Audlem goes to Wembley

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Crewe Alex victory celebrations at Wembley
Relief for some Audlem Crewe Alex fans at the final whistle.

Audlem's Crewe Alex fans travelled in style to Wembley for the Playoff Final yesterday against Cheltenham Town, courtesy of TC Tours' inaugural expedition.

But this was not the other TC, Thomas Cook, who have been doing trips like this for years.

It was all down to Tony Crowther — and luxury hardly captures what was on offer — match tickets supplied, fine bacon butties on departure (we think that Alg and Jane from the Old Priest House may have had a hand here), crisps galore, more than welcome bottles of water on what was a boiling, sweltering day, and even a raffle with prizes galore.

All that was needed to make the day complete was a result — and Crewe Alex delivered that in style.

2 — 0, with the first goal from Nick Powell, and one that would have graced any Cup Final — and must have added a few million to his probable future transfer fee to Manchester United, Arsenal or whoever.

A second goal from Byron Moore in the 83rd minute helped settle some jagged nerves but the six added minutes seemed an eternity before the final whistle brought on party time for Crewe Alex fans.

Refreshingly, it was a game played in fine fashion. As a Chatbox post from Grandad Dooler said: "What a pleasure to watch a proper football match: no bookings, no cynical fouls, no diving, just honest endeavour from both sides. A credit to every one concerned."

Even Cheltenham's pre-match announcer drew cheers from both ends when he said: "It's a pleasure to be playing Crewe, a club run the right way that plays the right way."

It must have been an unusual sight in London to see coaches from the likes of Crewe and Cheltenham drawing up at Wembley Stadium. So much so, the capital's bus and coach spotters were out in force, eagerly ticking off the rare sight of the likes of Happy Days, Barratts of Nantwich and, probably, Right Royal and Regency Coaches of Cheltenham Spa!

The Wembley authorities' attempts to dampen the spirits with outrageous prices — £4.70 a pint for Tetley Bitter and £2.20 for a glass of water — failed, as everyone from Audlem and South Cheshire had a fantastic time.

It was, as they say, a Grand Day Out — and good to see Audlem bedecked with flags of celebration on our return.

Here's to TC Tours' future success. Move over Thomas Cook — you have a rival! 


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