“Where you taking her, a fucking construction site?”

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What a difference a few weeks make. In mid January, we seemed to be staring down the proverbial barrel of another relegation, and now we’re pushing for Europe.Well, not so much Europe, but we are pretty much safe now. 

One thing thatremains the same though is that we go to away games and we drink (results still
vary…) With cheaper train tickets and some reasonable weather, the short-ish
trip to the market town of Hitchin had all the signs of a good day out.

Meeting
at the O’Neill’s pub at Kings Cross at 11:30, myself arriving with a rather
delightful bottle of Morrison’s strawberry flavoured water, my plan of not
drinking much was ruined by drinking 3 pints by half 12. Cam, Fred, Tom, Messy
and other assorted Durnovarians, I still hate the word ‘Dorchie’, awaited the
arrival of the Dorchester travelling contingent, and they were soon to make
their entrance.  

Now at this point, I feel obligated to make a special
mention of Steve ‘The General’ Hill’s  weekend travel itinerary. After a
0530 start for work on Friday morning, he drove to Poole that afternoon, and
got the train to Waterloo, to then head to Craven Cottage to watch Bournemouth
batter Fulham 5-1. He got the train back to Poole, drove back to Dorchester for
about 1am, before then getting up to catch the 0730 train/bus bonanza on
Saturday morning, all to watch the Magpies. And of course consume his own body
weight in Carlsberg. 

Even so, the fact that The General, Jake, Spuddy and Ben
even considered getting a taxi about 100 yards up the road from Kings Cross to
O’Neills is staggeringly fucking lazy. 

Gladly they didn’t as seeing them run
across traffic to reach the pub was a highly amusing sight.

With
a short wait for the train, we brought some beers for the journey from the post
office come off licence, and had the usual bollocks chat about thoughts for the
day. 

Spud;
“What’s with those weird boots Cam?”

Cam;
“Oh, I’m off on a date after the football.”

Vossy;
“Where you taking her, a fucking construction site?”

Spud
was also a man who had chosen to drink a litre of smirnoff ice and had severe
difficulty bracing himself whilst sat in the train toilet. The journey was
short and uneventful, and we soon arrived in the promised land. Well, Hitchin,
and we sought out the nearest watering hole. After a brief pint at some pub
which was nice enough but not memorable enough to be able to name it, we headed
to Molly Malones, as it shares a name with one of The General’s favourite
football songs. The fact it also had £2 bottles of Carlsberg was a bonus. 

A 20
minute trundle later (stop for a ‘road beer’ included), we arrived at Hitchin’s
rather delightful ‘Top Field’ ground. A proper non-league ground with decent
support, beer prices, and food that was really quite nice. It was their annual
youth day there, and I got in for a fiver, possibly as they thought I was the
parent of the 2 children near me. Thankfully, no child is unlucky enough to
have me as a Father, but the £5 discount was appreciated either way.

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The
game itself had what can at best be described as an ‘end of season’ feel to it,
with both teams not really having a great deal riding on the remainder of the
season. It was still encouraging to see another clean sheet for us, and
although both teams had chances with Hitchin hitting a post, which AWH was very
keen to point out he had covered, (always take the) Lanners (with you) hitting
the bar with a header, and our new loan signing from S*******ton unfortunately
missing a great late one on one chance. But on the whole, a point was a fair
result, and at least Messy has now seen us gain a point after seeing a
aggregate loss of 7-3 in his only two previous away games.

After
the game, it was back into the bar for the usual highbrow post match analysis,
with my line of conversation with AWH being based on why he had a pair of shin
pads that would have been small on a six year old, and the fact that Ric Flair
(WHOOOOOO) is in Portsmouth at some point soon. Other hot topics were darts, and
a petition to save Hitchin’s ground. Thankfully, there were no more bar room
royal rumbles given this seasons previous with Weymouth and Dunstable. If it
kicked off, I would have backed Cam to do some damage with his steel toe capped
boots.

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Once
the players had departed, that was our cue to move on as well, going to one of
the many pubs that lined our route to the station. The General said he would
buy us all a tequila if the barmaid knew what he mean by asking for a round of
“Rantie’s”, based on Bournemouth’s misfiring South African striker,
Tokelo Rantie (Tokelo=Tequila, GEDDIT?!).  Miracuilously, she knew exactly
what a Rantie was, but the General baulked at the £32 price, which was probably
best for all concerned. “How did she know what a Rantie was?” Asked
the General? Because I fucking told her as I’m a prick like that, obviously. 

Thankfully no Ranties were consumed as I can imagine that would have ended my
evening. 

But
my evening in Hitchin soon ended with a engagement do in Shoreditch my next
stop. So as Messy and I set off back to London with Cam soon to follow with his
date awaiting him at a table for 2 at the local build centre, out Hitchin away
day ended. The rest of the travelling contingent were last seen heading to Molly
Malone’s for a football based sing song and shots, and a vine shows Spud
mounting an unsuspecting General on the tube back to Waterloo. They did at
least get the right train, which is more than be said for Sean who apparently
ended up in Cambridge. Fair play to him. (Edit: Turns out they didn’t get the right train after all. Missing the last train back to Dorch, they had to settle for the Bournemouth-only train and call up Steve’s mum to hitch a lift back to the shire. Idiots)

So
that was Hitchin, and with only trips to Corby, Cambridge and Paulton to go,
our blogging for the season will soon be done, so I can stop pestering you with
facebook and twitter posts for shite like this. At was pointed out on the day
and the forum, a draw was almost a bit disappointing given recent form. But a
point and a shut out is valuable and shows the progress we’ve made under Jem as
we look to build towards next season. 

The additions of Mark Irvine (Southampton loanee) and Lewis “I’ve been through the desert on a Horsburgh with
no name”  add a bit of
much needed depth to the squad, and we really do look like we have something to
build on for next season. And if any building is actually required, I’m sure
Cam knows a place were suitable footwear can be found. “Weird boots.”
SV.

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