Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wollaton FC 2 Kimberley MW 0
Fantastic news from EMI records with the announcement that Port Vale supporter and pub singer, Robbie Williams has gone on strike. Let’s hope it lasts as long as the Miners’ Strike of 1984.
Mixed news to report on the Junior Football front. There was a smile a mile long for Sticky jnr last Sunday with his first goal of the season, whilst ”The Skipper” had his game waterlogged off.
I was going to take in the Clifton FC v Notts Police game today, as it’s often a feisty encounter. But it has fell victim to the inclement weather. Instead it’s a short journey down the A52 to the Wollaton Sports Association Ground. It’s a Nottinghamshire Senior League fixture between Wollaton and Kimberley MW. And it’s the lowest level of football I’ve witnessed this season; it’s below Step 7.
Wollaton is only a few miles out of the city centre and is considered to be in an affluent part of Nottingham. Sticky Palms made his cricketing debut here in 1977 and was run out without facing a ball; we didn’t do quick singles in those days.
Another piece of history for you, I first wined and dined Mrs P back in August 1988 and took her out on our first date to the Admiral Rodney in Wollaton Village, opposite this ground. Who needs World Service and Harts? She wasn’t impressed.
Wollaton is well known for its park, golf course and deer. During the Second World War Wollaton Park housed prisoners of war and American soldiers. The WSA is a beautiful tree-lined ground with Tennis, Bowls and Cricket also on offer. And is at the heart of the community.
Wollaton were formed in 1954 and lie 3rd in the table. Kimberley MW were founded in 1926 and are in the bottom half. It’s free admission and I miss out on a programme due to the large and unexpected turnout.
The Kimberley keeper is warming up with one of the subs as I stroll across the cricket pitch. Kimberley play in the Man City away strip, as do all their teams. Wollaton sport sky blue. The surface is heavy but perfectly playable. All credit to the groundsman.
Wollaton kick-off and score what some are saying is the quickest goal in NSL history. It was certainly in less than twenty seconds, as a Darren Standage cross finds the visitors’ defence dozing leaving new boy Jonty Bradshaw with a simple side foot home.
The Kimberley coach is having kittens. The regular guy called Alf is on a three week ban and hides amongst the undergrowth barking out the occasional instruction to no-one in particular. Miners’ Welfare are angry and frustrated and fall out with management and themselves. Everyone is to blame. I recognise some of the coaching staff from a racing trip I go on each year with the Lord Nelson at Basford.
Kimberley MW look disjointed and lack cohesion. They can’t string two passes together. The one thing they do have is a bit of pace and it takes them a while to suss out the ball over the top is the route to success.
Wollaton are composed on the ball and spread the play. They look balanced and organised. Marks and Turner control the midfield. Standage and Hogg look dangerous down the left. While forward Gadsby has a lovely first touch.
The Kimberley coaching team show displeasure with referee Chris Ward, who is sporting dark shades and is missing a few challenges. They start to call him Roy Orbison.
The home keeper’ Worster is as solid as a rock. His handling is superb, considering the greasy ball and surface. He plucks the ball from the air from corners and his kicking is accurate.
Wollaton have a glorious old school pavilion. It’s carpeted and has pictures on the wall of the junior cricket and football teams. They’ve ran out of milk behind the tea bar and I settle for a black coffee. The girls serving are pleasant and jolly. It’s a warm friendly club. I have a chat with the Pelican Colts U12’s manager. He’s a bit worried that the Notts County Centre of Excellence is being kick-started again.
Dick Durrant, the NSL Vice Chairman and Press Officer is here today. He does a cracking job promoting this league. I remember him being dropped first ball playing for Oxton CC v Keyworth and going on to score a ton. An expensive miss, that one. Garry Birtles is President of the NSL.
As Roy Orbison would say “It’s Over” for the Welfare on 63 minutes, when the whole of the visitors backline is drawn to the ball like a magnet, leaving ex Green Un Tony Murray with a simple header at the back post, from a Hogg corner.
Kimberley finally wake up and star man Robbie May gets on the ball. But it’s too late and they are well beaten, despite Wollaton having some late scares.
Leon, the Kimberley forward, is the brother of Nottingham born, ex-Ram, Lionel Ainsworth, who has just had a big money move to Watford from Hereford United.
I tell the guy next to me that Forest are one up. He tells me he supports D***y and he’s not interested. It’s the end of our brief friendship. We do not speak again, a little bit like Kimberley MW in the first twenty seconds.
Wollaton FC 2 Bradshaw and Murray Kimberley MW 0
Attendance: I counted 48, good turnout by Kimberley.
Man of the Match: Chris Marks