Can’t Stand Me Now

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If you want to try
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GAME OF THE WEEK

Bedworth United 2 Cleethorpes Town 1

The Evo-Stik South

Attendance: 193

Gate: £9

Programme: £2

Back to the home of football.

The wonder that is Google Images Search picked this one for me, as soon as I saw the Main Stand I couldn’t resist. So on a sunny autumnal morning I headed off on my adventure.

Two trains later I was at Manchester Piccadilly and then off to my next stop Stoke-on-Trent, another change and I was off to Nuneaton. A final change and I was finally at Bedworth. United’s ground is a short walk from the station, past the boarded up British Queen and Mayor’s Cafe, a left turn into the Miners Welfare Park and you are at the turnstile.

Money paid, I came to a gent selling 50/50 tickets. Now here is a new concept, buy 2 and get another free, he told me they sell quite a few more that way. Certainly worked on me. The Oval, home of Bedworth United awaits down the incline. The two ends are open standing, one backing onto what looks like the local leisure centre with a waterslide coming out of it. It is the two sides that are the gems. Where you come in is the clubhouse. This is where the food hut is. On top of the the clubhouse are what can only be described as lookout viewing areas. Give the clubhouse an added touch. Also there were some people watching the game from the roof. Different.

Opposite is the main stand. An absolute gem. Best leaving it to the pictures below to describe it. Love it.

Bedworth started the game on the front foot and an early header by McAteer from a corner was headed off the line as they threatened to swamp The Owls. But slowly but surely it was the visitors who took control of the game. Generally tight as the half wore on, Town were the ones looking dangerous. Crane in the home goal was the busier and had to pull off a couple of smart stops to keep the game 0-0 as we headed into half-time.

After the restart the match carried on the same, and then a moment of magic, Oglesby, Clee’s left winger turned on the skill and burners, left a couple of defenders for dead, pulled the ball back for Drury. He remained as calm as anything and his finish wrong-footed Crane, 1-0 to Town.

For a while Town looked in control, but again slowly, the balance of play seemed to switch, in no small part down to Bailey-Nicholls. His running was causing the defence problems all afternoon. His equaliser with 20 minutes to go was class. On the break he cut in from the left wing and gave Walton no chance. 1-1. Game on.

Williams came on for the Greenbacks and also started causing the defence problems. With five minutes to go we had a big turning point, Town’s number 8 Flett was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on his opposite number Blackmore. It was late and clumsy. Definitely. A straight red? Not sure about that. As we moved into the last couple of minutes a Williams cross was thumped against the post by Bailey-Nicholls, the ball was partially cleared, was worked back to Williams, his cross was this time put in by the number 2 wearing striker. United’s players went mad. They had won 2-1.

On the way home a different journey waited for me. To start I headed off to Coventry, then it was Wolverhampton and finally Manchester. A great day.

A nod this week to the musical enigma that is Pete Doherty who went to school in the town.

ADDED ON

Normally I would mention the 6 days prior to my Saturday match, however, the timing of my Polish trip stopped that. The Tuesday before that I went to AFC Emley v Eccleshill United in the NCEL League Cup 1st Round along with Jimbo Wilks.

If I carry on this kind of record at Emley I am going to find myself barred. Second visit, second defeat. After an early defeat on an Easter Groundhop weekend a couple of years ago, they lost by 2 goals again in this game. Again I saw 2 penalties, this time both scored (last time both were saved) as United ran out comfortable winners. Once again though, an enjoyable place to visit and a warm welcome.

GAMES

Tues (25/10): AFC Emley 0 Eccleshill United 2

Sat: Bedworth United 2 Cleethorpes Town 1

FACTS

Games: 435

Goals:  1481

Grounds: 208

Games since a 0-0: 48

Milestone: None

Random Fact: 93rd red card

SOUNDTRACK

The Libertines – The Libertines

Mysterious Ways

If you want to kiss the sky
Better learn how to kneel (on your knees boy!)

GAME OF THE WEEK

Cleethorpes Town 2 Kidsgrove Athletic 1

The Evo-Stik South

Attendance: 184

Gate: £7

Programme: £1.50

This visit has been a long time coming, far too long. I ran into Cleethorpes Town on the NCEL Easter Groundhop over 2 years ago at Barton Town Old Boys (now Barton Town). On a fresh Good Friday morning, in the vicinity of the Humber Bridge, the Owls visited in numbers, entertained us on and off the pitch, stealing the show for the weekend. Later that same day we visited Grimsby Borough at Bradley Road. Same nest that the Owls call home.

