26th of November 2010 - 28th of November 2010
Wolverhampton Wanderers - Sunderland
score: 3-2 (49' min Foley 1-0, 66' min Darren Bent 1-1, 76' min Danny Welbeck 1-2, 81' min Hunt 2-2, 90' min Ebanks-Blake 3-2)
After having a good look at the fixture list for season 2010/2011, all the Dutch Mackems decided that Arsenal-away was their number one trip. But Nick wanted to add another trip to this seasons list. So Wolves away was the other one, just on his own. This match was already once on Nick's trip list. The flight was already booked for the Saturday-morning, but Sky decided to switch the match to Friday night. Bummer. So this was a new chance, and to make sure, the flight was booked for the Friday this time.
Friday the 26th of November
Winter had started this day. Temperatures below zero for the first time and snow in the air. What were the odds to ruin this trip again? At 7 AM the bus stopped at the Vosselaan Hillegom. From there change buses at Nachtegaal Lisse and off to Schiphol. Everything was as scheduled. Even the very short change of buses time was correct. At 8.15 AM I was at Schiphol airport. I'd already done the on-line check-in, so through customs and off to the D-pier (that's also where Murphy's pub is). Boarding time was as scheduled and at 9.30 AM I was fastened in my seat. The doors were closed but we still didn't move. The pilot told us that there was only one runway available and we had to wait. We had to wait for one hour, but finally we took off. An hour later than planned, we landed at East Midlands airport. I'd already discussed with Jonathan that I would take the bus to Nottingham City Centre, to do some shopping and that we would meet for lunch at the Test Match pub in West Bridgford. At 1 PM we were enjoying a delicious burger. The Test-Mach has had a landlord change. Alan (previous owner) and Sarah were bought out from the brewery. This made the visit not that special anymore, but it was still a good burger. After the burger we left for Jon's home in Lowdham. On the way to his house we passed the pub where we would have dinner later that day, so a quick stop to have a look and then to Jon's.
At Jon's time to freshen up a bit, watch some tv and wait for Roger who came down from Sunderland. In England the winter had started as well. There was lots of snow in the North-East, so there could be some problems for Roger. But we received an earlier than expected phonecall from him that he was almost in Lowdham. After his arrival we left for the pub where we would stay the rest of the night. Because Jon also likes his beers, we walked to the pub that was in the next village. A short walk for about 40 minutes. And it was worth it. A nice old-fashioned pub that was redecorated some months ago. The bitters were nice and soon our table was ready. The menu had a lot of variety. I choose to go for the pumpkinsoup as a starter and a Goulash from deer as main. I was not disappointed, it was delicious. The conversations were also special, because the much younger Roger surprised me with the fact that he's a massive fan of Lloyd Cole. After the food we enjoyed some more pints and around midnight we left for Jon's home. Roger and Jon were immediately in front of the tv. The ashes was on, live from Australia. Thé cricketgame of the year. After half an our I decided to get into bed.
Saturday the 27th of November
And I was glad I did. England were shown all sides of the cricketground on the first day. The best possible outcome for them would be a draw in the first game. After some toast we had to de-ice the car. There was a two hour drive to Penkridge on the to do list. Penkridge is a small village close to Wolverhampton. We would park the car there, grap some food in the Littleton Arms and from there by train to Wolverhampton. We arrived around noon in Penkridge. The Littleton Arms looked like a nice place. Time for a good choice. I went for the vegaterian stew with lentals. Weird of course, a vegatarian stew, but it was delicious again. We decided to take a taxi to Molineux. This was total for the three of us about the same price as getting the train, but more comfortable. When we arrived Molineux looked excactly like I thought it would. An old-fashioned shoe-box shaped stadium. Four open corners. And we were in one of those open corners just where the cold wind blew in. It was very cold. Sunderland were in a good run. Would this be my first ever away victory? The match started off slowly. Wolves were bottom-but-one and knew they had to take three points today. The were more dangerous in the first half. The ball even went in the net once, but it was correctly ruled out for off-side. The biggest Sunderland chance was from a free kick. Kieran Richardson blasted the ball from about 25 yards on the inside of the post. Half-time 0-0.
