30/11/18 Solihull Moors v Blackpool, F.A. Cup 2nd Round. Keep Off The Moors, Stick To The Lights.

I took a Brummy style bus ride to the Barton Arms (Two stops, in other words), to start my Camra voting form. It’s the nearest decent pub to where I live, yet I very rarely go in there, I should really, as it is a nice place.1

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“Not your usual decor”

I knew that The Old Moseley Arms was holding their winter beer festival, so I headed there next, another place I don’t go in enough.

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“Nor this place”

It’s a place I do go in, after going to watch Warwickshire play at home in the cricket, that’s not Birmingham in the 20/20, by the way, but proper cricket. In Brum, you’ve a Moseley Arms too, it’s closer to the Blues ground, it’s the wrong one in my opinion. Along with good beer festivals, great food and an amazing interior, it’s got a Linzy. She’s the perfect barmaid, every pub should have one, the right balance between flirty, agony aunt, confidant and damn good service. I got the bus back into town, to catch the train to Acocks Green, I probably could’ve got the bus, but it was a Friday afternoon, and trains don’t get caught in traffic, there was a long queue of families at Moor Street station for some kind of steam train excursion, complete with a pair of armed police, I couldn’t work out, if it was the threat of terrorism, or to keep the kids in line. I got off, and holed up in The Inn On The Green, the third pub of the day, I should really visit more, it is a Carling Brigade pub, but the owner is heavily into real ale, and it’s an oasis in a beer desert, (Use it or lose it scenario), Mikey finally landed, with his latest cold, passed on to him from one of the kids he teaches. I don’t know what he’d done wrong, but he’d had detention, we caught the bus to Oulton, to a micro pub called Platform 3, surprisingly near the station, the place had a new money feel to it, I wasn’t impressed, and I certainly didn’t have that sense of belonging, that makes you want to go again. Mikey ordered an Uber off his phone, and we joined the queues to get in.

The Moors have certainly come a very long way, in an extremely short space of time, in reality, the facilities aren’t good enough for the league below, let alone for the league they’re in, and definitely not good enough for the football league, the club needs to work closer with the council to build both the infrastructure and ground properly, and they need to do it quickly.

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“An old golfing range as a main stand”

Like the Chorley v Doncaster game, there wasn’t a huge difference between the two sides, seeing that was in terms of divisions, the first half was a tight affair, with not a great lot of clear cut chances, although the Moors did actually have the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for offside. The home crowd was made up of a mix of true Moors fans, Villa and mainly Blues, two of those Blues, Jinksy and Steve spotted me as I walked round at half-time, and we got Mikey to join us, second half was much the same as the first, as the Moors kicked up hill, and 0:0 was definitely a fair result, the lack of goals probably a fair reflection too.

We went in the club after the game, to let the crowd disperse, not having any real ale, we all settled on Guinness Gold. The player who had had his name sung during the game, Liam Daley, came in, it’s things like that, that point to a togetherness at the club, that although only a young club, that it’s forging its own identity, that it isn’t a novelty, a fad, that will fade away, with a lack of real ale, we wanted to get back to the good stuff, or at least something much better, we got another Uber to Solihull centre, and went in the Tap And Tandoori.

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“No, I didn’t have the horrid thing at the bottom”

It was a Hawaiian craft keg beer I had, the pineapple chunks were ok but the cheese. . . . There was a programme on Bobby Moore on the T.V., that kept us enthralled, and ate into the time, me and Mikey, walked to get our particular transport home, working nights kicked in, and I woke up at Moor Street to find not only an empty train, but an empty, locked up station too, so Improvising, I climbed over one of the gates, to get out, then walked home, wishing halfway, that I’d got a taxi.

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