Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Exiles make thankless treks

As the Wintery weather grips and increasing numbers of fixtures are re-arranged, spare a thought for those who no longer have any local matches to attend. Several of the Chester Exiles have been well and truly caught out by the cold end to 2010.
The tasty-looking away match at Curzon Ashton had seen at least three Exiles snap up advance train tickets from London to Manchester. There's a few catches to these tickets though - they are non-refundable, involve fixed trains and usually have an early start to get the best value.
Exiles secretary Steve Mansley was due to travel from Surrey into London to catch the 8.20 from Euston on that day, and following on a later train were fellow Exiles committee members, David and Robert Evans.
But the forecast didn't look good and, with a pitch inspection planned for by the time Steve was coming into Crewe, he wisely decided to abandon his match-day plans the night before. David and Robert did start their trip from Kent, but were able to turn around when they heard the match was off on the Saturday morning.
It was second time unlucky for Steve, as he'd also made a train trip to Chester for the postponed home match against Durham. This time he did reach Crewe station when he heard the match was off. With a fixed train booked home, he had to spend the day in Chester - but sadly seeing no football.
The Exiles have actaully perhaps not been the luckiest fans this season. A group of us were up for the Radcliffe Borough match and were disappointed not to see a victory.
Similarly, around a dozen Exiles sponsored the home match against Chorley in honour of one of our members emigrating to Australia. But that also resulted in defeat.
But please don't call us 'Jonahs' - we have all seen Chester win, and some of us more than once - honest! We had our Exiles Christmas social at a London pub recently and it was heartening to hear the upbeat talk of successes we'd seen on the pitch this season.
Now what would make the Exiles really happy in 2011 would be the installation of undersoil heating at the Exacta, so almost every home game will go ahead. Or have I had too much Christmas sherry?!
Sue Choularton