We’ll keep a welcome in the hillside

Today we once more met up with the best steward in the league. Her name was Karen and we last met her in Wrexham last season when she escorted us to a friendly pub and told the drinkers to be nice to us. Well, today we returned to Wrexham and she was once more on duty with the away fans – us. And Karen wasn’t just on duty, she also recognised us.

Someone else on duty was our favourite policeman, Jason. He’s retiring early next year and he’ll be missed at Aldershot games.

With all the bad press that the Met Police is getting lately, it’s fantastic to know someone who is as brilliant as Jason. He is what the police should be. A lovely fellow.

Another lovely fellow who was supposed to accompany us to Wrexham is Biggsy. Sadly, he was unable to join us due to a bereavement. It meant we didn’t have to drive across the bridge with the smallest opening again. Still, we missed him.

Mind you, we had Fat Andy with us, so that helped. A bit.

He sat in the front seat on the way up but annoyed Nicktor so much that I was shotgun on the way home. It’s funny how many people get consigned to the back of the car on these away days. Nicktor isn’t particularly demanding but he does have standards and he expects them to be obeyed.

Like Mr Tickle, Andy’s navigating isn’t up to much. He also leaves sweet wrappers in the door. And there’s his almost constant need for KFC and fags. Incidentally, I asked the car if anyone knew where the word ‘fag’ meaning ‘cigarette’ came from. No-one knew. Turns out, no-one on the Internet is sure either.

Anyway, regardless of Andy’s navigation, we managed to arrive at The Lemon Tree and parked up ready for the walk to the Plas Coch pub, where I asked for an egg on my pizza last time. I asked again but, the kitchen has new staff and, while they were happy to oblige, they actually fried an egg separately and gave me a pizza and an egg, which I then put on the pizza. Not the same, though. Nicktor thought it was quite funny.

In more disappointing food news, The Lemon Tree no longer serves ramen! While my pork belly was delicious, it just wasn’t the same. Mind you, they did have a rather jolly rum which was a lot better than the TCP we had at Plas Coch. Seriously, I have no idea what rum it was but it was awful. Naturally, I blame Nicktor.

It was while we were at Plas Coch that BeReal bleeped and I snapped Bill from the Midlands for mine. This started Nicktor wanting to do it too so I uploaded the app for him and took his first photo (which was shit) and gave him a lesson in how to do it and how it worked. Hopefully he’ll keep it up, after all, it’s the sort of regular thing he loves to do.

But, of course, the reason we had driven all the way to Wales was for the opportunity to see Aldershot beaten, yet again, by Wrexham. We were expecting them to score in the realm of double figures but, somehow, we managed to concede only 2 goals. They have, after all, spent an awful lot of money getting a couple of top scorers in their front line.

That’s what you can do with Hollywood money,” Nicktor said to anyone who’d listen.

Though, if I’m being honest, I was there for the camaraderie, booze and fun. All of which was in great abundance.

After the game, we headed straight for the Turf (Karen’s recommendation) where everyone kept buying Nicktor drinks. There was nowhere to sit and Andy and I were getting a bit overwhelmed with the crowd and the noise and went and stood outside for a while.

It was while we were chatting against a handy handrail, that we were accosted by an unusual fellow with a pair of brightly coloured headphones sitting idly about his neck. He said that we should move on and head for the Wetherspoons. I set him straight on that so he changed tack and suggested we try The Seven Stars (or Saith Seren in Welsh).

The thing is, we didn’t actually get there. As we walked from the Turf, Nicktor, as usual, was stopped by his many adoring Welsh fans and he chatted and chatted and stopped and chatted some more. Eventually we reached a road and Andy asked where our hotel was from there. The strange fellow with the coloured headphones pointed down a street and said it was down there on the left. I wandered off.

Little did I know but Nicktor and Andy were right behind me. They’d managed to give the fellow with the headphones the slip. The three of us were soon back at The Lemon Tree.

We had dinner and more alcohol (including a disappointing mojito each) and were joined by Karen who lives only a minute away. She staggered off after polishing off a bottle of white wine and some rioja as a chaser. The hotel manager confirmed that he saw her staggering off while we tried looking for her.

Talking about mysterious disappearances, Heather didn’t put in an appearance at the game. This is very unusual, and both Nicktor and Bill from the Midlands were concerned for her well-being. They messaged her but her phone must have been turned off because the messages weren’t getting through. Anyway, it wasn’t until much later that Nicktor had a message to say she was okay though there was no explanation as to why she hadn’t been at the game.

Eventually, though, we staggered upstairs for a game of cards on Nicktor’s bed. It was a strange game that I’m sure he made up so he could win. Twice. It confirms what I’ve always said, playing cards when drunk can lead to all sorts of complications.

Then, finally, we all crashed on our own beds and slept the sleep of the innocent booze hounds that we are.

And, I suppose I should include a photo of the game. Here’s the team getting applauded at the end.

We are wearing our white away strip. Our goalie, who made an amazing save to keep the score at 2-0, is in purple.

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