Monday, 25 April 2011

A very big thank you to two special people

In these tough economic times its always nice to get something for nothing in any walk of life and football is no different. Today i received my FREE ticket to Lincoln's last away match of the season at Oxford United due to winning my bet with Mr Felice Delcolle as to who would score more goals this season. I went for Delroy Facey, my deluded friend backed Drewe Broughton. The final score was Delroy 4 Drewe 2. Although really its Delroy 4 Drewe 0 as Drewe's goals were scored when he was on loan at AFC Wimbledon so they weren't really Lincoln goals but myself being the gentleman, sport and all round good egg that i am, i let him have them. Of course i could count the two International goals Delroy bagged...
Due to the feeling of despondance Felice felt after the Imps crushing 0-2 home defeat to Cheltenham Town he didn't feel like presenting me with my match ticket so my award winning Guinea Pig Jubilee was on hand to do the honours!

So cheers Drewe and Felice!!! :-)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

A serious post (for once)

Ok chaps i am going to have to write a serious post and it involves the consequences for Lincoln City should we be relegated in a couple of weeks or so time. Although it would be a huge blow, i would feel pretty crappy for a couple of weeks, and i most definitely don't want it to happen, It certainly wouldn't be the end of the world.
Lets consider for just a moment that we do drop down (and remember its still in our own hands at this point) Would it really be that much different to what we have been use to? Lets look at it bit by bit.
The last time we dropped down to the 5th tier in 1987 it really was a step into the unknown if we do again its very much a case of renewing old acquaintances
Grimsby, Darlington, Mansfield, Wrexham, Luton, Rushden&Diamonds, York City, Cambridge United, Kiddeminster Harriers are all down there to welcome us (plus Boston could well come up). All of which have been regular opponents for the Imps over the years. A few of these clubs have bigger fan bases than Lincoln so its not like last time when we were seen as the big fish in a small pond. Now its more like we would be one of a few medium fish with one or two big fish and about 6 or so smaller fish and maybe a few black and amber prawns snuffling along at the bottom of the fenlands of Lincolnshire.
Yes there are some stadiums in the Blue Square that are a tad run down and basic but lets be honest could they be any worse than the likes of Macclesfield, Accrington and Burton? Although we have been to over half of the grounds in the division there are far more new stadiums to visit unlike the handful of grounds i have left to visit in League Two, also the number of local matches would increase. Alfreton, Grimsby, Boston, and Mansfield all within an hour, while York and Darlington are both straight up on the mainline for us Retford based Imps. Cambridge was always a fun away trip as well. We would have a couple of London based clubs for Jolly boys days in the Capital so there is scope for a lads weekend away there. Yes the likes of Newport County and maybe Dover if they come up are a fair old trip but so are Torquay United and Plymouth.

Quality of football
Can it be any worse than what we have watched over the past few seasons? In a season where we have witnessed scorelines of 0-6,0-5,1-5 and 0-4 i fail to see how Blue Square football would be any worse than these "Performances". Most of the sides in there are now full time so its not as if we would be watching Lincoln v the Dog and Duck 2nd X1. Personally i would rather watch a tight win against say Tamworth (and i am not saying we would roll teams over every week, far from it) than a 0-6 smashing by Rotherham United.

Our standing in the football world.
In 87 it was tough to get any information about the Conference. Now its totally different. The scores get as much coverage on the likes of Soccer Saturday and the BBC's Final Score as the league ones do. Ok we wouldn't be in the league cup which would be a bit of a shitter but we do get the FA Trophy to have a go at and the chance to get a decent cup run for once. Another round of the FA Cup would have to be tackled but i would quite fancy a trip to Retford in the 4th qualifying round.
A big question that i can't really answer is would the crowds go down? After speaking to a few Mansfield and Grimsby fans i am sure the away fans numbers would drop off as some clubs only bring double figures of support for journeys of only a couple of hours which is shocking to people who have been use to league away followings. Obviously the local clubs would bring many many more.
As for our Imps i really dont know. I would go without fail and will be renewing my season ticket within the next week or so. Lincoln have a hard core of about 3,000 so i would expect most of that core to still be at the bank. I know plenty have said that they wont attend if we drop down but after a summer of no football, and the excitement as the pre season friendlies start up again and the recall of the squad begins i am sure so would come round and be back at the Bank next season. Once a Imp always an Imp as they say!

