DAY TRIP TO CORNWALL
Printed in the Southern League South and West match v Andover. We won
4-3 in front of 230.
It wasn’t my most rational of decisions. Slough were playing Truro
City and when my plans for a weekend away with Windsor Rebel, Best Man
and Big Lens fell threw, it was always going to be a mission to get to
the game. But get to the game I must – this could be the only time I
would see Slough play a league match in Cornwall!
I woke at 4.30am and walked to Brighton train station. Clubbers sat
shivering and disheveled waiting for the first train home. The train
to Victoria was fine, but my tube broke down so at 6am I was hailing a
taxi to Paddington, then jumping on a fast train to Slough to meet the
supporters coach. The Supporters Trust did a great deal for members
where it was just 20 quid return. Phil the Flag supplied the
refreshments, Pepe the chocolate and by early morning I felt like I
had eaten half the daily output of the Mars factory.
And then the coach broke down at Bristol.
For two hours.
It limped to the services and Anil the coach-driver, became Anil the
mechanic. He managed to fix it and then drove at speed and we arrived
at Truro with 3 minutes to spare, joining about 50 plus Slough
Unfortunately rather than a friendly Cornish welcome we had four
middle-aged skinheads who threatened and abused us and enjoyed light-
hearted racist banter with themselves. It was like one of the episodes
of ‘Life on Mars’, the four trapped in some 1970’s football time warp,
unable to comprehend that life had moved on, football had moved on.
The majority of the Truro fans were friendly enough – infact these
bunch of retards were from London. ‘No One Likes Us’ they sang. Hello!
We are playing eight leagues below the Premiership – no one’s heard of
I had seen Truro play before, on their way to winning the FA Vase in
front of a record 36,232 fans. On the way to Wembley they played
Whitehawk, an estate in Brighton. They came en masse and some of them
foolishly decided to sing ‘Does your boyfriend know your here’; a song
Brighton fans have to put up with everywhere. But with no police, no
stewards, no segregation, the song was ended some-what abruptly by the
locals with the Whitehawk manager having to leave the dug-out and
appeal for calm.
As for the game, Slough had the better of the first half and
incredibly took the lead and could have had more, but Truro always
looked dangerous. This is not surprising really since most of their
squad seems to be made up of ex league and Conference players. So what
about player budget cuts of 50%? One fan told me that their third
choice goalie was on a grand a month! Truro’s chairman has – or at
least did have - money to burn with plans for a new stadium and his
eyes on the Football League.
The second half was Truro’s. The cold Russian wind that would bring
the snow the next day, was doing us no favours. Phil’s flag nearly
blew away from the empty seats and Truro took control. We lost 2-1 but
played well – why can’t we do this against the teams below us?
As for the journey home. I finally got to bed at 2.30am after an epic
twenty two hour round trip. My girlfriend was still nodding her head
in disbelief the next day that I had gone all that way for 90 minutes
of football. Perhaps she had a point.