UPDATED: Town set to equal 100-year-old away game Odyssey

Braintree Town v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 46.Braintree Town v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 46.
Braintree Town v Luton Town. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 46.
Saturday’s trip to Chester will end Town’s six-straight away game Odyssey much to the relief of Town chief John Still, writes Mark Wood.

The run equals the record number of away games in a row the Hatters have ever faced, and Still is expecting another ‘tough’ trip against the phoenix club, who have recovered superbly since being expelled from the Conference and wound up in 2010 over financial problems.

It’s the first time in 100 years Town have experienced such a run on their travels, but they have been in fine form on the road during it, winning three, drawing one and losing just once.

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The last time it happened was October 29 to November 15 in 1913, where Town won their first and last trips and lost the other four in the Southern Alliance League and Southern League Two, with the only other time it happened back in March-April 1902.

Still admitted: “It’s tough travelling, not being funny especially long journeys like Gateshead, it’s a long, long journey isn’t it Gateshead. Atrocious conditions and it’s very testing.

“And when you think we’ve done that... At Welling the pitch was difficult, the other night the pitch was difficult, it’s tough. So it’s important you get the right balance of training and resting.

“It is tough, but it is what it is. What do we do? We’ve just got to go and try and find a way of competing with it. We’ve got a free week next week, which I’m pleased about. Because as important as it is to train it’s important to rest as well. We’ll train properly next week, but we can fit the right amount of rest in as well which is what we’ll do.”

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Skipper Ronnie Henry believes Town have coped well on their travels, as he said: “We seem to be doing all right on the road after six on the road, but hey, we’ve got to go there again on Saturday and put in another big performance. We can’t dwell on Tuesday night now, we’ve got to move forward to Chester and put in a performance, one where we need to stay together and work hard and get the result.”

He’s also been delighted with the support the Hatters have received from their fans, and can’t wait to get back TO Kenilworth Road.

Henry said: “We’re getting the crowds away from home as well, the fans are turning up in their numbers and I’m sure when we come back to Kenilworth Road next weekend the fans will be there in their numbers and fully behind us and we look forward to coming back and playing in front of them and getting results at home as well.”

The plethora of away games means the Hatters will have a number of home fixtures to look forward to, much to Still’s delight, as he said: “Absolutely. It’s just one of them things, the way it works out. But we know we’ve got home games to look forward to, so we’ll be ready when it happens and pleased when it happens too.”

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Chester are currently 20th, just one place above the relegation zone on goal difference having earned 18 points from 19 games.

But Still isn’t expecting an easy ride, as he continued: “Another tough game every week. Every week - name one that’s easy? I’m trying to think of one that’s easy!”

On what type of game it will be, he said: “Conditions sometimes dictate. I don’t really know. Whatever it is we’ll be ready for. I’ll take a look at conditions, take a look at my team, see who’s fit and healthy and who’s ready for that particular challenge.”

But as a fellow former Football League team, Still knows the Blues will be well supported.

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He added: “I think that the so-called stabilised normally find a bit of common ground again. I think having been a former Football League club with a decent stadium which was a Football League stadium, they’ve probably got decent local support, people want a football club in their city and, although they’ve had a difficult time, they’ve sort of fought their way back.

“Not in the same way that Wimbledon did, because Wimbledon was an established Football League club and had come through the ranks, but I think you get a lot of help quite rightly and decent support around it, and it’s every credit to the people involved.”