This page is dedicated to all those supporters who travel away and make it an experience rather than just "there & back" without sampling the delights the locality has to offer.
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Wigan (Aug 17th)
This fixture saw the Cobblers arrive late, which allowed us extra beer drinking time in the "Traditional" pub. Holts beer at £1 per pint had to be sampled in large quantities, fortunately we were staying overnight in a local pub/hotel so didn't have to worry about driving. The Traditional was in the process of closing down for renovation so no food was available, we had to make do with the curry in the evening. Not bad but I've had better. Didn't go to Cardiff this season in either fixture.
Scarborough (Aug 31st)
Mark Crane picked me up on the way to this game and we made excellent time to the seaside resort. In the various years I've gone to Scarborough I've never actually seen the sea! This year was no exception as we found ourselves in the Tap & Spile. Beer was variable, but the food was excellent. The ground has improved almost beyond recognition and we found ourselves (briefly) back in the Tap & Spile afterwards before the trek home.
Barnet (7th September)
Made our usual stop at Welch's Ale House in Finchley to sample the various ales on sale there (usually seven or eight different Real Ales). Can't actually remember eating anything during the day or in London that night, having continued boozing in The Bricklayers Arms on Gresse Street (v. Close to Tottenham Court Road)(Sam Smiths beer), then into the Angel (in the shadow of Centrepoint) and finally into the Moon Under Water on Leicester Square. We were just about to leave and head off home when we met a group of Swedish nurses (I kid you not!!).
Missed Stoke, Cardiff, Chester, Exeter and Scunthorpe for one reason and another.
Hartlepool (29th Oct)</a></B> <BR> Got the Trust Travel Club to pick me up at Trowell Services and let the coach take the strain (shouldn't that be train? - whatever). We made good time up North and stopped off at a large coach house style inn. The food looked excellent but didn't actually partake. The beer was Camerons - excellent pint. I understand the bus is stopping at the same place for the Darlo game and I'm getting picked up at Trowell again. A great result on a cold night (is there anything else in Hartlepool?).
Swansea (2nd Nov)
I've been to Swansea a number of times and the traffic is always horrendous so I decided to leave the car in Bridgend at a friend's and get the train for the final part of the journey to avoid the traffic and be able to get a couple of pints in the Adam & Eve (as far as I know the only Brains pub in Swansea). The train got stuck at Port Talbot for an hour and so I didn't get into Swansea until 2 pm anyway. A shitty day (weatherwise) but the beer was excellent. Brains SA (the SA known locally as Skull Attack - although the OG is only same as Pedigree). Walking to the ground was like stepping into a time-warp - the various pubs round the ground had sixties/seventies throwback skinhead Neanderthals at the front doors. I had already decided not to go into the away end because I had to walk back to the station afterwards and didn't want the well renowned Swansea thugs to "clock" me as I left. The pie at the ground was lukewarm, and the Cobblers were unlucky to lose. Mind you I had a good night out that night, seeing a Blues Brothers tribute band in Barry.
Doncaster (19th November)
This trip cost me a fortune and I didn't actually get to the game. It took me ninety minutes to get to Mansfield (a trip that takes 20 minutes usually) and a lorry went into the rear of my car. Mind you it was enjoyable watching the game on Teletext while eating a takeaway Curry from Tandoori Nights of Castle Donington (highly recommended if you are ever in the area).
Darlington (30th November)
I was picked up again by the Trust Travel Club at Trowell Services, an easy journey up the M1/A1 saw us make good time to the outskirts of Middlesboro to The Oddfellows (cf. Hartlepool). We would have got to the pub earlier but the coach decided to drive round the same roundabout several times! A couple of excellent pints of Camerons Strongarm followed, with a good bit of pub grub. We got to the ground too early and so had time to sample more Strongarm in the Falchion. The first half saw the Cobblers totally dominant and outclassed a poor looking Darlo side. Second half was appalling. Darlo had obviously been fired up at half time by the manager whereas Atkins must have told the lads to hang onto the 1-0. We didn't show any effort or passion and Darlo thoroughly deserved their win.
Leyton Orient (26th December)
In view of the holiday period I was visiting my parents in Northampton so decided to travel on the Trust Travel Bus, leaving at the ungodly hour of 9.30 on Boxing Day. Just why do the Metropolitan Police insist upon mid-day kick offs in London on Boxing Day? Apparently they couldn't get the Executive buses to start that morning! So we had some rickety old thing (but the Trust still managed to run two buses to the game) it was bloody cold on the way there, and we went a most circuitous route to get to Leyton which included going onto the M11 from the M25. Still, we arrived in time for a couple of pints in the Coach & Horses - although the beer was decidedly fizzy keg pop. Yet another superb turn out of Cobblers fans, well over 700, in good festive voice. Cobblers were by far away the better side in the first half (does this sound familiar?) but went in level thanks to a great header by "Larry" Grayson from the only decent cross Rush managed all that half to equalise following a failure by Woodman to deal with an innocuous looking shot from over 20 yards out. Although Rush wasn't too impressive Orient were worried enough about him to put two men on him, giving Cooper and Grayson more room to operate. Unfortunately Rush was carried off midway through the half with a gashed knee and with him went our hopes as we looked totally ineffectual without him. We should still have salvaged a draw, but the defence went to sleep to allow Inglethorpe to waltz through and shoot weakly into the far corner.
The journey back took us on an even more circuitous route back to the M25 and we stopped off at the Green Dragon near Barnet for a few afternoon pints at vastly inflated London prices. Merry Xmas!
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