Season 2005-06 Result
Cheltenham Town 0-2 Newcastle United
 M.Chopra 41,
 S.Parker 43.
Date: 28/01/2006  Venue: Whaddon Road  Competition: FA Cup
Crowd: 7,022
Match Report Submitted on 30/01/2006 by Dirk
One fixture every Newcastle fan was looking forward too - Cheltenham Town in the Cup. The romance of the Cup or maybe it is the only competition will have a chance of winning. No Newcastle fan could remember having ever played there before. The ideal trip. Lower league opposition means the possibility of progressing and a new ground. Whaddon Road only holds about 7,000 of which Newcastle got just under 1,000 tickets. After all the corporates in Newcastle were sorted out, enough tickets remained to make sure proper supporters can see this fixture. The scramble for tickets was not as bad as expected with the Krev’s having received most of what they applied for.
Anyway, I had my ticket and at 8.30 am I boarded the train to Cheltenham. Very rarely do I take the train out of Paddington. Usually I only pass through Paddington on my way to Kings X or Euston. So, it was a nice change not having to get on the Underground. On the train there were quite a few Toon fans, and many race-goers. Cheltenham had big race meeting on the same day. The public school boys outnumbered the football fans, but everyone kept to themselves. Almost 2 hours later at 10.20am I arrived at the small station on the outskirts of Cheltenham. Just before the train pulled in to the Station the guard announced that the next train to Paddington leaves at 11.00 from platform 2. Although not quite sure why he mentioned this, it became clear when I got off the train. Station staff was announcing that ‘the football is on, the races are off’. I had to laugh. The weather was nice and I knew it was going to be a good day.
First time I had been to Cheltenham and I did not really know where the town centre and the ground was, so I took the bus which seems to leave whenever a train arrived. In the Town centre I was due to meet a few Westerhope lads who flew down. The bus driver got so excited driving us into town that he asked everyone which pub everyone was going so that he could showe us the directions from the bus stop. Brilliant service. We loved it and he loved it. I wondered whether supporters in the 3rd division don’t travel, or are the always that friendly down here?
I had no problems finding the boozer and that saved me quite a bit of time. I met my mates from Newcastle there and we had a few drinks. Then I went towards the ground where Mick was waiting with the ticket. A quick couple of pints in the pub outside the ground (The Cat and Fiddle) and then we got to out seats. Kick off was 12.30 and only Mick, Jonnathan and the twins travelled down from the North East. They stayed Friday night outside Cheltenham and the under 40’s took this opportunity to check out the nightlife in this part of the country as who knows when we will play in that part of the world again. To get to our seats we had to go almost over the pitch. There was no area behind the stand where you could meet up. Meeting up at half time was only possible in the toilet. Our seats were in row C which was not quite the last row. The ground was small but it looked alright and everyone liked it. The view was fine. Had worse seats (i.e. West Ham, Chelsea in the old days).
The game started in typical Newcastle fashion. CTFC had the better of us in the first 20 minutes but there were no real chances on both sides. Their centre forward caused Boumsong some problems, but whatever came towards our goal, Given dealt with it. I think I would have kept a clear sheet this afternoon as well. With hindsight Given did not have to do much this afternoon. Then just before HT we scored two goals – against the run of play, unexpected. Anyway, 2–0 up, game over. The second half plotted along and the Toon Army was pretty bored. Hence we started to cheer for their goalie who was at our end : ‘Higgsy give us a wave’, ‘Higgsy for England’ or better Sunderland. ‘Higgsy is a superstar’ and so on. The whole time. It was entertaining. Not quite sure why he was singled out. I guess easy name and as he was with his back towards us we could read his name. On the pitch there was not much happening which is worth mentioning. We were all hoping that Shearer would score his 201st goals in front of our stand and we encouraged him by singing ‘When Shearer scores we’re on the pitch’, but he did not. Neither did anyone else.
With about 15 minutes to go the Chef from the burger van came running along the front of our stand waving a sign ‘All Food ½ price’. We all laughed and it did not take long till one fat Geordie rushed to the stall to buy cheap burgers. No it was not Wilf, he did not come down and he is not fat, but I recom he would have gone as well. After the match we went back into town, having a few drink at various pubs. In the pub at the station quite a few Geordies met up before catching the train home and a few ‘West Country’ farmers kids thought it would be funny to cheer for Sunderland. We were by and large cool, but the landlord got a bit worried and had a word with one of their slapper lasses – maybe she was from Pennywell, who knows. They shut up at the end when Brentford beat the Mackems. We were very happy and enjoyed our drinks.
At 17.30 I got the train back to Paddington – pissed. On the train back Mick phoned me to tell me about Brentford’s 2-1 win over Sunderland and he was booking his accommodation for the next round in Ealing. Just in case. A good trip ended and I have seen a win. I still did not bother watching MOTD, but only because I fell asleep when it started.