Saturday, 10 September 2016


10 SEPTEMBER 2016 --- 3PM
A stunning victory from Bolehall Swifts swept aside Heath Hayes who found themselves 5-1 down at half time.  A 14 minute first half hat trick from Jordan Francis was assisted by a brace each from Kyle Turner and David Yonwin, although the goal of the game probably went to the visitors Joe Hartshorne for an audacious 20 yard lob just before half time.
Once again the weather dictated the selected game with rain forecast further south it was at last time to take in a club and ground that had proved difficult to visit last season as the rain put paid to quite a few efforts to get to Rene Rd.  Indeed as we approached Saturday after a glorious week it was again time for the wet stuff to be forecast for match day and cometh the day cometh the weather.  Heavy rain for most of the journey and then a constant sharp drizzle until half time made local pictures hard work but hopefully there are a few to assist the overall impression of the club and area.
Todays journey avoided the normal start from base station and took in The Comet bus service to Derby were a short ride to the train station saw us attempt to get aboard a Tamworth train.  I say attempt and I'am probably being unfair here because we did and there was a seat available too!  However Derby station was suffering quite a few delays and with the 1137 delayed I feared for future trains to Tamworth but having secured a ticket a service arrived on platform 4 around 1210 and we were off into Staffordshire.  The day was a murky affair and on departure I peered through the mist to try to see the floodlight poles that are just visible at Rene Rd they have beckoned many times on journeys through the station at Tamworth and today the blog would finally make a visit.  Sharp rain aside there was time for a small tour around the shopping streets before boarding the aquamarine special, the number 5, to Amington. Its a short journey with just £1.40 changing hands for a few stops before departing at the Amington Inn, a Flaming Grill pub in Bolehall.
A choice had to be made of Chippy, Inn or Co-op and although I chose the former I could not get served in under half an hour which was a little disappointing, but at least they informed me.  So with haste I departed to the local Co-op for some pastry encased ploughman's.  The intention was to take a look at the Coventry Canal but unfortunately the bad weather meant a trip straight to the ground was the order of the day.  Having found the narrow entrance to the ground the car park soon pointed the way to the clubhouse with the pitch and ground to the left behind corporate coloured yellow and green fencing.
The clubhouse is a very smart affair clean all round including the toilets, a credit to the club and one of the best on the non league circuit today with a function taking place in one room the blog settled down in the Dennis 'spud' Baker lounge for a drink and the last 30 minutes of the Manchester derby.
The ground is entered by payment at the 'shed' of a fiver and one pound for the programme and then a walk to the pitch side via a smart pathway.
The changing rooms to the left have a sloped roof on them and contain public toilets and snack bar.  Hard standing is the order of the day all the way round the perimeter, off to the right is the impressive 5 rowed stand with bench seating all numbered.  Over the far side is a former cycle shed roof with base built on site at present this is closed off while work is considered on the standing area.  The top goal is uncovered ad as come back round to the fenced off 'tunnel' area you I realised after looking for the opening to walk through, there isn't one and you have to walk around the back of the changing rooms to continue the circuit.
At the end of the circuit the teams were gained from the snack bar and there was time to catch up with club secretary Mark Brooks who operates the Twitter feed and also records the games, he certainly had a busy one today, good to meet you Mark all the best for the season.
The club was initially formed at the Amington Inn and gained the name Swifts due to the birds flying over the public house.  The ground they are currently playing on were allotments purchased for the club and the noticeable thing is the vast  space here around the ground and even from the spectator railings you are a little way from the pitch.  Before the game it was also noteworthy that the club fired up the public address system to announce the two teams.
Todays visitors suffered a 4-0 league reversal a few weeks ago at Rene Rd and would be looking to improve today but by half time it had gone one worse when they found themselves 5-1 down.  Quality finishing from the home side had probably been a bit harsh on Heath Hayes who started the strongest when Hartshorne saw his shot blocked on 10 minutes.  But it wasn't long after before the home side started the avalanche a neat finish from Turner from the left hand side of the box firing past the visiting keeper and seeing his effort roll in off the right hand post.  It was then time for hat trick hero Francis to take centre stage hesitation in the visitors defence saw the number 11 nip in to slot home after 19 minutes.  Then 2 minutes later he made it 3-0 firing past Ryan Goodwin in a one on one, he had to wait until 33 minutes before completing his hat trick Turner turned supplier and his cross was converted by Francis to make it 4-0.
Heath Hayes though were still a threat when James Russell unleashed a cracker from 20 yards home custodian Tom McNulty had to be alert to push the ball over.  The sucker punch came moments later when the home side made it 5, Turner got his second heading home unmarked from a David Yonwin left hand side cross.
Four minutes before the break probably the goal of the game when Joe Hartshorne picked the ball up advanced just short of the box and delicately lobbed McNulty to pull a goal back.
Half time snack and drink secured there was time to learn that I had not won the raffle thankfully I didn't fancy carrying wine back with me!
Although the gate was low around 45 this is a lovely little ground that I enjoyed some quiet moments in, mind you they were soon disturbed by Richard Bransons thundering electric specials which run within around 100 yards of the ground at regular intervals, sadly tree growth does not allow the train and football picture.
The second half started with the visitors keeping it tight until a slip by keeper Goodwin who came out to clear got in a tangle trying to clear and Yonwin picked up the lose ball to steer it home, 53 minutes.
Weirdly Heath Hayes were not getting too much look when an all most certain goal was cleared off the line by Joseph Obi.  The visitors did level up the second half tally on 79 minutes when Hartshorne got his second curling one round the keeper.  Hat trick man Francis had missed a couple of second half chances to add to his tally but he was inches away on 80 minutes with a shot that went just the wrong side of the post.  But Bolehall were not to be denied a 7 goal tally with 5 minutes remaining Yonwin got the third brace of the game when he scored a superb individual goal to compete with Hartshorne's lob.  Cutting in off the right he wandered is way through the visitors defence rounding defenders and firing home for a cracking little individual effort.
A deserved victory for Bolehall Swifts with the score line a little harsh on Heath Hayes who if they had a bit more luck may have been in this game a little longer but overall the home sides finishing won this tie with some determined mid field play from the men in yellow and green.
Dash back to Amington Road saw a bus sail past just before I could get to the stop but after a short wait I was still in time for the 1736 departure from Tamworth station, is there a many more uninspiring station facades?  But its functional and a good changing point for the blog and as I looked across to the floodlights at the ground from platform 3 at last the blog had visited Bolehall Swifts a pleasant set up with a lovely club house and an enjoyable afternoon had been had even with the rain once again visiting a Saturday afternoon.
Change was made at Derby and the reverse bus ride to the city centre allowed for about 50 minutes to the connection time for The Comet.  The final service outwards from Derby for the evening was certainly an interesting affair with many a character travelling there was even a non league hopper on board!

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