Could it be a springboard?
The likes of Carlisle, Doncaster, Shrewsbury, and Exeter City have all bounced back from relagation and are now far stronger for it. Not all went up straight up away but re built over a period of time. If we were to go down it would take a while to get back but there is no reason why we couldn't get back at somepoint. Yes a few have dropped further down still but the likes of Halifax and Boston now appear to be on the up on a much sounder footing than they had been previously.

In closing i would like to say that in no way shape or form do i want to see Lincoln relegated and i would be well pissed if we did. But whatever happens we will still have a club to watch and matches to enjoy. So lets get our tin hats on and start battling away!! There are more twists and turns to take yet my friends.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Retford United 0-2 Burscough

My Easter weekend kicked off with a night out around Retford on Thursday night. This in turn led to me waking up with a dreadful hangover at 6.00am on the Friday. I am blaming the Banana Bread flavour beer which i consumed in the Phoenix. seeing how i obtained the hangover there, i returned the next day to cure it with a full English breakfast; which was fantastic and was just what the doctor ordered. I washed it down with a couple of J20s as i was still a little delicate and couldn't face up to more Banana bread beer just yet.

Today was Retford United's last home match of the season and it couldn't have come quick enough for them. I have blogged about the club's problems a few times this season and don't want to tread over the same ground again. Although the writing has been on the wall since before Christmas the team's performances have got a lot better in the last couple of months so maybe they have something to take into the pre-season and next season.
Retford had beaten today's visitors Burscough away back in September, so today gave the badgers the chance to claim a very rare double. Ossett Town had joined Retford in becoming relegated a few weeks back leaving two relegation spaces sill up for grabs; Burscough being one of the sides still in the doo doo. If they were to stop up then three points here today was a must.

There was a decent crowd inside Cannon park today mainly due to the weather and the reduced admission prices. And most were disappointed to say the least when Burscough slammed in two goals in the 8th and 11th minute to all but kill the game off. Both goals were simple yet well worked and finished from a couple of yards out. They could have added a third when one of their strikers beat the Retford offside trap just inside the badgers half and made a bee line for the goal. Thankfully the ball got a bobble which took it away from the striker and safely into the arms of the goalkeeper. Retford steadied the ship and came more into the match as it went on but struggled to test the away side's keeper who looks like he has been on a few of the Retford Imps jolly boy trips.

Hands up if you want a 2nd helping of Buffet after the match

I retreated to the clubhouse at halftime form another soft drink and to scoff my chips like a fat boy. Lincoln were holding 2nd place Bury 0-0 away at Gigg Lane. A year ago unless you got into the clubhouse 5 minutes before the half time break you couldn't get a seat and it took you a while to get served. Today i would say the bar was half full at best. Its a real shame to see the support drift away as soon as the going gets tough. Respect to the lordofsodall and co for sticking with the side this season. I tip my hat to you all.

Retford were the better side in the second half and had Burscough on the back foot for most the half. They hit the post and missed a couple of half chances but were unable to get on the scoresheet. They probably deserved a goal but didn't get the breaks. The story of their season really. Lincoln put in a brave performance but lost 1-0. Lets hope Gillingham do us a favour tomorrow because boy do we need one right now.
Seeing how Retford have been struggling for cash this season i decided to make a rare purchase in the club shop before the match to help them out a tad.

While i am rambling on about Nottinghamshire non league football i would just like to congratulate Carlton Town on getting to the Notts senior cup final at Field Mill in a couple of weeks. Carlton are the most entertaining side i have seen on my non league travels this season so it is good to see them getting a bit of success after sadly dropping out of the promotion picture in the Evo stick south division. I hope they nwe go one better and win the cup.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Lincoln United 2-0 Romulus

I really wasn't sure where i was going to go today. It was one of those rare days when you have plenty of options and semi decent games to attend. In the end i chose Lincoln United. I normally like to visit Lincoln's second team at least once a season but its dependent on weather really as its a fair walk from the city centre. The sun was shining brightly yesterday so i thought it was as good a time as any to visit. Lincoln United was the first non league ground i ever visited when i went with the Retford branch of the Cameroon supporters club to see them take on and beat Whitly Bay back on a cold dark evening back in 1998. Ever since then i have had a soft spot of the city of Lincoln's second team and I always like to see them do well. Its just a shame they don't get more coverage on BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

