Away Day Robins

Nelson -Story 1

Due to the lack of home games during the last three months, the latest report from the famous Blackburn & Darwen Robins comes from the local derby at Nelson way back in November.
Called for Billy ‘the kid’ and Jimmy ‘mad-dog’ Hughes and managed to interrupt an almighty row at the Hughes residence.
“You’re not bloody goin’ to football and that’s it!” Shouted the normally placid Mrs. H.
“What seems to be the problem?” I asked.
“Well, this goomer was supposed to be at home looking after the pets on Bonfire night, but he went out with his mates and while he was guarding the ‘bommy’, a rival gang came round and nicked our backyard gate and garden shed. They were last seen going up in smoke in the middle of the Anchor Estate.”
“Oh please mummy, can I go to futty, I promise not to be naughty again.”
“Oh all right, but make sure that you bring me one of those super-duper Great Harwood Town programmes back.”
That Mrs. Hughes certainly has a fine eye for quality literary publications !
Off we set at seven o’clock and thanks to the overwhelming turn out, we had to take two cars. Michelle, Fat Phil, Dave and Auntie Sheila met us at the ground. The road to the ground was already packed with cars and almost everyone we saw were Harwood supporters. The other Blackburn & Darwen Robins were in the ground when we reached the turnstiles which was just as well because me and Jimmy hadn’t got enough cash, neither had another Harwood stalwart Peter. Dave handed us more cash over the perimeter wall and we were soon inside. As usual, it felt more like a home game and heaven knows what the attendance would have been but for our terrific band of fans. We were all looking forward to a second successive win after the 2-1 win over Castleton but it soon became apparent that Nelson had a little more quality than the second division’s basement team. Right from the kick-off we were on the back foot and the hosts took the lead after some poor Harwood defending. A great long-range shot made it two as we struggled to make any impact on the game. Every time Nelson attacked, it looked as though they would score and only some poor finishing and inspired saves from Bobby kept the score slightly respectable. The half ended as it had begun with the Robins firmly on the defensive and the whole sorry episode showed just how far we’ve sunk over the past few months – it was a total embarrassment. At least the pies were good during the break, although the canteen would surely be better if it were not situated next to the toilets! For the first fifteen minutes of the second-half we didn’t look like we’d concede any more goals but after that Nelson once again began to slice through our defence with consummate ease. It was a major surprise that it took them until the 70th minute to effectively wrap up the tie, thanks mainly to Bobby’s heroics. Every time Nelson got into our half it looked like they’d score and our goal resembled a shooting range. The excellent Fyldes made it four with around ten minutes to go before we ‘scored’ a consolation. The home keeper Carrington, who was seen reading a magazine during the game, attempted a clearance which hit John Eastham, flew up into orbit and somehow dropped into the net, for what must surely be the luckiest goal of Eastie’s career. Needless to say the strike wasn’t greeted by any wide cheering from the fed up Harwood following. Nelson continued to look dangerous up until the end and the final whistle was a relief to us all. Took the flag down and felt embarrassed that people would know who we supported.
“Never mind, we’ve got Colne next, perhaps we’ll get a draw,” said Jimmy.
“Yeh, and perhaps we’ll sign Thierry Henry on loan for the rest of the season you Goomer!” retorted Billy.
Sad to say, after watching the lads get beat almost every game, one really can’t summon up any optimism for the coming months, in fact it’ll probably be even worse. We’ll still get beat but we’ll be freezing to death while watching!
Hurried off to the cars so that we could beat the final crush. We had to stop at a pub so that we could drown our sorrows (excluding the drivers of course) who had to stay sober and miserable. Now as you know we’ve been banned from all pubs in the Nelson and Colne areas so we decided to stop off at Guide. We were all pretty fed up and angry so I said to Michelle that she mustn’t take it out on the staff. “No worries Dudley, you know I used to work for the Diplomatic Corps of the Women’s Liberation Army.”
The landlord was Italian, and I must say that I’ve always found them friendly and very good at catering. As we reached the bar he was chatting in Italian to a mate.
“Hey Mussolini when you’ve finished surrendering to your German friend we’ll have six pints over ‘ere and make sure that you wash your hands first, we don’t want the glasses stinking of garlic !”
“GET OUTTA HERE, I’MA NOTTA SERVING YOU HOOLIGANS !”
“Maybe you need to work on that diplomatic, friendly greeting Michelle.” I quietly remarked.
Oh well may as well drop everyone off. We left Fat Phil at the Indian takeaway then took the lads home. Just before we arrived I asked Billy why his girlfriend hadn’t rung.
“Oh, I’ve finished with her, I think she was dealing in drugs.” “Blimey!” Said I. “Yeh, yesterday I didn’t have to go to work till lunchtime and when I answered the phone, a bloke asked if the dope had gone yet.”!!!
There’s never a dull moment when the Blackburn & Darwen Robins are on tour

