We were travelling a greater distance than last week so obviously we would leave later, at a more sensible 8.30 from Temple Meads. There will be just the four of us for the last two away games. Coventry Bob, Ron, Andy and myself shared seats in coach D for our trip via Paddington and St. Pancras to the Medway Riviera. Peter was going by Megabus and we would meet up later in the day. At Kings Cross Ron went for a long walk around the station. As he was walking away from any pubs I returned to the station to await his return. Beer less we went on towards Gillingham but opted to try a few pubs in Rochester rather than crawl the streets of the breeze block of the Medway towns.
Eagle Tavern 8
It is convenient for the station and one to remember in future. The pleasant landlady was helpful and pointed out the best of the towns pubs as alternatives when we left. It was fairly busy for an early lunchtime. We could fill a convenient table and I could enjoy my rather average Sharps Atlantic (6). It was also the first opportunity to consider the homework for the week. I issued the team a list of all the pubs we had visited this year and I left them to think of how we might vote for the best. The list appears at the bottom of this page.
The next choice was just across the road.
Two Brewers 6
This is a very friendly pub. The beer, a Whitstable Bay Pale Ale (7) was good. It is a place that is crying out for a bit of refurbishment. The slightly damp atmosphere was complemented by tired wallpaper and carpets. It was actually a very nice pub but nowadays it wouldn’t be winning any awards for comfort.
The prospect now was a walk around the Cathedral. We gave up half way there as we found a pub, not in the guides but with a garden view of the Castle and Cathedral.
A Greene King Pub which is similarly in need of some love and care. We ventured in to the courtyard and sat at tables among the concrete ash trays and scaffolding for non-existent gazebos. We had a view of the tourists and tourist sites. The beers again were very good. I had a St. Edmunds Ale (7)
We caught the train at 2 and walked in good time to the game. The others went to final pub but gave it up as a bad job.
Peter was with me as I approached the turnstiles. He walked in to his gate and walked straight back out talking of some dodgy dealings. He had a ticket in his hand but was shouting about being charged £10. I was a little confused. I had paid £20 for my ticket a week ago as an early bird ticket, i.e. expecting the cost on the day to be £22. What Peter was unhappy about was the odd disincentive to buy a ticket early by an apparent £10 discount for tardiness. The other chaps were reluctant to go through without some form of means for equal payment. They were eventually assuaged with vague promises of a refund when we went back to the Rovers. In the end the Gillingham staff decided the best plan was to put the price up to £22. I am still thinking the home fans entered for a discount £10 and they had to offer a similar price on the day. In a bizarre way we had argued ourselves out of some fans paying less money on the day.
Gillingham 3 Bristol Rovers 1 Attendance 5,916 (790 Gas)
This game was dull. Both sides didn’t want to give anything away and would rely on being the stronger in the final minutes and perhaps nick all the points. At 80 minutes it was 1-1 and sure enough it was Rovers who threw players forward in an attempt to get the win. Gillingham cleared a corner with a big boot up field. This is where the greenness of young players came to play. Their one brute of a forward was marked by Stuart Sinclair with Clarke Salter as support. Yep, we could all see that mismatch. It cried out for the bigger centre half to do the muscle bit. But no, like a shell shocked bystander young Jake watched Stuart’s attempts at ankle biting to fail miserably and the game was over. To add a third by leaving just one player back in the fourth minute of injury time was just plain silly.
Joe Lumley 7 Lee Mansell 5, Ryan Sweeney 6, Tom Lockyer 7, Jake Clarke- Salter 5, Lee Brown 7, Billy Bodin 5 Chris Lines 5, Stuart Sinclair 5, Ellis Harrison 6 Byron Moore 6 .
Subs: Cristian Montano 5, Jermaine Easter 6, Luke James 6
Entertainment Value: 1
Man of the Match: Lee Brown
Past and Present 9
The real ale grapevine was saying that many had visited this new micro pub before the game. We walked to it, past the station and were not disappointed. It was in the classic micro pub style with a few nice additions. It had a cupboard as a bar. It has a smaller number of beers, I settled for a Dark Star American Brown (7). The pub also has a small courtyard. We were able to chat with fellow Real Ale hunters from Gillingham and as always it became an information sharing chat about good pubs to find in the next few weeks.
Pub of the Day: Past and Present
Beer of the Day: Whitstable Bay Pale Ale in the Two Brewers
The Journey home
A straightforward trip with no other beers as timings were tight at each station. It was a relatively sober Stedders who as picked up by Rose at 10.
Next up: Peterborough Away 22.4.17
Our pub of the year list
|BOLTON||Sweet Green Tavern|
|Great Ale at the Market|
|BRADFORD||Made for Bradford|
|The Record Café|
|Sparrow Beer Café|
|Jacobs Beer House|
|Rose and Crown|
|Chesterfield Ale House|
|Town Wall Tavern|
|Swan Three Mile Cross|
|FLEETWOOD||Old Town Hall Poulton le Fylde|
|Thatched House Poulton le Fylde|
|Royal Oak Hotel|
|MILLWALL||Southwark Brewery Tap|
|Simon the Tanner|
|Mad Bishop and Bear|
|MILTON KEYNES||Bull and Butcher|
|King Billy Rock Bar|
|Old Black Lion|
|Port Street Beer House|
|Crown and Kettle|
|OXFORD||Jude the Obscure|
|PORT VALE||Bulls Head|
|Johnny’s Micro Pub|
|Bursley Ale House|
|PORTSMOUTH||Rose in June|
|SHEFFIELD UNITED||Sheaf View|
|Coach and Horses|
|Mad Bishop and Bear|
|Swindon Cricket Club|
|WALSALL||Black Country Arms|
|Lyndon House Hotel|
|Hole in the Wall|
|Past and Present|