Friday, 13 May 2016


12 MAY 2016 --- 7PM

After probably the dourest first half witnessed this season the second half improved enough to produce 4 goals and three points for Blidworth thanks to a Tim Gregory double with a Keenan Leeds goal in between.  Warren Hatfield scored a superb break away goal for Eastwood.
Having selected this game when it was scheduled for Digby St former home of Kimberley MW FC who now ply their trade at The Stag Ground itself the former home of the now defunct Kimberley Town FC.
The game was moved of course as Eastwood's home ground Coronation Park as its final stages of 3g development completed, this can be viewed around two blogs back.
Having had a poor journey here, ignored by staff in a Ripley chippy so no tea and then a late bus that just got more delayed along the journey we arrived with 10 minutes to spare.  But as ever we need not have worried to much with the players still warming up and a problem with the goal net at the bottom end goals we finally did well to kick off at 7.07pm.  This was great because it would leave us time to see the whole game and even in the final minutes of the action some time to chat to Paul Holland former Mansfield Town, Chesterfield and Sheffield United player who is now part of the Ilkeston FC academy staff.
The ground itself has seen a few changes a new coat of black and red paint, a widening of the concrete hard standing and the adoption of two dug outs on the far grass banked side, previously they were on opposite sides of the pitch on my last visit a few years ago.

At the entrance goal end is where all the business is done with a covered stand and collection of rickety seats there is also the changing rooms and bar/snack bar.  It has to be said though that the ground graders in this area for The East Midland Counties Football League seem a lot more easier going than the ones who grade for The CMFL clubs who progress to the NCEFL.  The nearside touchline is concrete hard standing looking over to the far side a rising grass bank area of the ground which laps towards the adjacent houses back gardens.  Behind the far goal is a shrinking grass verge and in the far corner The Stag public houses makes an appearance.  Half of the perimeter of this tight ground is surrounded by a public footpath and to the far goal the steel fencing has had a screening placed on it to restrict external viewing.
Having not eaten most of the game was spent in the company of the wafting smell of fresh bread I just needed some butter and of course the loaf!

The first half had me reaching for the TV guide to see if I had missed the 2,153rd episode of Eastenders it was that entertaining zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  The second half improved greatly with Gregory converting as he got back up off the floor from a challenge after 50 minutes the lead doubled on 58 minutes when Leeds drove home from 14 yards.
A superb breakaway goal saw Hatfield convert after an excellent 50 yard and curling pin point cross from Joe Taylor which reduced the arrears.

The 2 goal margin was restored on 79 minutes when Gregory got his second and Blidworth's third after driving through a collection of players in the box.
Eastwood very nearly pulled a goal back in the closing minutes when Hatfield saw his header hit the bar and then his follow up shot was well saved by Steven Smith in the Blidworth goal.
The return journey with bus changes was made comfortably at Ripley and Alfreton and an interesting re visit had been made.

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