Nelson -Story 2

15-02-03

The latest trip for the Blackburn and Darwen Robins saw us make the short journey to Nelson. As I’m sure you’re all aware, we do seem to have a problem getting to the game son time so we set off early-Friday, 2.00 p.m.! We decided to make a weekend of it, camping and doing a spot of fishing so it was off to the superduperfantasticmoneysavingcaringsharing Co-op Superstore on Queen Street where we stocked up with lots of food (tins of beans) and plenty of bargain priced beer. The ‘crew’ consisted of me, Fat Dave, Jimmy ‘Mad-Dog’ Hughes and Michelle, who incidentally, had her own tent! Unfortunately the Co-op had sold out of maggots so we stopped off at a fishing tackle shop in Clitheroe on our way to the camp site. As we were getting all the stuff out of the boot we were greeted by an horrendous site-the lid on the Tupperware containing the maggots had come off!!
The little blighters were everywhere and as everyone knows, they can squeeze through the smallest of gaps so there was no chance of finding them all.
We put up the tents and gave the sleeping bags one hell of a shake before shooting off to the nearest pub. When we returned the site a few hours later, the tents were once again overrun with our little crawly chums. We spent the next thirty minutes picking them up and I asked Jimmy to get rid of them, as far away from our tents as possible. We got our heads down by midnight but were rudely awakened at 2.00a.m. by the blood curdling screams of a woman in the next tent.
“GET IT AWAY FROM ME!”
Blimey, wonder what’s going on there. It soon became apparent that our neighbour’s tent had been invaded by little crawly creatures.
“Jimmy, what did you do with those maggots?”
We decided that we’d better not go fishing In the morning just in case our friends next door put two and two together!
Up bright and early next morning and the first thing that we saw was the giant who was married to the screaming lady.
“Bloody fishermen, I’ll kill ‘em!”
“yeah, bunch of troublemakers, the lot of ‘em,” says Ft Dave.
Packed up and made a hasty exit towards the local café where we all had a full breakfast, or in Dave’s case, two full breakfasts.
Set off for Nelson at mid-day giving us plenty of time for a pre-match pint and some lunch. Michelle said that she knew of a pub, The Frisky Ferret, where they served food. As we reached the bar, she asked if she could have a tough, raw steak, cold chips and mushed vegetables.
“No way, we can’t give you that,” replied the Landlady.
“Well you gave it me the last time I was here,” said Michelle.
For the second game running we managed to get ourselves barred from a pub, so we went straight to the ground. Ion arrival at 2.30 we were subjected to much ridicule and sarcasm from the large Harwood following.
“Blimey, got here on time? Wet the bed? Did someone else drive this week? Fancy seeing you here before half three!” Etc. etc.
Thanks to the afore mentioned travelling support, Victoria Park saw its biggest crowd of the season. The Robins started well but insisted on trying to walk the ball into the net and were shown the way when Sconce beat a couple of Harwood players before unleashing a fantastic shot from thirty yards which would have beaten any ‘keeper in the land. Despite a superb performance by Bobby in goal, Harwood found themselves 2-0 down at the interval and lucky not to be three or four goals behind as the defence went AWOL time and time again, Fifteen minutes after the break ‘Super Matt’ came on and helped transform the game. Foggy hit a loose ball home from the edge of the box and from that point there was only one team in it. Young Billy in the home goal emulated Bobby in producing several terrific saves to keep Nelson in front but could do nothing to prevent John Eastham heading in the equaliser from a corner. Not only did the ball burst the net, but it also smashed an advertising board behind the goal and was probably the most powerful header seen in these parts since Jimmy Fryatt equalised for Rovers against City in the 5th round of the F.A. Cup in 1969. By now there was only going to be one winner and a great rundown the left by Andy Taylor saw him tie Steve Pickup in knots before crossing into the box. The ball was slightly behind John Eastham but not only did he get his head to it, but he managed to loop it over Billy and into the far corner for Harwood’s best comeback of the season.
The Blues were now well beaten and despite some weak refereeing we never looked in danger. The Nelson number four must get a mention for one of the worst challenges you’re ever likely to see on a football field. He launched himself, both feet about 18 inches off the ground towards Liam who luckily managed to jump out of the way. It was a career threatening tackle and the most obvious sending off of the season-the Ref. didn’t even book him! He should have been banned for life!
The final whistle was greeted by a huge cheer from the Harwood faithful who once again made it seem like a home game. This defeat was Nelson’s first reverse in the league since the beginning of October. We just had enough time to get down to the Co-op to buy some fish to impress our spouses with. Jimmy bought a salmon while Michelle and I bought a couple of trout.
“What did you buy Fat Dave? I asked.
“A kipper,” he replied!
If you didn’t make it to Nelson, you missed another great away day. Why not join us for the next trip, there’s never a dull moment. Up the Reds and remember...

