Monday, 19 August 2019

I BET YOU LOOK GOOD ON THE FOOTBALL PITCH

HIGH GREEN VILLA 4 HOUGHTON MAIN 1
SHEFFIELD COUNTY SENIOR PREMIER @ ST GEORGE'S THORNCLIFFE
17 AUGUST 2019 --- 3PM
HIGH GREEN VILLA ON THE BALL VERSUS HOUGHTON MAIN
High Green's own Arctic Monkeys were more interested in the female of the species looking good on the dancefloor but let me tell you lads your own footy side looked good on the football pitch as they swept aside Houghton Main in this opening fixture to go straight to the top of the Premier League table.
Gradually but gradually there is a collection of Sheffield County League sides that have come onto the radar and after catching up with Villa at Dronfield in pre season they looked worth a visit and having only previously seen them in away fixtures a trip to another of Sheffield's St George's Park at Thorncliffe came onto the radar.
MICHAEL VELLA MAKES IT THREE FOR VILLA
It would once again be a weekend away from train travel and the chance to immerse myself in some more public transport journeys by bus.  Whether its my ever increasing age or modern day standards I know not but behaviour seems to get worse from screaming kids who insist on trying to break the decibel levels that Kiri Te Kanawa struggles to reach to the young women on the back seat of the bus whose phone conversation you endure for most of the journey, still I did learn Becky is a little madam, put in slightly more flowery language, and she was getting her nails done again for the second time in a week.  Still into spire town and out on an X17 to steel city before a meandering stripey boys 1 via many of the cosmopolitan areas of Sheffield would see me arrive in High Green around 1pm.
AARGH THE BALL
High Green is the last bastion of Sheffield some eight miles north and one mile north of Chapeltown which of course contains the oasis that is Thorncliffe Cricket Club right in the centre of the bustling town centre.  There appears to be little of note in the village with much of its older area made up of smart stone terrace cottages with the area undertaking massive re developments over the last few decades two large social housing estates have expanded this, I guess, previous hamlet.
WHEN YOU SAID STICK CLOSE TO HIM GAFFER
With the local chippy not taking my fancy I opted for the usual variety of produce in the St George's café, the centre is smart and comfortably appointed with two 4g pitches and the same amount of grass pitches.  Thankfully the teams were relatively easy to obtain with thanks to both sides officials for their cooperation and with a fine afternoon in prospect, apart from an unusually strong wind, there was half an hour to wile away before kick off.
MAIN IN CONTROL WITH VELLA CHASING
Purple seems to be becoming a popular kit and Houghton Main looked smart in theirs with High Green in original yellowy orange with black shorts. 
The grass pitch would be the chosen venue, it would appear Villa will not use 4g unless absolutely necessary, with a respect rope barrier to keep the small crowd away from pitch side we were underway with High Green utilising the wind at their backs.
TOME PEACE MAKES IT 2-0 FROM THE PENALTY SPOT
The strength of the wind was making it quite difficult to play with it even in what you may guess would be in your favour and although the home side were in the ascendancy possession wise the clear cut chances were not appearing.
It was just past the half an hour mark when the deadlock was broken though Tom Burns saw his shot pushed away by the Main keeper Jamie Oddy he fed the ball back across goal to Charlie Hobson who deflected it to the back post where Tom Peace fired home.  High Green tried a couple of long range efforts that flew just off target before doubling their lead from the penalty spot from Hobson with two minutes to go to the break.  On the whistle though the home side had to be alert when Jordan Kershaw looked set to pull the trigger Jordan Evans got in a timely tackle to deny the Main front man.
NO WAY OUT
The game was all over as a contest within three minutes off the re start Hobson beat the offside trap laid the ball across to Michael Vella who gathered his first touch and fired home past the stranded keeper and defence to make it 3-0.  Harley Wilson made it four without reply with ten minutes remaining of the ninety when he saw the keeper miss placed and fired in low from the edge of the box.
MAIN KEEPER ODDY COMES OUT ON TOP IN THIS BATTLE
Houghton Main were rewarded with a consolation goal for their efforts on the stroke of referee Grainger's final whistle a superb run down the left from Kershaw fed Zak Patterson who finished.
Mini Usain Bolt sprint saw a returning number 1 service caught immediately and with a quick change in Sheffield a brief interlude just short of spire town centre saw a fuelling stop at Chester's for fish and chips before the onward journey from an enjoyable afternoon out north of Sheffield.

