Plymouth Argyle 0 York City 4
Saturday 15th February 2014
Referee: Mr. Charles Breakspear
Attendance: 6'502 (126)
The final piece of The Devon Triangle rested all on Plymouth. We'd already lost 2-1 at Exeter back in August and beaten Torquay 3-0 in October, which until January was our only away win of the season.
The original plan was to take the 0526 train to Leeds from York then the 0630 to Plymouth arriving at 1242 before coming back at 1742 arriving in at York at 0010 the next day. However, with all the floods down south and the train tracks in Dawlish coming apart. Bus services now meant that it was not possible to do it in a day. So instead it was on the York Pullman for £50 meaning I made a saving of £57.
So up at 04:30 I was and set off for Bootham Crescent at 05:45. The bus was a 29 seater and only 24 were travelling. This meant there would be several double seats available. To make sure I was on one of them for the 14hr I did the old 'put the bag on the seat next to you and pretend to fall asleep so no one will ask you to move it' tactic. It worked. With only 23 showing up ('Trigger' being the only one who didn't) we set off promptly at 06:30.
The first half of the journey went without problem, barring a ten minute delay,for what I don't know, on the M42. Watching all the lights of York as we left in pitch black before drifting off to sleep for three hours. Next thing I know was we were arriving at Birmingham Hopwood Park services at 09:30. I decided to get some chips from Burger King for the reasonable price of £1.99. After 40 minutes at BHP, we set off again for another two hours down the M5. This time I decided to take in the scenery such as the Severn Bridge, the RAC Bradley Stoke Tower and the Morrisons Bridgwater Centre.
We arrived at our second service stop on our way down, Taunton Services, at about 12:30. We only stopped down here for about 10 minutes as it was more of a toilet break. However, we were all on the bus and we were just waiting for one person... the other driver! Once he finally arrived, it was time to set off on our final leg of the journey to Home Park, only 1hr and 10mins away according to Google Maps.
As we began passing Exeter, the turbo on our bus went. For some reason as well, this was the hilliest part of the journey. We ended going uphill at around 20mph. It meant we didn't finally arrive in Plymouth until around 13:30, much to the disappointment of those who were wanting a drink or two.
After walking around the ground getting some photos, especially of the Grandstand which will be knocked down soon and of the Grandstand turnstiles, I headed inside and headed straight to the back row.
I was personally surprised with how big the allocation of seats York got, we only took 126 (which is good support in my opinion considering it is 337 miles away and almost impossible by train) yet we got two blocks. Most people went towards the back of the stand due to the sun. To the left of us was the Grandstand, a disused terrace at the front and seating raised up behind it. It looked a cracking stand and seemed a shame that it was going to be knocked down soon and replaced. Opposite us was the Devonport End where the Plymouth faithful were, complete with a drum they sang for the majority of the match, it wasn't until the last 10 minutes or so when they went quite. To the right of us was the Lyndhurst stand. All of the stands looked 90% full which is brilliant considering the grounds 16'000 capacity.
Finally the teams came out and after a minutes applause for England legend Sir Tom Finney who died the day previously the match got underway. The match was even for the first ten minutes, the wide pitch leading to a passing game and several breaks down the line. Then a pass from Wes Fletcher to Ryan Bowman saw the latter go one on one in the box. This lead to the keeper, Jake Cole or Defender Neal Trotman bringing him down when there was a goal scoring opportunity. Trotman was seen the guilty man and was giving his marching orders. Infuriated Argyle fans were not happy and began booing anything and everything. Fletcher placed the ball 12 yards away on the spot and coolly slotted his penalty to the right, sending Cole the wrong way, much to the delight of us City supporters.
It was once again an even game, Hourihane blasting wide Plymouth's best chance, until the 45th minute. A Will Hayhurst cross was headed back across goal by Ryan Bowman for centre back John McCombe to head into the far corner. This was a killer blow for Plymouth who'd have been more that happy for it to only be one at half time. York went in the much happier of the two teams.
At half time, I went down for some food only to see that the queue was too long. Instead I went to a sweet stall on the right where they were selling ice cream, with the York City badge on it. 'Pilgrims Pleasure' it was called and it certainly was a pleasure. Ice Cream, at a football match in February, who'd have thought it?
The teams came back out for the second half. Plymouth squandered a few chances but really, York had most of the possession and all the chances. Although we had to wait for the 87th minute for our next goal. John McCombe managing to stop a corner going out of play before passing the ball back to Josh Carson who gave the ball to Michael Coulson. He then turned and ran on the left hand side of the six yard box towards goal before passing it across for McCombe to get his brace. Game over. Brilliant football and McCombe's second brace of the season after getting one for Mansfield prior to joining us in January.
The final goal came from Josh Carson. A run down the middle of the pitch slightly to the left ended up with him hitting it from 20 yards out into the top right hand corner sending the York fans into ecstasy. The last time York won 4-0 away was at Grays Athletic on March 30th 2010. Nearly four years on and we were celebrating our biggest win since our return to the football league.
The journey home was a long one. The coach drivers decided to miss the match and 'fix' the turbo instead however we were still going at a snails pace uphill. The journey between Plymouth and Birmingham HP is always long. You quite often hear comments such as 'how are we only passing Bristol?' and 'how have we not reached Cheltenham yet?'
We finally arrived back in York at 00:05, five minutes earlier than the train would have got us in. I eventually arrived home a few minutes later. Overall it was an enjoyable day out and I will hopefully be able to do it again next season, as long as it is 5-0 next time!
Next Goal Wins
This is my blog from my football trips. Not all trips will be added but when I feel like writing a report, it'll be below.