Rally Round the Robins!

Nelson -Story 3

19-08-03

The first trip of the season for the Blackburn and Darwen Robins (whose number is increasing season by season) saw us make the short trip to neighbours Nelson.
Due to work and other commitments, it was down to Jimmy, Billy and myself to cheer the lads on to what we hoped would be another ‘derby’ victory. First of all it was down to Thomco Building Services on Delph Road in Great Harwood, where we made an appointment for the experts to come down to my place to do some quality building work-if you want a job doing properly then call the experts. We set off for the ground in plenty of time as I needed to stop off for some fuel, this we did in Nelson. The young ‘Dingle’ who served us was very friendly and we chatted away about football while he put 20 quid’s worth of fuel in the old girl.
“Hang on Mush!” I shouted, “I only asked for twenty quid’s worth and you’re already up to twenty eight!”
“Oh yeh, sorry, uh, that’s uh……..£28 please.”
“No way pal, I’ve only a twenty quid note on me!”
“Oh, uh, right, that’s £20 please.”
I made a hasty exit as I could see him eying up a piece of plastic tube and puckering up his lips!!
Got to the ground in plenty of time to read the programme-one minute 40 seconds-and do our regular pie tasting. Considering it was a beautiful warm, sunny evening, the crowd was quite small at about 80, with only about 20-30 Harwood fans.
Nelson started the game brightly and full of confidence after 2 wins in their first 2 games. Harwood began as they did in the opening day victory against Chadderton, too many long hopeful balls, but after surviving a couple of hairy moments we started to pass the ball and were the better side towards the end of the half.
The second half saw the Reds continue to gain the upper hand, and a ball over the top tempted the excellent Billy Carrington in the home goal to dash from his line in an attempt to reach the ball before the onrushing Chris Heslop. Chris, who was having a superb game, got there first and clipped the ball into the unguarded net for 1-0. For the next quarter of an hour the Robins played some great football and it seemed only a matter of time before we added to our goal. A series of near misses followed, Carrington excelled, we were unlucky on a couple of occasions, and we should have done better with some good openings. Nelson were always a threat on the break and a long ball down their right wing found the Blues winger with time to put over a cross to the far side of the six-yard box where on oncoming, unmarked forward hit a terrific volley into the roof of the net.
Some great attacking play by both sides meant that the result was always in doubt right until the end and when the final whistle blew, the sides were deservedly applauded from the field. Overall, a draw was a fair result and definitely a point won rather than two dropped for the Robins. It was good to see both sides desperate to get all three points and I’m sure that Nelson and Harwood will be in the leading pack come the spring.
Man of the match was undoubtedly Chris ‘Rooney’ Heslop whose non-stop running caused the home defence problems all evening. His close control and dribbling was magnificent and he seems much fitter than last season, if he keeps this up then he will surely be moving up the non-league ladder before too long.
Every time he got the ball, at least two, and sometimes three Nelson defenders were needed to stop him which created space for the rest of the lads.
On the way home Billy’s girlfriend rang to see what time he’d be home.
“”I’ll be there about eleven Babe, bye.” Replied our young Romeo.
“Oh, that’s nice Billy, calling her Babe, is that her ‘pet’ name?”
“NO WAY!” Stormed Billy.
“I call her that because she’s looks like a pig!”
Who says that romance is dead?
Well, we all had a god night, we played well, we’re still unbeaten, it was a warm evening, the pies were good and we were tucked up in bed-NOT TOGETHER!-by 10-30. If you missed it, you missed a treat so let’s see you all at the next away game.