Friday, 16 August 2019

SHERWOOD COLLIERY COME OUT ON TOP

EASTWOOD COMMUNITY 1 SHERWOOD COLLIERY 2
EMCL @ CORONATION PARK
14 AUGUST 2019 --- 7.45PM
RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME EASTWOOD CFC V SHERWOOD COLLIERY
The celebrations from both sides for their goals showed the importance of this much fought recent contests and today it was close with little given in a goal less first half, the second half produced the relevant action that saw the visitors take the lead before Eastwood equalised but it was to be substitute Kieran Wells who settled it nine minutes from time.
A short blog on a relatively short journey tonight and after a day of rain the 4g at Eastwood offered a tantalising fixture that had seen these two sides battle out CMFL and now, the soon to be obsolete, East Midlands Counties League fixtures.
A collection of three buses would see arrival just shy of 7pm and after some confusion of access with the gate I was used to being open being locked and trying to gain access around the front of the clubhouse also being blocked I feared a long walk back around the ground.  After moaning through a fence to a mate who was now the right side of the 'Eastwood wall' the gate by the club was manned and access gained.  Having been branded on entrance through former turnstile with a bold red 'PAID' stamp it appeared some blighters were going into the clubhouse and not paying hence the nead for the inking.
MAIN STAND REMAINS TO WELCOME VISITORS
A fair collection of hoppers in a healthy crowd were gathering and it was as ever a pleasure to catch up with a few of them during the evening with a word for Malcolm Storer who through his 'on the road blog' page has keep a timeless effort up during the close season to keep the most comprehensive local pre season list going a fantastic effort.
WARM RESPECT GREETINGS
With the, once again, days rain finally relenting there was an option of viewing places available as long as you were not to low down at this ground which now has some very restrictive viewing areas since the pitch was levelled.  A frequent visit to Eastwood necessitates no real descriptor nothing much has changed accept to say the new boundary fencing is now complete along with a new roof to the small stand and a entrance board that I had not seen before looks resplendent.
First half was a speed battle but with little in goal chances it fell to Kieran Watson to strike the bar with a 25 yard free kick and then just before half time Patrick Webb to see his effort saved by Josh Turton.  On the stroke of half time home keeper Curtis McDonald was called on to make an excellent interception to keep it level at the break.
REFEREE EXPLAINS LAST WEEKS FISHING MATCH
Just short of the hour mark Charlie Taylor broke the deadlock with a sharp back post header but it was all square in 77 minutes when Sherwood couldn't clear their lines and Watson fired home.  Both sides looked for the winner not settling for a draw but it would be three points back to Debdale Park when Wells latched onto a slip up on he edge of the and as he drew the keeper fired home.
The East Midlands Counties League has created some excellent local derbies and although this was not a classic you could see the importance to both sides lets hope its replacement league will not lose this competitiveness.

