Or alternatively: Back to the future arrives on the 625 Bus
Transport to game.
A late drive up to the game. Park up by 6.30 outside the Wellington. Rose was off saving communities in Manchester. I had spent the day compiling my personal bus and train timetable from home so as to practice my rusty Excel skills. When you live in Pilning it is important to know of the many routes home. The local bus timetable changes next week and now some connect with the train. It is not, however, possible to use any form of public transport to get home after a midweek game.
I did note however that the usual bus time to go from Pilning to Severn Beach is 5 minutes and the bus normally returns 20 minutes later going in the opposite direction. The 9.23 on a Saturday is supercharged and can complete the trip by 9.25. What is even more remarkable is that the bus then enters a time warp and leaves Severn Beach at 9.15 arriving at Pilning at 9.25 going in the opposite direction. Planned is a journey to travel four miles in two minutes, (Excel spreadsheet calculation average speed of 120mph) and also drop off and pick up passengers. If only!
The Bath Ales Barnsey was back to top form. Why is this always the case when I can’t get stuck in to giving it a full sampling? I had a brief chat with Mummy Potter, Terry Nutkin and his Mummy Wilcox. I bought the programme, doubted my Maths skills when checking the £3.70 price for the pint and left for an early entry to the game.
The Wellington has subtly changed in the last year and I don’t think it is necessarily better. One of my bugbears is when pubs devote large spaces to food eaters often laying up tables. This makes the casual drinking only customer feel unwelcome if we interrupt potential diners with our upright occupation of their now pseudo restaurant space. The pub now has discrete floor level drinking. By that I mean sofas and coffee tables that take up large areas for few people. It is obviously gearing up for a post Rovers existence. No one appears to have told Bath Ales that their biggest earning days, i.e. match days are continuing for some time yet. The beer range has widened a bit with a semi-permanent and seriously expensive Timothy Taylor Landlord. The best bit of this pub is tellingly its outside areas. I feel my most used match pub is likely to change soon. It won’t take much to make that happen.
Bristol Rovers 0 Notts County 0 Attendance 6743 (148 Magpies)
Entertainment Value 3
This was a fairly entertaining 0-0 draw. Notts County have assembled a side with some well-known players. When that happens ones attention is often drawn to how they play, and our opinions of how the team plays will reflect how we dealt with those players. The four here were, in no particular order John Stead, Alan Smith, Izale McLeod and Roy Carroll.
John Stead had the usual welcome for anyone who played football south of the River. The Rovers fans cheered when the man marking him, Mark McCrystal, was given the man of the match award. He ended up drifting wider and wider to get the ball and I cannot think of a single attempt at goal.
Izale McLeod has played against us before and rarely impressed. That was not the case when I saw him play for Milton Keynes. He had a very quiet night. Was he playing?
Alan Smith Could this really be the poster boy of my niece when he moved from Leeds to Manchester United? I read today that he and Roy Carroll are playing for the fun of it. He doesn’t need to play but does so just to keep playing. He still that extra bit of pace over five yards to take him in to space. He prompts others to play but is well past the days of getting really stuck in. The firebrand battler looks now more likely to laugh off the jealous late tackle or two. Stuart Sinclair and more importantly, Lee Mansell robbed him on a regular basis.
Roy Carroll He didn’t really have to make a save of importance and spent a few minutes ranting at the linesman over events near the touchline.
Man of the Match: Luke Gosling. He scares me at times by trying to wriggle out of tackles in crowded areas but he does have the extra bit of nous when the game opens up. Rovers fans will have to get used to him not really being a winger. That always takes time with the Gas faithful.
Post-Match: Straight home after the usual Sky scores meet up in the bar. Mansfield get a winner in the tenth minute of extra time at Yeovil? Swings and roundabouts in a nutshell. A late winner by Bobby Zamora against the City? My how we smiled at that one.
Pub of the Day: The Wellington
Beer of the Day: Bath Ales Barnsey
Newport County at home on Saturday. Meet 12 at the Ship if you are interested.