Sprout About In Cheltenham

January 23, 2006

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For the short journey to Cheltenham, a few friends and I thought we would jump on the train and make a day of it.

We boarded the 9.10 from Bristol Parkway arriving around 9.50 at Cheltenham Spa. There were obviously a few Gasheads on the train as at Cheltenham they were all cramming on the bus to town for £1.40, but for £5 between four of us we jumped in a taxi and made it to Wetherspoons before anyone else. As we approached said establishment we noticed there was a sign informing us that they had no draught lagers. Undeterred by this setback, I plumped for a nice pint of Bristol IPA.

 Around twelve o’clock we made our way to the Cat & Fiddle pub not far from the ground to meet up with some more friends, although we were unable to see the fantastic result of Man City beating United. With it being a sell out for travelling Gasheads, we decided to make our way into the ground a little earlier then we would usually and take up our positions. We were in the new stand behind the goal, which whilst looking quite good, seemed badly designed with a walkway right alongside the pitch.

As for the game, well what a game!
John Anderson came on early to replace the injured Craig Hinton and really led from the front earning Man of the Match in my view, closely followed by Jamie Forrester, who scored a cracking free kick to give us the lead. When Cheltenham took a 2-1 advantage I thought we were done for but a fantastic Header by Craig Disley and a sublime one by Anderson sent everyone crazy. The noise and rendition of ‘Irene’ was fantastic. I’m still only young, but it reminded me of some good old Rovers performances the like of which we haven’t seen in recent years.

After the game we quite happily walked back into town and to Wetherspoons where now Cider and Guinness had joined the list of unavailable drinks. We didn’t stay long as we headed to the Hogshead round the corner for some food and a few games of pool. If it wasn’t for a few (very) bad shots I would have beaten everyone. I was still buzzing from the game as we left on the 8.22 back to Bristol. I got through the house door about half past nine where my mums birthday bash was in full swing.

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Sprout and About appeared previously in ‘The Pirate’, the official match day programme of Bristol Rovers and is re-produced here by kind permission of the editor Keith Brookman.

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