“Happy Days” down at Hayes

There is a very tenuous link to the ’70’s American “sitcom” of the same name. Only those of a certain age will make the link. George Forsythe’s nickname is “Foz” and the hero of HD was  “Fonz” or “Fozzie” so our winning goal-scorer last night could be linked very loosely.

OK; I’ll stop waffling and get on with my travelogue…….

Having had a “lie-in” and leisurely breakfast at “Toggie Towers”, I have now put pen to parchment (my only Shakespearean reference, I promise !) to report on a very pleasurable trip to Beaconsfield SYCOB FC, a well known venue for Town supporters as we have visited twice before to play the then homeless Slough Town, and now ground-sharing Hayes.

A Friday night 5pm departure from Tiddington was undertaken by Andy, Andy, Rod and Tog   For the uninitiated, that’s Andy C (the STFC tweeter), Andy G (regular pitch helper), Mr. Statto and yours truly. Andy C  knows all the back roads from Wellesbourne to the M40 (via Lighthorne and Gaydon). On a sunny spring evening, our driver had a steady drive straight through to Beaconsfield Services, where the intricate access to Holloway Park took us down a driveway into a good size gravelled carpark.

With the turnstiles not being open on our arrival at 6.15pm, my friend Andy G and I took ourselves off to the bar, while our two STFC officials sought out the boardroom. The main building contained the changing rooms, boardroom, bar and function room (with small refreshment kiosk in one corner). The bar opened out to a covered decking area and on to a beer garden. There we were to meet up with several early-arrival “Townites” where we exchanged views on all things “non-league” and “the Town”. Once inside the stadium we met up with other members of the “Barmy Blue Army” to continue discussions on “all things Town”. The near end, where the bar is, has covered terracing behind the goal,, with the pitchside serving hatch of the food kiosk.  The far side has two small sections of three-tier open terraces, centred by a good sized covered seating stand. A small seating stand sat lonely at the far end, behind the goal, and the near side had only the two “dugouts”. The pitch was a good level playing surface. The ground had the constant noise of the nearby M40 and numerous flight movements of the distant Heathrow.

The game itself saw a nervous start from Town but soon the game evolved into an end-to-end battle, with one or two tetchy moments and some “iffy” refereeing decisions.  A slightly gift of a goal for the “Red and Blacks” was nullified by a “screamer” from Ed.  Thereafter Town had the upper-hand and “Foz” won the game for Town with a stunning header. Both ‘keepers made important saves at crucial times in the game.

After the game, many of “the Faithful” delayed their return home, as usual [!], to “chew over the fat”, and, for some, attending to the reporting responsibility of interviewing “the gaffer”. The dedication of imbibing Townites was rewarded by being offered free sausage and chips by the chief caterer who had either over-produced or some players were not hungry.  I, amongst others, was not slow on taking up the offer to seal the enjoyment of very happy awayday !

An uneventful return journey terminated in Tiddington at 11.45pm

Not long till our final away game at Cinderford on Easter Monday.

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