Tuesday 1st December 2015 – FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round Replay
Gloucester City 0 – 1 Chelmsford City
As I wake up and get ready for college, I know today is going to be a little bit different. What I don’t know is its going to be more than just a ‘little bit’ different. Today we are playing Gloucester away in the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round Replay and surprisingly my parents had allowed me to leave college early and join a group of mates on the 272 mile round trip journey to Cheltenham as that’s where Gloucester play.
It’s the afternoon and it’s time to slip away from college, which as I write this, I remember it being less Escape from Alcatraz and more escaping from jail in Monopoly. Anyway,as soon I get to my mate’s house and the rest of the group assembles, we all squeeze into his small hatchback and set off. All seems well as we travel the motorways from the M25 to…. the other ones, we look like were going to make good time, however as we approach Cheltenham, we drive into a petrol station and this is where the ‘little bit different’ comes in.
We stop in the petrol station, but not near any of the pumpsbecause our mate who is driving informs us that he is unwell and he is not sure he can continue. There is a long silent pause that feels like an hour, but is probably only 10 minutes and he says he can get us to the game but we will have to find a different way home.
We get dropped off and head inside the ground, as we do, we begin thinking how were going to get home looking up what trains are available after the game. None, great. We also tried seeing if there were any City fans who could give us a lift home but unfortunately, we don’t see any that we recognise. It was at this moment one of our board members come up hearing about our plight and informs us that there is room on the players’ coach, few we can now enjoy the game. And what a game it is, 1-0 up after 7 minutes, going down to 10 men very early in the second half and hanging on!
After the game we get on the coach and it’s a very posh coach that has stairs up to where most of seats are. Unfortunately for us there is room behind the coach driver’s seat so we get stuck with him while upstairs all the players are celebrating the win. We did get an offer to go upstairs, but we declined what were we thinking! Looking back, we were probably just exhausted and wanted to get a bit of shut eye, although only one of us fell asleep. We got back in the very early morning of the next day (probably like 2:00 or 3:00am) and as I think back to that day, I realise it probably wasn’t as exciting as I like to think it is, but I don’t think it is going to be a day that I will ever completely forget. Good times.