Walsall- where our promotion hopes said, “tarra for a bit?”

Reggie Red- sorry ladies, he's taken!

Reggie Red- sorry ladies, he’s taken!

A full CTSA coach left the Broadfield at 10.15am last Saturday bound for the Midlands. To many on the coach a journey to Birmingham was just a sunday afternoon drive. The now familiar route around the M25 and up the M40 was covered with out fuss or hold ups.  Richie Barker had billed the match as the “first of ten cup finals”, as he still feels that CTFC have some kind of slim chance of making that last play off place. Regular readers will know that I feel the same way however after our draw at Yeovil my resolve is somewhat diminishing.

We arrived outside the stadium around 1.15 ish and owing to it being out of town there didn’t seem to be any pub near by. To be honest walking around the Bank’s seemed to be a cold and unwelcoming experience. The bar was charging £2 a head to get in which deterred some of us. The weather didn’t help, it was cold and damp.  To complete my downbeat mood I was knocked sidewards at the £15.50 they wanted for George to get in.  It all seemed a bit of a rip off to be honest.
Reggie looks for a blade of grass on the Walsall pitch. There's one on your left, Reggie!

Reggie looks for a blade of grass on the Walsall pitch. There’s one on your left, Reggie!

After a truly forgettable opening period when we only had one shot, Proctor (50 mins) got the party started with a stunning strike. Then we scored a  really rare scruffy poachers goal when Hayes (70mins) followed up and reacted first to a loose ball.  The 140 of us all went mad at that point and most of the players came over to celebrate with the now regular away follower Reginald the Red.  For the next twenty mins everything was rosy in the garden and even when the Saddlers scored a ‘consolation’  goal spirits were at fever pitch.  BUT our world caved in when on the stroke of full time a cross from the left was left unchecked to roll to the back stick and their striker joyously prodded home.  SILENCE !

Singing when we're winning......sadly, it didn't last...

Singing when we’re winning……sadly, it didn’t last…

Understandably the ride home was pretty flat getting back to base around 8pm.  Sorry for such a downbeat report today but it reflects the disappointment of a lousy, wet and expensive day out.

There were some positives to take out of the experience. Clarkes were fantastic as usual, thanks to Gary for smooth and comfortable transfers. Also it was great to see our new Marketing Manager Ryan Murrant spending the match on the terrace with Reds fans. Hopefully we will see more of the backroom staff on other away trips?  He was celebrating with the rest of us at 89 mins but I am sure he felt the collective pain 4 mins later. Just like watching Leicester City, eh Ryan?”
Words and Pictures from Colin Bowman, CTSA Matchday/Event Press