Nelson -Story 4

27-10-03

Next up on our away day trips was Nelson for the 2nd Division Trophy tie. This was the third time that we’d been to Victory Park in the past three months, the last time being only 6 weeks earlier, so we knew that we’d have no problem in finding the ground. First up though was a short ride down to Thomco to get some quality building work done on Dave’s house. With so many cowboys in the building industry, it’s nice to know that we’ve got a local firm who you can trust to give you quality and value.
We set off for the ground at 1-30 but finding a pub on the way could be a problem, as thanks to Michelle insulting all the landlords and landladies, we’re barred from most of them! Anyway we took a chance on the Dog and Partridge, where we were banned from last season. If you remember, they were having a party and Michelle asked if one of their sandwiches was 21. We pulled our scarves up over part of our faces but we must have looked suspicious ‘cause the landlady started to give us the evil eye.
“Didn’t you lot get banned from here last year?” She boomed out.
“Not us missus,” replied Michelle.
“Oh I’m ever so sorry about that love,” apologised our hostess.
“No it wasn’t us,” said Michelle, “We would have remembered if we’d been to a dump like this before!”
“GET OUT NOW, HOLLIGANS!”
“We’ve been thrown out of better pubs than this mush,” was Michelle’s parting shot.
Got to the ground in plenty of time to get diddled on the turnstile. In the league game the dingle charged young Jimmy full price and this time he said that league passes couldn’t be used. I found out later that they were in fact valid for Trophy games. Dave shot straight round to the snack bar to sample a few pies while I put the ‘lucky’ flag up.
The Robins started off at quite a pace with Mashiter proving to be a handful and it was no surprise when he scored the opening goal. An early injury brought on substitute Matt Derbyshire who had been rested, and Nelson had no answer to hi lightening speed and skill. The excellent Haworth and a chap who looked like he had a skunk on his head were playing very well for the hosts and the former scored with a cracking long range shot before half time.
The second half saw us regain control of the game and Matt scored one of, if not the best goal of his short career, when he controlled the ball with his left foot, swivelled, lost a couple of defenders, and lashed it in on the volley with his right.
The Harwood followers were in raptures and the goal lifted the team who swarmed all over Nelson’s defence and a third goal looked imminent. Matt was in the clear before being scythed down on the edge of the box. A red card was the only option for the ref. but Nelson’s Lang came running from the bench to rant and rave about the decision-silly boy! At 4-45 we were discussing our next away game when Haworth once again scored with a thunderous long range shot.
Oh no, extra time, just when three of us were desperate to get home early for our nights out. Worse was to come as a cross from the Nelson right winger found the defence AWOL and a home forward had the easy task of putting it into the empty net.
Harwood went all out in attack and their cause was helped further when a Nelson player had to go off injured leaving them with nine men as all the subs. Were on. It was now like the Alamo but some weak finishing saw us still 3-2 down going into the 120th minute. The ball reached Matt 25 yards out; he turned this way and that, left a defender on the floor and belted it into the bottom corner. Half the crowd went mad and Billy Carrington in the Nelson goal got his just desserts as he’d been wasting time since his sides third goal-even when we had possession and gave him the ball after one of his team mates was injured! He really got some ‘stick’ at the final whistle.
We made a hasty exit as we were all going to be late for our ‘do’s’. On the way home Billy’s girlfriend rang to see why we were late and what time he’d be home.
“That’s right Treasure, I’ll be home at 6-30, see you soon,” said our little Romeo.
“Ah that’s nice Billy,” says I. “Is Treasure the pet name for your girlfriend?”
“NO WAY!” Shouted our indignant chum. “I call her that because I wish someone would take her to a desert island and bury her!”
And they say that romance id dead!
If you missed this away game then you missed another treat and some fantastic goals so let’s see even more of you at the next game

