TT GROUNDHOPPING – York City (a) by Chris Wade


Chris Wade – @TufcChris


My first away trip of the season actually began on Friday. The original plan was to travel to York on Saturday morning, but the latest rail strike put paid to those plans. So, a new plan was hatched to travel up on Friday and stay the night in Halifax, taking in a family catch up. So, I left Exeter on the 0915 train with my Dad and we were on our way. The planned journey would take us via London. 

After a busy train but prompt arrival into London Paddington, and a quick tube transfer to King’s Cross, we were there in good time for the 1330 LNER train. So, what else to do with some spare time? Go for a pint in the Fullers bar. After paying £5.75 each for a very nice pint of ESB, we were ready for the next train. Another comfortable journey and changes at Doncaster and Leeds saw us arrive in Halifax at 1630. A short walk to the Premier Inn and our travel for the day was done. A few (much cheaper at £1.79 in Spoons) pints of Worthington and a good family catch up and the day was done.

After a good night’s sleep, a return trip to Spoons for breakfast and a brew at my Auntie’s, we embarked on what would become a fairly challenging journey from Halifax to York. Due to the rail strike, it seemed that every car in Yorkshire was in our way. My cousin was a very kindly chauffeur for the day, and we chatted football, cricket and family as we (slowly) made our way to York. 

More frustration was to follow when we arrived at the Park and Ride. A 25-minute wait for a bus and another crawl through traffic. Aside to the obvious main event of Torquay being in town, it turned out that 25000 people were also heading to York races, all by road given there were no trains. Arriving at York Railway Station at 1400, there was a decision to be had. Another bus or taxi? Given that time was running out, we went for a taxi. But more traffic trouble led to us arriving at the LNER stadium at 1435. After one of the ridiculous modern things of joining a long line queue to buy a ticket at the office not the turnstile, we were in, but with no time for lunch. Which, rarely for me, would ultimately get forgotten.

And then 1500 arrived. And the frustrating theme of the day continued. After a start where we should have been 2-0 down in the first ten minutes, we grew into the half and wasted a glorious chance just before the break, following yet more injury trouble. I don’t know how you get at least two injured players in every game, but we are managing it with alarming regularity at the moment. A much improved second half performance cheered us, and it could all have been so different if Aaron Jarvis had taken the golden chance. But familiar failings would ultimately return to cost us and a 1-0 defeat. And more frustration. 

With all of the talk of a new stadium, I can’t say that I have ever thought through the logistics of the access of a new stadium at say, The Willows. Well, I can tell you that it would be bloody hard work. Limited parking places at the LNER Stadium led to a long queue of thirty minutes for a bus back to York Centre. Arriving just after six o’clock and bidding a fond farewell to my cousin, we booked into our expensive Premier Inn in York for the evening thanks to the races.

The bars were absolutely heaving thanks to the aforementioned 25000 that had been to the races. We managed to find a space in the local Spoons to enjoy a couple of £1.79 Worthington and a BBQ chicken dinner. But we soon retired with a bar of Aero Orange (elite by the way), to watch the EFL highlights (sob), and then MOTD and laugh at Brentford’s defending. Jamie Mackie was a pundit on the EFL highlights, and we remembered when Steve Woods (who walked past us earlier in the day) left six studs in his chest in his Exeter days. Those were the days.

Another enjoyable away trip weekend, with the usual caveat…..








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