The story of the season - Doncaster (a)
2010/11 season v Doncaster in the league at The Keepmoat, Saturday 12th February 2011.
When Donny was arranged the thought of being able to leave, Exeter, as late as 9.30am(ish) had not really entered into my head, although as this was possible - a 9am-9.15am departure was on the agenda, which was fantastic, but it must have been nearer 9.30 by the time we did hit the road.
Friday had seen Richie need to pull out die to the fact that he had to work, so it was just myself, Triv and Ken - he had an interesting week, between home and Denmark, ad eventually managed to get a hire care as his had packed in.
I arrived at Exeter St Davids, having caught the 08:47 from Dawlish, for just after 9:10; Ken had just arrived as I saw Triv walking towards the car as I exited the station. I made comment about the royal blue colour of the little care, asking if this was selected or coincidental? It turned out to be the latter although we hoped it would be a lucky omen...
The journey up was plain sailing, we were a little late meeting Barry at Worcester but went on to make good time and must have been in The Toad Brewery by about 1pm. This place was genius, taking a brewery and turning it into a 'pub' basically on a matchday was a fantastic idea and all enjoyed this. It was good to see Tim (Pompeytim) and Claire as it had been a while. It also gave me a chance to pass on my condolences to Tim in person, as he had recently lost his father, a lifelong Pompey fan who unfortunately passed away shortly after the Leeds game - although he at least passed shortly after doing something that he loved doing.
The football was not fantastic, far from it, although we were always in control and ran out worthy 2-0 winners.
It was not the greatest spectacle, or advertisement for football in many ways, although collecting the 3pts was the main thing - and even the most passionate of Donny fans would be hard pushed to admit anything other than the fact we deserved the win. We needed this win to relieve the pressure that was mounting.
Whilst it would be foolish to 'expect' anything I reckon there is a 'decent' chance that we can now string together a run of results to ensure our safety in this league. That 'hoodoo' against the sides in the lower reaches of the league, not to mention that winless streak, has been broken, now we must build on this against others sides in the bottom half of the table with upcoming run of games at Fratton.
The thought was that we would 'quite comfortably' make it back fro 21:46 and the final train, before 'rail replacement' kicked in, so Triv could get back to Newton Abbot and I Dawlish, via a change at Newton.
Things tried to conspire against us, such as the chippy in Clevedon taking ages with out order - which got very frustrating as it seemed that later arrivals were getting in ahead of those already waiting, the M5 being closed basically where we would be coming off for Exeter and that meant a detour through Honiton. It also seems that every set of traffic lights worked against us! Even so, despite also being almost 5 minutes late, due to the trains not failing us as it was late as usual, we made it for the 'slightly delayed' 21:46 Virgin Cross-country.
Having done so my next concern was this late running train meant it would be touch and go to make it to Newton in time for my connecting train back to Dawlish. You see, for those that do not know and care even, Dawlish comes before Newton on the train so I had to go through where I was going just to come back and I did not think I would make my 22:10 connection as we were pushing on for that time when we arrived.
And I did not make it...
No big dramas though, as it was not my fault for the missed connection, and there were no further ones, a taxi was laid on at their expense. I was still home and in bed by 11pm, so all in all about on time so it was not bad going!
Good times had by all on the day, and it was a journey that I know we all really enjoyed. 3pts was also a very welcome bonus, and certainly a relief given our form! Back-to-back games at Fratton against Barnsley and Palace 'could', maybe 'should' define our season?
Bring 'em on, starting with The Tykes on Saturday...
PLAY UP POMPEY!