Erith & Belvedere 0 North Shields 2
Always nice to have a reachable ground in the Vase quarter finals that you haven't visited before.
Note to fellow ground hoppers, not the greatest idea to try out new mattresses at John Lewis with 'er indoors before leaving for the game. Not exactly an onerous task but I couldn't stop yawning for about the next 2 hours.
A relatively stress free journey, interesting to take the route from Victoria to Welling although there seemed to be construction works going on everywhere you looked. There seemed to be complete carnage with buses, taxis and cars outside Lewisham station.
When printing my Google map, I noticed that there was a Pie n mash shop just off the Welling road. What a little beauty this is, no thrills, certainly not fine dining, but a mince beef pie, mash and parsley liquer served to you in seconds. Jellied eels are also on the menu, you just don't find many cafes like this any more. Absolutely loved it.
Now I had loads of time to spare so decided to visit the bookies, lots to chose from in the High street and I ended up in a Corals. Having failed miserably on a few dog races, I decided to take a punt in the 13:45 from Newbury. At least, I would have if some old fella hadn't stood directly in front of the Racing post form for at least 10 minutes. Instead I diverted to a free area of wall where the Kelso fixtures were listed. After checking out form for the 13:55, I ended up taking an each way punt on a 66/1 outsider. It would have been well out of the places until one of the leading horses suddenly went lame and in the end I nabbed third place and left the shop well in profit and no longer noticing the strong winds and constant drizzle.
Eirth share with Welling United from the conference. An interesting set-up and a ground share done the proper way. Both clubs have their own entrance, both clubs have their own stand and their own catering huts. It does mean that you can't really walk around the whole ground but the set-up clearly works. A billiard table of a pitch, old fashined concrete terracing and in fact, set bang on the High street, the whole place seems like something from the 1970's with the odd modern addition.
I normally like fans from Northern clubs when they come south on their travels but these North Shields fans did grate on the nerves a bit. One guy when the subs were warming up kept the ball behind his back following a wayward shot and eventually held it out in his hands for one of the subs to come and collect. They ignored him for a considerable time but the guy (Apparently some of them had been drinking since 5m) persevered and wouldn't throw it back. When the sub eventually walked over to get the ball, the guy then there it away. Apparently this was hilarious.
The first half was a fairly poor affair, quite even with only one shot on target the entire half. Shields pulled away in the second half getting stronger as the game progressed, scoring on 49 & 59 mins.
Not quite sure how long the journey will take if they get drawn away to St Austell. They're probably the side to avoid in the semis.
Interesting ground, I will return one day to tick off Welling FC.