I am finally sitting down and writing this blog a good few weeks after the game which is partly down to laziness but mainly due to the fact of how busy I’ve been. Spending time in both Budapest & Amsterdam as slowed the writing and even the football down… a bit.
Being a lad from the West Country (Bristol to be more precise. However, I don’t like Cider… sorry to disappoint) I have naturally ticked a number of the grounds off in and around the South West including both Bristol clubs, Swindon, Yeovil & Exeter but I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to venture as far south as I can go for a Football League match and that is the Plymouth Argyle, which is bad when I look at the games I’d already done this season following Argyle with a few die hard fans. Notts County, Oxford United & Luton Town were all decent trips, especially Kenilworth Road. I love a stoppage time winner.
Because of this I had been looking forward to this trip down South for a while. I also look forward to evening games… but a Tuesday night trip from Bristol to Plymouth and back to Bristol again really can push you, especially waking up for work the following morning. Life of a groundhopper eh? One thing I was extremely excited about was trying my first actual cornish pasty!! Made by the Cornish (might be a bloke from Devon but close enough).
First thoughts on the ground were odd because of the entrance I took. From the local Wetherspoons we ended up walking through what looked like a Leisure Centre of some sort but I then managed to spot the old entrance shown above which I love. After going in I was fairly quick to suggest staying in the concourse for as long as possible as it was possibly the coldest night of the season so far. Snapchat said 6 degrees but it felt like -26. It really didn’t help that the ground is so open because of the old stand along one side of the pitch, we were sat in the least atmospheric part of the ground, and the opening 45 minutes were so bloody boring. Somehow the opening 45 ended in a 0-1 lead to the visitors after a howler by McCormick in the Argyle goal. It was one of those split second decisions where the goalkeeper thought he was a quick striker and attempted to dribble past the opposition and failed. As you can imagine, it didn’t end well and James Collins pounced to score on his debut for the away side.
A term often used in football is a game of two halves. That describes this game perfectly. For the second half we moved to the Davenport End. This was clearly where the atmosphere was. It proved to be a great move. It made for a much more enjoyable game.
The home side still didn’t get into the right gear until an hour in when the visitors went 2-0 up. A great counter attack by Northampton led to a situation where it was harder to miss than score in a 1v1 situation and they made the most of it and celebrated with the travelling support. This fuelled a rather sour moment for me as a groundhopper. Fans are often all that is left in terms of passion at football grounds and that is slowly but surely being sucked away. Ticket prices, match restrictions, TV deals & more. Another way is stewarding. 99/100 I think the stewards are absolutely fine, they are just doing their job but sometimes, they do the complete opposite. Putting authority over anything else. This game was a perfect example of this. A number of you may remember a lad called Jack McDermott (Pieface) went on Big Brother and made it all the way to the final. He, like many others are die hard football fans who sometimes let a bit of passion out. When the goal went in he used this as an opportunity to let his anger out by “kicking” the advertising board… when I say kick, I mean touch with his foot.
Because of this, he was not only thrown out of the ground by the stewards but has since been banned from Home Park… Could this not have been dealt with by having a quiet chat? Rather than chucking out any passion from the stands. Shocking by the stewards, shocking from Argyle. See you at Torquay United one day, Jack?!
Following the goal being conceded Argyle finally got what they needed to get going, they finally looked like the team that had really helped their promotion push up until this point in the season. A number of chances went begging including a chance which was cleared off the goal line. Then finally the opportunity arose that got Plymouth back into the game, a good counter attack and a ball across the box which Gregg Wylde couldn’t miss. 2-1. Could the game bee back on for the last 10 minutes or so? Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
All in all, not a bad advert for League Two. A good game played by two very good sides who will both be hoping to continue their promotion push back into League One.
What Were The Statistics?
Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Northampton Town
Attendance – 9,142 (269 away fans)
Price of ticket – £15 (Student)
Programme – £3.00
Car Parking – Free
Miles Travelled – 270
Burnley vs. Derby County – 41/92 – 25/01/2016
Peterborough United vs. Burton Albion – 42/92 – 26/01/2016
MK Dons vs. Chelsea – 43/92 – 31/01/2016