It has been a good season for me, albeit an expensive one with over £3,000 spent, though it was a shade less than last season. I also drove 10,000 fewer miles thanks to taking various coaches and I intend to get both down this season if possible. At least I enjoyed myself, visiting some great places and meeting some great people. Here are some of the highlights of the season.
FAVOURITE GROUND - SAFFRON WALDEN TOWN
A real gem of a ground with plenty of character. Lots of cover and good enough for a few steps higher. Pleasant location too.
BEST LOCATION - BARNSTAPLE TOWN
Close to an excellent town with all you could need for a day out at the footy.
FRIENDLIEST CLUB - QUORN
Pretty much everyone, so hard to choose. But gonna give it to Quorn, not often the team manager makes the effort to speak to you, but Dougie Keast also remembered his games against Wycombe back in the early 90's for Kettering.
LEAST FRIENDLY - NO ONE
Thankfully, I didn't encounter anything bad on my visits last season.
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY - EASINGTON SPORTS
Again, a strong category, with several offering free entry. But gonna give it to Easington Sports, a fiver with a programme was great value and it produced a decent game and the clubs record attendance. Good people too.
BEST SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITE - ABINGDON TOWN
It was very disappointing that roughly only a third of clubs bothered to retweet my blog after the expense and effort taken to visit them. Though I didn't set up the blog to get views, more a way to note down my memories, it's still disappointing. I'm trying to promote visiting these clubs after all. One of those that did retweet was Abingdon Town. They also keep their Twitter up to date and went out of their way to message me about my original game choice being postponed. Excellent.
BEST PROGRAMME - SHOREHAM
It's sad to see the matchday programme dying, with most clubs putting together half-baked efforts, just because of rules. There were a few decent efforts though, Shoreham produced a decent one and it was only a quid - very cheap for step 4 and a decent amount to read as well as the essentials.
BEST MATCH - AFC ALDERMASTON 4-3 MILTON UTD
The dramatic late winner for Wycombe against Carlisle was probably the best game of the season for me. But whilst out hopping, AFC Aldermaston defeated Milton United by the same scoreline in a totally spellbinding game.
WORST MATCH - SWINDON TOWN 1-0 WYCOMBE WDRS
A truly miserable contest played in swirling winds. Both teams insisted on hoofing the ball and it wasn't very nice conditions for the fans either.
BEST TEA BAR - GLOSSOP NORTH END
Lots of competition here, but Glossop's varied, tasty and good value pie selection wins the day. Special mention to Bishops Lydeard for an amazing Thai Green Curry, but I think that was only available for the Western League Hop.
BEST BAR - CROCKENHILL
Understandably lacking in real cider, I barely drank in grounds this season. You can't expect teams to cater for minority tastes after all. Crockenhill deserves the award for decorating their bar with loads of scarves from different clubs, as well as cuttings detailing the clubs history. A real visual treat.
BEST CLUB SHOP - CHELMSFORD CITY
Again, thin on the ground. Rare that there was even a club shop, even rarer to see old programmes for sale. But Chelmsford City bucked that trend with an amazing selection of old programmes, books and mags as well as reasonably priced merchandise. A rare treat.
BEST PUB - THE DELIRIUM CAFE, BRUSSELS
Incredible place in Brussels with over 3,000 beers on offer. Loads of nooks and crannies and plenty of beer related stuff on the walls. Had a good few cherry beers, including some really rare local ones. The only problem was, it was so good I ended up spending a large chunk of my weekend away in there.
BEST WETHERSPOONS - THE WHITE BALL (TIVERTON)
If only all Wetherspoons were like this. Around 8 ciders on draught, plus a big fridge with around 40 different bottles in. It was in the public space, so you could browse and pick out the drink you wanted without keeping people waiting. All with Wetherspoons usual reasonable prices too.
BEST PINT - CHANT'S FIGHTING CIDER
One of two great ciders I had at the Hackney Carriage micropub before a game at Tudor Sports. Lovely and dry, had bags of taste and depth. too.
BEST MEAL - BUTCHERS FAGGOTS, CHIPS & MUSHY PEAS
@ THE PONY & TRAP, CULLOMPTON
The Pony and Trap didn't live up to its cockney rhyming slang name with this great meal. Sampled in Cullompton on the way to Exeter City v Wycombe Wanderers, it was streets ahead of meals that cost twice as much when travelling on the Wycombe Wanderers Independent Supporters Club coach. Nice, local fare and only a fiver