With our blog being out of action for a week, we have some sad R I Ps to catch up with.
First and foremost we were very saddened too hear of the death of ex City player Kane Ashcroft who passed away just aged 29. It's always terribly sad when an ex player dies but for one to pass so young it really does leave an impression on us all.
We were at the match on Saturday when we heard the news of the loss of Howard Kendall, a true football man in every sense of the word.
This one goes back to our youth where Hugh Scully would be on our TV screens most Sunday evenings on the Antiques Roadshow just after we had, had our bath for school the next day.
The last one is another homage to our youth, wit the sad passing of TV-am news presenter Gordon Honeycombe, who was a mainstay in the 80s of the new phenomena that was breakfast TV.
Cliffe Minstermen member Pete being escorted out of the Hive on Saturday by stewards after standing and watching the game in a non designated area.
He will be answering charges of bringing the Cliffe Minstermen into disrepute at a kangaroo court at tomorrow nights game.
Well the day for the original 5 members to make the away journey to Barnet came, and in true Cliffe Minstermen style the omens for a good trip were going down hill even before we got to Cliffe crossroads. Our leader Gary and his son Adam were involved in a courtroom drama over a statement made by Gary about Adam asking if they had an item after we set off, and that Adam had form for doing that. Young Adam not to be steamrollered pulled out exhibit A, his Glastonbury dossier, that he has been sat on for months and proceeded to defend himself with great skill. On picking up North Korean leader Pete, we were on our way. Music Roulette is always a tricky thing for new passengers traveling with us as our music standards are high on these away trips. Over our time some of our passengers have just not got it at all with Charlie and Simon being the worst culprits, with one of them go will remain nameless (but he takes photos at York matches) going down in Cliffe Minstermen infamy for attempting to play Qu**n! To his credit Pete did himself proud with his song choices with a bit of 80s electric going down well with the backseat passengers but raising the eyebrows of the driver. I have to say there was only 1 song choice that fell below the required standard, it was a Finnish and South Duffield effort which it has to be said brought shame on the parish. After a stop off for brunch, we were in the outskirts of London in no time.
Having parked up at Stanmore, we made our way to the tube station with Gary walking like he talkes due to his sciatica. For the first time in history it was colder down south than up north and Peter began to regret not bringing a jacket. Trying to get tickets was a nightmare as northern monkeys like me do not have the correct all singing all dancing to bank cards just to swipe through so they decided to try and tax me to the tune of 200%. Luckily the chief came through for me and it was onto the platform, but the tube was just about to set off. The Cliffe Minstermen charged like the Light Brigade with Matt in the lead. Just as he got close the doors closed but then reopened again and he dived in, getting his head caught in the door then practicality falling in. It was a true Fench Connection moment as the train pulled away with Matt on it and with the rest of us falling about the platform laughing. Then the four of us made our way to another platform to catch the next train. We were sat in the carriage of the tube train and it was noted that Adam had black marks on his face, Adam looked puzzled as to how this happened, that was until he looked at his hand which was black bright. He looked as if he had been on the back shift at Gascoinge Wood. As we got of the train in the shadow of the Wembley arch, Popeye Doyle was waiting for us.
Leaving the tube station it was only a short walk to the ground or so we thought as we kept walking the ground still seemed to stay in the distance. On first glance the ground looked, well it looked just grey. It's just not the most inviting of colours, unlike the blokes who were unloading golden statues for a Hindu wedding reception being held at the ground. In hindsight it would have been better if we had gone to the wedding reception and not the football. Paying the Kings ransom of £23 to get into the stand, it was noted that Matt had not had a reply to his email complaining of the fact that we were not allowed to stand for the price of £17 like the homes fans and so we were a fleeced of an extra £6.
