A Day in Truro (well a bit less actually) Non League link
Saturday 12 January 2013. I was picked up by chauffeur Gazz at stupid o’clock and early discussions resulted in the bold statement that we couldn’t be as bad as we were on the previous Tuesday at Eastleigh. That said we weren’t exactly overflowing with confidence given that our away form was about as good as Pamela Anderson on ice-skates.
Chauffeur Gazz had decided to go south round the M25 and then via the M3 and A303. I was quite pleased about this as it is a far more interesting route and also gives you a chance to see what the traffic on the Bridge is like early in the morning. Unfortunately, our plans to take in the sights en route were quickly scuppered by the continuing gloom and hammering rain and sleet. Having aqua-planed through most of Wiltshire (Stonehenge might as well have been called Murkhenge) we arrived at the Little Chef for a scheduled stop.
In these circumstances the controversially named Olympic Breakfast is almost compulsory (replacing the tomato with fried bread just in case there is an element of goodness in it). I did wonder whether they had to change it to the “Lympic” Breakfast during the Games period, much like the café in Stratford had to. Anyway, hearty brekkie eaten, we were now set up for the day ahead.
The rest of the journey there was relatively uneventful with chauffeur Gazz learnedly pointing out that the A303 is a road that starts nowhere and ends nowhere. We skated past Exeter and continued along the A30. You know you are on a long journey when you see a sign saying “Truro 45” and think that you are nearly there.
Anyway navigator Emma safely got us the rest of the way to the B&B and we had actually arrived about an hour early at around 11.15. Thankfully the staff at the Donnington Guest House (shameless plug hoping for discount next time) were very helpful and we were soon sorted out with our rooms. I skilfully picked a room at the back of the house with a large bathroom and great views over the City.
Some careful pre-planning meant that the B&B was bang opposite the Football Club and we took advantage of our knowledge that the Club bar was open at noon and that the beer was a very respectable £2.50 a pint all day. I felt obliged to drink quite a lot of it as the price was so good and we were soon joined by a more than decent contingent of fellow Blues Fans.
Just prior to kick off my Olympic Breakfast was beginning to feel like a Commonwealth one at best so I headed out to get some more food. As we were in Cornwall it seemed like the obvious thing to do was to get a pasty but I knew they were bad for you so had a cheeseburger instead.
We started the game ridiculously well and went ahead after five minutes with a good goal from Jay. It was hard to see what could go wrong at this stage, everything was going so well and we were totally dominant. Oh well, these things happen in football but it was nice of Charlie to wave at the home support on his way back to the dressing room. We were under a bit of pressure for the rest of the half but kept a pretty good shape and went in one-up.
At half-time the talk was whether we could hang on but things got even better as Jay looped a header over a back line and keeper who looked like they were playing musical statues. They got a goal back with a free kick, which shouldn’t have been given…….as it was a penalty.
Jay then completed a perfect hat trick by side-shinning home with his left foot following good work by Semakula. I thought Jay might have contracted rabies or something because he was running around a lot and occasionally foaming at the mouth. My diagnosis was confirmed minutes later as he out-paced the defence and produced a great finish to make it 4-1, sensibly avoiding a collision with home keeper Luke McCormick. At this point I was told to “Shut up, you muppet!” by one of the home supporters – He clearly wasn’t very intelligent as he missed an obvious opportunity to get the adjective “fat” in there.
Truro pulled a goal back to make it 4-2, the referee and the Angelos Epithemiou lookylikey lino failing to spot that Semakula had been chopped at the knees in the build-up. We saw out the rest of the game and the final whistle was the cue for some great celebrations of an away win secured playing with ten men for 70 minutes.
We had another couple of beers in the Clubhouse and congratulated the team and management before heading back to the B&B for a brief pit stop.
I didn’t really know what to expect from the evening as everyone was suffering from varying degrees of “tiredness”. We pulled into the William IV (having blown out the One-Eyed Cat because it was so rammed) and ran into another group of Blues fans, some of who were sporting some rather lively garb. Having consumed dinner (which was respectable but not brilliant) the others in my group decided to call it a day. Unfortunately the walk back to the B&B was up a hill that made Val D’Isere look like the Norfolk Broads and I could have done with a blast of oxygen having somehow hauled my lardy frame to the top.
I decided it was far too early to pack it in and went back to the Clubhouse to drink some more beer. Trevor who was the Truro Bar Manager (and an absolute top man to boot) was still there so I had another few beers. I was joined at some stage by some of the other Blues fans and whilst what goes on tour stays on tour, suffice it to say there were some surreal moments involving the VH1 80s Disco on TV and the world being ordered from the local pizza/kebab/chicken (You know what I mean) place.
11 o’clock signalled the death knell for me and I struggled across the road in the now pouring rain to the B&B and watched the end of Match of the Day. This did create a minor problem as when I put the TV back on standby it made a strange buzzing noise, which was only resolved by unplugging virtually every appliance in the room.
Sunday 13 January 2013. We got up reasonably early for breakfast. I didn’t have too much as I was still feeling a bit fragile following the previous night and didn’t want to run the risk of leaving a present on chauffer Gazz’s back seat. Those that did go the “Full Monty” said how nice it was and I must admit the bacon and sausages looked a cut above the standard fayre in these places.
After breakfast we settled up and went on our merry way. I showed the kind of bladder control I thought I had lost twenty years ago by making it to Fleet Services before requesting a “comfort break”
We arrived safely back home just before two, in time to put my feet up in front of the telly and endure a Manchester double. It was a great weekend, with great people and exactly what Non-League football should be all about.
Come on you Blues!!
(You've got to do one now UM!)