Monday, 12 August 2019

FIVE STAR CUP WIN FOR SOUTH NORMANTON

SOUTH NORMANTON ATHLETIC 5 SELSTON 0
FAC EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND @ LEES LANE
10 AUGUST -2019 --- 3PM
RICHARD HANSLOW GETS HIS FIRST FOR SOUTH NORMANTON
South Normanton swept aside local rivals and early season tenants Selston with a barnstorming victory that left the Parish Hall side shell shocked and at 3-0 down after 22 minutes the game was up early on.  A selection of quality finishing aided by an impressive Richard Hanslow brace and two wonderful free kicks from Martin Smyth and Jack Dodds all complimented the opening goal from Ryan Nadine.
RYAN NADINE [4] GOAL NUMBER ONE FOR SOUTH NORMANTON
Football had returned over the last few weeks and with the run of poor weather and the previous evenings national power cut leaving train travel in chaos the obvious choice was too stick on the local trips after recent enjoyments.  By 1.30pm there was a serious questioning of my choice with a constant downpour of heavy rain for the previous two hours I feared for the game with the amount of wet stuff that had fallen.  Forty five minutes had been spent in, wait for it, Subway in Alfreton, I know there was a definite opt out of walking around with an umbrella up and fish and chips in this stuff!
The additional shock was an Italian herb and cheese with acres of salad filling and a vegan slice a big surprise to the normal Saturday food intake, anyway within half an hour I finally made the put to South Normanton and made the caring sharing store for a few sweet based items.
Having paid in and secured a programme there was time for a circuit and all was looking good, thankfully including the playing surface, the ground has been described many times before so I wont attempt to do so again save to say snack bar, bar and small programme shop were all open and a half time raffle was also operated for this local derby.
It was somewhat of a shame that this fixture came out in the early round but with just three miles, as the crow flies, separating the two sides and indeed Selston would be ground sharing for their first couple of home games a close match was expected especially with both clubs now competing in the Midland Football League.
Sadly you cant always get your predictions right and today would prove a painful day at the office for Selston three down within the first quarter of the game  and I guess they couldn't wait for the final whistle.  Within ten minutes Nadine had driven in after Hanslow had seen his shot pushed away by Alfie Smith Eccles in the Selston goal.  Double the time double the goals the prominent Hanslow turned sharply to fire home to make it 2-0 and the third came when the same player ran onto a missed headed clearance by a Selston defender, probably beaten by the blustery wind to fire home with confidence.
SMITH ECCLES SAVES FROM SMYTH
The half could have been worse Smith Eccles pulled off a wonderful penalty save low to his right from Smyth who had been brought down by the keeper in the initial incident add to this two efforts against the woodwork and punch drunk could apply to a Selston side who trooped off at half time.
It got no better in the second half when within three minutes Smyth curled home a lovely 20 yard strike after a Selston hand ball and the afternoon just got more desperate for the visitors when Ben Moore was sent off after 50 minutes for a kick.
Ten minutes remained when South Normanton left the crowd with a lasting memory of their sharp finishing when Jake Dodds smashed home a 25 yard free kick past the diving Smith Eccles.
RYAN NADINE ON THE BALL AGAIN FOR SOUTH NORMANTON
Hard to assess this game except to say you have to beat what is in front of you and South Normanton looked very sharp and if they play like this along the seasons long and winding road they will be worth watching a very professional performance from a side who looked full of goals.
As for Selston a club playing in the Corinthian spirit, remember, this could be a long season with survival at step 5 a starting achievement for the village club and so far they had previously suffered two very narrow losses.  It was hard to explain from their point of view they are a team with so much passion and battle that today deserted them and saw an out of sorts performance on so many grounds.  Hopefully this will go to the back of their memory quickly and Craig and Richard alongside the club and its supporters will get on with their main aim for the season, it was painful to watch a lovely club suffer on their big day.
The Shiners have one aim to keep up this intensity and it will take them a long way this season this was a wholly impressive victory and bodes well hopefully for them to not have a struggling season but a successful one.
Todays game allowed a catch up with Mr W of the snappers Parish and Mr W of the Sheffield Parish a pleasure chaps and the latter even got me home for just after 5pm!  It must have been the earliest for ages I did think of asking him to drop me off at Sheffield station just to make a challenge of it!