The second half started the same as the first half had ended. Only Wolves scored a goal that was awarded. Cattermole lost possession, Jarvis shot at goal but Craig Gordon could turn the ball away. It landed straight in the path of Foley who could score. Bruce made a substitution after that. Gyan came on and Sunderland played with three up front. This was a key factor for the 1-1. It was Gyan who squared the ball for Bent and he finished it off. Sunderland where the better of the two teams in that period and had to push on. Bent and Malbranque both had good chances to score, but didn't. Finally it was Welbeck who scored the 1-2. A cross from Bardsley was headed in by Welbeck. The away-stand erupted. The players ran to the fans and celebrated in front of the travelling supporters. It looked good, with only 15 minutes to go. But the Wolves players knew excactly how to respond. With nine minutes to go it was Stephen Hunt with the 2-2. And to make it more dramatic it was supersub Silvain Ebanks-Blake with the winner in the last minute of the 90. What a shame, especially with leading 1-2 with just 15 minutes to go. But it was a spectaculair game.
We had to walk to the station where we could jump in the train to Penkridge. From there in Jon's car who drove us safely back to Lowdham. Roger was asleep and I was quitly listening to Radio 5 live in the backseat. After arrival in Lowdham a quick walk to the busstop and from there the bus to Nottingham. In search of a venue called Rock City for a gig of the American band We Are Scientists. Rock City was a great venue. It looked a bit similar to de Kade in Zaandam, but unlike Zaandam where you go underground, you had to go up the stairs in here. We were right on time. The band got on at 8.30 PM and the fans loved it. The place was full and we were a bit at the back. But with a venu like this (more wide than deep), you were never at the back. The bitters were nice as well and after 70 minuted the band called it a day. We were sweeped out, because there was another party after the gig, so we went down to the basement where we stepped 30 years back in time. The music they played was mainly metal and suddenly two blokes appeared next to me. They were about 18 years old. One of them had a Van Halen t-shirt on, and the other one a shirt of Twisted Sister. Both of them complete with make-up, leggings and scarves. Brilliant. I had a great time, but we had to move on. At 11 PM we reserved a table at 4550 miles from Delhi, and Indian restaurant in Nottingham. Time for a curry. I had the Chicken Jalfrezi. Hot, but not too spicy. Just what I could handle. It was very good. After that we took the taxi to Lowdham for the second day of the ashes. Roger was laying down on the couch and Jon was almost laying down in his chair. I thought that in half an hour time I would be the only one still watching, so I decided to get to bed.
Sunday the 28th of November
England had managed to get a draw from the first test. This was warm welcomed by cricket minded England. We watched the highlights and around 1 PM Jon took me to East Midlands airport. I had to get out early, because Jon had possible buyers of his house later that afternoon. No problem, I thought I might get some beers and watch football on te tv-screens at the airport. But....no SKY Sports at East Midlands airport. So I went for a walk. I was early at the gate where everything seems normal. Check-in was on time and we got in the bus that should take us to the plane. The doors were closed, but we didn't move. Ater ten minutes a stewardess got on board and said there were problems with de-icing the plane. This would take another 45 minutes, so we'd better got out of the bus and back to the gate. So everybody got out. The 45 minutes turned into 75 minutes and almost two hours later we finally departed. At Schiphol I had to wait for another 20 minutes for the bus to Lisse, but at 7 PM I arrived at the stonefactory where Lenneke picked me up.
This will be remembered as a short trip, but full of delicious kinds of food. It was also very strange to have a trip just on my own. It was still a very nice trip and I had the taste of a first real away victory in my mouth. But in the end, just like a good wine, I still had to spit it out.
(written by Nick)