GONE FOR A BURTON by Wandering from Issue 32

I've lost count of the number of times that I've actually travelled to Eton Park and couldn't find the ground. So this season armed with the directions from THE MARTYR we set off in confident mood. Even a detour to collect a poor impoverished University student at the British Rail terminal at the NEC en route didn't deter our confidence that this would be the year……..that we finally cracked the formula and found the ground without stopping to ask directions on the one-way grand prix circuit around the outskirts of the town.
And guess what? Yes, once again the 'corner shop' routine worked a treat! We passed the Derby Turn pub without a glitch but when we were faced with a set of traffic lights at a junction with roads leading everywhere the consensus of opinion became the wrong outcome.
But fortunately we had only turned in the wrong direction and we were soon back on track. Phew. The next mistake was entering the ground to partake of the hospitality in the social club. As we were about to cross the threshold we were prevented by a blazered club official who told us that the club was out of bounds before the kick off and at half time, because the game had THREE sponsors and the social club was the venue for the corporate hospitality. Fortunately Burton Albion also own the 'hanger' on the far side of the car park directly outside the ground and as we departed the 'fluorescent jacketed Derek' provided us with 'pass out' vouchers so that we could be readmitted later.
The television screen in the aerodrome confirmed that England were in control of the final test as the West Indies batsmen had a forward defence that looked as dodgy as ours against Ilkeston. Although it was only an hour before kick off, and this after all was a town were the main employers were Bass, there appeared to be more supporters of Juve and Barca in the club than Brewers fans as both sets of supporters were forced to stand in a queue for the bar as long as the checkout at Asda's.
On re-entry to the ground the first activity for DMFM was carried out when the chips, mushy peas and gravy were tested for consistency, low carbohydrate content, vitamin and 'E' value. To be honest even that naked chef bloke, the obnoxious Jamie Oliver, would have been proud of both the quality and presentation, let alone the value for money with the contents of the plastic tray. Although the colour and consistency looked like sludge from a bog snorkelling contest the taste was exquisite. I liked the chunky sized chips that were crisped to perfection. Eight and a half out of ten.
Next up was the road test on the tea. Not such a positive outcome I'm afraid, warm but quite tasteless and only four out of ten.
I like Eton Park, it's a proper non-league ground with a good atmosphere and covered accommodation on all sides, although the grandstand is quite small. The Martyrs vocal support on the day was excellent (an estimated 90-100) as everyone really got behind the team. However, for a side that has pretensions of grandeur their programme left a lot to be desired. Good cover and bugger all inside. A page from the Chairman that could have been omitted all together, a page from the Clough/Crosby partnership and that's about it. There were some photographs of the supporters at Tamworth, a team photo that looks as though its included every week and the stats page. Very poor effort two out of ten.
We all know that the performance from the lads was outstanding but the result was poxy, although its still a tad too early in the season to assess just how good we WILL become and after all you don't win anything in September.......apart from the Manager of the Month.

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