Another big reason for visiting United is the fact that one of my favourite all time Lincoln players is now player-manager at Ashby Avenue. Mr Terry Flemming. Terry was Lincoln's enforcer in midfield in the John Beck years. Joining from Preston North End in 1995 and leaving for Plymouth Argyle in the 1999-2000 season. In my view we have never had a centre midfielder with the bite passion and ability Terry had since he left. A few people seem to think Scott Kerr provided that but i don't subscribe to the view. Terry wouldn't just clap his hands and gob off at people like Kerr did but had a knack of grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck when things werent going great, driving the side forward and popping up with a few goals. It was he who got the opening goal at home to Brighton in the promotion decider at the end of the 1998 season.

Other great Flemming goals of note were his diving header at Hull City in the same season, and scoring the equaliser against Manchester City in our 4-1 demolition of the then Championship side at Sincil Bank in the league cup. When we were briefly in the 3rd tier of English football in the 1998-99 season he was one of the few players to make the step up. As a final note I often pitied any fool who went in for drop ball with Terry, as whoever did not only lost it, but more often finished up in a crumpled heap on the floor clutching their shins. That was our Tezza at his best! As with most of the Beck team Terry didn't mind bending the rules from time to time. A case in point being at home to Wigan in the 1996-97 season, after already receiving one booking he was about to be cautioned and be given his marching orders. Quick thinking Terry then gave his name as team mate Tony Dennis and amazingly the ref fell for it and Terry was allowed to continue. See the refs were crap back then as well!
He was also a top man off the field and was big into his hip hop music. I only know this because a fresh faced Gavin Brown of BBC Radio Leicestershie fame often served him in a well known music shop when he was at university in the fair city of Lincoln.

Yesterday was a great day for football, sitting outside in various beer gardens and watching the world go by. Although its a bit of a walk from the train station to Lincoln United's ground, you can break it up by having a couple of drinks in the Nosey Parker and Monson arms en-route. You also pass a Pets at Home store so you can check out the latest gadgets and news in the pigger world.

I got to the clubhouse at about 1.50 grabbed a pint and sat outside watching a spot of cricket on the pitch outside of Lincoln United's ground. The Scottish cup semi final between ST Johnstone and Motherwell was on TV in the bar so its hardly surprising that there were more people outside watching the cricket than that crock eh? I ambled over to the turnstile at 2.30, paid my £6 and bagged the last programme (£2) there didn't seem to be many in which was a tad surprising as City were away and you would have hoped a few City fans with nothing better to do would pop down. Normally United have a couple of ex Imps in there line up but today it was the visitors who had more faces with Lincoln City connections. At the back they had former Lincoln defender Peter Folkes and another former Imp Dave Barnett is the first team coach and was today on the bench. Barnett along with Steve Welsh were the pair of centre backs brought in to replace Kevin Austin and Dean Walling for the 1999-2000 season and the less said about them the better, for me they were individually decent players but just didn't work well together.

Today had a real end of season feel to it with neither side having much to play for. The pitch was rock hard and had plenty of sand on it. In fact it billowed up every time the players kicked the ball. Lincoln have picked up alot since Terry took over and are unbeaten in their last six matches. Those six games include a double over the runaway league leaders Barwell (4-0 away and 3-2 at home) Lincoln had a few out for one reason or another so it was a good opportunity for the management team to experiment with an eye on next season.

Lincoln dominated for much of the first half as Romulus offered little upfront to trouble the back four of Lincoln. Lincoln took the lead on 20 minutes when a corner from the right was headed in by Ryan Porter. A simple enough goal but Romulus will be disappointed with the marking as it seemed to be a free header. Nice to see the Dave Barnett school of defending is still alive and well in North Birmingham. Terry has now reverted to playing full back and it was his cross into the box on 23 minutes that led to a goal for Jack McGovern when his shot from ten yards went in off the post. The rest of the half was pretty uneventful as United seemed happy enough to sit on their lead and Romulus not quite having enough guile to break them down.
HT 2-0

As ever halftime was the signal to head to the clubhouse for a beer and to check out the halftime scores which were, on the whole, going in City's favour. Lincoln were 0-0 at Crewe while Barnet and Stockport were both losing. Burton and more surprisingly Northampton were both winning but you can't have it all can you?
After consuming my bottle of Spitfire it was back out to take in the second half. The Imps took the lead a couple of minutes into the second half and all seemed well in the world. Back at United, the second half was one of the most uneventful i have seen all season. Lincoln missed a couple of half chances and were reduced to ten men when Stuart Reddington walked for two bookable offences. Nobody seemed to be too sure what the second one was for so i assume it was something he said to the ref but i am not 100% sure. Lincoln deserved their 2-0 win in the end and i am sure Terry will take plenty of positives from not only this match but the last couple of months as a whole as he cuts his managerial teeth.

