Wednesday 25 August 2010

275 crown ground accrington


Date of First Visit: 25th AUGUST 2010


NEWCASTLE UNITED 3 (R Taylor, S Ameobi, Lovenkrands)

ATTENDANCE: 4,098 (1,350 Toon fans)
(plus 6 'Accy' urchins' watchin' from the roof of a neighbourin' hoose!)


It was 'ten thorty bells' on a Wednesday neet and aa was glued to the telly to see the draa for the 2nd roond of the League Cup. Az as been to most of the grooonds , aa wanted an away tie against Rochdale, Accrington or MK Dons as these were the anly three teams left who a'd neva (ever!) seen the Toon play.

Accrington Stanley were forst oot the hat and aa said under baited breath, "that'll de—that'll de!", as wor lass cooked mee supper in the kitchen and sure enough The Toon were paired against them at The Croon Groond

"That'll de!---that'll F*****' DE!",
aa repeated loudly under 'elated breath' as aa danced roond the livin' room, punchin' the air in unbridled joy, not carin' wot the rest of the draa was!

The truth was that it was getting' harder and harder to de new groonds as aa ticked them off (10 a season, 10 years ago---doon to an average of 5 a season now)

(groond 275 here I F*****' come!)

For those of you who are aboot to purchase your forst zimmer frame and who can remember that classic 1970s advort where a scruffy juvenile delinquent Scouser, drinkin' a glass of milk , was told to sup it aall or he would end up playin' for Accrington Stanley----and he famously replied! , "Aacccccrington Staanleyy!---who are theyy!?"
Well!—guess wot!?--- Wor lass (who thought a'd gone completleee mad as aa danced around the room!) then asked iz who we'd got in the cup and when aa telt hor she replied!------(wait for it!)-------"ACKLINGTON
"WHO ARE THEY!?------It was unreal! ("Er!"---"shih nearly got it reet!")

("Double Er!"---az far az a'm aware, 'Acklington' in Northumberland doesn't have a futbaall team?------but it
have a prison!)

"CANCUN!------ OR!------- THE CROON!"

The day before the match aa was havin' a few 'gargles' in 'The Hotspur' when 'John The Porn Tash' sauntered through the door. He'd been to graft and was covered in white paint as he slammed his pint of Guinnless on the table. "That's it for a fortneet, a'm off to Cancun in Mexico in the mornin' with wor lass !" ,he said, lookin' half 'cattle trucked!'.

"And a'm gannin' to Accrington tomorrow to watch the Toon!", aa replied excitedly, as aa raised mee fist in his direction!

A smug smile then came across his face as he took a swig from the Irish brew and he said, "Howay Fink!---where would ye RATHER be gannin' tomorrow, the sun kissed beaches of Mexico or rainy Accrington?---wherever that iz?"

"THE CROON GROOND of course!"---A'v neva been there before!" aa replied defientleee, (and of course aa MEANT IT!)

He then gave me one of those----'You reeelee are a sad f*****' b*****d'—looks! as he took another mouthful of the black broth, shakin' his heed from side to side!.

Cancun or The Croon???---aa new exactly where aa was gannin'!


After a few gargles in 'The Gloucester', it was time to heed for the pick up point at Gatesheed Metro where 'Tex' Taylor had asked to be picked up. 'The Caped Crusader's' bat mobile was once again to be wor mode of transport to 'rainy' Accrington and we set off at 'two bells' for the short two hour jorney to north Lancashire

On wor (eventual!) arrival (after gettin' lost on the ootskirts!) we spotted a pub caalled 'The Crown' and usin' wor powers of deduction worked oot that we must be 'getting' waam' as of course the groond had the same name---and we were reet!----as the main stand was handily placed behind the back of the boozer.

The question on everybodys lips was!---(or a least mine anyway!) Was the pub named after the ground, or vice vorsa? (and the answer izzz!: Who naaz??---who F*****' cares!???)

We parked nearby and waalked to the 'waaterin' den' in the brilliant sunshine (who mentioned rain?) where a mixture of 'Toon' fans and self proclaimed 'Stanley Ultras' frequented the bar and there were pennents hangin' on the waall from Wealdstone to Woking to name but two former opponents of Stanley, which shows how far they've come since then (indeed wor very aan Whitley Bay played here not so lang ago in a Northern Coonties league match!)

The bar was'nt too full at this time and we grabbed some seats beside a window and so we were 'set' till kick off time at '7:45 bells'!

Aboot an hour later six or seven rather obese 'happy slappers' came in the bar wearin' 'Accy' tee shirts with the words Stanley Ladies And GirlfriendS on the front (that's SLAGS! to you and me!) and their presence soon filled the bar up, I can tell you!

