Take your pick ! Town must have got giddy from the heights they achieved on Saturday as they produced an incredulous, undistinguished performance – void of energy and sustained penetration – against the relegated “Foresters”. My apologies for cutting straight to the chase in my travelogue but this is the reason that I cannot muster much in the way of a happy tale ! Some of the regular “Barmy Army” are now in the habit of enquiring about my plans for the column – even when – sometimes – I am in a sulk after the game !
Having hailed the “Rodmobile” at DCS, myself and Andy G set off with Rod at noonish, taking a town-circumnavigating route of Knights Lane, the narrow Boundary Road to the Banbury Road and onto the Evesham Road via the Seven Meadows Road. The A46 Evesham bypass appeared “choc-a-bloc” so we opted to go straight through Evesham town centre to get back on route at EUFC (where the visiting Hereford United fans were already arriving in coaches). Ashchurch was totally clear (on our side of the road anyway) thus we painlessly journeyed on via the M5, A40 around Gloucester to the A48. Thereafter the satnav gave directions to eventually take us through Cinderford’s hilly housing estates to The Causeway.
A reasonable size car park was available to players, management, officials and early arrivals, situated behind the near end goal. Once inside the ground, there was very little to describe on three sides, other than two sides of sloping grass banking at the far end and down the far side with just a walkway behind the near end goal. The nearside contained three seating stands (the far end one still being built). Behind these were the changing rooms and bar, function room and refreshments.
Not to appear unsociable, we partook of the available ales and chatted to arriving Townites. Although the bar and function room building looked nothing special from the outside, it was quite smart looking inside. I saw no need to walk the perimeter pre-match, especially as the weather was overcast, light occasional rain and not particularly warm !
Outside the pitch was flat, having been levelled – over 20 years ago – from a corner to corner drop of some 18 feet (hence the sloping grass banks). I have to say that the service at the bar and refreshment kiosks was disappointingly slow throughout the afternoon, with prices erring on the high side.
The game was barely anything to write home about as a spectacle – indeed for the 135 crowd there was no possible atmosphere – with Town in front half way through the first half (3 from 3 for “Foz”), and generally in control until the 70th minute. An unfortunate, purely accidental leg injury to a home player was so severe that he remained lying on the pitch, with both home and away physios attending him, until an ambulance arrived. The 25 minute delay was – to my mind – the reason for the change round in fortunes, as Town appeared to descend into a different frame of mind and, consequently, conceded two dreadful defensive lapses to throw away the game.
So, much like the post-match mood of the “Faithful in the bar, my final “Tog Log” is not full of cheer. However, although I had hoped for a good result to take us up to 12/13th, I must accept that even 14/15th (if results go against us next Saturday) must be seen as success (with “what ifs”) and progress made on last season.
Finally, a word of thanks to Rod for his choice of CD’s of 50/60’s and rock music on the outward and return legs. The Warwick-based chauffeur and club deputy secretary “done well” and returned the “Two Gentlemen of SuponA” to the gates of DCS at 7.30pm
Up the Town !