A 484-mile round trip to Carlisle on a Tuesday night may not be everyone’s idea of a late-autumn break but when your team’s unbeaten away from home in eight months, I – along with the team, staff and 126 supporters – were quite looking forward to the visit to Brunton Park.

As the press officer, I usually travel to away games with media colleagues in a company car but the brutality of this particularly journey meant I was invited onto the team coach – a behind-the-scenes experience I thought I’d share for this week’s column.

Departing the training ground at 1pm on Monday, the coach played host to a number of activities for its passengers along the six-hour route to Carlisle. Some took the opportunity to catch a nap, some watched films, listened to music, or even got stuck into a game of Balderdash (I only mention that as I was victorious on the journey home).

Straight off the bus into dinner at 7pm, the players and staff were eager to hear news of the FA Cup first round draw, which – in the absence of easily accessible wifi – was relayed via a phone call from home before Midlanders Scott Brown and Dan Scarr shared their knowledge of Solihull Moors (though nobody was particularly clued up on Ossett Town).

Early to bed after an arduous journey, the players had the option of a light gym or swimming session on the morning of the game, in between the nutritious breakfast and lunch served up at the hotel. For myself, the day was spent preparing for the game through the medium of online content, sharing information ahead of the match and revisiting highlights from previous encounters to Carlisle.

After a short walk around the picturesque town of Carlisle, we all made the short coach ride to the stadium where I met up with my colleague Tom and three photographers – Andy, Kevin and David – before taking my seat in the rather sparse press box.

Delivering impartial commentary for online and radio listeners can be tough when you’re so emotionally invested in a club, and when controversial penalty decisions go against your side, but the last-minute equaliser was a moment to be savoured and made for a far more bearable journey home, where after a spell of catching up on social media reaction and reviewing the highlights (and that glorious game of Balderdash), it was time for sleep – until 4am, that is, when we reached the training ground and went our separate ways, content with the point.