Away Day Blog by Ben Crawshaw – Aldershot Town vs Solihull Moors – Saturday 2nd of September 2017.

Aldershot away. A good away day last season, we took a decent following and despite the result we played well and enjoyed ourselves. This season however I had already crossed it out as it clashed with my last game of the cricket season but after the rumours, that the skipper and player of the season was returning became true, I had to be there. The problem was we only had 6 players for our cricket match and this was on Thursday! It wasn’t until Friday evening that we somehow managed to pull together 11 players without me so Aldershot bound I was.

I spent Friday night watching England at home, without a beer, so I was fresh and ready for a spoons beer and breakfast early doors. Can’t beat a full English and a beer to start the away day proceedings, it’s never too early for a beer! My excitement levels were at maximum, but as I had only made a late call to book my seat on the coach I decided not to tell the lads, instead I continued to listen to their abuse for choosing cricket over Moors. The surprise was worth it and there we were, on our way, beers out and the Liam Daly songs had started!

Managed to get down to Aldershot in good time, arrived not too long after 1pm and headed straight to the nearest pub – The Crimea Inn. Decent enough boozer, it served beer and that’s enough for us for pre-match. Same as last season, the Aldershot locals were friendly enough. With Pompey not playing until Sunday, a couple of our adopted Portsmouth fans made the trip north to boost the away following closer to the 50 mark (more than the 36 they announced!)

The team news was released and we were all disappointed to see no Sim Maye – another week it seems! But Liam Daly was starting so we all jumped on the first goal band wagon, a bet that will one day come in!

We made the short walk to the ground at 2:55, into the ground for £15 admission and had a standard football ground burger – nothing special and not as good as ours. The game didn’t go to plan, a sloppy goal was conceded after only 10 minutes or so. The only other bit of entertainment in the first half was their winger’s shocking hair cut – he looked like a chimney sweep!

Managed to miss the queues at the bar, but only to be told the draft beer was off – they did however have a couple of ales on offer so I tried one. This was a mistake. A terrible mistake. It doesn’t need much explaining if you just look at the picture! It tasted as bad as it looked, and this was all I drank of it.

We battled well 2nd half, kept Aldershot to limited chances but we also didn’t offer much threat on their goal and that was that unfortunately. Aldershot had to work hard for the 3 points and we can take a lot of positives from the game.

We had 15 minutes before the coach left so as always, I used this time to seek an off-license for beers. In fact I managed to get beers and a lamb tikka curry – not a bad effort!

There was an additional traveller on the way home – the gaffa! A very pleasant surprise for the fans; Liam wanted to talk to us and answer any questions we had. I don’t think he expected to be talking to us for 2 hours, but he did and answered all the questions we asked. A great touch from Liam and he even promises to do it again. He even drew my number out on the raffle!

We arrived back at the club to catch the 2nd innings of the Twenty20 final but for the 2nd time of the day, the result wasn’t what we hoped as the Bears were defeated! By this point I think I could and should have gone home but young Charlie tempted/made me go into Solihull with him – at the time, a great idea! He even lent me his dad’s brown shoes so entry wasn’t an issue! Walkabout was the venue and that was the end of me. Sunday wasn’t a great day but it was worth it – another top day out with the Solihull faithful. Can’t wait for the next one!