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Yesterday, had a marvellous footie 'away day'!
Me and the lads, travelled down to the multi hued green shades of the Gloucester countryside, to watch the Rovers of the superwhites play against the Rovers of Forest Green!
I was really looking forward to the trip and it didn't disappoint, especially since the whites won!!
We started relatively early, allowing for time if held up for whatever reason on the motorways.
We allowed for four hours traveling time including a stop after getting past Brum land on the M5.
We would have made good time and arrived in time for a drink and a bite to eat in the village there!
If you have no idea, about where this ground is, it literally is on top of a hill above a small village in the depths of the county of Gloucestershire. There is definitely more cows and sheep, as well as a few llamas, than the population of humans! The amount of green is truly astonishing. The trees are in the millions, grass and fields are everywhere, crops and diary farms, the landscape is dotted with farm houses and cottages, no housing estates, just estates! You have to have money to live there and a lot of it!
Yes, we would have made good time but are friend the Sat Nav sent us in the wrong direction as we came off the motorway and we ended up in total confusion in a placece called Eastington on a bridal path fit for donkeys.
Not for super modern Vauxhalls! We would have been better off with a horse and cart, I assure you, ok an off road vehicle! We finally had to go over hills, mountains, valleys, cow paths, goat trails and a bit of advice from a local Sherpa on how to get to the ground! No thanks to the cows crossing half way down a single track bridal path!
Finally we arrive and are lucky to get parking space outside on a grass verge around the side of the ground.
We have an hour to kill before kick off and ask the yokels about the nearest watering hole!
Down this whopping great hill or at the ground called interestingly the Green Man, where you can get a pint of the local brew and have a bite to eat!!!!!
Now, I veer away from storytelling because the owner of the club is a bit of a health nut and a vegan, only organic products and sustainable zero carbon is used. They use there own electricity and more importantly for me, no meat is sold, as well as only soya milk is used for the cuppa on sale!
I kid you not, the place is remarkable within football, it's unique and the only thing edible for me on offer, was a veggie burger! So for my afternoon meal it was a burger and a cup of tea, as usual, no milk or sugar!
Well, as things never go smoothly do they?
The veggie burger was shockingly disgusting, a cow pat would have probably tasted better!
It was dreadful and the tea tasted like slightly scented water! Yuk!
Now because I'm weird, I excused myself and went back to eat something with at least a bit of more protein, so it wouldn't affect me, whilst the lads had a couple of pints with their chips.
So suitably refreshed!!! We enter the ground, and of course at National league level, the ground has standing areas called terraces, (no seats!) And the ground is open to the elements! So along with the traveling SWA, (SuperWhiteArmy) we get our spec behind the goal. I have to admit, that the pitch was excellent for this level and many more lower league clubs should look at how the Greens have developed their pitch, really impressed! The ground was neat and tidy and a credit to the owners! The yokels were polite and very helpful, if you could get past the combine harvested accent!
Because we are playing the top of the league I'm really excited and tense as kick off approaches and the lads are in good voice, as a small ditty about sticking veggie burgers up somewhere rattles out! There is a good following from the greatest peninsula in the land as well as others from elsewhere beyond wondrous Wirral!
We have taken nearly 500 supporters to this end of the known universe. Which is roughly a tenth of our average home attendance!
Well, all my concerns turned to joy as our victory was never in doubt from our first goal hit the back of the net!
The second soon after allowed us a comfortable gap, to which we could and should added more to the scoreline.
But I was pleased with the performance and the outcome. There is nothing like a good away win especially a good team as the Greens were, but not on this day! Oh Birkenhead is wonderful, shouted loud and proud!
We left the ground happy and other than the usual traffic problems getting away from the ground, we had a nice quick trip back up to the leisure peninsula and civilization!
My lasting impression of my trip down to the back of beyond, it reminded me of bandit country, you could hide away there and you might not see your neighbour for weeks. If you want to be lonely, then go there! There is absolutely no attempt at attracting visitors, as what could even take you there, maybe the countryside, but there's plenty enough of it elsewhere. It has absolutely nothing going for it! It was also quite a few degrees colder than warm Wirral and it was a good job I brought along my hat and scarf, naturally in the colours of my beloved team!
The taste of the burger, left a lasting impression on me. I can't complain, I knew it would be difficult in pleasing my pallet, I had a go, but I wouldn't recommend it!
It could be one of the friendliest grounds I've visited and the stewards were not a prescience and there was no trouble whatsoever!
A good day!
I had a chance to discover how many football league grounds I have visited and of the 92 presently in situ, only eight have I not set foot in and two of them are new, where I have been to the old venues!
I believe that in all I have visited over 120+ football grounds in the top six divisions, I include the likes of Stockport of course and a couple that no longer exist, which includes New Brighton!
Regards, as in football.
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