Friday 25th March
The next trip on the Euro 2012 Championships campaign was the short hop across to Cardiff and Wales away. I finished work at 4pm on the Friday and by 5pm we were heading to Brecon to stay with Liz's Mum and Dad for the weekend. The traffic was the usual Friday night carnage and our plans to stop on the way for food were scrapped as we got later and later! We finally arrived into Brecon about 9.30pm and I jumped out at the local Chinese take-away and Liz drove up to her parents. I soon joined then with several dishes (well I always panic and add a couple of extra as convinced we wont have enough to eat). There was enough left over for another meal the next day!! We sat up chatting for a while before heading to bed, no early start the next morning which made a nice change.
Saturday 26th March
Saturday morning and it was the 8.50am National Express Coach from Brecon to Cardiff, with pick ups in various places we still arrived just after 10am. The fare was a bargain £4.40 return but the coach was still only half full!
We decided it was a bit too early for a beer so settled down for a coffee and breakfast and read the local papers. One made us laugh as they had 20 reasons why Wales was better then England and top of the list was POBOL Y CWM had run longer on TV than Eastenders!
At just before midday we headed to a pub called the Goat Major up near the castle. The Brains Black was superb and the pub was very mellow with a mixture and English and Welsh fans and no signs of trouble, but the 2 big bouncers at the doors probably helped with that!
We met up with some fellow Albion fans in the pub but it was soon time to head to the ground. We were at the same end but the opposite corner to where we had sat for the Albion v Bristol City play off final a few years earlier. Our seats were the second row in the upper tier and the view was superb.
17 mins gone so that must be 2-0 and game over. EASY EASY EASY EASY
They say no easy Internationals these days, well I have to disagree after this match. Wales were poor and I can see why they are ranked so lowly in the FIFA rankings. The home fans were very quiet and the 6,000 England fans outsang them for the whole game, the atmosphere was a bit flat second half as England controlled the game so easily and the 3 points were in the bag.
After the game we headed back to the Enbankment to catch the 17.50 coach back to Brecon. There were quite a few very drunk lads on the trip back and they gradullay worked out they had left half there mates behind and this was the last coach back! So a night on park benches for a few people seamed to be the general agreement. A couple of lads also came to blows as the Swansea/Cardiff banter between then go into a drunken mess! We chuckled to ourselves and though it best for them not to know we were English! Anyway we were back in Brecon shortly after 7pm and as Brighton/England both sit top of there respective leagues it was all in all a good day for us!
Sunday 27th March
It was time to head back home. As part of my marathon training I did a 2 hour 10 mile run along the Taff Trail, which was along the Brecon canal with the Brecon Beacons as the rather impressive background. So about 10.30am it was in the car and the drive back to Sussex. This time the roads were pretty much traffic free so it was a much shorter trip home.
It is always nice to see this sign after a trip to Wales for football!
The next away game is Bulgaria then Montenegro, so a bit more planning required compared to this one!!