If there’s a more depressing journey than the above title, then I don’t want to know. All joking aside, however, it isn’t always about the destinations, but the journey. Though an old cliche, a memorable trip to Old Trafford interspersed between the less than inspiring trips to messrs Huddersfield and Northampton make those very same trips all the more worthwhile.
6. Northampton Town v Stevenage, Sixfields, April 2011.
This weekend had it all- a 16th birthday, a royal wedding and a trip to Sixfields, which would in an odd coincidence, become ground number six. The game itself left play off hopes dangling by a thread, thanks to two red cards and two Northampton goals. They sealed survival with their first win in 19 games, naturally beginning a trend of “doing a Stevenage” that I’d be taunted by forever.
7. Stevenage v Torquay United, Old Trafford, May 2011.
“Mousinho, bursting from midfield it’s Mousinho!”
A goal that sent Stevenage to League One. A fitting redemption for Mousinho, who’d agonisingly missed a penalty at Southend just a month before. His return from injury saw Stevenage reach the third tier for the first time ever. Emotional scenes ensued. Even arriving 20 minutes late couldn’t take the blemish off of a phenomenal day. Nobody can say when or if we’ll ever play at Old Trafford again, but if we do, it will never top this.
8. Huddersfield Town v Stevenage, John Smith’s Stadium, October 2011.
Another trip north, though this one not as life changing as the one that preceded it. A 2-1 defeat to a side on a lengthy unbeaten league run at the time, another Mousinho penalty miss and a ferocious atmosphere thanks to the Boro’s perceived ‘gamesmanship’ made it eventful at the very least. Add into the equation Lee Clark almost ripping Graham Westley’s hand off and the locals staying behind to boo the Stevenage players, and you could say that we’d well and truly arrived into the big leagues.
9. Brentford v Stevenage, Griffin Park, October 2010.
The kind of night that makes it all worthwhile. For the second time ever, I’d arrived late to a game (only 10 minutes this time). Much like the other game I’d arrived late to mentioned above, this one also finished 1-0 to Stevenage- Chris Beardsley netting the only goal. I haven’t arrived late to a game since, which I’m more than happy to blame any bad result on. Apart from most poor results in 2015 which I’m more than happy to blame Mark Hughes for.
10. Leyton Orient v Stevenage, Matchroom Stadium, November 2011.
The kind of afternoon that makes you question everything. This one finished goalless. The atmosphere was dead. There was a massive pole obstructing my view. One of many times I’d utter the immortal words “there’s no way I’m ever coming back here.” I’ve now been 4 times.