And the timing was more or less perfect - the whistle blew for kick off as we made our way through the turnstiles.
The Palm Tree stands alone in a stretch of Mile End Park - the pub is all that remains of what was Haverfield Road.
The family-run pub is a delight - the main bar being quite dark and displaying photos of club turns from the past - you won't recognise many faces on display here.
(left) Palm Tree
There are usually two real ales on offer - always different - and on this visit it was the Mauldon's Mid Autumn Gold plus one other which I forget the name of.
Most of us stuck to the Mauldon's - very lively, taking several attempts to pour but it was exceptionally drinkable.