Friday, 9 August 2019

BORDERLANDS DERBY SEES CLAY CROSS DEFEAT THE IVANHOES

CLAY CROSS UNITED 4 NEW TUPTON IVANHOES 1
PRE SEASON FRIENDLY @ FURNACE HILL
8 AUGUST 2019 --- 6.30PM
MATCH ACTION FROM THE BORDERLANDS DERBY
Local bragging rights were claimed by Clay Cross United after they came from a goal down to beat neighbours New Tupton Ivanhoes thanks to a double from Callum Gill and strikes from Matt Walsh and Mason Hamlin.The most local of 'derbies' had seen all police leave cancelled as the bars, bistros and cafes, well mainly pubs, of Clay Cross spilled over with eager fans.  In all seriousness the village of Tupton, made up of Old and New, have an enterprising club in the form of The Ivanhoes with a large junior set up and on view tonight their senior outfit which competes in The Hope Valley League.  Whereas Clay Cross United are part of The Chesterfield and District Sunday Football League and I guess carry the town name which is more known for its senior step 7 side under the 'Town' banner formed in 1989 as Parkhouse Fc.
WELCOME TO CLAY CROSS
The village and town are connected by the main A61 which more or less mirrors the old Rykneld Road from Roman times however as development has continued on the former industrial sites the two encampments are more or less merging and battle lines are drawn somewhere around the new big yellow 'M' sign, which also supplied pre match meal tonight.
The town is a former mining and industrial settlement with its former pit, Parkhouse, closed over fifty years ago and the previous Clay Cross Works pipe making company which changed to Biwater and was then finally taken over by a French concern who closed it in 2000.  With the loss of this and the many satellite pits the area has, of course, suffered the post industrial ravages but there are many signs of glory days and struggles still around.
St Bartholomew's Church on the High St has the former stone base for the cross that got the town its name positioned outside the church which also contains a classic stain glass window in memory of William Morris the arts and crafts movement designer whose sister was the wife of the churches first vicar.
ONE OF THE 9 UNIQUE AIRSHAFTS IN THE TOWN
Over the way the obligatory winding wheels and coal tubs with floral displays surrounding them.  The area is synonymous with George Stephenson who helped drive the railway tunnel under the town in 1837, he spotted many rich reserves while excavating and developed 'the works'.  The railway tunnel runs just over a mile and at the northern entrance as a castle designed entrance something you can see on Clay Cross Town Fc's badge.  Because the line ran under the town the station was actually at the northern edge and based in Tupton so the link is set for tonight's game. 
Finally one of the many other weird 'spots' for any visitors are the nine airshafts that appear around the town centre to keep the tunnels ventilated and as you are in the town you can often here the trains travelling through to London and Birmingham  to the south and Chesterfield to the north some 150 feet below.
WALL ART TO SOME OF THE PAST STRUGGLES OF CLAY CROSS
The town is famous for its labour history with Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner brought up in the town and the Urban District Council in the seventies being known as the 'rent rebels' town when local councillors refused to implement the rent increases instructed by the national government.  To this end during recent developments a wall art was designed and installed to remember the town's past struggles.
Other famous people associated with the town were Sir George Kenning of the motor chain and Bill Lomas motorcycling road racing world champion on a couple of occasions, the town is awash with enough social history to shake more than the proverbial two sticks at.
FIRST HALF ACTION
Onward to Furnace Hill soon to be surrounded by the major housing development that take over the former Clay Cross Work site and the former neighbouring outcrop.  The grounds are on the
companies former tip and contain a cricket ground, bowling club and smart new changing rooms the overall site sits in somewhat of a bowl now with the surrounds overgrown with trees and shrubbery.  This development was a replacement for the adjacent Biwater FC and cricket club ground which was built on along the other side of Furnace Hill.
With both sides league seasons a good four weeks away from starting this was early preparation for the real thing but would provide a clear marker for the build up to the 19/20 season.
CLAY CROSS OPENING SCORER MATT WALSH
Tonight's game was off to an encouraging start for Ivanhoes who took the lead on the quarter of an hour mark when Alex Bond fired across the United keeper into the far corner for a lead that had come slightly against the run of play.  On the half hour mark it was all square when Matt Walsh was on hand to fire home from a rebound off the crossbar.
Referee for the game Matt Beniston was trialling out a new bit of kit in the form of 'ref six' which is well worth a look at keeping all the match facts on the highly technical wrist watch and then downloading them to your phone on return to provide immediate stats on the game and the referees fitness and miles covered during the match.
IVANHOES MANAGER DAVE MARTIN IN RELAXED POSE
The small crowd who gathered were added to by former Chesterfield FC player and now Teversal assistant manager Phil Greaves who the attendees were pleased to see taking a look at the game.
The second period started with Gill getting the second for Clay Cross on 53 minutes and when he created a bit of space for himself just past the hour mark he made now mistake to get his second and the home sides third.
New Tupton were looking reliant on the prowess of frontmen Connah Evans and Liam Walters who were a constant threat and it was the latter who nearly pulled a goal back with ten minutes remaining, racing down the left before cutting in to unleash his shot but the United keeper was in excellent form to push over at full stretch.
AND THE WINNERS TO CLOSE ON CLAY CROSS UNITED
The icing on the cake was secured by Clay Cross with three minutes remaining when Hamlin rose to head home superbly at the far post and for this season Clay Cross United just had a little too much on the night and secured the victory over local rivals New Tupton Ivanhoes in the borderlands derby.
Best wishes to both sides for their new season, annual fixture?

