Monday, August 17, 2009

Kimberley Miners' Welfare 2 Bilborough Pelican 0

We’re walking towards the main strip in Alcudia. It’s day seven of our family holiday in Majorca. The four of us are off out for a bite to eat. We amble past a bar full of ‘Dirty Dirty Leeds’ fans, who are watching their Carling Cup clash at Darlington on Sky TV. The Groundhopper, The Skipper and Sticky junior poke our heads round the door and shout in unison: “Come on the Quakers.” Mrs P founds it hard to scarper with her high heels on.



Two days later we are in The Flying Scotsman pub, near the Sea Club complex. England are being pummelled by the team in brilliant orange. Scottish fans mock our inept first half display. They dance, jig and cheer as Holland take a two goal lead. I pass their smiling ‘Sweaty Sock’ faces, on my way to the loo. I’ve got my England shorts on. They’re ripping me to shreds. I ask them how they went on against Norway earlier in the evening (I honestly didn’t know they’d lost 4-0) There’s no time for the toilet now, as we all beat a hasty retreat. Mrs P is none too chuffed. She didn’t manage to finish her ‘Sex on the Beach’ two for one cocktail.

The Virgin Mobile phone bill landed on the doormat yesterday. I noticed that Sticky junior had texted the same number 54 times in the last few days, whilst we were abroad, at a cost of £5. He’s asked to ‘step in the office’ to discuss the matter. He goes bright red when presented with the evidence. He grabs a pen and tries to scribble the number out. He’s fidgeting and scratching his head. He’s making out it’s his best mate’s number. I tell him I’ve phoned it (I hadn’t really). He coughs up. His romance is back on with the barrister’s daughter from Plumtree Park. Good work fella.



There was a bad smash on the way back to Leek from Macclesfield on Saturday evening. I exited Moss Rose immediately after the youngest player ever to have played for Nottingham Forest, Craig Westcarr, had rolled the ball into the corner of the net to put the richest team in Nottingham ‘four to the good.’ Thankfully Sat Nav skilfully steered me from Cheshire to Staffordshire with minimum fuss. I was watering the garden by 6.30pm; watched by a startled Mrs P.

Saturday evening was ruined by a text from English football’s friendliest chairman, Terry Damms of Staveley Miners’ Welfare. Having endured a nightmare journey on a clogged up M61 in Lancashire, they then fell victim to a 94th minute penalty, to draw 2-2 in an FA Cup tie up at Squires Gate. I bet a few sorrowful Black Velvets were downed that night.



I’m up at 6am Sunday publishing the Macclesfield blog. I head out to Highfields, at Nottingham University, to watch Notts County’s juniors train. I’m more than impressed.

There’s time for a spot of gardening before the highlight of the day, watching Big Ron Atkinson make a complete fool of himself on Celebrity Wife Swap. What a buffoon this man is.

It’s Tuesday August 18th. NSL champions Bilborough Pelican open this season’s campaign up at Kimberley Miners’ Welfare. Nottinghamshire Groundsman of the Year, Neil Swift texts me at lunchtime to confirm he’s had his first shave of the summer. He normally prefers to shave his grass rather than his face.



I dash home from work as ‘The Skipper’ is appearing on the BBC1 children’s programme ‘Beat the Boss’ at 4.30pm. We all crowd around the television. It’s lucky we’ve got a widescreen TV otherwise they’d never fit his big head on it. His moment of fame is over in a flash.

I drop Sticky junior off at Plumtree Cricket Club. He’s playing for the under 14s this evening. Mrs P is in a foul mood; she’s wrenched her shoulder and has been up the doctors’ surgery for a pain-killing injection.

I’m on the ring road and it’s rush-hour. Smooth operator and fellow Lincoln City fan, John Inverdale, is broadcasting on Five Live from the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.



Kimberley is six miles north-west of Nottingham and lies on the A610. It has a population of just under 7000 people. It was once famous for coal mining, brewing beer and hosiery manufacturing.

Mass producing beer-makers Greene King have bought out Hardy Hansons. It’s another nail in the coffin for this proud county. Three times British Superbike Champion, John Reynolds, was born in the town.

I turn into Digby Street with plenty of time to spare. I grab a space for Sally Gunnell in a crowded car park. I like the ground. It’s enclosed and tree-lined. Traffic roars up the nearby A610.



Nottinghamshire grass guru, Swifty has already cheesed me off. He’s got a better tan than me and I’ve been abroad for nearly a fortnight. He’s been working hard, freelancing at Arnold Town’s Eagle Valley.

His godson is Pelican forward Matt Eastwood. He became a father for the first time today and has failed to board the team coach.

Kimberley MW secretary Stephen ‘Hobo’ Hobster greets me. He played skittles with my father in-law last night for the Lord Nelson at Basford. He has a confession to make: he’s forgot the teapot. It’s not a good start.



Hobo and Swifty are soon talking about ‘leaving the top on’, mowers and weed killers. It’s the perfect cure for Sticky’s insomnia, as I grab the chance for a quick forty winks.

