It’s a long journey down to Weymouth today 23rd January, exactly 3 months until the end of the season. Dorset will be playing a big part in the play offs this season, especially if Poole blows up again and allow Chippenham or maybe Hitchin to sneak to the top. With Poole, Dorchester and todays opponents Weymouth all in and around the play-off spots and hopefully us, we could be down this neck of the woods a few times come April. We are already down at Dorchester on the last Saturday of the season.
We left Fuggles Hall at around 8:00am and made our way to pick up Pharp in Rushden, Pharp was wearing his Kettering Tyres shirt. A couple of hours later of clear roads yet quite misty in places we arrived at the Little Chef just south of Newbury. It didn’t take long for the awesome foursome of elite athletes with their fine honed physiques to go for the Olympic breakfast, 2 rashers, a sausage, 2 eggs; fried of course, no toast for us we much prefer the healthy option, fried bread it is, mushrooms, beans and a large portion of fried sliced potatoes, all washed down with a pot of tea, marvellous.The Royal Standard in Upwey just after midday. As we entered the bar we were greeted by the vision of a Kettering Tyres replica shirt worn by Dave Tailby, what a lovely sight, the shirt not DT. Unfortunately that was the only DT we was going to get today. The Royal Standard is home to the DT brewery; sadly they weren’t serving any of their ales, they were all at the bottling plant, what a big disappointment. Never mind they had 5 other ales available, local brewers Sunny Republic’s Red Bus, Wadworth’s Dray Bells and Yeovil Ales Star Gazer, also available from the cellar was St Austell’s Tribute and Proper Job. The temptation to go for Proper Job, but no, we must try the local brews, so Citra and Fuggles went for Yeovil Ales Star Gazer, a pleasant copper coloured standard bitter coming in at 4.0%, it was in decent nick but not a shop stopper. The pump clip for Star Gazer is the same colour green as our old rivals the Glovers. Every time I see anything related to Yeovil I’m reminded of the time they came to Rockingham Rd in the early 70’s. Yeovil were pushing for promotion to the football league through the annual voting system. On this occasion the Yeovil team came out of the player’s tunnel each with a letter, they lined up to spell ‘VOTE YEOVIL’. Big Ron Atkinson ran out of the tunnel leading the Poppies and promptly blasted a ball at the lined up Glovers, they immediately scattered like pigeons, much to the amusement of the Poppies faithful, happy days. Enough nostalgia, Parker and Pharp had a pint of Wadworth’s Dray Bells, this sounds like a Christmas ale still doing the rounds. This is a typical type of ale for both Parker and Pharp, mid-amber colour, 4.0% strength with the usual seasonal tastes, also in good condition. Next up for Fuggles is Sunny Republic’s Red Bus, a red IPA strong ale coming in at 4.8%, sadly this was a cloudy as pigswill so Proper Job it was, Citra had the same. Always a favourite, very bitter premium ale, citrusy with a strength of 4.5%. This was drawn straight from the barrel so the head was quite loose and struggled to hang on to the sides of the glass, nevertheless it was still delicious. Pharp went for the Yeovil Star Gazer. By now Marshall and Petit Chemise had arrived, we had 3 Kettering Tyres shirts in the bar including Pharp’s, hopefully we’ll see a few more in the ground. Time to move on into Weymouth, we parked up around 1:30pm and trudged for a couple of minutes to our next destination. As we turned onto the quayside we were greeted a bus load of Poppies supporters enjoying fish and chips, before we had a chance to walk into the Royal Oak