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I ate it all!
I ate it all!

The Pies are Back!

By: Chris Smith
Date: 26/08/2009

No, this isn't a reference to free spending Notts County. I went to watch Goole play at home to Stamford tonight in what was my third visit to the Pleasure Grounds since July, having taken in the pre-season friendly games against Scarborough and Harrogate Town.

I was particularly keen to go tonight having been disappointed that I couldn't renew my love affair with the superior pastry on my earlier visits. Normal service had been resumed and I was sufficiently starved to do justice to a fine repast.

I should really have been coming along to support Stamford as a yellow-belly, but into my sixth season as a Goole fan, I justified my continued allegiance by considering that Stamford is halfway to London from Grimsby so the visitors were almost cockneys, or even worse Brummies. My second team are Brentford, having lived in West London for a long time, and they have a dubious grasp on geography which must have rubbed off on me. Hence, Reading are Welsh, Brighton are French and Barnsley were surprised to find out that they were a (cough) team in Scotland. In fact Barnet have been referred to by them as dirty Northern you-know-whats.

I might have felt different about Stamford if Steve Evans had gone back to managing them. He was in charge there during the 1990s, and in all fairness, did a good job for them before going to Boston. He has plenty of history with Town fans, of course, mouthing off about how we didn't have the bottle to play them in February 2007, just before we beat them 6 0 at their place. What a great day that was. Oh, and who remembers the Town fans singing "Who’s that coming over the hill, is it the taxman, is it the taxman?" And didn't he get chucked out of Blundell Park by Humberside Police? Shame he didn't go back there, we could have had some sport.

A look at the programme showed that the Stamford captain and number four was Miles Chamberlain who had Grimsby Town listed as one of his previous clubs. I don't recall Miles fro his time with us to be quite honest. Stamford’s goalkeeper was a familiar name, Chris Wright ex Boston United and with previous experience playing reserve football for Arsenal.

Again, it was a nice welcome as I came into the ground where I had arranged to meet Gary and who had sorted out a programme for me. I'd also seen a fellow Thornensian outside the ground who is a Donny season ticket holder and comes to Carter Street regularly. I was kindly given a freebie programme from the first game of the season which featured an article I had also written for The Fishy. The programme has been revamped and has a glossier look which is an improvement on last season’s good quality issue. It also has a colour photograph of the port on the front cover which would make any self respecting Cod head homesick. A lot of thought obviously goes into it’s production.

I saw Gary down in the bar to show a bit of restraint before devouring my supper. We normally come to more games earlier in the season at Goole before the annual Grimsby crisis sets in and demands our attendance at every Town game as they assume critical importance. However, despite a worrying start this season, we are in the privileged situation of seeing Town chalk up a win in August and were therefore in higher spirits than usual. As I mentioned in my earlier piece, we have enjoyed some light relief here in recent seasons although we certainly favour the home team.

It couldn't be delayed any longer and a visit to the snack bar was in order. Peeling my tongue off the ground, (drooling like Fatty from the Bash Street Kids), I ordered the full hog of pie, peas, chips and gravy. I wasn't disappointed either. The club get them made by a butcher just up the road and who are good sponsors of the club. If I lived in Goole, they'd get my custom! I'm glad I did dive in when I did as they had sold out by half time in front of a crowd of 140 which included some fans from Stamford. The travelling support is commendable at this level as it isn't the easiest journey, let alone on a Tuesday night. As I've said before, non-league clubs value all of their supporters and it shows. Professional clubs please take note.

An ex colleague of mine who had been at the Scarborough match also turned up. Whilst it is always good to see John, I was horrified to see him wearing a H*ll centenary year shirt. (Another reason to treat them as Johnny-come-latelies is the fact they weren't around until 1904, when Town were celebrating their Silver Jubilee) There hadn't been any hint of an attachment to t’Tahgers but it appears that it was being knocked out for a fiver when he bought it and this appealed to his Scottish tight-fistedness although living in Yorkshire may have further developed this trait. This lad is actually a St Mirren fan and at least supports a team that finds itself overshadowed by larger neighbours and plays in the hallowed black and white. I can't say that I felt comfortable around that shirt though.

The article continues in Part 2

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