Media man Neil Frazer is on the scene tonight. He’s had more clubs than Phil Stant. He’s a good lad though and promises to e-mail me a few photos over of tonight’s match.

I glance at the Pelican team-sheet that Swifty’s written out. I recognise most of the names. There still waiting for international clearance for their Polish import.



Bilborough Pelican kick down the sloping, grassy surface. Poor old Hobo has been here most of the day preparing the pitch. He’s left a bit on it, which is fair play for this time of year. There’s a series of misplaced passes and skew-wiff clearances. The game takes an age to settle down.

Pelican create the clearer openings and look the more likelier team to score in the opening 20 minutes. Former Stoke City trainee Neil Thompson blasts a shot over the bar. Centre forward Danny Blanchard sees the Kimberley MW ‘keeper make a brave block with his feet.

KMW have bundles of energy. Rather than trawl the NSL and Central Midlands League looking for cast offs, they prefer to rear their own. Their under 14s and under 10s are the best in the county. It’s a club I’ve always enjoyed watching and scouting at. Nick Walters, their under 14 coach, is the friendliest coach on the circuit.



KMW take the lead on the half hour. It’s been coming to be honest. Pelican look very creaky in defence. The ball is pinging about in the visitors’ penalty box. It finally falls to Emmet Edwards who blasts home from 12 yards out. Swifty goes as quiet as a mouse.

KMW burst forward again,Tobias Clayton shrugs off the challenge of the gangling Pelican number 5. He slides the ball across the face of goal but no-one can get on the end of it.

Hobo comes round with the raffle tickets. I fancy my chances of breaking my four year duck tonight as there are only 40 or so people in attendance. I buy two pounds worth.



At the break I buy half the ground a cup of tea as I’ve only got a £20 note. East London rapper, Tinchy Strider’s ‘Number One’ track is playing on the radio. I look at where the dial on the radio is positioned. It appears that the KMW clubhouse are fans of Heart FM. I don’t know, no teapot, Heart FM. It’s another black mark, Hobo.

A few Pelican fans complain that their team ‘haven’t woken up yet.’ I didn’t want to point out it’s nearly 8pm at night.

I stand on my own in the second half. Swifty might not be good company. I’ve no idea if the guy is a good loser or not. The Club means so much to him that I know he’ll be hurting right now.



I’m on the opposite side of the ground. I act as a glorified ball boy for the entire second half. Pelican come out all guns blazing. Their right back, Tony Boulton, looks one hell of a player. He plays with drive and determination. He rarely wastes possession and leads the team from the back. He sets up Danny Blanchard who can only find the side netting.

Neil Thompson hits the top of the bar with dipping free kick from distance. Gadsby has a great first touch, a brilliant range of passing, but no longer the legs to get past the opposition. It’s not their night. Their twenty minute spell of intense pressure doesn’t pay off.



Bilborough Pelican chairman, Glenn Russell, is a source of amusement on the NSL message board, with his no-holds-barred postings. Excellent referee, Billy Bingham is not impressed with Glenn’s humour. After being grassed up by the linesman, Big Glenn is sent to the stands (well the other side of the rope actually)

Kimberley go at them again. The young number eight, who looks a class act, and whose twin brother has been immaculate in goal, drives through the midfield, teeing up Jake Fisher to smash home the winner.

There’s still time for KMW to hit the upright and spoon a gilt edged chance over the bar. But they’ve stuck at it and deserve their win for ruthless finishing and effort alone.



I double-check with Hobo the winning raffle numbers. My miserable four year losing run continues.

Attendance: head count 40 and a Jack Russell.
Man of the Match Tony Boulton.

23 comments:

Miss Daisy said...

Hey =) absolutley love your blog. We met briefly when you came to Staveley's ground.
Staveley been going through alot of changes at the minute; they lost the manager, assistant manager and four first team players- it's all on their webpage.
Daisy x

Sticky said...

Hiya Daisy, Terry Damms is a top chairman. I agree with the ethos of the club and can't wait to watch them again.

Hope you keep enjoying the blog.

Sticky x

The Reaper said...

Miss Daisy, please be careful when fraternising with this Groundhopper. He is deadly boring and can put any young woman to sleep quicker than Derren Brown's hypnosis. I notice from your blogs you like fast and flash cars, Sticky drives the original 'Sally Gunnell' and has the driving prowess of Hoke Colburn (played by Morgan Freeman) in the film 'Driving Miss Daisy'. If I were you I would erase the brief meeting from memory for I fear you may well get flashbacks resulting in certain nightmares.

Miss Daisy said...

Haha =) Thanks The Reaper but Sticky was more than pleasant when I met him. I will keep my guard up next time we meet though.
Will have to look at your blog.
Daisy x

Anonymous said...

Will they be fed, watered, and cared for properly.
Bond With Your Dog Through Play. 435-896-1737 Annabella, Utah Trainers: Chris
and Julie Holt.

Visit my web blog electronic dog training aids

Anonymous said...

It was developed by Walter L. The fact is,
most grains are quite high in glycemic index, meaning
that they make your blood sugar go up rapidly, and send you crashing down soon thereafter.
- Lecithin.

