The day Town were washed away by  the Dolly Blues at the Giant Axe


A strange headline (not unknown for me !) which perhaps needs a little explanation. Lancaster City, formed over 100 years ago, play in blue colours which resembled the colour of “Dolly Blue” washing tablets and bags that were around at the start of the 20th century. The stadium name was given as it was the centrepiece of a sports club, the exterior wall of which was, when viewed from above, the same shape as an axe head.

The coach trip for the meagre number of Townites headed off on time towards the home of Solihull Moors to collect players etc. Apart from officials and Carl’s folks, there were just 4  other fare paying passengers. The M6 was to be our major route northwards. Surprisingly no holds ups were experienced, with good weather and good progress was made. We took an obligatory 45 minute break (for Paul, the driver) at Charnock Richards Services. Yours truly was actually able to enjoy his sandwiches, flask and crossword “Al fresco” on a bench in the chilly sunshine ! The journey  continued apace until we arrived at the stadium at 1.00pm. We could have had time to stop off at Blackpool perhaps !

The Giant Axe, overlooked by the main railway line and castle, comprises a main stand of 500 seats, a covered 3-tier terrace one end, an open multi-tiered terrace with crush barriers the other end. Far side had basic open terracing, with a small stack of converted shipping containers to provide sponsors’ lounge and other facilities.  A burger van was situated one side of the main stand (Dolly Diner) and the other end found a small Dolly Bar and a small refreshment kiosk – another Dolly Diner. I did not see any dolly mixtures being handed around by dolly dealers. (Am I allowed to say that nowadays ??)

The crowd was later announced as 252, of which the coach numbers of Townites were boosted by perhaps half a dozen doughty car-people. Sadly there were few volunteers to bear the “big brother” banner as the author of this travelogue was giving the newly-found “little brother” an airing.

To report on the actual match is probably best left without much comment. A day when Town were “washed away” without any team member giving an acceptable performance. Played “off the park” first half, Town at least contained the home team second half; a miniscule relief to the shell-shocked away supporters who feared a landslide score !

Setting off from Lancaster at 6.10pm for the long trek home, further “grief” was felt by the coach travellers when Rod announced the winner of “Rod’s Predictor” ….yes, Rod himself !!

A convenience break was taken at Keele Services before the unhappy day-trip terminated at Moodchimp at 9.45pm.

Perhaps, with Tuesday’s Hereford match now postponed due to their Trophy replay, it will give Carl and the lads time to regroup, rethink and re-energise before another long away-day to Tiverton.

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