FA TROPHY 1ST Q RND @ THE GROVE
29 OCTOBER 2016 --- 3PM
|BUSINESS SIDE AT THE GROVE|
The plans this week were down to a selection from just 3 games and Kidsgrove was not one of them! The morning of the game saw early match day preparations about to start but firstly something said just check out Kidsgrove's twitter account. For some reason I had missed this game and when the opposition was highlighted it became the selected game with the chance of seeing an Isthmian League side, something I don't think I can remember doing before in my years of watching non league.
Autumn was in full swing with leaves vacating their branches and a dark thick cloudy day threatening to deny me many action shots, so it turned out.
|ARRIVAL AT KIDSGROVE SPOT THE TRAIN|
Upon departure at Kidsgrove the awareness of the station spanning 4 platforms and being a junction came to light, it could have done with a little bit of a sprucing up but it won favour with me more of which later. With a nice bit of time to spare we ambled off in search of the town centre just about 1/4 of a mile away walking the slight incline it then came to me I had visited Kidsgrove before for a fleeting visit. Having taken 5 minutes to look at the shops on Market St, ok it may have been 3 minutes, we opted to visit Leons Fish Shop for a portion of chips and fish cake. Mick had as ever got into conversation with the pleasant owner and we had a football discussion with him while waiting for ur order. It was good to see Leons displaying a poster for todays game and also a few other shops putting up the clubs promotions too. Leons were selling the local delicacy of oatcakes and it was quite strange that every 3rd shop seemed to be stocking oatcakes in the town they must shift some round here.
Time to retrace our steps back to the station by a pre planned footpath which would allow us to take in Harecastle canal tunnel which is just short of 3,000 yards long and with the Telford designed one still open it was interesting to see the Brindley tunnel to the side, sadly this is now closed.
After the short cut we went a rather circuitous route to the 'The Grove' and arrived at as one of my mates called it 'the bungalow ground'. This being a reference to the council bungalows on the approach to the ground something that reminded me of North St, Alfreton.
|ORIGINAL COLOUR OF THE AUTONET STAND|
First impressions here are of a smart ground with some cracking stands and loads of litter bins there really should be no mess left although after half time we did spot two pop cans and chip trays dropped on the floor with a bin just 10 yards away!
A quick ground tour then to the right upon entry the Novus sponsored stand with a nice deep selection of covered seats over to the far touchline are the dugouts and a lovely sunny yellow coloured stand theta is two rows deep and straddles the half way line.
|LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT STAND|
|SUE AND SANDRA IN THE SNACK BAR|
|SOHAM MANAGER ROBBIE NIGHTINGALE EXPLAINS THE SCISSOR PATTERN|
With 8 minutes to go to the break Morris fired the ball home from the back post and then a glorious strike from 25 yards from Dave Artell, how often these efforts can fly over the bar but this one was as sweet as they get.
Towards the end of the half we met the dad of Kidsgrove's Tom Morris who surprisingly enough travelled up regularly to offices near Chesterfield and we engaged in a further bit of football banter, good to meet you. As it was to catch up with many friendly people once again this afternoon in the non league family.
Another positive about this afternoons visit was a good public address system a steady choice of music coupled with informative announcements.
|ANTHONY MALBON LIVEWIRE FOR KIDSGROVE|
On 54 minutes the home side took the lead Malbon found himself with just Lawton to beat and although the Soham keeper blocked the strikers shot with his legs he could not stop the ball rolling agonisingly over the line.
Whether Kidsgrove took the foot of the gas is fort other to say but all of a sudden with Soham looking out of it they threw everything at the Staffordshire side and deservedly pulled a goal back to make it 4-3 on 79 minutes when Paterson got his second firing home at the back post.
It was game on now, nut only for a short while because on 85 minutes the two goal lead was secured again a sweet cross off the right by Davidson was met by the in running Ben Mills who headed home.
This was all too enjoyable now and it was somewhat disappointing when the referee blew his whistle on exactly 90 minutes with what seemed like no injury time added, it was one of those games you wanted to continue. However I would add the 3 officials did a good job today with some common sense on a few occasions that it was required resolutely applied.
Return trip was made to the station via the same route and we arrived at platform 3 with 15 minutes to spare. The connecting land between the junction was developed in the 80's by Manpower services with the aid of the local Rotary Club to create a mini garden and although this needs a little upgrade it added to what was quite a pleasant station. In the short time we waited the station was only mildly populated however it had a peaceful feel to it with much evening birdsong in evidence, the blogs sounding like 'Springwatch' sorry.
With a sharp connection made at Derby we were soon alighting our 7 carriage chariot at base station just before 7pm and we soon realised we had got a seat on all 4 trains even the single carriage affairs that populate the Derby to Crewe line.
A pleasant day at a pretty ground surrounded by some lovely autumn coloured trees and a good game to complete the whole trip.
|MICK TOOK A LITTLE WHILE TO BE CONVINCED THESE WERE CYCLE RACKS|
NOT OUTDOOR EXERCISE MACHINES