"As for Maidenhead, the conga (which was amusing) aside, quite a strange bunch really – some the oddest chants I've ever heard at a football match" ~ localboy86, Amber Planet forum, 26th April 2015

Sunday 19 August 2012

Away Day Diary: Wealdstone 1-0 Met Police (18/08/12)

The second Stones home game of 2012 for me and Macleod (M), but Craig's first-ever visit to the 'Land of Scaffold Poles'. Craig was actually the catalyst for our attendance: running the rule over the excellent facilities at the Ruislip Manor Sports & Social Club ahead of the Tartan Army's visit to Wembley next summer.

The bright sunshine and sweltering heat accounted for Macleod (M) wearing a floppy hat à la Liam Gallagher Roberto Mancini. I was in flip-flops. Gallagher (L) Mancini (R) Macleod (M) wanted to watch the Dirty Leeds game, so we went to Ruislip tube station, as opposed to Ruislip Manor, primarily in the hope of finding a pub showing El Hadji Diouf et al. in action. We did find one: an Irish place called the Laurels which judging by the large array of CCTV cameras, is probably quite 'lively' come nightfall. At one stage, a riot van parked up outside. We wondered whether this might be the Met Police team bus!

I assumed that the Laurels were immensely proud of having hosted Leech and left up the promotional poster. Macleod (M) pointed out it was more likely that someone had instead put down the wrong date (year). Oh, yeah! 

As well as the fact that the Laurels is infinitely better than the Ruislip Manor equivalent (Hennessey's) - and that we'd out-foxed any waiting spotters - another bonus of going to Ruislip was that the walk to the ground seemed more direct and possibly slightly shorter. We were to pass Hawtrey's restaurant en route. That reminded us of Mr Logic, as the MUSA Chairman is a dead ringer for the late Carry On actor: 

Charles Hawtrey Logic had actually been mentioned earlier in the day, as we briefly discussed his beloved Ross County's match-up with Celtic. Indeed 'Scottish football' cropped up on several occasions: (1) Rangers' record-breaking fixture with East Stirlingshire and (2) our planned excursions to see the Shire at Ibrox in March and then at Elgin City. The Elgin match is in May, the final league game. Typical of us to be busy organising a trip for the last day of the season, on the first day of the season!

We arrived at the ground just after kick-off (beating Grim, delayed due to 'leaves on the line' or something). More pints supped as we basked (or, more accurately, baked) in the sunshine, sat on the benches close to the turnstiles. By the time we had ventured inside the ground, Richard Jolly (who else?) had given Wealdstone the lead, and Macleod (M) had collected on a scratchcard (with Rangers, picked on my insistence; he was going to choose Northampton!).

Macleod (M) and I considered going behind the goal the visitors were attacking and rousing the team (what is the point of them, BTW?) with a chorus of  KRS-One, as and when they got a corner, but we decided against it. Too hot. The weather probably explains why the on-field play and off-field atmosphere both seemed somewhat flat. A bit 'pre-season', if you like. 415 - over a hundred more than were at York Road for MUFC Ltd vs Tonbridge Angels - was a decent attendance, but there was little or no sustained noise. As aforementioned, too hot.

We returned to the bar at the final whistle. Relative coolness. More pints and plenty of guffawing at Liverpool, QPR and - later on - Tottenham Hotspuds. Topics of conversation included Lewes (the Stones visit them next weekend; should be interesting), Dominic Sterling (who apparently signed for Tooting, rather than the Stones, after our last visit and is now at Kingstonian), the Magpies' opening day win (hats off; I was fully expecting a repeat of last year's 4-0 reverse), Johnson Hippolyte (a former Wealdstone striker, lest we forget), why WFC now play in all-blue rather than blue and white quarters (apparently their kit supplier doesn't do quarters; easy solution - get another kit supplier!), Newport County,  The Rezillos ...

In summary: another boozy day. I think we'll have to leave it a while before our next WFC game as my liver can't take too many visits! Best of luck to them, though, as always. Fingers crossed, meanwhile, that MUFC Ltd gets a decent FA Cup draw. Otherwise, Salisbury in November will likely be our first Magpies game of the season. Either way, I suspect shorts, sunglasses, floppy hats, and flip-flops won't be required. Probably Definitely for the best!

^^^ Dinnertime

^^^ Sleepytime

1 comment:

Lenny Baryea said...

According to various match reports that I've subsequently read, ex-Magpie Tyron Smith played for da Police in this game, while the team photo on their website indicates that Staf Palmer and Carl Wilson-Denis are/were at the club (if not playing in this match) as well.

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