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Fan's view: York City and Stevenage FA Trophy final
11:45am Tuesday 19th May 2009 in Sport
A TRIP to Wembley was the perfect medicine for all York City followers after an ill-favoured and lifeless season in the Conference.
As a frustrated season-ticket holder, I myself was relishing the trip down south to the hallowed home of football for the FA Trophy final along with approximately 11,000 other Minstermen supporters.
A legion of coaches lined Knavesmire at 6am, with spirits high at the mouth-watering prospect of York City lifting silverware for the first time in 16 years.
Jokes were cracked, daydreams of the Minstermen hoisting the trophy aloft were enjoyed and an atmosphere of palpable enthusiasm was evident en route to the spiritual landmark of English sport.
A brief stop at Leicester services for the 21 City coaches coincided with a break for the travelling Leeds fans as they headed to their play-off semi-final at Millwall.
A Yorkshire invasion on a grand scale was due down south.
Hours later, the famous arch was visible in the distance as the sheer magnitude of the stadium dwarfed its surroundings.
It more than lived up to its billing as one of the world’s most impressive sport arenas.
The floor was free of litter, the foyer leading to the seats was spotless and roomy while the pitch, from a distance, looked immaculate.
Bootham Crescent may hold an edge with its rustic appearance and character for City fans, but Wembley was truly breath-taking in the way it combined modern efficiency with an almost Roman amphitheatre appeal.
Minutes prior to the 2pm kick off, both fans united in a rendition of the national anthem, sending tingles down the spine.
One can only imagine what it sounds like at capacity level for an important England game.
The City fans comfortably outdid their Stevenage counterparts in terms of atmosphere; flags were waved and songs were sung but they never got the opportunity to cheer the goal their support deserved.
90 minutes later it had proved to be, ultimately, a disappointing result and a tepid, uninspiring performance.
Realistically, that was always the likely outcome against a strong Stevenage outfit but blind optimism is the staple feature of any true football supporter, especially when Wembley is the scene of the encounter.
The journey home lasted seemingly twice as long as the trip down south but it was nevertheless a momentous occasion, enjoyed by young and old and remembered by all.