Finally, I realised plans I made that day and was heading east on a sunny Saturday towards Cleethorpes, or actually, Grimsby. Kind of weird that, use Grimsby station for Cleethorpes Town and Cleethorpes station for Grimsby Town. Off into the seaside air, a short bus ride later I arrived at Bradley Road.

This is a council owned football centre, where Clee Town and Grimsby Borough play at home along with a number of other projects using the facility. Sorry to say but the ground does lack character, the main building on your left after entering houses a bar, toilets and changing rooms does what it needs to, but is very much what you would expect. Food’s decent though.

Unfortunately, there is very little to tel you about, at the far end is a small covered standing area and opposite the main building a larger covered seating area. If only the ground matched the people you meet, it would be a cracker.

Whilst both teams are through to the next round of the cup, their starts in the league have been quite different. Town have won both of their games, whilst Athletic have managed only 1 point from the possible 6. Given that information, any stranger would have thought the teams were in the wrong kits in the opening 45 minutes. An even start gave way to Grove looking the brighter and starting to create more. Town were limited to balls over the top and the odd run from Taylor.

Aside from a moment of madness from keeper Parton, Grove looked fairly comfortable at the back. France and Cocks looked dangerous, though the latter became public enemy number one for going down under a hefty first half challenge. Cropper and Malbon were starting to pull Bloomer and Donald around. It was therefore no surprise when the visitors took the lead. A move down their right side saw Malbon free in the channel, drawing the keeper he fed Cropper who’s outstretched foot poked the ball just inside the post, 1-0 to Kidsgrove.

Kidsgrove looked comfortable for the rest of the half and quarter of an hour into the second period, then the Owls management team had seen enough and three quick substitutes just after the hour mark changed things around, going 3 at the back and giving a bit more oomph up front started to make a difference.

Substitutes Oglesby and Dickens added purpose and a bit of zest, Davis looked a different player. Though Town still could not find a way through, when they did Parton was there for Grove. Until, the 75th minute that is, when an umpteenth corner for the hosts was swung in. Donald rose highest and his header was on target, it looked stoppable, however Parton could only get a hand on it and the ball bobbled over the line at the near post, if only somebody had been stood there. 1-1, game on.

The atmosphere around Bradley Road changed with the equaliser, and it was no surprise when Clee went ahead 3 minutes later. Cooper had had a chance moments before but took to long and the chance passed, he did the same thing here, but it worked out brilliantly for the Owls. His first attempt was blocked, but the ball sat very nicely for him, this time the substitute thumped the ball home from 12 yards giving the keeper no chance. In less than 20 minutes we had seen a complete transformation of the game. Credit to the Town management team.

Game over and I was back off home, another pleasant train journey and a nap so I would be ok for the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight.

ADDED ON

On Monday I was back at Brantingham Road, again with George Cheetham, he of Manchopper fame and Mark Riding, later on we were joined by the legend that is iBreezeblock. As much as I like these 3 gents, that was pretty much as good as the evening got.

The match was not good, both keepers pulled off a good save, Abbey Hey took the lead with a penalty, Road equalised with a belter from Poxon, though unfortunately this only brought us extra-time. Unfortunately, an injury to Hampshire shortly into the additional 30 minutes led to the game being abandoned.

The following night I was in Tameside to watch Stalybridge Celtic entertain Marine. Relegated last season, Celtic need to steady the ship, judging by this performance it could be a struggle. Second best pretty much all over the pitch and from start to finish, I think the only surprise was that Marine only won 2-0.

Confidence appeared to be draining away as the game went on, things do not look too good at Bower Fold and it looks like another Tameside team will make the drop from the National Leagues to the Evo-Stik North.

GAMES

Mon: Maine Road A Abbey Hey A

Tues: Stalybridge Celtic 0 Marine 2

Sat: Cleethorpes Town 2 Kidsgrove Athletic 1

FACTS

Games: 408

Goals:  1385

Grounds: 197

Games since a 0-0: 21

SOUNDTRACK

Achtung Baby – U2