It was a cold and wintry morning, the sort to chill even the hardest of men to the bones. Arriving early at St Pancras, his head a little sore, the Gogs' glorious leader nursed his coffee and Pret sandwich and went to check the train times. In a moment his mood, cautious optimism tempered with the desire to still be in bed, was shattered. On every arrivals board the word 'BUS' was writ large.

So began the a great journey to rival Sherman's March to the Sea or the many years of the Odyssey. Eighteen disgruntled Gogs packed onto a rail replacement bus that shuddered through north London in Saturday morning traffic. Alex Higgs demanded to know where first class ticket holder were sat, Batesy grumbled about how he should have taken his bike and everyone else mused allowed if there was a reason why the team's back room staff hadn't got wind of mass engineering works on the Thameslink.

Still, after the world's worst bus journey, a short trundle up the tracks to St Albans and a surprisingly luxurious taxi ride, Hackney 3s arrived. Verulamian's pitch was a bit muddy and their changing rooms a bit cold, but not to be deterred the Gogs enjoyed a short, bracing warm up and all agreed to play some expansive, flowing rugby.

Things went well for the visitors from the start. After enjoying the majority of early possession, Dan Aylward broke through and dotted down under the posts for the opening try of the game. Unfortunately, Gogs debutante Murray Mason (who, despite his name, is not Scottish), managed to ruin his ankle in the build up and was carried off, to be replaced by Quentin Blochard who was making his club debut and looking mighty handsome at the same time.

With three Frenchmen now on the pitch, flair soon reached dangerous levels. The Gogs back row was in fine form, providing Jack Kedge with phase after phase of clean ball. Under the stewardship of Kedge and Reay the backs flourished, and Aylward, Duffin and Blochard all touched down before half time, Reay landing a number of impressive conversions. Hackney also held solid at scrum time, evening winning a few against the head, allowing Dave Josling, a man who will never fail to insist he can 'only play twenty minutes', to make some strong carries from the base of the scrum.

After half time the game slowed a little and Verulamian's enjoyed some long periods of possession, although to little end with strong tackling from Hackney stopping them short of the gain line. The game swung back to the visitors when Aylward intercepted a pass in his own 22 and ran over eighty meters to fall over the line in the corner, completing his hat-trick with outrageous arrogance.

Hackney then enjoyed dominance for the remainder of the game, although a brief period on their own 22 saw the visitors concede a second try after some good work by the Verulamian's forwards. However, with more space to work with after the home team were reduced to 14 men, the Gogs showed ruthlessness to finish the game off. Aylward ended up with five tries (and a cheeky drop goal conversion to annoy Reay), with one coming after a glorious, Greenwood-esque break through the centers from the Gogs captain who selflessly offloaded rather than score himself (in truth, I'm very slow and got caught). The front row continued their sterling work, lead by Simon Ferguson who seems to roll back more and more years every week. Nick Ford mad a lively cameo at nine from the bench and James Davis, Ollie Ball and Chris Duffin worked well as a unit to cope with the high ball in swirling conditions, making plenty of meters running the ball back.

At the final whistle, after Aylward scored his last, Hackney had won by a 40 point margin and seem finally, with a fully fit team and the correct number of forwards and backs, to have got their season back on track. Bring on Watford!