Pre Season Tour pt.3
Three days in Edinburgh in August including Latics playing at Hibs must have seemed a good idea to many fans when the fixture was announced ,as nearly 300 fans went north of the border to see the game at Easter Rd on Tuesday.
However Edinburgh which is a beautiful city, full of tourists at any time of the year, is absolutley chaotic in August with the fringe, the festival and the Military Tattoo all taking place.
This resulted in accomodation being at a premium and many Latics fans were reduced to driving up to the game and coming straight back due to no accomodation being available, a round trip of 8 hours.
Mrs B and I were lucky and joined 6 other Latics fans on the train to Edinburgh on Tuesday am.
Having pre-booked tickets with reserved seats we expected a nice relaxing journey north but the electronic displays were all down resulting in a free for all with people without bookings occupying booked seasts and refusing to move. Many people were forced to stand all the way to Edinburgh , however we were lucky getting two seats.
Having checked into our hotel we went into Edinburgh for something to eat prior to the game. Edinburgh is a truly beautiful city and the locals despite being swamped with tourists are overwhelmingly helpful.
The biggest threat to our well being is from the street thespians 'performing' all over the place . One Wiganner apparently fell over a 'dying' actor and was then accused of ruining his performance.
Having been given directions to the ground we arrived about half an hour before kick off. Hibs ground is modern on three sides with one side where the seats have been apparently placed on the old terracing.
There was about 300 Latics fans at the game including this sites Bryan Plumb and his wife. Bryan confirmed the hospitality of the Hibs fans by informing us thats they had got lost and a Hibs fan on spotting their Latics shirts had given them a lift to the match.
Bryan's flag was once again on display earning him the admiration of Mike Pollitt
The game itself has been reported on already but a brief summary is that we dominated the first 25 mins and then after that it was pretty much 50/50.
Zaki looked very sharp again and linked up well with Heskey. Joel Thomas showed some nice touches but should have been booked and was possibly trying too hard to please.
Biggest cheer of the day from the home fans... the Glasgow Rangers result
Valencia's decision to come down to the Ecudorean flag carrying fans at the end of the game, spearked a rush of fans for an autograph and photo and credit to the stewards unlike some premier league grounds they didn't pull him away.
One thing though...why so many police? I counted 28 police at the away end.
After the game, five of us made our way to a local pub and were greated with the request to cover up our shirts. This is apparently common policy in the city and was the only negative incident of the whole day.
It was an overwhelmingly positive trip, marred only by the weather. We returned home on the Thursday evening train having endured 48 hours of unremitting rain. We were the lucky one,the majority of trains on the east coast main line and trains north of Edinburgh were cancelled due to flooding.
Now for Utrecht and the hopeful debut of the Vital Latics flag... watch this space.