And so to a final report.
Transport to game.
The barest of facts. BTM for 8.30 departure. Change at Birmingham New Street and get the train heading for Stanstead which arrived at Peterborough at 12.15 having given us glimpses of Leicester and Rutland Water along the way. It was scenic. So much so that Ronnie was able to sleep most of the way. Bob, Andy and myself just enjoyed the relative peace and quiet.
Ronnie enjoys the views of Rutland.
Brewery Tap (10)
The Brewery Tap
Beer: Oakham JHB (7)
Clive was ahead of us, having travelled the few stops from York in half the time we took to get there. He called ahead to let us know where he was and our group immediately doubled in size with the Yorkshire fans in attendance.
This pub is always good. The beer quality is as good as one would expect with the brewing on site. Andy was in beer tourist mode and clicked away for a solid ten minutes. He appears to like the silver of casks and brewery furniture. We could well have stayed longer but on this trip Bob was ticking a new town and Ronnie was on a mission to get as many pubs done in a day. The Yorkshire folk were persuaded to follow us the hundred or so metres down the road to the next pub.
Bumble Inn (10)
Beer: Hopback Endeavour (6)
This was an excellent new addition. In contrast to many a new micro pub this new bar looks as if it has been given some careful thought in its planning. We found a table at the window, there was plenty of space. It was comfortable enough for Andy to continue with his pub of the year homework. On this point we have agreed to do the totting up as part of the Clifton Pub crawl after the Millwall game. Bob liked the large woodland scene on one wall. I liked the thoughtful range of beers. Ronnie appreciated the bloke at the bar that told us of the beer festival in the Coalheavers. Another advantage of the pub is that there is a taxi rank and office just along the road. The hardy northern folk decided to walk to the next pub. We went by taxi.
Beers: Oakham Citra (8) and Oakham Inferno (5)
The debate on best pubs was now in full flow. I opined the theory that pubs often score higher marks if we stay for more than one beer. In doing so perhaps we get a fuller picture of a place’s good qualities. Of course we stayed for two beers here. The pub was heaving inside and out. We were still able to get a table and were joined by the Pennine walkers ten minutes later. This pub certainly has taken the away fans culture to an art. It has minimal door heavies and allows the space outside to accommodate the large numbers who now use this as their regular meeting point. Long gone are the days when Stedders and his mates were the only ones on the boat and nobody believed us when we said it was a great place to get real ale.
At 5 to 3. 800 or so in the away end
We all knew the scene. If the other teams lost and we won then the faint whiff of Wembley Way was still an option for the season. We also knew full well that Rovers would not do their bit of the party scenario and lose. Millwall lost, Southend lost, Rochdale only managed a draw. A win would have put us right in the mix. We lost and all was over for the season.
That is the historical context of this game. We were joined in the ground by Peter de Meteor who had done a town tour that didn’t take in the Cathedral. That was on the route for David who plucked up the bravery needed to join us for the rest of the day. For those who don’t know David. He is one of the West Stand Old Patchwegian gang that help the linesman improve their game at the Mem.
Sometimes seasons peter out with games where the players are “on their holidays”. This wasn’t the case in this game. The effort was there but the defences of both sides appeared to want to allow entertainment to be the watchword. The referee was certainly on a holiday. He was quite good and made mostly correct decisions. He kept up with play and didn’t appear to annoy either set of players or fans. And that was the problem. He appeared reluctant to go to the bother of booking people. Perhaps he didn’t want to write a report and appear at a hearing in the next month. He wagged his finger furiously at many a diving player and performed the sweeping crossed hand actions to indicate play on with real gusto. Yet only once was a book needed to aide his memory of the cheating so and so.
My interest was re-awakened when, at 4-0 up Peterborough brought on the youthful Andreas Borg. This young chap is a product of a soccer school ran by a former pupil and good friend Chris Brown.
This is my brief report on how well he played.
