The clubs we grow fond of

I’ve been in and around the world of Sport and the media for a number of years now. It’s something I love. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat sleep and breathe sport… But I’m pretty close.

My full time job is in TV as an Engineer and I commute everyday from Cambridgeshire to London. In the evenings and at weekends, I find myself watching or listening to sport or planning where I can next get my fix of sporting action.

Most of the time it’s Football, but being from Gloucester, Rugby is in my blood. My Grandfather played for Gloucester and England and I feel bad at times when I realise I haven’t been to a match in a while. Must do something about that soon.

In fact, guilt on matches I haven’t been too has been playing on my mind for the last couple of months.

Finally, thanks to encouragement from a person I met on Twitter, I made my way back to Whaddon Road and the ABS, to see my first Cheltenham Town match in 9 years. For that, I will always be grateful to them – you know who you are, so thank you!

The trip was not without a lot of emotion behind it. The last time I’d set foot in the stand, I had been there for BBC Radio Gloucestershire and assisting with the coverage for a Tuesday evening match. This time, the sun was shining, it was warm and the beautiful sight of the Gloucestershire hills and countryside pouring over the In2Print Stand made me more than a bit emotional. Normally, I’m very good (too good perhaps?) at keeping my feelings hidden. But from the look on the face of the steward in front of me, I’d say I must have looked a bit of a sight. He kindly suggested I sit in one of the closest seats to the entrance and I settled in to watch, what would be a slightly disappointing game, drawing 0-0 with Hereford. However, being there was something very special for me. The atmosphere was electric and the gentlemen around me were animated in their support of the lads. The only disappointment, the result. However, even that couldn’t overshadow just how happy I was to be back in the county and at a ground that has always meant so much to me. Match Report – CTFC v Hereford

The following week I made it to Forest Green Rovers to watch them play Mansfield and it’s probably the only time I will ever be at the New Lawn and boil! I couldn’t get over the heat and even after we had confirmation it was 31 degrees pitchside, I just couldn’t believe I’d finally been to a match there and I hadn’t frozen. Again, it wasn’t a brilliant match. 1-1 but as Rovers had gone 1-0 down after just 18 seconds, I thought a draw was fantastic! There were slight moments of brilliance from an otherwise out of sorts Rovers side. At times, it pains me to say, they looked like strangers having a kick about in the park on a Sunday. Match Report – FGR v Mansfield

Then, finally, last week I took myself back to Whaddon Road and watched a match which would leave me smiling for days afterwards (excluding the last 15 minutes where I was on the edge of my seat!). 2-1 against Dagenham and Redbridge was brilliant. The passing and space Cheltenham created made it look easy at times however, Cheltenham being Cheltenham, would never allow it to be easy. After Dagenham equalised just before half time to take it to 1-1, I was left wondering whether this was the third week in a row I would witness a poor show… and dare I think it, a defeat? But they came out in the second half fighting and Spencer confirmed their intent by slotting in the second on 49 minutes. Yes the last 15 were nervous, but will I go back? Too right. Match Report – CTFC v Dagenham

There is one thing I couldn’t understand from the last Cheltenham match… Dagenham and Redbridge still have Dave Hogan on their books. To explain, I help at St Neots Town FC, a small club in the Evo Stik Southern League Central division, promoted last season from the UCL Premier division. On 5th February 2011, St Neots took on Kings Lynn in a match declared as the one to decide the season. St Neots’ manager brought in a goal keeper whom he felt could handle the pressure of 1,500 fans and a need to win. It was Dave Hogan. St Neots lost 4-2, with some of the worst goalkeeping I have ever seen. In fact, at times it made Gomes’ failures look good. How the man is still on the books at Dagenham escapes me. Good luck with that one!