Aldershot Town v Gillingham
Saturday, September 20th
By Daniel Storey
When we were relegated
back in May at Elland Road in front of 40,000 fans
you just knew one day away trips to places like
Aldershot were going to bring you back down to
earth with a unhealthy dose of reality.
So the time came on Saturday 20th September for me
, my brother and a friend to make that short
journey across to Hampshire to see Gillingham take
on Aldershot Town.
I was looking forward to the trip but more out of
the fact it was to be the 73rd league ground I had
visited and it was going to bring me one more
closer to 92.
Our journey by rail was smooth from Kent to
Hampshire courtesy of South Eastern trains to
London and South West trains to Aldershot. The
train arrived promptly at Aldershot station at
just before 12noon and we made our way towards the
town and the local pubs. We decided to give the
pub by the station a miss and we headed straight
into town where we found a Yates Pub , a
traditional old school pub called Victoria's and a
pub that was exactly like a Wetherspoons but for
some bizarre reason it wasn't. All these three
pubs were within walking distance to each other
and all served a wide range of beers and ale's for
under £3. The cheapest being served was in
the pub that was exactly like a Wetherspoons where
you could buy a pint of larger for £1.75.
Apart from a little bit of banter about our 7-0
lost at Shrewsbury the week before the home fans
were generally well behaved and friendly, well
that was until we came across a pub just outside
the away end where a few sad individuals were
indulging in a fight that looked like a bad scene
out of the football factory. Fortunately this only
lasted about a minute or so until the police
arrived and we were then able to continue our walk
to the ground.
The first thing you notice upon entering the
ground is both male and female toilets are all
portcabins and the chances of empting that last
beer quickly before the match are not going to be
as quick as you hoped due to the rather large
queue. My first impressions upon arriving into the
away stand was of shock, it was like a throw back
to the 1980's when all most all the grounds in
England were made up of terracing. The stand we
were housed in had great sound acoustics which
made for a good atmosphere, was behind the goal,
shared with the home fans, and was partly covered.
The other two stands running down the side of the
pitch (their were only 3 stands) were made up of
seats that looked like they were put down on old
The game itself was spoilt by a very poor referee
who decided to send one of our players off after
only 15 minutes for a foul on the keeper.
After that we defended valiantly for 70 minutes
but unfortuanly lost 2-1, the second being a
deflected goal in the 87th minute, three minutes
after we had just equalised with 10 men. The
atmosphere between both sets of fans throughout
the game was lively due to the close proximity of
both sets of supporters and the home fans were
made to sound even louder by a home fan banging a
drum throughout. I didn't have any food so can't
really comment of the quality of it but a catering
van is provided for the brave souls amongst you.
Getting away from the ground was smooth and
without problems and by the time we have brought
our journey home refreshments and made our way
back the station the police were on hand to greet
us and keep the locals in check.
On the way home the three of us agreed that apart
from the referee spoiling the game as a contest
and in the end costing us points it had been a
good away trip.
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general day out?
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