Dublin Hammers Trip 2007 - Arsenal - Saturday 29th September 2007

West Ham 0 vs Arsenal 1.

It all started very early on this trip, a 4.30am check-in saw some members staying up all night, some getting a few hours sleep, while one or two refused to get up at all, opting to stay in bed and miss the trip! We checked in amid chaos at the airport, busy or what! Alas the bar didn’t open until 6.10am, just after we boarded!

We were met at Stanstead by 2 mini buses and we were soon at the Barking Lodge. Bags were dumped in 606, and it was off to the pub next to Barking Station for a full ‘Farmhouse’ Breakfast with pints! After a top breakfast, chatting to the locals, watching the match build up on TV, we emerged from the pub into a lovely sunny day! Into taxis and within 10 minutes we were standing outside Upton Park. Next stop the shop... No home shirt on sale... only at West Ham!

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Then it was all meet at the Wakefield for the distribution of match tickets and more pre-match drinks.

We had seats in the West Stand, quite high up, but this gave us a great veiw of the game. This side of the ground hasn’t the atmosphere of the Bobby Moore, not much singing... members tried and tried and tried to get a song or two going, but most of the people around us needed to be jump started. A group of swedes over for the game did their best to join in, but only once or twice did the singing really get going!

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So to the game... we were disappointing, giving Arsenal way too much space, and sure enough 12 minutes into the game we were behind! We lacked width, playing it through the middle time and again. We had 10 minute spell in the second half when we had a go at them, we scored, only for the goal to be ruled out for off-side. (Speaking to a friend of mine, an Arsenal fan, he said it was not off side and should have been allowed!). It wasn’t too be... Oh well... some members headed back to the Wakefield after the game, while the more sensible ones went back to the hotel for some R&R before the evening activities. I stayed at the pub with a group of 6/7 others enjoying the atmosphere and songs before heading back. It 8pm the taxis arrived and most members headed off to a local pub, where the landlord had laid on a fine spread of food. A good evening was had by members who went. Those of us who stayed at the hotel watched the football through an alcoholic haze!

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Sunday morning was very quiet, no sign of a dublin hammer until around 8.30am. We got stuck into the usual ‘full english’ while coming round from the previous days excesses. A large group headed off to the liverpool street area, while others headed off in ones or twos to meet friends and family. At 6.30pm we all met up at the usual pub and soon the mini buses arrived to take us back to stanstead. It was a quiet journey back, not the usual sing song, I think saturday’s early start had caught up with most of us.

Our flight was delayed which enabled some members to watch a west ham team go one up in the ‘premier league all-stars’ competition final before hurrying off for the last call. Arrived back in Dublin at 11.30pm... knackered!

A good weekend, thanks to the travel commitee for all their hard work, especially Brian!

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