I’d missed the first couple of pre season games but yesterday football was back in my life. It was a friendly away at AFC Telford United so it was a day of sunshine, beers and a chance to meet up with folks I hadn’t seen for a while including Ashley a Telford fan who I’ve not seen since my last visit to their ground in 2006.

I arrived in Wellington just after midday and accompanied by Tim, a fellow Saddler we set off to find The Boot micro pub. We couldn’t locate it so dived into The Pheasant. This has 9 handpulls and at first I thought they didn’t do lager as there was no pulls but then I spotted them attached to the back wall. I had an ale, “Apollo” which was decent. Tim had his own itinerary for the day so he departed and I left to try and find The Boot. After a walk around the market place and a stop for a can of full fat Coke I spotted The Beacon and headed in there.

Nice looking pub to star the day.

The Beacon was dimly lit but playing ELO which is always good. I ordered a Carling and sat in a quiet corner. The tv’s were playing Now 80’s, ELO gave way to Madness and then Ashley arrived. We had a good catch up, well needed after about 16 years talking football and about the fottie forum that we had become mates on, and its posters.

The musical highlight was Fantasy Island by Tight Fit. Had I been a couple more pints down the road, and there been some ladies on the dancefloor then I would have been up their doing all the moves including lassoing. I mentioned to Ashley that he’d been lucky to not have to watch that.

Next up was The Boot. A new micropub that has only been open a couple of weeks. There was a great range of beers and whilst I was studying the form a lady behind us was loudly telling an anecdote which ended with “there was skid marks all over the sheets”. I wish I’d caught the start of this as it sounded a classic. She then reiterated that it was hilarious. I wanted the back story and also to know if she had found or left the skidders. Probably the latter as finding them usually isn’t that funny.

The Boot. Nice addition to an already good pub town.
Q & A action in The Boot toilet.

We started to head towards the ground which is just a 20 minute walk from Wellington but we broke this up by stopping at The Railway which is Ashley’s usual pre match haunt. Proper pub is this. It has the football pub feel and I was straight away at home. Ashley wanted a Staropramen which I’ve never ordered and I really pronounced it wrong. The barmaid just pointed at it and said “pint of that?”. “Yeah, pint of that” I replied. “Pint of that it is then” she concluded. So I will know always know it as that and when I ever get round to ordering it for myself, it’s how I’ll ask for it.

Me, Ashley and his pint of that in The Railway.

The pub has 3 dartboards dotted around the place which adds to it’s proper pub feel. I had to use the loo, and in there is the biggest mirror ever. You can admire yourself almost down to your ankles whilst also keeping an eye on what’s going on at the urinals, if that’s your thing.

Rigt by the ground is The Cock Hotel. A Joule’s pub with a good range of ales on. Lot’s of Walsall fans were in here which kept me happy. I opted for a pork pie as I was peckish. It came with a knife which was odd as it was small enough to eat in two mouthfuls. However as they had taken the trouble to give it me I opted to use it. I learned that cutting a pork pie is not my forte and should have eaten it whole.

Pork pie and a pint. Wonderful.
Real gentlemen get properly laagered. Discuss.

Ashley departed for the game but I stayed for another pint which is standard. I hooked with the marvellous Matt Stacky and his entourage for the walk to the ground. Upon arrival there were no turnstiles open and we were sent on a wild goose chase before eventually getting in at 3.25pm. I went straight for food and got a cheeseburger and small fries for £7 which was a tad expensive. All items wee wolfed down though.

I joined the queue for the beer and whilst doing this we scored. It was nice to get my first missed goal of the new American ownership era under my belt. At this point can I check you are sitting down? The next line might shock you. I decided that I didn’t want a beer and opted to see what half time in the stand is like. Turns out it was just people eating, talking about the game or watching the substitutes. Think I’ll stick to the bar in future.

Anyway I gather the first half was a bit poo, but we started brightly in the second half and scored again quite quickly with a well taken 20 yarder from Isaac Hutchinson.

The score remained 2-0 and it was an enjoyable afternoon in a nice ground. Afterwards I had time for one more beer before the train and it was a toss up between the Wetherspoons and the Station so I opted for the later due to it’s close proximity to the train home. Also because it had a quiz machine but this was no longer the case. They did have great looking cobs at £1.50 but like the beer I also know my limits with food so passed on these.

Wolverhamton Wetherspoons was visited on the way back for a drink with more fellow Saddlers. I also needed to get my steps in for the day so used the loos. As you know I like to use urinal no 2 and this is quite a walk from the door past 6 others so fitness levells went up a notch after that.

Back in Walsall me and Dave hit the Tap & Tanner just in time to watch James Beech Junior from Bloxwich boxing for the WBC Intercontinental belt live on BT Sports. He put up a great attempt but was stopped in the 8th. From there it was Wishbone for a kebab meat pizza and home.

A great day with tremendous people. Cheers all.