Monday, 7 November 2011

First Victory for caretaker Liddle

A fairly pleasant start to the day in Da Vincis - the chips not quite up to their usual standard but the rest of the breakfast was fine.  Martin joined me and brought me up to date on our midweek cup defeat at Hinckley which led to Raj Singh sacking Mark Cooper.

And to top nit all there was talk of the chairman wanting to renegotiate contracts with the players as he clearly feels - and it would be difficult to argue against the premise - that the club isn't getting value for money.

The journey was spent discussing the merits of those candidates who'd been linked with the vacant job - Colin Cooper and Ronnie Moore being two of the early favourites, the latter not finding much favour with me.

As we approached Newark I was sad to see that the Electric Lightning which had stood in the rail-side scrapyard had gone.  This was an iconic aircraft and I'd seen it there ever since I first travelled to London and it was odd to see it had gone.

Tony met us as the station and we dropped by the covered market for some vittles before getting to the Quaker.

On offer today we had Covenant and Sedona from Summer Wine, Maxim Anderson Best Scotch, Otter Witch, Tall Ships & Rievers IPA from Hadrian & Border, Arkells Kingsdown and Springhead Bare Bones.

It was the Summer Wine beers which stood out for me here - they're a cracking new brewery with some really exciting beers.

In our next port of call, Number Twenty-2, there was a decent choice - Salopian Icon Bitter, Saltaire Triple Chocolate Stout, County Town Gundog Bitter, Thwaites Wainwright, Brakspeak Bitter, Arkells Moonlight and an old favourite, Ringwoods Old Thumper.

Sam Russell makes a good early save
The Gundog Bitter is a beer from Northallerton's new brewery and was quite a nice drop - not quite up to the standard of Summer Wine but time will tell on how they develop.

We were delayed on our way to the Arena after our taxi driver was late - it seems to be a new lot running the cabs these days and they're not quite as on the ball.

Due to our late arrival there wasn't much time to catch up on the gossip as I needed to get straight out onto the pitch. There was just time for Martin to let me know that Len Blockley's family were in attendance today as they interred his ashes behind one of the goals.

Craig Liddle took charge of the team for the day - having made clear he doesn't want the job on a permanent basis (who can blame him) - and he can probably be pleased with the showing from the lads.

The first half was quite positive although both sides could probably have stepped up a few gears and made more of the game.

Darlington scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half after Telford had a couple of good early chances - Sam Russell pulling off a very good save and a Telford forward shooting wide.

The goal came after Ryan Bowman was tripped in the area - Mark Bridge-Wlkinson converting the penalty to get his third goal of the season.

The second half was not very exciting though Darlo came close on a couple of occasions through MB-W and Walshaw (on for the injured Campbell).  As the game came to a close, Telford threw caution to the wind and pushed forward in an effort to regain parity but the defence held firm.

It wasn't the most convincing of victories but is just what the club needs at this moment -with no game for a fortnight perhaps this will give Raj time to appoint a new manager before we head down to Ebbsfleet.

Ryan Bowman cut down int the box - penalty to Darlo
On the way back to London, we were supposed to change trains at Doncaster but we were told the train we wanted was only going to Newark and were advised to catch another train which was just about to leave.
We caught it with seconds to spare - thankfully West Ham fans who'd been playing Donny that day had been sent home via Sheffield as the police weren't keen on them hanging around.

Our train ran onto Newark where we were delayed for ten minutes to change the locomotives and suddenly we were heading back north again with no word of explanation.  I was half expecting to return to Donny but it was only when I spied Lincoln Cathedral out of the window that I realised we were heading to Kings Cross via Sleaford and the darkest parts of Cambridgeshire to Peterborough.

Not a very quick journey - we had been due in at 9:30pm but it was 11pm by the time we rolled into London and my plans to have a drink with Wycombe buddy Paul ruined.

Very annoying but it would have been much, much worse if we'd have lost...

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