It was a decent enough day as well for the Imps as although Crewe got back in the game the 1-1 draw halted a run of 5 consecutive defeats and coupled with defeats for the bottom two opened the gap up to 6 points with 12 points still to play for. Lincolns' goal difference is dreadful so we still need a point or three to be safe. We never do things the easy way in Lincoln. Defeats for Bradford, Macclesfield and Cheltenham all lost, while Northampton blew a two goal lead to get a draw so there are still plenty of sides in the mix. Bradford v Burton on Tuesday will be interesting to say the least. For one I hope Jacko can pick his troops up from their 4-0 spanking and beat Burton. I still think it will be Barnet and Stockport for the drop but it will be close.

Just a bit of a plug to finish off with. On the 21st of May there is a Lincoln united legends v Lincoln City legends game taking place at Ashby Avenue with a 3pm kick off. The Imps are fielding the likes of Lee Thorpe, Jason Minnett and my all time favourite Imp Barry Richardson. Also been confirmed is Felice's favourite Imp player Full back Ben Dixon!!!!! With names like that how can you not attend. In fact i wouldn't mind wagering a quid or two that the side we put out that day would beat the current day "Heros" quite comfortably!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Possible Jolly boys trips for next season

Instead of putting you chaps through the gut churning Lincoln 0-4 home defeat to Gillingham i am going to throw out some ideas for next year's jolly boys non league trip. I was given the challenge of ferreting out some details while we were stuffing our faces with fish and chips before the Lincoln match at the weekend. Since then i have been searching for destinations, life forms and places from around the non league footballing galaxy for the imperial Red Imps of Retford to conquer. I have constructed a poll to go along with this blog so you, the wonderful readers of this blog can have your say on where we should visit. Of course, other locations and half baked ideas could still come along but i thought i would share with you a few of my musings.
First up, what makes a jolly boys trip? Well for me it is simple. Ale and food are the great bastions of a boys day out and a perfect side dish to football. Nobody really wants to drive on such trips so a nearby train station is a must. Adding together these three factors i have used a secret formula and located some potentially great Jolly boy trips. I hope you enjoy my findings. Many spies died bringing us this information.

Location one
Mole Valley SRC

Mole Valley SRC ply their trade in the Combined Combination Counties League (Premier division) They currently ground share at Cobham FC. Given this fact it is quite unsurprising that they are located in Cobham which is a pleasent 40 minute journey from London Waterloo. All this could open up the option of a good beer session in London and Cobham if we get the early train down there. By getting the late train back from Kings Cross it opens up more drink options plus plenty of Kebab time. If all else fails we can just bomb around pointlessly on the underground. I have heard that the standard of football in this league is quite good and add in the fact that i am sure none of us has been there, for me makes it a very attractive venue to visit. It looks like there are very few things to do in Cobham which is perfect from my point of view as it means more drinking and less walking. The way it should be.

Here is their website:
Mole Valley FC

Location two
Hitchen Town.

Another location that is easy to get to by rail. Two ways of tackling this bastion of English non league football; we can either Go Retford-Peterbrough-Hitchen or we could go Retford-London-Hitchen. I would go for the 1st option myself but the easiest way and us lot don't always go hand in hand. Hitchen are currently in the Zamaretto league division one central although they are heavily involved in the promotion picture so could be a step higher by next season. The ground is on the fantastically named Fishpond lane and is a short stroll from the station. Its 9 quid to enter and the all important bar (Or Canary club as its called) looks to be a good place for a session both pre and post match. The nearby Victoria pub is also a must visit for a pint or two of real ale.