Thursday, 8 August 2019

TOUCH OF CLASS FROM ZAK WINS IT FOR SWANWICK

SWANWICK PENTRICH ROAD 3 AWSWORTH VILLA 1
PRE SEASON FRIENDLY @ HIGHFIELD RD
7 AUGUST 2019 --- 6.45PM
ZAK MELROSE FIRES IN THE EQUALISER FOR SWANWICK
A double from Zak Melrose alongside a Dean Owen effort was enough to overcome Notts Senior League side Awsworth Villa in this chances laden game.  Both sides keepers performed well with some excellent saves and added to some off target efforts it kept the score down were in fairness the game could have ended 7 all.
A short trip to one of the friendlier local clubs you will find in Swanwick Pentrich Road and as ever its a club along the blogs travels that isn't covered to often except for end of season games and these sort of fixtures.  But as ever a warm welcome is guaranteed so for any hopper its well worth a visit.
Although the ground is realistically two sided it has two stands down one side and a cover on the front of the changing rooms and café area which make it more than acceptable if the weather is a little poor.
COVER AT SWANWICK WITH RIPLEY IN THE BACKGROUND
The village itself has a selection of pubs there is no fish and chip shop but I normally find myself calling in at the local shop of which their are two on route to the ground which sits down a lane, Highfield, off Pentrich Road whose ultimate destination leads to Pentrich village of the famous 'revolution' in 1817.  The busy A38 runs to the back of the stands and does provide a constant chatter of traffic during the game but overall its a pleasing little ground.
The club now has a couple of nice looking social media accounts and alongside these some photographs to add description from local cameraman Darren Clay add to the positive feel about the set up.
Having covered the ground and club quite a few times before this will just be a quick meander through the evening.  Before the start it was good to catch up with the match officials and Buxton whistler Andy Wood who was tonight running a line alongside club Chairman Lee and as the small crowd gathered the warm evening would only relent in the closing minutes as the sky's darkened a little.
THE SWANWICK MANAGEMENT TEAM DEEP IN THOUGHT
The quality in the opening stages was not great but both sides were trying to retain possession and the pitch is a difficult one for visitors with all sorts of rolling and falling parts of it, often causing a miss placed pass or two.
As ever no teams gathered for a friendly so sorry its numbers were names are not known Awsworth took the lead on 15 minutes a great run down the left by the number 10 before finally getting the ball into the number 11, via a header, that he fired home from close range.  Chances came and went for both sides before Melrose got the leveller when he took the ball down just inside the penalty box and turned to fire past the visiting custodian.  There was still time for the visitors to clear the ball off the line before the break.
FIRST HALF ACTION
Within two minutes of the re-start Dean Owen had converted at the back post to give The Swans the lead.  The second half proved to be an end to end affair with both keepers showing great fortitude with a number of sharp saves but the third and ultimately winning goal would come just over the hour mark when referee Dom Chambers adjudged the Awsworth keeper to have picked up a back pass.  With defensive wall set up the indirect free kick was rolled across to Melrose who fired home to make no mistake in getting his second and the home sides third.
An open pre season with loads of chances an for me it was time to take a convoluted route back with a local service to Alfreton station back to spire town before bus back to base which is a third of the way back to Swanwick, still following much axing of night time public transport by our esteemed men in blue at County Hall this is a rare case of being able to do an evening game.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

