Written by Andyconky on Monday, 28th Sep 2020 12:42
Many pounds have been spent and many train tracks have been travelled but who doesn't love an away day. Doesn't matter if its Chester or Chelsea or Lincoln or Liverpool, it's all good fun with a sense of adventure of what may happen.
Watford a couple of seasons ago was certainly one of those days.
I was living in Taunton then before moving to glamorous Yeovil so an early start at the station on a cold December (?) day.
Met a mate in Banbury for a trip towards London, although, can never work out why we meet there if it's a game near London or Birmingham??
As per usual with the Swans we travelled in hope rather than expectation. I think it was Carlos Carvahals first game so we were hoping for a bit of a bounce back.
Had a lovely few pints in a couple of pubs before heading to the ground only to find it's a dry ground. Good idea to keep it nice and sterile but doesn't make you want to revisit and surely a money loss plan.
The game itself was fairly boring in the majority and led to me reading the entire lyrics to an Elton John song down the side of the stand to our left.
I think Jordan Ayew hit the post in the first half in a rare foray forward before Watford broke the deadlock in the 2nd Half. So with 86minutes on the clock we were basically beaten.
Step forward Jordan Ayew in the 88th minute to grab a point. Oh how the band of Jack's dance in delight at stealing something at the death. Only then did we realise that Luciano Narsingh was a master poacher before setting of on a run to celebrate that could have done his hamstring.
The resulting injury time was spent watching Watford players blowing gaskets over a young Oli McBurnies ability to keep it in the corner whilst simultaneously laughing his head off.
Final whistle blown and plenty of scratched heads wondering how we'd managed it. Lots of celebrations, cans purchased outside and surprisingly decent conversation with Watford despite their last minute loss.
My mate went back to Birmingham and I got fleeced in London for a £5.50 pint but didn't care as a last minute winner works wonders for your mood.
Living near a train station at the time allows for a wind down pint in the infamous Plough Inn to cap off a fine 'away day' following the Swans
The Plough Inn, Taunton.
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Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
Tonight, Colchester United face Southend United in what may not necessarily be the most important game of our respective histories (though it’s certainly very close), but is almost certainly the most important Essex derby ever. However this season pans out, by the end of it there’ll either be only one team in Essex, or worst case scenario, none at all. If the U’s win, then Southend will be 9pts behind with just three games to go, and a minimum of a -12 goal difference to overturn if they want to overtake us. Certainly mathematically possible, but that would rely on a remarkable turnaround in their form, form that they’ve shown precious little sign of achieving so far this season. The stalking horse is Grimsby, with their game in hand, who have rather belatedly shown an improvement in form, so their match against automatic promotion chasing Morecambe tonight is equally important, particularly if we want to avoid the unthinkable, with both Essex clubs dropping out of the league.
Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
So here we are, as the nation mourns the passing of His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, the U’s face the first of two season-defining moments, with our late kick-off match at home to Walsall. Before then, no doubt many will have been focused on events elsewhere, not least the early kick-offs for Grimsby (at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers), and particularly Essex rivals Southend United, who faced a tricky visit to Exeter City – still very much in the hunt for at least a play-off spot. As I finalise this blog, I know that Grimsby have beaten Bolton 2-1, and Southend earned a credible 0-0 draw in the West Country. More to the point, the U’s will know this too. Whilst I can’t help but feel that will ought to be to our advantage, it surely must also put additional pressure on a squad whose confidence is paper-thin. We must hope that Hayden Mullins, assisted by Paul Tisdale, get their heads right, and send the lads out this evening fired up with self-belief.
Letters from Wiltshire #43 by wessex_exile
Well, that has been a lively week for Colchester United in the press, and not least for Robbie Cowling, with not one, or two, but kind of three club announcements in rapid succession to try and put the record straight. First, we had Tribunalgate, which certainly looked very poor according to the initial press reports, but which on closer inspection when some of the ‘fact gaps’ were filled in wasn’t anywhere near the story that some would have us believe. Then of course we had the ‘leak’ that the U’s were about to go into administration, despite all the reassurances we’d been given in previous statements from Robbie. Not so said Robbie again, and particularly angry at what he believed to be the source of the story. Hence statement #3, repeating his assurances, but this time after passing through the lawyer filter to remove his thoughts on the source. To paraphrase Robbie’s conclusion to that statement, let’s hope we can all have a day off from this sort of media shenanigans and enjoy our game at Oldham tonight!
Letters from Wiltshire #42 by wessex_exile
Well, these sure are strange times at Colchester United, particularly for a club (nor a Chairman) not usually associated with the ‘managerial revolving door’ approach. With results not matching expectations or even minimum requirements, and a brief spell after being appointed Interim Head Coach, Wayne Brown has been released to return to the Jammers, for whenever their pandemic-interrupted football restarts. In comes not one, or two, but three new ‘appointments’. Hayden Mullins steps up as Head Coach to the end of the season, Joe Dunne apparently comes back to the U’s in a sort of unofficial coaching/ team-spirit sort of role, and exceptionally experienced lower-league former Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale arrives to provide Hayden with advice and support – crikey!
Letters from Wiltshire #41 by wessex_exile
This afternoon the U’s take on Bradford City in a bid to gather sufficient points to stay clear of the bottom two. It’ll be a tough gig though, even if (as I suspect) Bradford City have left it a bit too late to challenge the play-off spots. They were on a decent run of form, that is until defeats at Newport, Carlisle, Scunthorpe and a goalless draw at home to Oldham put paid to any lingering promotion hopes. For us, it’s simple, to stay out of the bottom two, for all intents and purposes we only need to gain half (or more) of the points that Grimsby or Southend do. Sounds easy, just wish I felt more confident we will…