Sunday, October 7, 2007
Long Eaton United 0 Pickering Town 2
Mrs P has entered into the world of free enterprise. The good lady is delivering catalogues for Kleeneze cleaning products. Naturally I’m delighted, it means I can, with the extra revenue generated, visit more upmarket grounds, such as Stevenage, Rushden and Diamonds and Worcester City.
If you would like any cleaning products, egg timers or Christmas Cards please leave a comment on the blog.
White Van Man has been on the blower, he’s been asked to scout for a Unibond Premier League club and tonight’s target is playing in this Northern Counties East League clash.
He’s got the hump, he saw a 0-0 on Saturday. I text him all 5 goals from Boston. We’re there in 20 minutes, although, I cock it up, and miss a turning, despite having been here a few times before.
WVM has tickets on the gate. He has gained V.I.P. status. I came last year to a FA Cup tie against Warrington. Long Eaton were dire that day. I’m hoping for an improved performance tonight, on a level playing field.
Long Eaton, unfortunately for Notts’ exiles, is in Derbyshire (just), I can confirm this from passing a signpost on the way in.
It has a population of 38,000, from which a miserly 42!!! turn up this evening. In 1981 Sticky P bagged an away win on the pools coupon in Donovan’s nightspot, when he stole a young bride from beneath the preying eyes of The Sheep, and whisked her back over the border into the Mecca better known as Nottingham. I even treated her to a single ticket home on a Barton’s Bus in the morning, seeing her safely back across the cattle grid.
This area is a breeding ground for footballers: Mark Draper, Lewis McGugan and Nottingham’s No.1 carpet fitter, Garry Birtles are all from this area. Birtles was certainly more entertaining on the pitch than he is as a summariser on Sky Sports.
It’s £4 admission fee and a £1 for the programme. We nip in the bar; Sticky has a quick half of Caffreys. I think they could do with a new carpet in here, but the bar staff are friendly.
Long Eaton have played at Grange Park for over 50 years. Jim Fairley is the Chairman; in fact Jim Fairley is everything: Long Eaton is his life. It’s a hive of activity tonight as three or four junior teams are training down here.
We elect to sit opposite “The Big Jim Stand” in another small seated area. There is only one person sat in there and I know him from years ago; we exchange pleasantries.
Pickering, tonight’s visitors, are from North Yorkshire. It’s a lovely little market town, if you get the chance to visit it. We hired a cottage up there one Christmas a few years ago; I don’t remember a better Christmas Day in my lifetime. Neil Warnock signed Craig and Chris Short from Pickering Town, whilst he was manager of Scarborough.
The pitch is bumpy and bobbly. The Pickering coach tells his defenders to “clear their lines.”
Long Eaton have a good spell of attacking football in the first fifteen minutes. The Pickering 'keeper looks nervous on crosses and the home team go close on several occasions.
Pickering begin to get a stranglehold on the midfield, they are dominant down the right hand side. A sweeping move on 22 minutes ends with Matthew Biggins side footing home a cross from the right. I haven’t a team sheet tonight and I’m struggling for players’ names. Pickering hit the bar; the home team’s heads are down.
We have a stroll round the ground at half-time and partake in a tea and Bovril at the snack bar, where WVM has some banter with the girls serving.
We stand on the opposite side of the pitch and Pickering really up the tempo. It’s no surprise when Biggins makes it 2-0 on 73 minutes.
Pickering are impressive and move the ball around nicely. Long Eaton hardly have a shot of worthy note. Greening, Pickering’s No.10, has ran the home defence ragged. Long Eaton are sponsored by McDonalds; they’ll be no Happy Meal tonight.
The player that WVM has scouted has been ineffective; I’m amazed he wasn’t subbed. WVM gets the call from UPL manager on the way home, he’s kacking himself. “Just tell him the truth” I say, “You’re putting your reputation on the line.”
Long Eaton Utd 0 Pickering Town 2 Biggins 2
Attendance : 42
Man of the Match: Greening.