FAMILY AFFAIR AS LANGLEY MILL MOVE SMOOTHLY TO THE FINAL

LANGLEY MILL UNITED 222 FOR 4 LULLINGTON PARK 221 FOR 9
MARSTONS SMOOTH TROPHY SEMI FINAL @ STATION ROAD
4 AUGUST 2019 --- 1230PM
A MATCH WINING 78 FROM THOMAS BRANDRICK FOR LANGLEY MILL
Langley Mill progressed to the Marston's Smooth Trophy final thanks to a fourth wicket stand of 123 from opener Thomas Brandrick [78] and George Brandrick [72*] after it was looking close at 23 for 2 and 83 for 3.  Lullington Park put up a valiant effort but in the end were around thirty runs short but a stoic 60 from opener William Arnold allowed them to 221 for 9 off their fifty overs.Weather set fair until 4pm in the forecast and the bull grabbed by the horns it was off along the short Northern
Rail journey from base station through Alfreton and departing at Langley Mill on the Derbyshire Nottinghamshire border, the town being in the former and situated between Heanor and Eastwood.  The current railway station is very, very basic with no display boards and bus shelter type accommodation, the platforms sit either side of the bridge spanning the busy A610 the south bound platform sitting to the north and the reverse for the northbound services.
LANGLEY MILL UNITED CRICKET CLUB PAVILION
Langley Mill won the day for choice of venues with a gentle five minute walk to the ground, a Coop more or less adjacent and within ten minutes of Macs, KFC, Greggs, Subway, Costa and an Asda superstore it could be described as a hoppers delight.
The town is a shadow of its former self much like any in this area from its former mill and canal days where it sees the merger of the Erewash, Cromford and Nottingham waterways.  Current days sees the nationally renowned bus company Trent Barton have its HQ here and recent news saw the development of a row of modern town house terraces were one of the houses front path ran right out into a bus shelter and a fence climbing exercise was required by the resident, still 'plans are plans governor'.
Langley Mill United Cricket Club have a arched gateway entrance from the A610 to the ground, although this was closed today, with the main entrance on Amber Drive.  Coming in by the pavilion to the right the ground is more or less surrounded by high conifer trees giving a retreat away from the busy main road and creating a little oasis away from the hurly-burly of cars and the nearby railway line.
MUZAMMIL GETS DOWN TO DEFEND AS LANGLEY MILL WATCH ON
Changing rooms are on the top deck with grounds mans store room and bar area below its of functional build with 'LMUCC' emblazoned in brick on the entrance side of the building.
Its a tight ground with ample amount of bench and dedicated seats around the boundary to allow different viewing positions including a mini banked area on the pavilion side.  The grass beyond the boundary was being cut by the grounds man when I arrived and the whole area including wicket looked well cared for.  Their appeared an active bar with teas and coffees and food should you require.
Lullington Park Cricket Club sits in the small hamlet of Lullington one of the southern most villages in Derbyshire with the side sitting well south of Burton, in Staffordshire.  The visitors are situated in fourth place in league one and Langley Mill reside one place above them so all looked set for the close game we were to witness.