It was now approachin' KO time and the nerves were janglin' at the mooth waaterin' prospect of yet another groond to chalk off the list!

It was then a case of a short waalk to the away end where ten or so portacabin toolsheds were lined up against a breezeblock waall for those of us with weak bladders! (quite a few as it torned oot!)

Breezeblocks were aalso the order of the day for the waalls of 'The Coppice End' standin' terrace where we were situated and with ne roof it was just as well the old current bun was still present in the sky above us! (it was just like the 'good old days'? in 'The Gallowgate End', withoot a roof or plastic seat in sight!)

With a population aboot the size of Cullercoats and a groond the size of Whitley Bay's, this was the smaallest groond a'd been te for a propa game (league or cup) since aa started mee NUFC life sentence (1964!)

The main stand had aboot ten rows of seats while the stand on the other touchline was even smaaller with some 'new build hooses' behind owerlookin' parts of the pitch.and six 'lager louts' with an England flag were standin' on the roof of one of the hooses to get a part view of the proceedings as they swigged cans of alcoholic beverage ('The Accy Urchins'---perhaps!?!)

("Er!"---didn't the thick b******* naa that they'd get a better view watchin' it live on the telly in the hoose?)

Just before the big K.O., 'The Stanley Ultras' who were situated in the covered ' Garden Hut End'? behind the far goal, unveiled a banner from the low roof, of Bobby 'yee naa who', sayin' that he was now: 'HEAVENS MANAGER!', a nice touch!----but then they went and
spoilt themsels!----by unveilin' another banner next to it which read!: 'TIME FOR SORROW!', which depicted a Andy Capp character in Stanley's colours kickin' a magpie up the arsenal regions! ("we'll F*****' see!")

The game kicked off and not one Toon player who had starred in the 6-0 thrashin' of Aston Villa on the previous Sunday were in the startin' line up, which in effect meant that we had a resorve team on the pitch.

We were kickin' towards 'The Hut' and after dominatin' the orly period took the lead in the 36minute when Ryan Taylor picked the baall up (not literally!) and rifled it home from fully 35yards oot and his reet foot effort gave 'The Milkmen's' keeper 'ne chance! (that's: one for sorrow!---for the Stanley fans anyway!) (ha!-ha!)

HOWEVER!---wor joy was short lived as just as the ref was aboot to blow for half time a Nile Ranger missteak let in Accy's Fothergill who fired home from 25 yards (one for sorrow each!)

This resulted in mass celebration from the home fans includin' the six 'urchins' on the hoose roof, where one nearly fell off as he jumped up and doon on the tiles! (glad aa divvint live next door to them—like!)

The Toon's 'second string' regained the lead just 3 minutes after the restart when Ranger made amends for his orlier blunder by slippin' the baall to Shola Ameobi who had the simple task of pokin' the baall home from 6yards in front of the 1,350 Toon fans in the now renamed 'Breezeblock Brick Enclosure'!
(two for joy!)

The sun had disappeared by this time to be replaced by a 'full moon'. The 'full moon' a'm taalkin' aboot wasn't in the sky but was on that roof, as one of their number dropped his strides to show his nether regions! (NOT A PRETTY SIGHT!)
Peter Lovencrands made it 3-1 in the 71st min when he hooked the baall into the net after it was deflected of a 'Accy' defender and I have to tell you that he 'milked' the applause from the away contingent as he stuck his index finger skywards!
(Reet!---OK!---that'll be the last 'milk' reference for the rest of the story!)

To their credit 'The Garden Hut Ultra's' had given their side 100% backin' from the start and they kept on cheerin' their side on even though it now looked a lost cause! (well done to them!)

Aalthough!---it has to be said that fower of the 'Accy Urchin roof brigade' had jumped ship! (or had faallin' off the roof , pist, as the case may be!?)

A predictable late scare for us happened deep into injury time when 'The Milkmen' (Er!—sorry!---aa forgot aa wasn't supposed to mention the 'white stuff' again!) scrambled a second goal and after a bit of 'nail bitin' from us the ref finally blew for time to put us in the draa for the next roond


©Fink™ (the mad-sad gr☺ndh☺pper!)

Tuesday 3 August 2010

247 riazor stadium , la coruna 2010

GROUND NUMBER 247 < (been here before!---got the tee shirt!)

Date of this Visit: 3rd AUGUST 2010




(Newcastle won 5-3 on penalties) (Lovenkrands, Nolan, Carroll, R. Taylor, Barton)


Attendance: 8,000 (includin' 54 Toon fans in the away section and a few more elsewhere!)




This was wor one and anly owerseas game we would get a chance to gan te and at half the price of wor forst visit here five years ago in 'The Inter Taaty Cup' (Inter Toto Cup) it was a bargain!

