Here we go again down to Sluff, hopefully second time lucky. Fuggles is feeling as rough as a badgers arse, has a throat like a Shetland pony (a little hoarse) and a tsunami of snot have all contrived to induce Fuggles to consume inordinate quantities of coffee laced with brandy and honey, but to no avail. The opal sludge flow rate goes on unabated. The offer of a chicken Vindaloo for dinner the night before may well have stemmed the deluge; however Montezuma would have had something to say about this. They say that as you get older you become a little less co-ordinated, but that’s not the always the case, coughing and farting become much more synchronised. The fairer of our species don’t really get man-flu, they ridicule us, they chat amongst themselves on the school run with their arms folded and say “aww bless” whilst themselves ridden with red noses. Bunkum, we blokes are made of stern stuff. An old friend once said, “The best cure for the common cold is to become self-employed”. We can add to that, being a Poppies supporter will enable you to overcome anything life can bung at you. So an inordinately large box of man-sized nose wipes under arm with a plastic bag to collect the heavily laden tissues, cold and flu tablets in the pocket and here we go, but not before one last rasping chest wrenching cough just to leave Mrs Fuggles in no doubt whatsoever of the personal sacrifice Fuggles is making to go the footy, albeit via a couple of pubs.
Today’s pick up point for Citra and Fuggles is the Britannia in Northampton. The beer is usually crap here but it’s close to where Parker undertakes his day time activities. The beer was crap again with a very boring selection of standard stuff. Charles Wells Bombardier, Wadworths 6X, Morlands Old Speckled Hen and Bloody Doombar, how very inspirational. We went for the local-ish ale Bombardier, but it went off before the first pint had been pulled so we ended with 6X, warm wazz is the only description on offer. Thankfully Parker arrived just after 4:00pm and we were in our way.
It was around 5:30pm as we crawled through the leafy lanes on the outskirts of Beaconsfield on our way to The Royal Standard of Englanda very old establishment; in a small village of Forty Green, there’s been a pub on this site for 900 years. A higgledy-piggledy hostelry with small rooms going off in all directions. Very much a touristy sort of place. Loads of black wooden beams and upright supports, stuffed animal heads nailed to the walls, hop vines draping from the ceiling. Just behind the bar is a wooden carving of the Last Supper, this reminded Fuggles of the Julian Church Brewery ale Last Supper; where the pump clip depicted the image of Michelangelo’s painting, however the difference was that all the disciples were completely bladdered, whilst JC himself stood there with a tankard of ale in his hand, the last supper. A decent selection of ales on the 6 hand-pumps including one of the home brews Britannia Imperial IPA, marvellous. Citra and Fuggles went for this. A very pleasant ale, amber colour at 3.6% quite tasty with a lingering bitterness, nice and clear with a good head. Parker tried a glass of water, lovely. Next up was Chiltern Brewery’s Chiltern Ale, 3.7% light amber and according to the pump clip it has hints of grape and honey. Not sure about that but it is quite tasty and easily quaffable and once again in good nick. The other ales available were a couple from the Windsor & Eton brewery plus Hardy & Hansons Olde Trip, named after the oldest pub in Nottingham.That was it for the first pub, next up 4 miles away is the Jolly Cricketers in the village of Seer Green. Lots of cricketing memorabilia adorns the walls, even the house ale is called Taverners brewed by Rebellion brewery, the gents’ toilet has Lords on the door, we didn’t look at the ladies toilet door. Five hand-pumps Rebellion’s Roundhead and Taverners, Fuller’s London Pride, Chiltern Ale and Little Beer Corporations Little Haka, Fuggles and Citra went for this. What a lovely ale, 3.5% an amazing amount of flavour for such a low gravity ale, typical New Zealand hops. We could drink this all night, but we have a match to go to. Besides Citra was getting too excited about the menu. ‘Crispy Cornish squid with Chili, Garlic and Soy Dip’. Only 10 minutes away to Holloways Park home of Beaconsfield SYCOB landlords to Slough Town, until next season that is. Decent enough ground for this level, good clubhouse with 3 mini-barrels of Rebellions ales. We didn’t have a pint this time round, time for the footy; we’ve never lost at this ground, so some optimism.
The game, well, would you believe it, we’re one up after 7 minutes, two up after 34 minutes, OK Sluff pulled one back but by half time we were 3 -1 up. The second half was all about controlling the game, and we did that well. Slough had a couple of off-side decisions go against them but the Poppies held firm and stifled Slough, yes that’s right we can now say Slough, fully recovered from the play-off trauma of a few years back. We can now preform the posh foxtrot, ‘sluff, sluff, quick, quick, sluff ‘never really did cut the mustard. We didn’t get a ten from Len, but Darcy often admired our fandango.
That was it for the day, time to go home.