Today sees the start of enjoying two of the finest football matches you could ever hope to see this weekend.
The centre piece of the event was meant to be tomorrow’s clash between AFC Wimbledon and Oldham Athletic. I’d predicted results forwards and come to the conclusion that this was going to be a must win game to avoid relegation. Rather selfishly they achieved safety last week so this is a dead rubber. At least we get to stay in a free hotel room tonight – one that’s been upgraded and includes a free cooked brekkie!
When I booked train tickets for the journey south I was anticipating Saturday morning travel. Virgin were only offering their more expensive open tickets for the journey out. I booked begrudgingly and was feeling so miffed I even forgot to apply the 20% off code that they’d emailed me a week earlier. Fortunately the open ticket has gifted us some flexibility.
When I get out of my pit, I’ll be driving to my local Sainsburys. I don’t shop there and I rarely fill up there. But today they’re chucking Nectar points around like confetti and I can effectively save 5% on what’s already the cheapest fill up in town. While Nectar doesn’t excite me anywhere near as much as Tesco Clubcard I am confident that I will buy Easyjet flights in future. These points will give me a straight forwards discount off the fare.
Then it’s over the tops to meet up with Chris and take on the challenge of a Wetherspoons breakfast. I reckon we’ll be able to feed us both, with drinks, for less than £8. Then we’ll have a strange time period where we tend to go to some random shop and buy nothing. B&M Stores. A random half price Poundland superstore. All classy stuff.
Then the big natch of the day. A fixture with a play-off place at stake. Something where it matters. An event bigger than anything else in town. The Vanarama North (division six) clash between Stockport County and Gloucester City.
After being rubbish for most of my life Stockport went quite good for a bit. They enjoyed beating Manchester City rather a lot when the two teams played in the same division. Alas, as the sky blues became wealthy and signed Aguero, County fell on hard times. Effectively going bust and getting relegated three times.
Today might be a key step in their recovery. They have to win. And even if they win either Chorley or Salford City have to lose. As Salford are owned by a bunch of former Manchester United rich boys biggest pleasure will come from Salford slipping up. If County win 14-0 and Salford draw that would also see Stockport make the play-offs. It’s a big ask, but I’m expecting over 6,000 to rock up at Edgeley Park today to make a hell of a noise. And even though it’s not exciting to most of the nation, I’m right up for it.
After the game it’ll be interesting to see how quickly other results are communicated to fans if Stockport have won. I assume Twitter will be first to report any excitement in Salford or Chorley.
And then, regardless of the outcome, we’ll head south to Euston. I’ll treat us to an overpriced first class upgrade of wide seat, free wifi, coffee and a sandwich. £20 each.
The free £329 hotel room won’t be used for anything more than bedd and breakfast. Then an Uber to AFC Wimbledon tomorrow.
It’s a time of year when the most unlikely towns can get really excited about their football team.
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