So, the penultimate away game of this season takes us across Hampshire and into the opulent surrounds of Farnborough.
Evening boys and girls and welcome at another edition of Duke's tired and emotional recollection of today's trip. Many thanks for Juan for doing the SSC blog on Thursday and giving me the opportunity to just sit back and enjoy another excellent performance that booked us a record breaking number of final appearances and leaves us just one step away from equalling Dulwich Hamlet's record of wins.
As some of you are aware for the next couple of weeks, I'm going to have to stay at my sister's flat in Wallington, just to look after the evil cat creature known as "Alan" while she and my brother in law swan off to sun themselves in Siam. So first off, apologies for any errors the blog may contain (more than normal anyway) but I’ve had to do this on a poxy laptop I'm not yet familiar with. I was also distracted by the beautiful landscapes viewed from my sister's luxury apartment.
|The beautiful rolling landscape of Wallington....|
Despite being moments from the station, that doesn't mean that I would be on time for the train as we will see. However, because for the last several days Alan cat has decided to wake me up every morning at approximately 0400hrs by either scratching my feet and if that doesn't work by next clawing at my face! So I was awoken by this same routine this morning and short of throwing the fuckin' cat out of the window, I decide instead to have a nice cup of the old Rosie as I watch the sunrise to gather my thoughts and check up on the old internet as the weather looked like it might be reasonable from where I was standing. As is always the case, the weatherman on the web disagreed and described an 'enlarged rain band coming over most of the South of England' for around lunchtime and that didn’t bode well for later.
The text received from the Editor-in-Chief the night before indicated that we were to embark on the 0929hrs train from Sutton, so as I was in Wallington I managed after several texts to get the go ahead to get to Sutton to meet the train from there. I look at the train times on my phone and I see that there are several options I could get as all the trains go from Wallington through Carshalton Beeches onto Sutton. The problem was that as already mentioned, I was only a two minute walk away from the platform. So I fannied about far too much and ended getting the 0921hrs, which was due into Sutton at 0927. Despite this, I somehow managed to just make the connecting train with Mr X and Doctor Bell to waiting on the platform for me.
The Editor-in-Chief got on at Carshalton and Mr C jumped on at Mitcham Junction and that was the early pace setters for the firm and all for the princely sum of £6.75 each for the train fare! We next managed to meet up with the Chronic Masturbator at Clapham Junction and a couple of other Sutton stragglers as well. It was at this point that I managed to spot me one of them old style slam door train carriages that we at Gandermonium have discussed using if we were ever to do a football specials train from Sutton to Carshalton should one of us win the lottery.
|No doubt taken whilst someone enjoyed a tab....|
The train journey down to Farnborough passed without incident and we arrived before the usual opening hours, so that left only one option open to us. Which meant the Firm headed to the local Spoons! Yes the lovely Spoons! If Weatherspoon’s ever did a version of frequent flyers, I’m sure we would’ve racked up quite some miles from the amount of drinks we have consumed in these many budget boozers across the country. But in order to spice our day up and create something original for the blog (You see it takes over your life!) I thought I would try something retro for a change and as I glanced over the selections of drink I came across the old kids alcopop favourite “Hooch”.
Ah Hooch, a delectable little number that, when tasting it today and looking back, reminded me that it wasz just some awful cheap cloudy lemonade. To and to add insult to injury, I'm convinced they have reduced the alcohol content as well from it's underage drinking in the park heyday. But I polished it off regardless before it was time to hit several bottles of the more reliable Rattler to help regain my composure. Now, one of the problems with Farnborough is that it’s not the best drinking town in the league and ain't known for its wide & varied selection of pubs, so we stuck to the Spoons and decided we'd then head back to the station to get a sherbet to the ground.
So with the drinks finished in the Tilly, it was back to the station. Sadly, after only one cab was ordered for the eight of us, the ones left behind (myself included) then had to then wait an extra 10mins in the rain before another one was obtained. Although the short trip to the club was covered in a matter of minutes. Then it was through the turnstyle and into the club bar to once again charge our drinks before kick off.
|Not the Kop....|
The match itself was not a classic but the fact that it was our fourth win in eight days is testament to the way that our season has gone with more twists and turns than an episode of Eastenders. Hank opened the scoring with coolly placed shot past Ciardini that if maybe there had a proper keeper between the sticks rather than a midfielder, they might have done better with. 1-0 was all it was going to be in the first half, but in the second our luck returned and up steps Rents to retake our lead with an out of the box piddle that spun under the midfielder-keeper to get the crowd going again.
The final goal was another Hanky gotcha with Dundo doing all the hard work to set up Marv for a simple goal and the three points were in the bag ,keeping Mr X’s strange playoff hopes alive. After the game we headed back into the club bar to see the other scores come in. Some like the Scum wining at Lowestoft and Charlton’s demolition of Barnsley were some of the notable games that were commented on.
|Carling Zest has competition!|
We finally managed to get some more cabs to our next destination, which was the Thatched Cottage where we could charge our HTC Shits and watch the end of the FA Cup semi-final (bit of entertainment at the end of it I seem to remember?). Several more pints later and it was finally decided to head back to the station, of course we decided to walk through some sort of jungle fuckin' shortcut to get there, which got my Claire Rainers well covered in mud.
Now no trip back to Clapham should happen without us going for a cheeky jar in the “Falcon”, which is what we did and a cheeky jar it was because at this point the numbers began to thin somewhat as the call for home and beds began to ring true in our heads. The train ride home was surprisingly quiet as somehow no one had passed out or had been arrested.
|And what the fuck are YOU looking at sunshine?|
After getting off at Carshalton me and the Editor-in-chief walked to Beddington and after seeing him off I finally made the walk back to Wallington where no doubt I’ll be awoken at 4am again by that fuckin' evil cat!