Hitchen's website:
Hitchen Town FC

Location three
AFC Blackpool

I will place my cards on the table; this is the one that i would like to do the most. Here's my plan. We can get the 7.03 out of Retford Saturday morning which gets us to Blackpool at just gone 10.30. This gives us time to dump our bags in the hotel and hit the pubs right on opening time. As always the Counting house pub will be first on the list. We can then have a "few" drinks in bars around the north end of town before getting a cab to the ground. After the game we can either get another cab (or a bus as for some reason Felice wants us to use buses and trains over the weekend I dont know why) And sink a few more beers, then have a curry or do whatever really. If AFC Blackpool are away then we have Blackpool Wren Rovers or Squires Gate to fall back on (Or even Fleetwood town if they dont get promoted this season) Cheap digs should be easy enough to get and we can get the train back on the Sunday.

AFC Blackpool's Website

So there you go, three clubs in different areas in different leagues. Feel free to either comment or vote in the poll on the right as to which club you think deserves a visit from our merry little gang in the 2011-12 season. If all these bomb we could either have a night out in Blidworth as Baz said on Saturday or i suppose we could go to Ibrox to watch the club with the most trophies in the world. I am pretty sure we would get 3 out of the 5 of us to vote for that.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Cray Wanderers 3-1 Hendon

We had hatched the plan to visit Cray Wanderers on a cold Friday evening back in January in the King and Miller pub in Retford and have been looking forward to it ever since. Unfortunately one of the main players who suggested the trip had to pull out at the last minute so only four hardy souls made the journey down to London to watch the second oldest team in the world take on Hendon fc.
The train was due to leave Retford at 9.20 so we met up in Kirstys Baps cafe next to the station to enjoy breakfast and for some of us to recover from the previous night's hangovers (As was also the case for girl behind the counter it would seem). I was fine but one of us isn't quite as young as he used to be shall we say.

So after a large sandwich (or two) and a cracking mug of tea we collected a wide range of reading material which included everything from the Daily Star to the Independent, which was my choice, and made our way to the platform.
The train journey down was quite enjoyable as train journeys go. We attempted the football crosswords and quizzes in the papers with various levels of success. A cup of tea or two would have gone down a treat however the chap whose turn it has been to purchase the teas for the last month or so for our football journeys (Felice) was unsurprisingly not very thirsty.
Kings Cross station was as chaotic as ever as we stepped outside to let our two smokey Joes have a quick puff. As they did an attractive lady approached them offering them a way of curing their craving for nicotine by letting them have a go on a new product some kind of electrical device that gives you the same buzz of smoking but without the effects.

It was now time to tackle the Underground, take in a couple of sights, a pint or two then head out to Bromley. Baz has been a bit concerned (well, bricking it to be precise) about travelling on the underground for sometime. Granted it hasn't helped that we have been giving him stick about this for sometime now but that's what mates are for isn't it? And it was quite a baptism of fire as the tube from Kings Cross down to Victoria was heaving. I normally visit the fair capital of ours a couple of time a year hand this is the worst i have ever seen the tube. Baz took it all in his stride however and did very well and remained calm throughout. Well done that man. With time to kill and it being a glorious day we had enjoyed a quick stroll for the station through the West end, past Westminster Abbey and Big Ben and up to 10 Downing Street.

As it was such a nice day it seemed rude not to partake in a pint so we headed into the excellent Red Lion pub which is very close to downing street. You can take your drinks outside and it was great to watch all the tourists go by and sup a nice pint of real ale (or coke if you were still a tad rough from the previous night and the oldest member of the group)
We jumped on the tube at Westminster to Victoria then changed to the over ground network for a steady 15 minutes journey out to Bromley. Baz had told us that he had been looking at google maps and he said there were no pubs or places to eat anything anywhere near the station or on the way to the ground. So with this in mind it was to our great surprise that upon alighting at the station the first thing we saw was indeed a pub then a minute or two later a Mexican bar/restaurant which left Mr Oxby's face almost as red as it was when we were rammed like sardines on Kings Cross underground platform.

The ground is about a 15 minutes walk from the station. Bromley seems to be quite a leafy suburb, the kind of place you would expect footballers to live as oppose to play. Cray have been groundsharing at Bromley FC since 1998. We arrived at the ground at about 1.30ish. We paid our £10 and entered the ground. There are two bars at the stadium but Bromley only open one up when Cray are at home. The club house is very smart and has a good collection of football memorabilia on the walls. The West Ham v Manchester Utd match was on the big screens and most of the Hendon squad were slobbed out in their match day tracksuits watching it. We were welcomed by a couple of friendly officials from Cray and chatted about all things football.

