This matchday panned out thus...
8.52 Hang on a minute, where the fuck am I? I don’t have a pink duvet. Haha lads, very funny. Hilarious prank. Oh, wait a minute, this is York. The birthday party. Ah right. Ah fuck, my head is still rocking. Have I got tinnitus? That music must have been loud. Where did I stash the Alka-Seltzer? Need to get out, must make the station or the whole day will come crashing down. Bye Charlotte. Take care.
9.56 Made the train. Loads of time. Massive York nostalgia wave. Miss the place. Miss the faces. Even time to gel my hair in the station toilets. Grim. Sheffield bound, then Manchester. Football calls again. Hyde against Boston. Hopefully be better than last week with no cross-country walks or rottweilers or Scousers.
10.01 Sat behind some Geordies. Standard mandatory noisy Saturday football train Geordies. On the Stella. Blocking the aisle. The refreshment trolley lady is getting peeved. God they’re loud. Wall of indecipherable words. Wait, there’s no top flight football today. Should I tell them? Where the hell are they going?
10.50 Sheffield. Coated in fog and gloom. It has a raw beauty this morning. Meet the first of the Andys: Mr. Acheson is in M&S. Scoff a Turkish delight.
11.12 Andy Pickwell makes a lung-busting run for the train. Makes it as the door snaps shut. Standing room only. Saturday morning shoppers. Matchday banter. Gossip. Team news. Something to do with lead.
12.15 Manchester. The sun is out, gonna be a beautiful afternoon. Train chaos – there’s a bull in the tunnel at Stalybridge. Chortle. More fast food. Into the bar. Pitchers of Stella. Sod it, hair of the dog. Hustle some pool.
13.48 Time to go to Hyde. Heard bad rumours. A sea of council estates. Dangerous. Inspired Shameless apparently. Can’t go. Train is cancelled. Driver hasn’t turned up. A Leeds fans regales us with tales of the bad old days. Real violence. Boston boot boys. Long gone.
14.35 Hyde. Not that bad. No bother. Short walk to the ground, handsome little venue is Ewen Fields. My first visit. Had to negotiate another motorway. Thankfully they had thought to put in a bridge this time.
14.55 Lots of familiar faces. Hank is here. On leave. He tries to hump me. JB and Jambo in the WonderCorsa. The Yoof. Plenty of noise. We seem up for it.
15.26 We’ve played well but not got the breakthrough. Hyde, second bottom at kick-off, have given a good account of themselves. That means Gainsborough are bottom. Chortle. Jason Lee looks sharp again. Good for a 39-year-old. Not missed a trick. Let’s get some noise going lads.
15.41 Yes!!! Newsham had opened the scoring. It’s been coming, we’ve had loads of corners. Slid the ball under the keeper. Beauty. Weir-Daley with the assist. Gives us the thumbs up.
15.57 Change ends. It’s too obvious. Manchester City have taken over. Their reserves play here. Sorry, scratch that – it’s their Elite Development Squad. Worth £200m no doubt. Advertising hoardings for Abu Dhabi and Etihad airlines. In the Conference North? Looks out of place.
16.24 God, their defence is carrying some weight. Number four is fridge. Number five is freezer. In fact, it’s like a line of white appliances. Still just the one goal, could do with another.
16.32 GOAL!!! Another stunner. Weir-Daley has deserved a goal. Liquid football. Points in the bag, nothing to fear now.
16.50 Another one! Icing on the cake. Danny Sleath from close range. Full voice now. 3-0. Right Hyde-ing. Too easy. I'll get my coat.
Next Match: Saturday – haven’t decided yet but Boston are at home to Stalybridge so will probably be either Sheffield United or Sheffield FC