With anly fower flights to get us there and back instead of the SIX we did the forst time it was aalso an easier jorney.

Meesel, 'Mal the skool teecha' and 'The Caped Crusader' were the anly ones in wor company who embarked on this trip and we arrived in La Coruna (via Amsterdam) some nine hours after departin' from Toon Airport at 'six am bells'

The Riazor Hotel where we were based for 2 neets was nicely placed on the seafront and within sight of the otha 'Riazor' (Stadium) where Deportivo played, so we cud hardly forget where we were stayin' if we got lost! (unless we got 'rat-arsed' that iz!)

We didn't!---(we were half-rat-arsed!) and 'staggered' back to the hotel in the orly hours after a few 'liquid refreshments' in the local hostelries and retired for a good neets kip----------"ZZZZZZZzzzzzzz!!!!"


'Brekky' the next mornin', which 'Mal' had said was in with the room price was on the groond floor of the hotel, but we were suprized that when we got there it was'nt a 'buffet-help yersel' style set up for the size of the place (we were on the 11th floor!) and that it was a waiter service anly.

As yid expect the waiter could hardly speak any Geordie at aall and we tried to explain that we wanted an 'English fry up'. 'The Caped Crusader' (TCC), bein' a non meat eater asked for just an eggs fry up instead and five mins later the waiter reappeared with!-----three cheese an' ham toasties!

'TCC' took one look at the ham and promptly pushed it to one side and quick as a flash aa grabbed the plate before 'Mal' could blink an eye ("It's mine!---it's mine!")

And so aa ended up havin' two 'brekkies' instead, while TCC sat starvin' to death!

Jonesy from Winlaton then made an appearance and we telt him wot had happened. "Aa kin speak
Spanish like!", he said and promptly telt the waiter that TCC was a veggie and cud he have some kind of egg concoction coz he was clammin'!.

This seemed ti de the trick and within another five mins the waiter came back with a plate of fried eggs (horray!) and!--- some boiled HAM!

As yiv probably guessed he did'nt want the ham and so aa had another half brekky to boot!

("ha! ha!")

We then foond oot that there was indeed a buffett in the forst floor restaurant, so!--- 'off we went' for some more much needed 'desperate dan'. Scrambled eggs and smaall sausages were on the menu and after we gave the waiter wor room number it was a 'double helpin' of the above for me to keep me gannin for the day! ("a'm a growin' lad yi naa!")

After a rest back in the room it was now time to gan on the traditional 'pre match bender' at 'ten bells'! (eleven hour before the nine pm kick off time!) but as usual 'The Caped Crusader' was stickin' to his orange anly drink diet as he likes to remember everything aboot the game! (that's OK if you win, but not if you get hammered!)

Jonesy was in the foyer as we heeded 'bar-wards' and he telt us that the brekky in the ground floor restaurant WASN'T free and that he'd had to pay ten euros for each of us!----and cud he have the 'bit' pleeeze!

Mal made straight for the checkout desk to complain, anly to find oot that in fact it WAS room anly and the 'desperate dan' WAS extra! and as wi'd had brekkies in two different places we were charged an extra ten euros for that as well! (it cud anly happen to us!)

La Coruna isn't a touristy place like the rest of Spain and there wasn't a sooviner shop in sight or any British bars eetha, (although there was (inevitably) an Irish bar!, where we partook in a few 'liquids' before movin' on to 'The Victoria' where we stopped for a while as the locals played some kind of crazy card game.


It was then off to a 'Chinkeez' bar ower the road from the sea front where an ancient episode of the cult American cowboy programme 'Bonanza' was on the telly with dubbed Spanish ower the characters voices and it was very strange to hear 'Ben', 'Joe' and 'Hoss' taalkin' away in fluent diego .

(Er!---this is a programme aa havvent seen on the box for at least 40 years!)

'Hoss' Cartwright was fightin' a 'baddie' who tried to stab him with a pitchfork and I have to tell you that after 100 (plus!) attempts to spear him, 'Hoss' finally got the better of 'the baddie' by wrestlin' him to the groond and stabbin' him with his aan pitchfork! ----'THE END!'

A move nearer to the groond 'was on the cards' and we purchased wor ridiculously priced 40 EUROS! tickets en route to the next waaterin' hole at the stadiums box office. (that's nearly 40 quid, incidentleee!) while the Deportivo season ticket holders didn't have to pay anythin', as admission to this game was included in their season ticket price! (200 Euros!)

Anyway!---after some more 'tonsil ticklin' at 'The Estadio bar', where a grand total of TWO other Toon fans were 'partisipatin' as well, we finished off wor nine hour drinks 'marathon' in the Alamanda and 'The Damubio' before staggerin' to the visitors tornstiles.