Myself and Lee then took a stroll out to collect the programmes. They were priced at £2 and were an outstanding effort with plenty to read in them. The two things that struck me the most were Brian Buck's ground hopping column (this is a guy who is trying to watch 10,000 games at 3,000 grounds before he becomes 60. As of the the 23rd of March he was on game 9,999; his 249th match of the season) and the other thing was the amount of Youth teams Cray have and how well some of them are doing. The under 15's for example have won matches this season by scores of 23-0, 16-0, 11-0 and 8-0! Having seen a few Ryman league programmes this season they do seem to put alot more effort into them than the Evo Stick league counterparts do here in the north.

As always I like to get a badge from every ground I visit so we took a stroll over to the clubshop in the glorious sunshine. The shop was stuffed with old programmes and so with Lee being a keen collector of programmes he was like a kid in a sweetshop. The programmes were for sale at a great price and he got a good collection of them. A smoking pod was next to the shop so again Felice was a happy bunny. The girl at the stations words about the effects of smoking clearly went in one ear and out the other. The staff in the shop were great and we chatted for a while about our local non league clubs here in North Notts and about Crays season. They had a great start to the season but have struggled a bit in the past couple of weeks.
Cray are celebrating their 150th season this year and were launching a history book today and we were invited into the boardroom at halftime to see its launch and have a peek at their plans for a new stadium and other club memorabilia. Everybody at the club was very welcoming and you can feel their passion for the club and its future.

So to the stadium; on the same side of the ground as the turnstiles, club bars, shop, and offices, is is a nice all seating stand.

To the left of the main stand is a covered terrace with some old fashioned crash barriers.

To the right of the main stand is a stand smaller in size to the one at the other end, but has good old fashioned wooden benches in it and it was from where we watched the first half from.

Opposite the main stand is a large open terrace which is a bit like a smaller version of the old West Bank terrace at Sincil Bank. The rake is quite steep but it gives you a great view of the action. Infact there doesn't seem to be a bad view in the house. So after a quick stop at the burger bar (7/10 rating) We sat behind the far goal to watch the first half.

After everybody had been so welcoming towards us we really wanted Cray to put on a good show and get a decent win and they started like a house on fire. Hendon's back four looked as if they had just been introduced to each other 10 minutes before kick off. Cray played good football on the deck and had already wasted a couple of half chances before they took the lead on 7 minutes when a defensive balls up allowed Leigh Brammer to head home. The same player was involved in the second when his knock down was picked up by Laurent Hanici who struck home in the 26th minute to give the Wands a 2-0 lead. It could have been more as Cray continued to create and waste good chances. Hendon did steady the ship a little and had an effort of their own cleared off the line from what aspired to be their best chance of the game.
HT 2-0
We spent the half time break in the boardroom and the hospitality was fantastic. The walls are covered with pictures of Cray's gretest moments from ther long history and plans for the new stadium look very impressive. We were introduced to the Chairman and he seemed only to happy to chat about stuff. We were treated to a fantastic cup of tea then it was out for the second half. Before we left the officials posed for a picture with the Cray Wanderers history book. It looks a fantastic read and very well written and researched.

Hendon must have had a rocket up their backside at half time as they came out pretty fired up. They were back in the game on 57 minutes with a well worked and well taken goal from Kevin Maclaren. After this the game became quite scrappy with the ball spending more time in the air than on the ground and neither side seemed able to string more than 3 passes together. Cray made the points safe in the 86th minute when Laurent Hamici was tripped in the box and the ref pointed to the spot. He got up to take the kick himself with very little run up and made it 3-1 to Cray and game over.
After the match we said our goodbyes to the officials and made our way back to central London. As always we had to have a kebab to round of the day and found a nice shop just opposite Kings Cross station. I went for the mixed donner and it went down a treat. What made the shop stand out was the fact that they served a cool yoghurt drink that I havent seen for sale anywhere other than in Germany. For most of us the kebab was very filling. One of our number however was still hungry and felt the need to purchase an over priced cheese and ham baguette from Kings Cross station as a second course if you will. It too was eaten in double quick time.

Despite another defeat for Lincoln, today was a fantastic day out and summed up everything that is great about non league football. I would like to thank Jerry Dowlen and all the staff and officials at Cray for making us feel so welcome. We very much look foward to returning to Cray when they move into their new stadium.

Many thanks to Jerry Dowlen for the above picture

Below are just a few shots form the day.