Was it a Jumbo Jet from nearby Manchester Airport about to hit the main stand or was it a freak earthquake? No, it was Big Dave’s stomach rumbling due to the lack of catering facilities!
We set off for home straight after the final whistle all in buoyant mood after another terrific win against a side who were one of the ‘top dogs’ last term. Of course the way that we’re playing this season, too many good cup runs could create a bit of a fixture back-log. Still, we do have a quality squad of more than 20 players, and with Sharps to return after his enormous ban, and last season’s leading scorer John Eastham hoping to be back before Christmas, we could have enough numbers to gain both League and Cup success, let’s hope so, we’re long overdue some silverware.
Did you miss this away day? Well you’ve got another chance to sample the delights of Maine Road when we go there for a league game in a couple of weeks, and don’t forget……

Rally round the robins!

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©2009 J Fenton