Time for another edition of “Doing the 92”. This time I visited Huish Park. Home of League 1’s Yeovil Town. But it wasn’t Yeovil who I went to see. It was the England U16 taking on Scotland U16 in the Victory Shield. Before heading down south, I knew that I was doing to endure a long day of travelling. Before I get into that, here is a back story on why I chose Huish Park.
While browsing the internet one night, I went on Twitter (@DanWhite1993 <- Cheap plug) and saw that Sky Sports had retweeted their Sky Bet Tickets account about them selling tickets to some games in the Championship. I ended up missing out but decided to have a look around the website to see a link that said “FREE FOOTBALL TICKETS”. Who can say no to that? Before I realised what I had done, I had claimed my free ticket then realised where the game was taking place. Huish Park in Yeovil, Somerset.
Since I live in Leeds, that is a total of 260 miles there and 260 miles back. As I mentioned in my last blog, I have to rely on public transport so I ended up getting the National Express coach to Yeovil. That’s almost 8 hours of travelling in a day. I could have got the train but it would mean that I would miss the entire first half of the game. With that in mind, I bought my coach tickets, booked a hotel (The Fat Pigeon which I highly recommend visiting as it use to be a castle) and prepared myself for the long journey.
Before leaving the hotel to get to the game, I ended up bumping into a football agent who works for West Bromwich Albion who went under the name of Mr Taylor. He told me that he recruited Scotland’s #3, Dan Meredith, from Cheltenham Town for £10,000. He was nice enough to pay for my taxi to the game. Unlike me, he got to watch the game from the director’s box whereas I watched the game from the Tamburino Stand. I did find it odd that fans of both England and Scotland were allowed to sit with each other as I had thought they would give them their own section. They also decided to use only two stands for this game, the Tamburino Stand and the Screwfix Community Stand. The Thatchers Gold Stand & Copse Road End were not used.
When they announced the starting 11’s for each team, I noticed that all the England U16 players were all from Premier League Teams apart from one sub, Andre Dozzell, who was from Championship side Ipswich Town. The Scotland U16 starting 11 contained 10 players from Scottish Teams from multiple leagues and one from West Bromwich Albion. The game started and fans of both teams were getting into the action right from the start but died down after about 10 minutes.
After 27 minutes the England fans started chanting and singing again as Joe Willock from Arsenal had scored the opening goal. It would remain 1-0 all the way to the end of the first half where I realised that the half were 40 minutes long. Not the usual 45. To this day, I’m not quite sure why this was the case. The second half started and fans started getting into the game again. 46 minutes into the game and Jack Thomson from Rangers, who came on as a sub for fellow Rangers teammate Jamie Barjonas at half time, scored the equalizing goal making up 1-1.
England didn’t take long to spoil Scotland’s chances of winning as Martell Taylor-Crossdale from Chelsea, who also came on as a sub at half time for Southampton’s Dan N’Lundulu, scored to make the game 2-1 to England and it would stay 2-1 until the final whistle. After meeting up with Mr Taylor again for the taxi ride home, he jokingly suggested that I should try “Doing the 92: Director’s Box Edition” where I watch all 92 teams from the director’s box.
Even though I enjoyed the game and the hotel, I really didn’t enjoy the long travelling. As I mentioned before, the journey was 260 miles each way which took 8 hours to do on a coach with a 15 minute break in Birmingham and waiting one hour in Bristol to change coaches. It didn’t help matters when I got stuck in traffic that was barely moving in Birmingham on the return journey due to roads being closed off.
I hope you have enjoyed this. My next blog will be about my visit to Doncaster Rovers on a cold December night
Here are the full stats about the game
Team Visited – England U16
Taking on – Scotland U16
Venue – Huish Park, Yeovil
Date Visited – November 20 2014
Overall Attendance – 4733
Score – England U16 2 – 1 Scotland U16
Goal Scorers – England U16 – Joe Willock (from Arsenal) (27) & Martell Taylor-Crossdale (from Chelsea) (52)
Goal Scorers – Scotland U16 – Jack Thomson (from Rangers) (46)