Andreas comes on
Andreas is very quick and was very direct when he got the ball. He looked to run at our back line on three occasions and his pace looks like a real asset. He joined into the short passing around the penalty box and kept the ball well without making a decisive impact. He played in a role just behind the front line when they attacked and e looked willing to join in to tshort passing stuff around the box but wait looked like he had a role in dropping back in to midfield when Rovers had the ball. He was the lone player left upfield at defensive corners. He had one heavyweight collision with our rather bigger centre half and there appeared to be some care taken to help him back to his feet by our lamppost Sweeney. Peterborough suit his style as they always attack with pace. I hope he doesn’t pick up too much of the gamesmanship that also runs through Posh teams in the last ten years.
This game really could have any possible score from 1-1 to 8-0 or 0-8. Rovers had plenty of chances, missed a penalty and gave away the goals with simple errors.
Peterborough 4 Bristol Rovers 2 Attendance 5,498 (814Gas)
Joe Lumley 5 James Clarke 5 Tom Lockyer 5 Ryan Sweeney 4 Robert Harris 6 Billy Bodin 6 Stuart Sinclair 5 Chris Lines 6 Byron Moore 6 Jermaine Easter 5 Ellis Harrison 5 Substitutes Rory Gaffney 6 Ryan Broom 5 Joe Partington 6
Entertainment Value 3
Man of the Match: Robert Harris
We now had a new member to the club and we were determined that David would see for himself what a fine bunch of chaps we were. We were all working to the same time commitments so what could possibly go wrong. It is a ten minute walk to:-
We knew there was a beer festival in full swing. The folk in the Bumble (a sister pub?) had told us so. We were not aware of the scale of it. In the bar we chose from the regular six or so Milton handpumps. We strolled in to the garden where a marquee had a large number of casks and it appeared most of Peterborough CAMRA were sampling as if they didn’t have another one for years. I would have stayed to sample from the tent but Ronnie reminded us that Bob still hadn’t seen one of the best.
Milton Justinian (6)
David, Ron and the carefully placed rucksack
Beer: Batemans Mild (5)
It is a 12 minute walk to the Palmerston. We again found a table near the bar. The beer choice was excellent again and yes, all was definitely right with the world. By this time David and I were in Patchway High school memory mode and the others had to put up with our reminiscences. Taxi time was agreed at 6.20. David must like taxis because he decided to play the triple taxi trick. This ruse involves leaving a bag on a chair at the pub. At the station he realised his error and with a mere 20 minutes to spare he caught a taxi back to the pub and of course back again to the station. It is a rather expensive way to get out of a final pint at the station pub David.
Great Northern Hotel (8)
Beer: Grainstore Tupping Ale (6)
We only had a few minutes in this grand proper station hotel. I was rather surprised to find three handpumps from this local brewery. I had a half so as to allow time to graze on the station before our train left at 6.52. There was time enough for Ronnie to be told that he shouldn’t talk to a South African bloke at the bar because he was not in a good mood and didn’t want to be friendly.
Pub of the Day: Charters
Beer of the Day: Oakham Citra in Charters
I do sometimes wonder if I exaggerate these tales.
- Does Ronnie really sing at any opportunity on the way home? (He did)
- Will he be asleep before and hour into the journey home? (He was)
- Will they take the mickey out of me for getting in a grump? (They did)
- Will we have an argument over something trivial? (We did)
- Will we expose school boy errors at any chance? (Of course they did)
David left us at Birmingham for his train to Macclesfield. His bag was complemented by the packet of Quavers liberated from the sleeping Ronnie when he forgot he had bought them. Andy liberated the last of the kitty with a few bottles of Doom Bar, or in my case a can of something lagery. We could spread out a bit on the final leg and by 10.32 I was able to get a lift home from Rose for the final time this season.
I will say this for the final time. Next season I will be going to all games I can but often will make a weekend of it. On normal days I will be catching the Supporters club coach. The chaps think I will only do this once and then will return to their fold. If I catch the train I will sort out my own tickets in advance. I will not be spending my Sundays, or in this case Mondays, typing up a blog.
Some other photos have come my way and deserve some exposure.
Pre match beer in Bristol the week before.
The Quavers are safe in Macclesfield.