Living in Aldershot means that Southern games as a general rule are pretty easy for me to get to, especially London based games. I got a really cheap return train for just 15 quid, and that avoided the hellish sweat bath that would have been the tube. I got the train at 10:04 at Aldershot and an easy journey to Clapham, Peckham and then South Bermondsey saw me arriving at 11:30.
I met up with my dad who had driven down to Stanmore and got the tube down to Canada Water and had walked from there. We decided to try and find a local watering hole, in spite of being warned off them, as neither of us were wearing Yeovil colours and neither of us have telltale West Country accents! We walked for miles (or so it seemed) down Old Kent Road before we finally happened across The Five Bells.
My Millwall supporting friend informed me afterwards on Facebook that this was DEFINITELY a Millwall only pub, but no one was any the wiser that we were Yeovil fans and we made it out unscathed :)
After that we headed down to the ground and had an ice cream from the van parked up outside the stadium. Very refreshing after our couple of mile trek, all for an illusive pub!
After meeting up with some friends we made our way into the stadium.
Thankfully it was unreserved seating even though a big crowd was expected. My dad and I always like to sit to the top left of the goal, a little tradition we've had for the past 12 years or so watching The Town. It wasn't a bad view!
The pitch looked to be in superb condition, which you would hope it would be for the first game of the season, but its been particularly hot and dry round London way so it was good to see the pitch wasn't too firm or starting to cut up as the lads warmed up. It was the first opportunity I had to see the new boys, having been unable to make any pre-season games. Trying to pick them out while warming up was proving a little difficult, but it was much easier once they had their squad numbers on!
The game itself in my opinion was, for large parts, all Yeovil. We dominated the first half, though the better of the chances perhaps were falling for Millwall. They came back into it second half but just couldn't take their chances, and we were bossing large parts of the game. Some lovely flowing football from us at times while Millwall were pretty much just hoofing it route one. Outstanding games for Dawson, Seabourne and Upson, but everyone was well on their game and well up for it. I was very impressed with Seabourne, He looks a class act. Confident, calm and no nonsense. He worked well with Byron Webster who looked a lot more comfortable than he has sometimes in the past. Alan Tate seemed solid, and I think he will be a great addition to our defence. I also really liked the look of Michael Ngoo when he came on for Paddy; he certainly isn't afraid to put himself about and he is a real physical presence which I think we are going to be in great need of in this division. He is a bit of a change to Paddy which I think we will really benefit from against some of the stronger, bigger sides. Millwall were very physical and a lot of their fouls seemed to be unnoticed by the referee, but thankfully none were too costly on our part. There was a definite penalty shout for Hayter when he was pulled back in the box, but we didn't feel too hard done by when Ed Upson's shot hit the back of the net in the 88th minute! I have to admit I did have a few tears in my eyes when Ed scored - absolute ecstatic jubilation and pride overcame me a little :)
The trip back home was an easy one for me as everyone seemed to be going the other way at South Bermondsey - to London Bridge whereas I was headed back to Peckham and then on to Clapham. I made it literally just as the doors were closing at Clapham and made it back home for 7:15, which isn't a bad time for a away game.
Next up for me is Burnley away, very much looking forward to that and will of course be blogging about it afterwards!
The Brakesy xxx