Stoke at Home…..via Warwick!

Sunday 11th January 2015

Travel to and from home games can be very easy. Especially if you are following tried and tested weekly plans. Some of life’s other events can change your routine but even then, some decent planning can make it easy.

The ‘other event’ on this occasion was a wedding on the outskirts of Coventry on Saturday afternoon.

I’m not a big fan of weddings. In fact if I was told I would never have to attend one again I would be delighted. But, you have to do these things now and again I guess and our home game with Stoke being moved to Sunday meant I no longer had an excuse not to attend.

Departing just after 7am the day before a home game is not ideal but this I did for what looked a long long day ahead. In fact an hour or so into the journey and somewhere on the M40 everything was going swimmingly. Then however, my car started to lose power, intermittently at first and more regularly as we approached our destination.

I achieved my remit of getting to the wedding in good time but I would be lying if I said my thoughts were not concentrating on how much difficulty we would endure getting to London N5 less than 24 hours later.

The wedding came and went in the usual fashion and I enjoyed the food and drink that came with it. For that I am grateful for the invite and hospitality.

The following morning’s painful early start however, was where the problems really started. Heading south my spluttering motor was experiencing further degrees of power loss before reaching Warwick.

In my role as secretary of a supporters club, match ticket allocation and distribution is very much part. So me getting to the match is pretty important!

With this in mind a decision was taken to get a day return with Chiltern Railways from Warwick Parkway to London’s Marylebone, get to the game, hopefully pick up three points and deal with the ‘situation’ upon our return.

Travel wise it was certainly a good decision and we arrived in North London with plenty of time to spare. In fact it was further vindicated when we heard our original planned route would have been badly affected by the M25 being shut!  Pre-match activities over, the game was equally as successful, Mat Debuchy’s worrying exit aside of course.

We don’t need reminding about the difficulties we experience every time we head to the Potteries. Our record at home however, couldn’t be more opposite and as soon as Laurent’s thumping header set us on our way we never looked like getting anything less than three points for our efforts. 

Alexis was superb yet again and our little Chilean magician added yet another fantastic goal to his collection to put us in a strong position come half time and his cheeky ‘under the wall’ free kick sneaking in off a goalkeeper who had prevented a first half rout saw us pretty much home and dry early in the second period.

A pleasing afternoon then and a quick and on time train journey out of Marylebone  (if a tad packed solid due to all trains being cancelled out of Euston!) meant we reached our unexpected Sunday evening destination of Warwick efficiently and problem free. The fun and games however, could well have been about to begin.

So….how did we get on?

Well……she coughed and spluttered a bit at times but she done me proud and got me home. Tomorrow she will be going to the ‘doctors’. Fortunately she is still under warranty!

Some days we all make decisions that don’t prove to be correct. Today however, I feel we did everything right. And that, most importantly of all, includes our team. Three massive points.

The sky blue multi billion pound side of Manchester plays host next for what is certainly one of our toughest games of the season.

A ‘simpler’ day would be nice!



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