The crowd was quite smaall as aa surveyed the stadium, blury eyed and a quick coont by' yorz truelee' of the Toon fans who had travelled ower, revealed that (includin' ME!) there were 54 present, plus 6 home fans in wor section, with a smatterin' of 'Black n Whites' in otha parts of the ground

(The 'Ronny Gill' later said that there were 60 Toon fans, but they must have included the 6 home fans as well---even though they had blue n white striped shirts on!?)

'Super saddos' 'Glennn from Ashington' and 'Byzy' were unsurprisingly amongst the 'faithful few' and they couldn't wait to tell us that they'd got FREE tickets to get in! (just to rub salt into wor wounds!)

Glennn aalso telt us that they'd climbed to the top of the monument that dominates the city a couple of miles from the stadium, of which the trophy we were playin' for was an exact scaled doon replica . And so! he excitedly 'claimed'? that they'd actually stood on top of the trophy! (yes folks!-----it sureleee doesn't get any F*****'sadder than this!)

'Bysy' in fact was plannin' to gan to the Toon's resorve game at Luton the next day as (unlike us) he'd neva been to their groond before, providin' his bus connection got him to an airport near Bilbao on time to fly him to Luton (a canny hike from La Coruna!) (ower 300 miles!)

The Toon ran oot in their new aall white 'Real Madrid' away strip to rapturous applause from the '54 faithful', but to be honest we were nowt like wor Spanish counterparts as the anly 'action' in the forst period came via efforts from Barton, Best and Carroll and the 'best move' was when aa heeded for the 'toolshed' at half time!

On the way back to mee seat for the second period aa noticed 'Jonesy' and one of his 'sidekick' sneakily makin' A Sharp exit from a side door into the street (such was their interest in the game!)

The second half was a bit better than the forst (thank god!) and the action included a Wayne Routledge cross for Leon Best to narrowly heed wide and then with 5 mins to gan we had a great opportunity to seal the victory when the home keeper grabbed Coloccini's legs and brought him doon in the box.

Joey Barton stepped up to tek the resultin' 'spot kick', but he tamely hit it straight at the keeper with the baall reboundin'straight back to wor number 7 who then inexplicably'skied it' into row 'ZZ' with the goal at his mercy!---sendin' the cup final into a penalty shoot out!

The penalty shoot out went as follows:

Peter Lovenkrands scored for us (1-0) but Castro replied for the home side (1-1)

Kevin Nolan then put us 2-1 up and decisively, Riki missed the target for Deportivo.

Andy Carroll made it 3-1, blastin' the baall doon the middle, while Athemi scored for them (3-2)

A calm Ryan Taylor side footed wor 4th but the home side again replied through Guardoado

(4-3 to us)

The climax came, when, for the second time, Joey Barton stepped up to tek wot would be the trophy winnin' kick if he scored. It was nail bitin' stuff as he ran up and this time he made ne mistake and blasted the baall past the hapless Deportivo keeper to win the coveted trophy as the '54 faithful' celebrated wildly on the terraces! (Er!---sorry!---mek that '52' as aa forgot aboot the two who 'pist off' at half time!)

Nuw ask yourself a serious question!---have Man U. Chelsea or Liverpool ever lifted this famous trophy before??????-----------------I rest my case!!!

It was just like a scene from that famous commentary by some drunken Norwegian, when they beat England 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier some thorty years ago, as the massive golden trophy was jointly lifted by Kevin Nolan and Coloccini, in the Deportivo directors box!-----(nearly givin' themsels a hornier in the process!)

"Are you watchin' Manchester?---are you watchin' Chelsea??---are you watchin' Maggie Thatcher???"


"Oh when the Mags go up- to lift the Spanish Cup!"

"We'll be there!---we'll be there!"

"To see them lift- the cup up in the air!"

"We'll be there!---we'll be there!"


'Bysy' didn't make it to the Luton game---the bus was late and the subsequent taxi he'd booked from Bilbao bus station didn't get him to the airport on time as the 'non English speakin' driver couldn't understand that he wanted to gan to the airport, despite 'Bysy' makin' frantic 'aeroplane motions' with his arms!

He missed his flight to Luton and had to re-book at an extra cost of 90 euros! (more than double the cost of the match ticket he got for nowt!) On top of that!, he'd pre paid £18 for a match ticket (that's reet! Eighteen quid to watch the resorves!) AND! (aye!---there's more!) he'd aalso paid for a hotel in Luton as well, which (of course!) he never got to stay in!

(A case of swings 'n' roondaboots , if ever there was one!)

©Fink™ (the mad-sad gr☺undh☺pper!)