Monday, October 22, 2007
Eastwood Town 0 Bamber Bridge 1
They’ll be dancing in the streets of Leeds tonight and not just because of another jammy late winner, no, but because they’ve just landed their first piece of silverware for the season. It’s been a gruelling twelve months and apparently it was nip and tuck to the death, but I’m proud to announce they’ve topped the Home Office league table for the most banning orders issued last season (30) 118 in total, putting them three clear of arch rivals Cardiff City. Well done lads, West Yorkshire are proud of you.
Mrs P’s business empire goes from strength to strength, following a crucial piece of doorstep selling earlier in the week. High fives and a hip hip hip hooray to a Mrs Jones in our village, who bought the entire back catalogue box set of Wurzel Gummidge DVDs for £40. Please feel free to pop round for a cup of tea and a slice of cake anytime, Mrs J.
It’s a re-visit today to Coronation Park, home of Eastwood Town FC. Professional gambler and poker club owner, Robert Yong, is the new Chairman of The Badgers and he is throwing some money at it. Eastwood now bid in five figure sums; they’ve just landed free-scoring 6’4” striker, Matt Rheed, from Kidsgrove Athletic. According to highly-rated manager, Paul Cox, it’s the first of many new signings.
I head off up north early today; I want to check-out the D.H. Lawrence Museum in Eastwood Town Centre. I drive down the A610, and up through Giltbrook in glorious sunshine. I pass the Man in Space pub, and throw a left down a cul-de-sac, and park up, adjacent to the war memorial.
I pass a man walking a rottweiler, then a woman with an Alsatian, and a bloke walking his Pit Bull Terrier: it’s not a town for Poodles and Chihuahuas; if you must have a dog, it’s a proper dog!
I walk into town; it’s an impressive bustling high street. I turn right into Victoria Street, the birthplace of David Herbert Lawrence. It’s like a step back in time, the street is comparable to the old Hovis advert, and it’s magical and mystical.
I pay £2 to enter the house where he was born. I’m given a guided tour through all the rooms in the house, and a talk on his life story, it’s fascinating and turns out to be more entertaining than the FA Trophy tie I’m about to see. There’s even a café on the street called The White Peacock, named after Lawrence’s first book.
I bump into a fellow groundhopper in Lawrence’s bedroom. (no gags please). I buy a copy of Sons and Lovers for £1.99.
I run down the high street. I’m late for the game. I dive into Woolworths for some pick ‘n’ mix. It’s £7 entrance and £1.50 for the programme. I adore this ground, it has a feel of football to it and a sloping pitch.
Bamber Bridge, from Preston, are the visitors and I love the way they play football. I saw them last season at Gresley and they were good value. Ryan Salmon, their leading scorer, is missing today. I’m gutted, he’s the bees-knees. They play a league below Eastwood, but will fancy their chances today.
I’ve seen The Badgers on three occasions, and although their results suggest different, I’ve rarely been impressed. They’re quite direct, and hit the front two early, but struggle to keep possession. Eastwood has a hotbed of local talent, midfielder Colin “Junior” Daniel has recently joined Crewe Alexandra.
Brig can smell a cup upset; they play with two wingers and always look to get around the back. The home keeper, Ian Deakin, is a busy bee in the first period, denying Spencer and O’Neil with fine saves.
Deon Meikle and Liam Hearns work the visitors’ keeper at the other end. In the 23rd minute Mrs P phones up to ask if I want Red Thai or Chicken Balti: “Actually darling, the game could do with a goal”. On the stroke of half-time Daniel Mahoney strikes the Eastwood post after latching onto a McCormick goal kick.
I check on Lincoln City’s progress in the fine social club at the break. We’ve picked up a useful point against free-spending Posh in an early kick-off. My mood darkens when I find out Peterborough have scored in the 89th minute. I have a Diet Coke, and chuckle when I see they still sell Stones bitter, I bet D.H. used to drink that.
Brig take a deserved lead in the 53rd minute, Adam Tong launches a long throw which O’Neil flicks into the net.
Eastwood striker, Lindon Meikle, who has had trials with Yeovil and MK Dons in the summer has been anonymous today and is substituted. Brig look untroubled, their centre pairing of Williams and Tong have been impressive. They have further chances to kill the game off. They are worthy winners, their left-back, Tom Ince, is a tidy player; who always has time on the ball, and has a sweet left foot.
Brig look to play the beautiful game, they have width and technique. Eastwood are workman like and industrious, they could do with a playmaker in the midfield to provide some service for Lindon Meikle.
I walk back to the car and notice Chairman Yong, he has two dogs on a lead, wrapped in Eastwood scarves, they look useful too!
Eastwood Town 0 Bamber Bridge 1 O’Neil
Man of the Match: Tom Ince