The day started with sunshine for my early morning Park Run then hailstones raining down on Tyneside as the Boy Mark picked me and Woodie for the 45 minute drive to Marske (we were in denial - the 45 minute drive rule still applied).
The increasing injury list and fatigued state of the squad after another four-game week combined with the number of cup-tied players (about five at last reckoning) to leave a thread-bare squad. As a result, the travelling Bay fans were to be treated to the delights of David 'Chuck' Berry - Mr Body Perfect himself in midfield!
One day I would love to see Andy Robertson returning to the Bay first team but his quest for reserve team goals meant he was yet again playing for the reserves (or rather not as their game was called off at the last minute) so we had 'Chuck' instead...
|Sunshine....but no cheer!|
|Marske ultras with their terrifying|
Fearing a soaking or hail-stoning from the ominous-looking clouds, we had decided to stand in one of the cow sheds at the side of the pitch but as the Marske Ultras began their chants of "Sea-sea-sea-siders!" we decided to escape from their clutches and head behind the goal...under the guarantee that if we got wet...or hailstoned..the other two could blame me for their discomfort. Sure enough, as we took our usual place behind the goal the rain began; to which I told the others to "Man up!"
We were rewarded when Alex Kempster kept on his feet despite being tripped and the Bay were awarded a penalty. Our nerves were all on edge as Shanks stepped up to take it...the memory of his miss against Dunston still raw.
The Shankster, thankfully, stepped up and blasted it high to the keeper's left: his 40th of the season. The scratch team were level!
The Bay then surged forward with increased confidence. If Mr Bay himself, Barry had been a bit quicker fetching the ball for Chris Mac to take a corner then there might have been a surprise lead while the home team got organised. However, at half time we were very pleased, to be on level terms.
A quick trip to the portacabin just outside the ground, we were treated to a cup of tea or coffee in a real mug, all for the price of an honesty box donation. There was no licence for the premises, so no alcohol, but there was a television with half time scores and comfortable seats. On the other side of the room was the great and the good of the Bay - with their own box of biscuits but it was good to see everyone in the same room together: enjoying a nice cup of tea!
|Sing in the Chicken Run!|
|Leaving with heads held high.|