From the title of this piece, you will tell that I am not a “happy (Duracell) bunny”! I shall, of course, go on and on ! However, it is my self-imposed duty to give my personal travel report to supplement the match reports to come (at the time of writing, this is actually a prequel). Keen followers of Town by social media may have already viewed and heard Carl’s post-match interview, which is honest and damning. The usual small number of coach passengers, plus four car travellers and one intrepid motorcyclist, will all confirm the disappointment suffered by the “Blue Barmy Army”.
But enough of the gloom for now ! The coach trip set off – slightly late as normal – in sunshine that was to bless the whole journey and visit to Norfolk. The well-trodden route eastward took us to TGI at Coventry, M6, A14 to Kettering, where we made our second pick-up at the Premier Inn (adjacent to the A14). As an aside here, I seem to remember stopping off here for a light breakfast the first time we went to Kings Lynn on the coach in the FA Cup several seasons back. This latest trip had no such “luxury” as the only stop made was at Peterborough Services for a fifteen minute convenience break. Once round the local ring road, we headed into the flat, open countryside, famous for long straight roads, occasionally following the river, passing small signs of civilisation along the A47. We eventually reached Kings Lynn, and the Walks Stadium, at approximately 1.40pm. The journey itself had “Sim music for the connoisseurs” and the multi-talented “Predictor Invigilator” enrolling 20 “punters”. However, there was no visible enthusiasm, from both quizmaster and the coach party, to face searching questions in a “Rod Quiz”. Perhaps the previous night’s STISA Quiz Night at DCS had stolen the limelight …… or drained Rod !
The front carpark is relatively small with rain-filled potholes but it was closest to the entry turnstiles. Looking over the fence, from inside the coach, we could see the large, impressive stand and the covered terraces that covered each side. The far and near end had very minimal open terracing. Once inside we found the coffee bar near end and the “Linnets Lounge “ far end, both under the stand. The refreshment kiosk was by the bar, with an outside barbecue supplying burgers and hotdogs. A quite acceptable cheeseburger cost me £3.50.
My travelling companion, (Andy) and I gleefully accepted the bar’s “happy hour”(before 2pm) offer of two draught pints for £3.50 ! Whether it was the price, it seemed a very enjoyable pint ! Remembering the Frome trip, you will probably recall two supporters (Bob and Dave) playing cribbage ….. they were at it again !
The pitch had suffered from the recent heavy rain and the nearside, under the stand, was quite muddy as the vast stand prevented this area getting much sun to dry it.
The game was not a classic and Town were second best for most of the game. The line-up was worrying from the start – with our strike force depleted for one reason or another (which I will not publicise) but we did have some of the named substitutes actually present ! The squad as a whole did not perform well – both individually and as a team, and several had noticeably bad “off-days”. The team management was short of “Sniffer” who was on DCS duties, so physio Joe was “promoted” to Assistant Manager and sub Sim was in charge of the substitution board. Multi-talented Joe was very busy as he was called onto the pitch on many occasions throughout the match.
After the game, the gathered supporters were obviously dejected and they and players were keen to make an early exit for home (or for a planned meal for the car people). The Predictor was won by Bobby after a three-man play-off with winning score of “Len Goodman seven”. Driver Paul had a far easier return leg than last time out (the Biggleswade Saga), and duly got us back to DCS at approximately 8.45pm.
Next trip is a midweek Dunstable outing but I am lead to believe the only way to follow the lads is by car.