Staying much closer to home for this match, the ‘Two Men In Search of the Beautiful Game’ might as well have driven to Yorkshire though, as they might have got there quicker, but in the end the long journey was worth it and they were rewarded with a real treat.
There are some football fans, whose team reside south of the river Thames, who swear blind that “it is wonderful”. They can tell you from first hand experience, that it is far from wonderful, when trying to get there from North London at rush hour. Almost exactly two hours it took us to travel the seventeen miles from Toms to tonight’s ground. Bloody Ken, no Boris, no Sadiq, oh whoever it is.
Once the duo eventualy arrived and beyond the white turnstiles, manned by a gruff white haired man in a blue gilet, who is fond of a cigarette, they get the feeling he thinks his job is more to stand guard, than to welcome people in, is a quite outstanding fluorescent green pitch. It’s grass not 3G, and it looks like you could roll it up and lay it in your front room. “It’s like the Emirates” says Tom, both in genuine awe of the playing surface.
The appeal in the programme for help with the clubhouse roof has Tom occupied, although he’s only half concentrating on the words, as he keeps looking up towards the fake grass covered doors of the tea hatch, that are still closed, but his heightened food at football senses can detect some activity, “burgers are cooking, I can smell them”.
Both teams appear from the far end of the clubhouse, sheltered for a moment by the veranda, and once they’ve been checked over by the referees assistants, one of whom we heard earlier asking his girlfriend who he had dragged along, to go and get him a towel from Sainsburys because he had forgotten his and that he couldn’t hang around with her for long, because he and the other officials were “listening to music” and getting “in the zone”, they step out onto the long, garden fence lined approach to the edge of the pitch.
Plenty of goals, a nice dog, big men fence hopping, presents and massive hotdogs all made the headache of getting there well worth it.
Read the full account of the Two Men in Search of the Beautiful Game’s evening at Park Side here – https://beautifulgame2015.blogspot.com/2018/10/oh-tea-ladys-arrived-beckenham-town-fc.html