WILLIAM ARNOLD TOP SCORES FOR THE VISITORS
Lullington won the toss and elected to bat but lost overseas player Abdul Muzammil [22] and Alex Cooper [4] and were ambling along at 68 for 2.  Peter Wright [19] and Luke Jenkinson left opener Arnold and by the time he too was dismissed with the score at 129 he had patiently built a personal score of 60 from 86 balls.  The innings was in danger of imploding but an excellent stand of 70 between Joe Collier [37] and Tom Jones [21] took the score, sharply at times, onto 199 for 7.  Tom Fern, James Whiteland and Craig Hill all contributed in single figures to get the visitors up to 221 for 9 in their allotted fifty overs.  For The Mill Jamie Salmons returned 4 for 53 in ten overs with the ever youthful ex DCCC spinner Simon Lacey producing an economical 2 for 18 in ten overs.
Tea break was undertaken with a Trent Barton Rainbow One service to Macs who had no ice cream so over the way to KFC and with a return service getting me back during the second over the reply was just underway.
JAY HOLMES FLYING IN FOR THE MILL
James Heafield for a duck and Lewis Pinder [7], run out going for a sharp second, saw the home side wobbling a little at 23 for 2.  When Salmons was bowled by Joe Collier with the score on 83 the run rate was around where it needed to be if the rains came, when it did a light shower took us off for just fifteen minutes and it was time for the Brandrick's to guide Langley Mill to victory with a century stand.
LEWIS PINDER IN CLASSIC CRICKET POSE
When it looked like both Thomas and George would be there to guide the club over the line opener Thomas holed out on the boundary caught by Joe Collier off the bowling of Peter Wright, his 78 had come off 107 balls including eleven fours and was the patient builder that Arnold had provided for the visitors.  Mathew Heafield came in to secure 13 and gain victory with 3 late fours and allow Langley Mill home with seven overs to spare.  The returning applause went to George Brandrick [72*] also with eleven fours and in just 75 balls he had provided the impetus to move this game away from Lullington Park in the second part of the innings.
JAMIE SALMONS IN FULL SWING MODE
Walking away from Station Rd I enjoyed the pleasant change of attitudes from yesterdays football and had the weather not have ben so poor this summer realised this is what I needed some more of an excellent game, well played to both sides.  It was a pleasure to catch up with a few people I knew and also make new acquaintances including a lady from Lullington Park whose husband was scoring and son playing.
TWO MAN OPERATED MANUAL SCORE BOARD AFTER A MALFUNCTION OF THE ELECTRONIC VARIETY
Langley Mill CC ground was selected at the start of the season to stage the final so they will be at 'home' on bank holiday Monday against Alrewas who overcame Spondon in the other semi final and hopefully I might just be back.
The briefest of walks back to the station secured the 7.37 for a twenty minute return to Chesterfield were it was and apparently had been lashing it down since about 5pm, how fortunate we had been today to complete an intriguing game of cricket just a few miles down the road.

