24/8/19 Romulus v Market Drayton Town, F.A.Cup Qualifying Preliminary Round, In The Market For Some Six Appeal.

It was a nice day, so I walked into town, last summer spoilt the likes of me, who adore hot, sunny, dry weather, this year, it’s returned to type, so Indian summer, it maybe, but making use of it felt almost compulsory. Walking down Corporation Street, me and Badge spotted each other, a conversation on the days plans was immediately struck up, which morphed into one of beer and pubs, parting, I took in Tilt, a place I’d never done, but had been meaning to do for a long time. It’s solely key keg, something I’m not overly fond of, but it has developed a half decent reputation, the beer I had, had the usual carbonation you get, but wasn’t kept ridiculously cold, so the taste was immediate. The place itself was ok, had a coffee bar feeling to it, even down to the pinball machines and cake on the counter. I could actually see myself going in again, but couldn’t see myself making a habit of it. Because of where the Romulus ground is, I’d been determined to visit some of the pubs in Brum, that don’t usually visit, the next one being the Sly Old Fox, not a reference to myself, by the way. The Fox is in a part of town, that is renowned for having a large LGBT community, not something I’m against, more that I tend to leave them to it. There’s no rules etched in stone or anything, but they don’t really need someone straight, taking up space, especially when that someone is a liability like me. the Fox has been totally refurbished since I was last in there, in fact, I didn’t recognize the place. The range were signature beers from the bigger breweries, not the worst, but certainly not the best. Continuing on my quest of revisits, I moved on to the Victoria, a place much more quirky than the last time.

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“No prizes for spotting Donald Trump”

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“A typical Brummie family coat of arms”

I felt a lot more at home in the Vic, and intend to drop in there more often, until they get fed up with me going in that is. Jinksy came in, after finishing overtime, and after finishing our pints, went through town to the Bull, dropping in at the Jekyll and Hyde, at the back of the Magistrates Court, somewhere I hadn’t been. . . . Either of them. The Jekyll and Hyde has that micro pub feel to it, though it’s always been a pub in one form or another. They had Titanic, Cappuccino stout in there, which was the best beer I would have all day, me and Jinksy got talking to the young barman about beer, and on a recommendation of mine, will be looking to get in my favourite beer of last week. It was that gorgeous, I might just keep checking to see if it comes in. It was then on to The Bull, Nigel who now has several pubs in Brum, but is mainly synonymous with the Welly, has taken the place on. Already, he’s made a few alterations, and no doubt, will tweak it a little more. We got chatting to a couple of the Wellingtons’s regulars, who, we found out, knew Dingle Dave. With where it is, I can see me dropping in from time to time, especially as it’s close to The Gunmakers, the brewery tap for Two Towers, a brewery that isn’t anywhere near the top of the list of favourites, but is at least deviating away from its signature beers, and creating some interesting beers, I had a chilli porter. Unsurprisingly, I suppose, but I did find myself noticing that the Gunmakers had changed since the last time I’d been in. The bar had been redeveloped, and the layout was a lot better. It was round to the stop, to catch the bus I used to have to catch, to go to work, it was particularly enjoyable, knowing I don’t have to complete that journey on the daily grind anymore, to a place, I didn’t like. Getting off, Jinksy went and got some money from the cash point at Sainsbury’s, before we went in search of the ground.

I don’t usually write anything about the histories of clubs I’m watching, but I’ll make an effort for this one. Romulus were formed in 1979 as a Sunday League side, the couple who formed them, are still pretty much in charge, although it hasn’t been a meteoric rise, they’ve done well, to be at the level they are now. Now back in Castle Vale, they did have Sutton Coldfield Town, as their landlords.

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“No, it’s not a carpet”

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“Got to start somewhere”

A ground that’s got a few lorry loads of potential, the world’s their lobster Rodney. Romulus were having the upper hand over their opponents from a higher division, and although, through an own goal, took the lead. A nicely worked chance, was gratefully dispatched from just inside the left hand side of the area, and Market Drayton found themselves 2:0 down. That upper hand, had got a firm grip, going into halftime, when me and Jinksy had a nose around the club bar, it had just the usual suspects on it, but it did have a great view of the pitch, but as the weather was glorious, it was rude not to go back out and enjoy it. Just as we took up positions nearer to the Drayton goal, their task was made harder, 3:0. It was fair to say, that it was game over, something that the away defence must have agreed with, as they got the deckchairs out, and had a snooze in the sun. A couple of players who I have no idea, who were, were running Market Drayton ragged, their movements were intelligent. Both the number 9, and number 11, were either players on the way down, or on the way up, but both players that have, or could, play at a higher level. A forth was scored, as Jinksy checked scores, Coventry winning again, offered up the idea of Blues and Coventry playing each other at St Andrews, in the league next season. It would bring more money into the coffers, but unlike the half finished stand at Northampton, shouldn’t be relied on, A ground, that because by having my Blues season ticket on me, I could prove I wasn’t a Charlton fan, whose allocation had sold out, there by, being sold a ticket. 5:0, and it was just a matter of how many more. Another through ball, and it was 6:0. Market Drayton looked so demoralised, that you couldn’t even see a consolation.

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“I think not”

The dream of getting as far as the first round proper, was over for Market Drayton, but very much alive for Romulus.

We got the bus into town, headed for the Head of Steam, hoping that with the amount of televisions, one of them would be showing the cricket, none of them were, instead, the usual amount of armchair Liverpool fans, had dictated what the pub was showing. As we watched a woeful Arsenal side, get taken apart, an argument between a group of friends broke out and a glass was also broken, the whole lot was ushered out. I used to remember as a kid, two friends of mine, who were also friends of each other, but would always end up fighting between themselves, once alcohol was consumed. We got to the stage, where we used to keep them further away from each other, the longer the evening wore on. A rights of passage learning curve. The game on the TV heading into added time, I bid Jinksy farewell and got the bus home.

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