Here is my weblog: paleo diet and weight loss reviews

Anonymous said...

A result of the immense size and strength that these animals can
grow to means pets should be leash trained from a young age.

You should teach your dog and talk to him during training sessions.
With the Easy Walk Harness, if your dog attempts to pull forward the straps across the chest and shoulder blades begin to tighten.


Here is my weblog dog training advice forum

Anonymous said...

Douching and unique scented bathroom items can upset the pure stability of
bacteria in the vagina and make yeast infections much more possible.

Because of its anti-fungal properties, it is also sometimes recommended
for vaginal yeast infections. Get the answers you're looking for.

Look at my web blog; mild yeast infection after Period

Anonymous said...

Oils, beverages and Paleo sweets should also be used in moderate quantities and also keep in mind
that Paleo diet food list does not contain in it all processed foods made out of dairy products, powdered
milk, ice creams, cereal grains and legumes and should
be avoided. Pizza crust, bread, pancakes, and any food that contain sugar should be taken
out and erased from the list of foods one can eat.
Nuts(non processed) - Nuts are cholesterol free and eating one ounce per day reduces the risk of heart disease and type
2 diabetes.

My weblog ... the paleo diet and weight loss

Anonymous said...

In this article I will teach you the basics of how to have fun learning
your chords by playing out of a Fake Book. So you want to learn how
to play the piano. ][.

My web blog: Right Here Waiting Piano Chords And Tabs

Anonymous said...

Some models are even outfitted with a child seat that is removable.

There is a trade-off however that needs to be discussed.

To read more about sea kayaking and kayak fishing, see
the content-rich blogs Sea Kayaking Dot Net and North - American Kayak Fishing.


Feel free to surf to my website; global development
my website > American family insurance

Anonymous said...

Also the collar is important and should be taken into consideration when you are shopping for
sun protection shirts. You might even find yourself flying over top of other riders, so keep your limbs as
close to your tube as possible. It depends, at least
in part, on the class river you're going to be headed out to raft.

Here is my site - water shoes

Anonymous said...

The owner decided after the event to donate half of
the proceeds back to the students. At the end of the party all of the papers write
down who they think was the prohibition agent. Play games all night long in keeping with the
twenties theme such as various card games and crossword puzzles.



Here is my weblog - oklahoma city hotels

Anonymous said...

By dividing up the party at several peoples houses you make it
easy on yourself. Unfortunately for me as an addict,
I need my crime fix. Play games all night long in keeping with the twenties theme such as various card games and crossword puzzles.


Here is my site blockbuster

Anonymous said...

The decor on the inside of the restaurant is absolutely beautiful.
Brazenhead is a great place to go with your family or for
a business lunch or dinner, but if you are looking for a party atmosphere, this isn't it. The food is decent and the drink specials on Tuesdays include $2.

Feel free to visit my site Pub quiz austin

Anonymous said...

' Satanic Ritual - Decorate the space with human sacrifice, goblets of blood, pentagrams, and things draped in black. You make different challenges like scavenger hunts, food challenges, mazes and races. Cranberry studios developed this sequel while publisher Anaconda brings it to you in stores.

Here is my site ... dance

Anonymous said...

If all players are wrong the murderer gets away and everyone loses.
Even Halloween parties with the very best Halloween costumes can get dry
after everyone's seen the costumes to be seen and passed out the candy to the beggars. The game would begin with them watching the collapse of society and the outbreak of magic around the world.

my web blog; stay

Anonymous said...

If your tween is into paint-ball you can take everyone to play paint-ball.
For adults, a virtual makeover of hair and makeup
may be the equivalent of a little one hood game, with an
improved style sensibility that tends to make the knowledge each entertaining
and inspirational. Every Halloween party that people remember
later in the year by saying things like "Do you remember so-and-so's Halloween party last year.

My blog ... computer notebooks

Anonymous said...

DJ spins out on Saturday nights. Anna had been looking through
my phone while I was naked. The Bull's Head Pub, Bangkok.

Also visit my webpage; pub quiz archives

Anonymous said...

In other words, they go against the grain of the careers their parents had.

I believe my exact words were "I don't want to be your dirty little secret. 28.

my website free pub quiz answers

Anonymous said...

Also, we need to determine the rounds of the quiz according
to it. Popular prizes include sports tickets, cash and vouchers
for drinks, food - and dollars off of tabs. Theme Format: It is almost
like standard format of the pub quiz.

Here is my blog: Funny Pub Quiz Names

Anonymous said...

The only hurdle to accessing this is of course human limitations
and the fact that the brain does not function solely as a learning tool for
the human being. Below are listed a few popular pubs where one can chill in Mumbai.
They feature almost nightly drink specials and some form of entertainment every night of the week--DJ's, live music, trivia, you name it.

Here is my blog post :: pub quiz austin

Anonymous said...

Some were practical, of course, but others were psychological and emotional.
Popular prizes include sports tickets, cash and vouchers for drinks, food - and dollars
off of tabs. 28.

Feel free to surf to my blog :: great pub quiz names