Monday, December 11, 2017

Peterborough away, creating memories and a chance to moan about trains

Seeing the sights of Peterborough, pre-match
Sometimes it's better to travel than to arrive, said no-one ever after being crammed into a two-car East Midlands train from Stockport to Peterborough for the best part of three hours. The Championship and League One fixture list clearly remains a mystery to whoever plans the allocation of trains in December.

But even the noisy accompaniment of Preston and Bolton fans on the way home couldn't take the shine off another good day watching Rovers at another new ground.

Part of the enjoyment remains the company of old friends and new on these trips. On the way down was the bloke who first took me to Ewood in 1977, Kevin Bradley. On the way home we were sat with former referee Tony Leake, sharing stories, memories and opinions about all things Rovers and reffing, particularly good for our Louis who is enjoying being the man in black at Stockport Metro League matches.

At the Blackpool away game last month I found myself behind Tony Brierley, a lad I used to go away with in the 80s; like me he now goes with his sons. They were wild times back then, and very different experiences to now. Apart from anything they were sparsely attended trips, us Rovers fans were usually numbered in our hundreds, not thousands. As we left Bloomfield Road we shared a few memories of friends of old, which necessitated me breaking the news that one of the old crew had passed away. Tony shared the thought with me that though they were great days, we were "true fans, too soon".

In a way we were, but I constantly dwell on the collective memories I'm now involved in shaping for Louis and Joe. Getting relegated last season was hard, but I felt it was coming. This season at least is a chance to enjoy a better team, winning games and playing decent football. It's certainly been a while since we've had a player like Bradley Dack to get excited about. Cairney, possibly?

It was also the first time this season that Rovers have gone behind and yet I thought we'd still win. There seemed to be the same feeling running through the packed away stand. I was massively annoyed at some of our players for getting involved in personal tussles (Samuel) and for getting booked for diving (Antonsson), but I just never thought we'd lose. Mowbray must have talked some sense into them at half time and our counter attacking breaking play was superb. Dack causes havoc among opposing defences, they can't take their eye off him and he seems to want the ball and torture them with it. Anyway, Louis has done the player ratings for Rovers Chat.

I liked that Peterborough have a ground near the city centre, where we could walk back to the station and have some food and beverage beforehand with our pals Mushtaq and Smithy. I'll call the ground by its rightful name, London Road, but it's a mish mash of styles and clearly a work in progress. Though the away end is now in the old wooden main stand, we had a decent view and enjoyed the raucous atmosphere.

It marks another new ground chalked off. I make it the 152nd ground I've watched football on, I'm now on 81 out of the Punk 92, and it marks my 74th of the current 92. I've said before that doing the 92 isn't just a way of chalking off identikit grounds, but a way of rediscovering this land. This season in particular it's also about creating memories, even if they involve learning that "the RAF from Bolton" shot down 10 German bombers. Sigh.

6 comments:

Dave Smith said...

They were certainly Fokkers !

Dave Smith said...

They were certainly Fokkers !

paul oldrieve said...

And I went with Kevin Bradley in his dad's car to Derby County away at the Baseball Ground in the FA Cup when Graham Hawkins and Charlie George were sent off for fighting back in circa 1975

paul oldrieve said...

And I went with Kevin Bradley in his dad's car to Derby County away in the FA Cup at the Baseball Ground where Graham Hawkins and Charlie George were sent off for fighting in circa 1975

kevin bradley said...

Great to see you again on Saturday Michael,great memories from the old days!
I,ve a good feeling that this team is creating great memories this season too!
See you soon
Kev

paul oldrieve said...

And I went with Kevin Bradley in his dad's car to Derby County away in the FA Cup at the Baseball Ground where Graham Hawkins and Charlie George got sent off for fighting in circa 1975