Monday, 5 August 2019

DISSENT, VERBAL ABUSE..........FOOTBALLS BACK

MALTBY MAIN 2 LIVERSEDGE 2
NCEFL PREM @ MUGLET LANE
3 AUGUST 2019 --- 3PM
Sport and football in this case are a reflection of society, discuss.
MALTBY MAIN FC V LIVERSEDGE
This is a blog I have thought long and hard about writing and cannot take any pleasure in doing but the falling standards in society clearly are evident in football, but do we even recognise this or are well all swept along with the flow.  By 3.20pm I had the words floating
through my mind dissent, verbal abuse, lack of discipline football is back here we go again, whether the 2 months of summer in rugby league and cricket has made me soft I know not.  Maltby is of course a tough place and when upon arrival I encountered along Muglet Lane a child turning out more 'f' words than I though were possible in one sentence to his friend it was slightly jaw dropping mind you within a few moments his mate was weaving past me on the pavement on a mini motorbike, welcome to Maltby.
THE TERRACED STAND AT MALTBY MAIN
A warm welcome was, I must make clear, offered by the gateman with admission paid and an excellent programme purchased the opportunity for a raffle entry was also undertaken.  The additional positives here at the ground are the displayed team sheets and again a superb public address system which was belting out 'I predict a riot' by the Kaiser Chiefs something that looked increasingly possible.
NEAT TEAMSHEET DISPLAYS ALONGSIDE GOOD PROGRAMME AND PA
The far end of the ground had a small gathering of local young men who were enabled to some cans of light refreshment and accompanied by a large dog that was making varying journeys around the warming up Liversedge players who were also receiving an extensive vocabulary welcome. 
By the time kick off approached a gathering of around 100 were ready for the 2019/20 season to begin.  The warm weather maybe was adding to what felt like a hostile atmosphere as early exchanges saw the home side appearing to constantly question the referees decisions and when a few moments later 'Rover' broke free and sprinted Usain Bolt style the full length of the pitch he was soon returning in the bat of an eye it still needed a small stoppage while our canine friend was re tethered and MMFC official went along to have a quiet word.
LIL SAVES LIVERSEDGE
The opening minutes punctuated with a jack in a box home bench who seemed to add to the fraught atmosphere by challenging most decisions were assisted by a small section of the crowd with some rather nasty vitriolic abuse with the FCB statement at the referee on particular example and we weren't enquiring about the Barcelona score, all this from a man around the 70 year old mark. 
Oliver Fearon gave 'Sedge an early lead converting well at the far post and they should have extended their lead before the break but for the superb work of home keeper Jim Pollard with both Michael Bottomley and Fearon being denied by his acrobatics.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
The interval found the adjacent cricket match in an interesting position with Maltby all out for 51 and visitors Barnsley Woolley Miners 31 for 7 before rallying to win without the fall of any further wickets shortly afterwards.
Liversedge doubled their lead two minutes after the re start when Joe Kenny converted a sweet lob over the Main keeper.  To minutes later goal scorer Fearon was shown a red card for a challenge in front of the home dugout, it couldn't have happened in a worse place and all opinions were clearly received.  Maltby saw their chance and pulled a goal back on 55 minutes when visiting keeper Josh Lill misjudged a cross and Joe Austin powered home his far post header.
CLEAR SIGNAL OR WHAT BY REFEREE HUNTER
The level of intensity moved up yet another gear when as if by chance Johnathon Hill was sent off again in front of the Maltby bench who of course had a different opinion to this one as opposed to the last red card. 
Main had a head of steam up and it didn't not stop them equalising with just over twenty minutes remaining Gavin King converted at the far with an excellent awareness to set up the game for a full on finish.  You feared for Liversedge but they held out and I guess both sides would be happy with the draw.
ITS YELLOW
Football is back but the levels of dissent and aggressive attitude seem forever on the increase, referees must be more proactive I think the times of 'managing the situation' are gone.  Under their guidance its difficult and I believe referee Hunter had a good game by todays edicts.  Comparable to rugby league referees, like union, who just will not take any level of dissent/abuse this need to be brought forward by the FA with referees supported.
So the modern day pressures of everything now, challenge authority in any manor you deem fit and you see all around you questionable behaviour is this society's problem or footballs?  I guess its the former but football can go along way to getting its house in order.
GAV KING EQUALISES AND RECEIVES IMMEDIATE FACE LIFT
All the wrong way around today but the decision was made to travel from base to depart an express bus service to Sheffield before connection up with an X10/X1 to Maltby where I changed at Meadowhall thanks to a selection of rowdy kids and when on the upper deck of the X1 express service which is anything but taking around 1 hour 20 minutes to travel the ten miles I witnessed further questions for the opening gambit of this blog.  Fellow youthful passenger one large chicken and chips take away 1/3 of it eaten the rest just left open all over the seat alongside the two bottles of pop he had consumed.  When he got off with me in Maltby his discarded belongings did not follow us something he could so easily have popped in the High Street bin.
The walk down to the ground found Maltby Miners Welfare shut up with overgrown terraced area and sadly it appears that since about December it has remained that way.  During the closing minutes of the game it was great to have my faith in human nature restored discussing with one gentleman his attempts to secure the linked sports grounds of Muglet Lane for future use whatever happens to the Welfare and in that aim he and Maltby Main Fc are wished all the best.
Departing after the game through the north estates of Maltby and passing Trueman Green in honour of its own most famous sporting son Fred I guess he would have had a few words to say too.  By the time I arrived back in Sheffield I couldn't take anymore intercity bus travel and hopped aboard a EMT train for the return to base just before 7pm.