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Tuesday, 30 October 2018 10:17

The Case of the Moveable Kick-Off time

SATURDAY 27th OCTOBER. Gresford Colliery Club, cold but sunny.
OFFA ATHLETIC 1 FC NOMADS 3 (FAW Trophy Round 3)

The last 64 of the FAW Trophy, 32 games to choose from. Of course, there are plenty closer to home than the one I've picked, but travelling north has been out of the question for four weeks (the dreaded rail replacement buses) so I feel in need of a long distance away-day while the weather still holds and grounds aren't waterlogged. By this stage of the competition, there tend not to be many venues I haven't visited before, but Offa Athletic's Gresford Colliery Club ground is one on my list.

The weather has changed since last week. It's bitterly cold as I set off for Wrexham, the thermal layers making an early seasonal reappearance. But it's dry, so no need to worry about postponement. Instead, I have to worry about actually getting to the game - my train turns out to have been delayed at Carmarthen and turns up nearly half an hour late at Cardiff. For the next two hours, instead of sitting back and enjoying the journey up the borders, I'm fretting that I may miss the connection to Wrexham, which, the train conductor insists, will not be held if we're late. Contingency plan: catch the next Wrexham service an hour later and dash by taxi, just enough time to make the 2.30 kick off.

In the end, I make my connection at Shrewsbury with five minutes to spare, shivering on the platform in an icy wind. So it's a more leisurely journey up to Gresford, via the bus towards Chester. A short stroll around the road interchange and into Bluebell Lane and the Gresford Colliery Club.

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