Myself and Pete proceeded to start to put up the flags behind the goal on the £17 forbidden terrace. Gary came along and repositioned old faithful at the front for maximum tv exposure. We had a brief chat with Simon who as you can see spent ages getting ready only for him to have to move to the other end of the ground as York were attacking that end. The picture above shows him doing his best pack donkey impression. It was then into the bar under the stand where Matt had given himself the day off from flag duty and was busy catching up with our friends from Harrogate. We watched England race against the threat of bad light to beat Pakistan in the first test with the umpires taking the teams of for bad light just as it looked like England would be poised for victory. We made our way into the stand which is a permanent one but made like a temporary one, with steps that were hazardous to say the least. Once at the top of the stand it became clear that wind barriers might have been a good idea at both ends of the stand as we were treated to the best the Urals had to offer.
Things on the pitch were not going to plan, as a poor Barnet side seemed to look like Roma and we looked like Selby Town. It went from bad to worse when Skipper Russell Penn went of the field with what looked like a bad injury. To compound the bad luck his replacement was Sinclair, which meant Coulson dropping back into midfield. It's fair to say that every fan around us could not believe that it was a good move to do this, and it was an ominous sign of how the game would go. The rest of the first half was poor, bland and at times down right painful, with our only pressure being a free kick and a corner near the very end of the first half, with many York fans in the bar missing it as they were trying to fortify themselves for the 2nd half. I think most fans were happy just to be at 0-0 going into the second half and that hopefully we could put in a good second 45 minutes. Sadly the second half failed to live up to our wishes as Barnet took the lead. The mood in the stand by the travelling 398 fans was one of anger, resignation and depression. Rumblings were afoot and it has to be said what the fans were seeing they were totally right in what they were saying and feeling. Michael Coulson gave us hope with a cracking goal which brought a huge sigh of relief by the fans and also guaranteed our flags getting on TV. The uptempo mood didn't last long as Michael Gash scored a free kick that was totally inevitable after Dave Flatt as usual put the mockers on us with his jinxing reporting, won't that man ever learn??? The third just rubbed salt into the wounds causing the York fans into near open rebellion against the manager. It was a case of take the flags down and get out of the ground before the final whistle. As we walked through the park to the station I thought Matt was going to jump and commit suicide from the top of the grassy knoll and I shouted don't do it, but it turned out he was only going to place a sticker on a sign. After a defeat like that the homeward journey is always tough. We listed to radio York until 6pm and all the texts and tweets including our own. It's pretty clear that the fans have had enough. Today saw us give up a whole day, spend the best part of £100 each to see a performance that was well below the required standard. The moral of the supporters is low, many are not coming to matches as the home support dwindles away, the entertainment factor is nearly non existent, and we are already looking at a relegation battle before we have even reached November. Something needs to happen and it needs to happen soon or the club we love will be going back to the hell hole abyss that is non league.
I guess after the comment on the last blog post Pete has been checking out the blog post this morning!
Finally after 2 years of being formed, the Cliffe Minstermen original 5 are going to an away game altogether in Thunderbird 1. Four of us have made numerous trips over that time but 1 of our number has constantly being missing from the big days. To be fair our man has been very busy on weekends with his part time role of running North Korea. It's a demanding role keeping the imperialist United States at bay, maintaining the long border with the enemy South Korea and sending countless residents to labour camps, but somehow Pete Chop Suey Tune manages to do it all along with a full time job, bringing up 3 children and watching 8 hours TV a day. So after a busy week celebrating 70 years of Dictatorship in North Korea and reviewing a parade with 1 million adoring followers, he has decided to take today off and come and watch York City away at Barnet.
The Cliffe Minstermen apologies for the blog not been updated for a week. The app started playing up at L*t*n and had continued to be problematic all week. A few weeks ago an upgrade totally changed how we now update the blog, and to say there have been teething troubles would be putting it mildly. Hopefully normal service will be resumed from today.
Our mini bus and driver Pete is lost somewhere in Bedfordshire. If anyone has seen him please direct him to the Hungry Horse pub in Bedford, where the rest of us are located.
The Cliffe Minstermen along with our Friends the Harrogate Minstermen are currently heading down to Rorkes Drift for today's game.
It is with great sadness that the Cliffe Minstermen have learned of the death of actor Frank Albanese, best known for playing Uncle Pat in the HBO series the Sopranos, and also the shifty looking lawyer in Goodfellas.
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