Date of unplanned Visit: 10th February 2020
WBA trainin groond, Great Barr near Waalsaall
West Brom U23s 0
NUFC U23s 1 (Allan)
FA Premyaa Leegue cup
Attendance: 46 hardy souls includin 9 NUFC mad-sad groundhoppers!🌞⛄☂
"20-20 VISION!" (Heavy snow and hail the 1st half----Bright sunshine the 2nd half!)
The day started off at '8:30 bells' when 'Sarnie Steve' picked me up from wor hoose and off we set for HEDNESFORD where wor U23s were taking on West Brom U23s in a Premyaa Leegue Cup tie!
It woz a brand new groond for the 'hoppers' and then the 'bombshell' hit half way to wor destination in Staffordshire!
'Glennn from Ashington' phoned and said, "Have yoo hord the news?" Now several things went through mee heed, like, game iz off OR kick off time haz been put back to a neet time start!
"Howway then!", aa said in trepidation, "whats the news?"
"The game's been moved to the West Brom trainin groond!", he replied, az aa nearly dropped the phone on the car mat!
Az the weathaa doon those parts woz bad with gale force winds, heavy rain and snow----and az we'd been to their trainin groond many years before and knew that it had NEE cover at aall---plus games there were normally 'behind closed doors'--we would have done a 'U' torn back up the M1 and put it doon to 'a bad day at the office'!
However!---and to put a massive spanner into the works, 'Sarnie Steve' couldnt gan back az he woz on hiz way to Reading in Berkshire after the game for work, plus wor train tickets back from Bormingham New Street station woz at '6:30 bells'. (ie: we had nee choice but to carry on!)
And--it woz a waste of time getting dropped off at a nearby station anyway, az we would have had to wait for hours to catch wor designated train yem ('We' bein' me and 'Biffa the Beer'!)
Anyway, we 'phoned a friend' at NUFC to see if they would let us into the trainin groond---and the reply back woz "YES!", provided we supplied the names of those who would be there!
|A 'BEACON' OF LIGHT!----'LIGHT ALE', THAT IZ!|
We arrived some 2 hours before kick off and heeded for 'The Beacon' boozer, just alang the road from the groond, for a much neeeded 3 pints of John Smiths ale, before heedin to the entrance!
A steward woz stoppin people from gannin in, includin a few of 'The NUFC mad-sad groundhoppers' and we showed him the phone with a list of 7 names on it! He coonted 8 of us but let us aall in anyway! (1 more managed to 'sneak in', meenin that there were 9 mad-sad groundhoppers in attendance!
|"WISH A'D BROUGHT MEE BROLLY!"|
The weathaa had been 'kind' to us up til this stage, but then hit us with a vengeance az heavy rain enveloped the trainin complex!There were some trees at the back and we tried to shelter underneath them, az the game kicked off with wor U23s wearin their 'orangemen' change strip!
DAVE FROM YORK TRIES TO SHELTER UNDERNEATH A TREE!
However the tree shelter woz anything but, az the rain soaked us---but much worse woz to follow az hailstones movin' sideways hit us and the players in the face and we had to torn wor backs to stop the hail gannin into wor eyes!
Anyway!---The Toon took the lead in the 16th minute through Tom Allan who had a simple tap in from a Ross Longelo through baall across the box to muted applause from 'the faithful 9'!
And then after the hail, heavy snow came doon and before lang mee trainers were soaken through and thick of clarts (mud) off the grass bank which ran alang the length of the pitch---and aa woz drenched to the skin az well!, despite wearin a waaterproof jacket! (It woz obviously not 'hail or snow proof'!
The hail started again and for a moment aa thought that the ref woz gannin to abandon the game, but he decided to carry on and we got to half time one-nil to the good-and a good soakin' az well of course!
The 2nd half woz in complete contrast to the 1st, az the snow and hail stopped to be replaced by bright sunshine where we had to shelter wor eyes from the glaze of the sun this time, and not the hail of the forst half! ('20-20 vision for certain!) (see photos!)
The game ended with a one-nil victory (and a penalty miss by Tom Allan) to put us up to 2nd in the group table!---With the POSSIBILITY of playin West Brom again in the next stage---at HEDNESFORD this time! (hopefully)
After the game 'Sarnie Steve' dropped us off at Waalsaall station, where we caught a train to Bormingham for a few liquid lubrications before catchin the '6:30 bells' Cross Country train back to Tyneside!
|'THE WELLY' near BORMINGHAM STATION|
Woz it worth it? YES! for the victory, but NO for a trainin ground with nee cover!
A RATHER WET TEAMSHEET!
WHICH WOZ IN MEE INSIDE COAT POCKET!
|A USELESS TRAIN TICKET!|
("A message to wor lass---anly jokin' pet!---Anly jokin'!")