Nelson -Story 5

Due to the lack of home games during the last three months, the latest report from the famous Blackburn & Darwen Robins comes from the local derby at Nelson way back in November.
Called for Billy ‘the kid’ and Jimmy ‘mad-dog’ Hughes and managed to interrupt an almighty row at the Hughes residence.
“You’re not bloody goin’ to football and that’s it!” Shouted the normally placid Mrs. H.
“What seems to be the problem?” I asked.
“Well, this goomer was supposed to be at home looking after the pets on Bonfire night, but he went out with his mates and while he was guarding the ‘bommy’, a rival gang came round and nicked our backyard gate and garden shed. They were last seen going up in smoke in the middle of the Anchor Estate.”
“Oh please mummy, can I go to futty, I promise not to be naughty again.”
“Oh all right, but make sure that you bring me one of those super-duper Great Harwood Town programmes back.”
That Mrs. Hughes certainly has a fine eye for quality literary publications !
Off we set at seven o’clock and thanks to the overwhelming turn out, we had to take two cars. Michelle, Fat Phil, Dave and Auntie Sheila met us at the ground. The road to the ground was already packed with cars and almost everyone we saw were Harwood supporters. The other Blackburn & Darwen Robins were in the ground when we reached the turnstiles which was just as well because me and Jimmy hadn’t got enough cash, neither had another Harwood stalwart Peter. Dave handed us more cash over the perimeter wall and we were soon inside. As usual, it felt more like a home game and heaven knows what the attendance would have been but for our terrific band of fans. We were all looking forward to a second successive win after the 2-1 win over Castleton but it soon became apparent that Nelson had a little more quality than the second division’s basement team. Right from the kick-off we were on the back foot and the hosts took the lead after some poor Harwood defending. A great long-range shot made it two as we struggled to make any impact on the game. Every time Nelson attacked, it looked as though they would score and only some poor finishing and inspired saves from Bobby kept the score slightly respectable. The half ended as it had begun with the Robins firmly on the defensive and the whole sorry episode showed just how far we’ve sunk over the past few months – it was a total embarrassment. At least the pies were good during the break, although the canteen would surely be better if it were not situated next to the toilets! For the first fifteen minutes of the second-half we didn’t look like we’d concede any more goals but after that Nelson once again began to slice through our defence with consummate ease. It was a major surprise that it took them until the 70th minute to effectively wrap up the tie, thanks mainly to Bobby’s heroics. Every time Nelson got into our half it looked like they’d score and our goal resembled a shooting range. The excellent Fyldes made it four with around ten minutes to go before we ‘scored’ a consolation. The home keeper Carrington, who was seen reading a magazine during the game, attempted a clearance which hit John Eastham, flew up into orbit and somehow dropped into the net, for what must surely be the luckiest goal of Eastie’s career. Needless to say the strike wasn’t greeted by any wide cheering from the fed up Harwood following. Nelson continued to look dangerous up until the end and the final whistle was a relief to us all. Took the flag down and felt embarrassed that people would know who we supported.
“Never mind, we’ve got Colne next, perhaps we’ll get a draw,” said Jimmy.
“Yeh, and perhaps we’ll sign Thierry Henry on loan for the rest of the season you Goomer!” retorted Billy.
Sad to say, after watching the lads get beat almost every game, one really can’t summon up any optimism for the coming months, in fact it’ll probably be even worse. We’ll still get beat but we’ll be freezing to death while watching!
Hurried off to the cars so that we could beat the final crush. We had to stop at a pub so that we could drown our sorrows (excluding the drivers of course) who had to stay sober and miserable. Now as you know we’ve been banned from all pubs in the Nelson and Colne areas so we decided to stop off at Guide. We were all pretty fed up and angry so I said to Michelle that she mustn’t take it out on the staff. “No worries Dudley, you know I used to work for the Diplomatic Corps of the Women’s Liberation Army.”
The landlord was Italian, and I must say that I’ve always found them friendly and very good at catering. As we reached the bar he was chatting in Italian to a mate.
“Hey Mussolini when you’ve finished surrendering to your German friend we’ll have six pints over ‘ere and make sure that you wash your hands first, we don’t want the glasses stinking of garlic !”
“GET OUTTA HERE, I’MA NOTTA SERVING YOU HOOLIGANS !”
“Maybe you need to work on that diplomatic, friendly greeting Michelle.” I quietly remarked.
Oh well may as well drop everyone off. We left Fat Phil at the Indian takeaway then took the lads home. Just before we arrived I asked Billy why his girlfriend hadn’t rung.
“Oh, I’ve finished with her, I think she was dealing in drugs.” “Blimey!” Said I. “Yeh, yesterday I didn’t have to go to work till lunchtime and when I answered the phone, a bloke asked if the dope had gone yet.”!!!
There’s never a dull moment when the Blackburn & Darwen Robins are on tour, so why not join us for the next trip and remember………….

Rally Round the Robins!

   
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