Well I had a cracking day out this Sunday, as I spend the day travelling too/from Old Trafford, and the time in between watching the Super Posh beat Huddersfield Town in the 1st Division play off finals! Get in there!
We met our private coach in the car park of the Brewery Tap pub about 7.45am… and arrived in the Old Trafford car park about 11.15am. After deciding against playing a quid to get into the local Wetherspoons pub (shame on you for charging!), we ended up in the ‘secret’ “Old Trafford Bowling Club”. The beer was VERY CHEAP there – the local bitter at only £1.65, and various other ‘smooth’ brews going up to £1.85 – hardly bank breaking.
A quick KFC with my mum and brother, and it was off to the ground to have a nose around the club shop, which is bigger than many towns local Tesco’s! They must take a few quid in there on match days. Well Manchester Utd match days, as most in on that day were doing what we were doing, just having a nose around, with no intention of buying any of the Man U stuff!
Luckily we missed the downpours, and made our way into the stand by about 2.15pm. A bottle of £3.20 beer later, we made our way up to our 2nd tier seats. Great view – and in with the ‘vocal’ fans (as it had been described when buying tickets).
Excitement was growing as the build-up started. There was some bizarre flag twirling girls as ‘entertainment’ before the players came onto the pitch. It was half hearted at best, and might have been impressive if there were several hundred girls, rather than 10. If you’re not going to do these things properly, just don’t bother!
One area Huddersfield outdid us was both the number of fans (32,000 ish vs. our 15,000?), and also the very smart use of blue n white t-shirts left over the seats, which when put on made their side of the ground look very swish. Made us Posh fans look a bit scruffy… or more like true footy fans, take your pick 🙂
The first half was pretty much won by Posh, without scoring any goals. Craig Mackail-Smith hit the post in the first few minutes, and again just before the break somehow just missed another from close range (seeing on TV that night I saw a defender did get a toe in to be fair).
2nd half saw Huddersfield have a good 15 minutes – it was a little worrying at that point, as the confidence seemed to go from our team. But we did hold solid, and they never quite looked like scoring… and then in about the 78th minute, Tommy Rowe deflected a very hard hit whipped cross into the goal – to
massive celebrations from us Posh fans. Still.. 12 minutes+ to go, that isn’t enough for me (or any Posh fan!). The great thing was, the goal seemed to break Huddersfield, who seemed to give up. Cue goal 2, a Mackail-Smith deflected shot (from some good teckers from Boyd on the wing!) – 2-0 and we went nuts!
With just over 5 mins to go, we won a free kick on the edge of the area, as Mackail-Smith was tripped… I turned to my brother and said “We better get this one in, 5 minutes is a long time, and I don’t trust us only 2 ahead”. I needn’t have worried, as our capt and set piece specialist Grant McCann smashed in a fantastic free kick into the top left corner to completely seal the game. We could have got more – but maybe I’m just greedy, and the players did look pretty out on their feet.
Final whistle started the celebrations properly – as the fans, players, manager, Barry Fry, and owner enjoyed the win together. After the presentations we left the ground in great spirits, and met up with everyone at the coach, were we did the usual footy fans thing and re-lived the game all the way home, stopping off in a pub in Bawtry to have a bit of liquid refreshment. I’m sure the landlord didn’t mind, as two coaches with nearly 100 drinkers turned up at their pub on a Sunday evening!
A great day out, a great day for all the Posh fans and players – and who knows what it could lead too?