Cables faithful trooped across the Pennines, armed with passports, yorkshire to english translations and hearts full of hope. We haven’t got the best record away from home, to be honest. In fact we don’t travel well……generally just finding the ground without a detour is a result for us. Wakefield have cunningly hidden their ground in the leafy suburbs, down streets that were designed more for a pony and trap than Cables’ coach. The instructions on getting to the ground are mildly confusing, ok, damned confusing…the only landmarks we have are Pinderfields hospital and more roundabouts than Skem! Tricky blighters these yorkshire folk. The hospital is a split site but the orienteering experts at the front of the coach make the right choice and we do manage to find the ground. Well we manage to find the sports complex (complex being the operative word). We pull up outside the car park, which has a “FULL” sign barring the way, but a great view of a bowling green and hockey pitch. The very helpful steward advises us that the football ground is at the back of the complex and the coach has to turn round, head to the top of the road, turn right, then right again down to the parking area for the ground. Now, picture the scene, we are in a 52 seater coach in a suburban side street, cars parked on one side making the road negotiable only by Professor Pat Pending in his Convert-a-Car. However, our valiant coach driver does a commendable, but hair raising 3 point turn…. hair raising for those of us paying attention to the manouevre….heart stopping, blood pressure raising for those fans and players taking in the more scenic view of young ladies in short hockey skirts gracing the field to our left.
I was more than a little impressed by our fans knowledge of the game of hockey, their comments and roars of approval were directed at the hockey players’ skills rather than their appearance, surely 😉
Shortly after negotiating more narrow streets and reversing the coach up to the football ground entrance we alight, feeling victorious. Those pesky Wakey lot may have tried to hide the ground, but we were equal to the task. We should have known better! Once inside the gates, we are faced with yet another obstacle….where the hell is the pitch and the changies? The changing rooms are on the right of the Car Park and the access to the pitch is on the left!
The players troop down the steps to the changing rooms…..past the securely locked entrance to the Wakefield Rifle & Gun Club. The Club Officials troop off to the right to look at the pitch and meet their Wakey counterparts. The fans troop off to find the nearest boozer! Err I mean the fans troop off in search of refreshments. 😉
I follow the players into the Wakefield catacombs, which double as the changing room area…a series of narrow corridors, with poor signage which explains the skeletons propped against the walls at regular intervals…..remnants of teams who never made it to the pitch, methinks. Luckily for our lads one of the team has braved Wakey before and lived to tell the tale. I’m left standing in the corridor directing the remaining players with a cheery “They all went that way”, hoping not to trip over any bodies of our players on my way out.
We have successfully found the ground, the players (with maps) have located the pitch………3 points please!! What???? after all that we still have to play a match? OK, give us one point, forget the game and we will be happy!
*Ed – The Calland Watch moment has been censored. Pistol Club…..nuff said!