Thursday, 10 April 2014

Away days: Cambridge

My first League game of the season and my first away game since that incredible day in Burton back in May 2012 (if you discount Hayes & Yeading in the FA Trophy earlier this season). As soon as the fixtures came out, I wanted to go to Cambridge and as away days go, it didn’t disappoint.
8:30 am – due to my routine at work, I never lay-in anymore so I was up and at ‘em straight away, despite Cambridge only being under 2 hours away. I’d planned what I was wearing the night before anyway, so it was a case of hair and makeup, followed by a quick breakfast (coffee and a cake)
10:30 am – my mum dropped me off at Shenfield station and I set off on the 10:45 to London Liverpool Street. From there, I got the 11:28 to Cambridge and on arrival just before 1pm, I met up with a friend who had stayed over on Friday night
1:15 pm – we went to the Cambridge Blue, a pub where a few others had already met. With it being a gorgeous day, we sat outside in the beer garden. The pub was really lovely, but expensive - £9 for a Malibu & coke and a beer. There was only one member of staff working and when I saw the queues at the bar, we decided to leave and go elsewhere
1:50 pm – The Avery was the next stop, where other friends had been for a couple of hours. This after the worst taxi ride ever; the driver didn’t know where he was going so eventually we got out and walked! We found the pub eventually, thanks to Google Maps and stayed for a couple of drinks
2:35 pm – three taxi loads of us headed to the ground, which seemed miles away in relation to where we were. I managed to get in for a tenner – concession rate – thanks to my UH card (I’ll still be using that when I’m 30!). I took my place in the back of the stand, in the middle, with everyone else, where we had a very good view of the action
I didn’t really have any expectation before arriving at the Abbey but I can’t say I was all that impressed. While I can have no complaints about the view and the fact an atmosphere could be created easily, it was just a bit tinpot. Although it’s not too far from London, I was impressed over 600 of us made the journey and it was great seeing some old faces and catching up with friends from seasons gone by
I couldn’t pinpoint anyone having a bad game, although the penalty we conceded was needless. It was the first time I’d seen a couple of players in action and on the whole, I was impressed with the way we passed it around. Dymond took his goal well and despite stick from some members of the crowd, didn’t play too badly at all. Jupp pulled off a number of quality saves to keep us in it and Weston played well (Mr Consistency!) – I think a point apiece was probably fair, although we shaded it in stages
5:00 pm – after the game, everyone headed back to the town centre as they were all staying over. I was the only one in the group to be returning home so I was glad to see a couple of friends at the bus stop on the way – luckily they were going to the station too, and on my train. After stopping for a drink on the way, it was time to go home
6:40 pm – finally on the train, we headed to Liverpool Street, with the others leaving en route. The journey back seemed so much longer than on the way there and I was glad to be home. I got picked up at 9 from the station, got a Thai takeaway and ended up falling asleep in front of Match of the Day! I’m definitely getting old!

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