Pilgrim's progress: the long journey north

Despite the appalling weather sweeping the country, a bunch of hardy Plymouth Argyle supporters made the 410-mile trip to Tyneside last night for the club's FA Cup third round replay with Newcastle United. One of those who made the trek, Mark Havard, shares his experience:

"The journey up wasn't too bad, we got up at about 8.30 in the morning and had pretty much a free run straight through. It wasn't snowing when we left, but we had quite a few good hits of the stuff around Yorkshire. Considering the forecasts and the problems elsewhere in the country yesterday, we didn't see any snow until Somerset so it wasn't too bad at all. We had our game at QPR cancelled last week and also one at home to Barnsley last year where the rain was coming down heavily and the match had to be abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch.

"All in all it will have been about an 800-mile round trip, so it's a bit of a trek! The travelling has been quite reasonable and I had a beef pastie to keep me going. We came up through Bristol, then into the Midlands and Yorkshire but were held up a bit on the way going up to Newcastle. Were there any shouts of 'Green Army'? Not yet, but I'm sure there will be nearer the ground! We haven't seen Paul Whitehouse at any Argyle games, but I have to say it is a good advert, they're well done. We finally arrived at St James' at about 6pm.

"We have two coachloads of us travelling up for the match, about 60 people in total, with a few more from the northern branch of the supporter's club we should number a few hundred, though that's not quite the 2,000 we took up for the league game in September. That trip, which we lost 3-1, wasn't too bad - it was pleasant weather, a nice day and we got back home at around half past two, three o'clock in the morning. This time we don't expect to be back much before six or seven o'clock, so it'll be straight to bed for me. Some may go on to work but I've got the day off so I'm alright!"

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