Mullingar to Northfleet: Damien travels to see the Fleet

Fleet fan Damien McCormack, from Mullingar in the heart of Ireland, documents his longer-than-average journey (almost 1,500 miles to be precise) to take in Fleet’s game v Darlington last week…
“It’s 5 am. It’s November 19th 2011. It’s dark outside in Mullingar, Ireland. My alarm has just awoken me. Its time. I’ve waited 2 months for this. Passport, check…. Driving License, check……Ryanair boarding cards, check…..I kiss my two little girls on the cheek as they sleep and kiss my half awoken wife goodbye.
Now it’s into my car and collect my brother, John. It’s now 5:20 am as we leave for Dublin Airport. This is no ordinary trip. It’s my trip to Stonebridge Road to see MY TEAM Ebbsfleet Utd. At 6:20 am we’ve arrived at Terminal 1, Dublin Airport. Through security, a quick bite to eat and it’s time to board our flight to Stansted Airport in Essex.
Having picked up our hired car it’s on the road south on the M11 and then we head for Dartford via the M25. 50 minutes later we arrive at the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford to pick up the promised gifts for the kids back home. It’s now 1pm and a bite of lunch is served before making the short 10 minute drive to Stonebridge Road.
We arrive at the long-term car park at Ebbsfleet International and from here we walk the short distance to the ground in good time for what we are expecting will be another great win against Darlington. Its now shortly after 2pm and it’s into the clubhouse for a nice cold coke and a read of my newly purchased match day programme.
3 pm and the ref blows for the start of the game. 3 minutes in and The Fleet have a shot cleared off the line. Great start. That’s as good as it gets for the home side though as we concede possession time and time again. Eventually Darlo take the lead and to be fair apart from the Willock equaliser on 66 minutes we never looked like we had a chance of winning this one.
Five minutes after the equaliser Darlo again hit the front and deservedly so. There’s even time for a third breakaway goal in injury time. Not a good result for us Fleet fans but worse than the result was the performance. I hope we can get back to winning ways In the Kent Senior Cup on Tuesday and carry this winning form onto Lincoln on Sat.
5:30 pm and it’s back to the car. 1 hour 45 mins later it’s check-in time at our hotel in Clacton on Sea in Essex. A few drinks with the brother and it’s lights out on our day in the UK.
8 am on Sunday morning it’s rise and shine and off to Stansted Airport to catch flight FR 206 to Dublin. What an enjoyable 1,460 miles return journey we’ve had. Can’t wait to return to North Kent In 2012.
Up The Fleet.”

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