Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ossett Albion 0-3 Padiham FC

I was reminded by Fod that I'd forgotten to mention Too Tall Tony's virtuoso performance on the recent Hull to Rotterdam stag weekend. He hit the sauce at breakfast time on Day 1 and I'm not talking tomato or brown, folks.  He ended up in the Guinness Book of Records for falling asleep in the most pubs in England and the Netherlands on a 24 hour bender . He left his party piece for the early hours of Sunday morning. So sozzled, was our Tony, that boat security had to wheel him back to his cabin, Sandy Richardson style - more like 'Too Tired Tony.'

Easter weekend is spent in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. It's a treat from Mrs P for my 50th. I use the Friday as an excuse to chalk off a few real ale pubs from out of the Good Pub Guide. The Café Royal is the crème de la crème, tucked away in a corner of West Registry Street. The weather is kind to us. We sunbathe in the delightful surroundings of Princes Park.

I'm back in rainy Nottingham and football is at the forefront of my mind. For my sins, this season, I've volunteered to coach two youth football teams. The season seems never ending. My eldest lad, Sticky jnr, has been known to run off at the mouth at referees and officials during a game. One drunken Stella Sunday I foolishly said that I would cough up £100 if he went the whole season without a yellow card. As it stands, with one game remaining, he has yet to receive a caution -GULP.

Murphy the budgie has got it on him this morning (Saturday) I've tuned into Mary Ann Hobbs on 6Music rather than Brian Matthew's 60s show on Radio 2. She plays Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel's 'White Lines' which reminds me of a hazy, lazy two weeks in Ibiza. Murphy cheers up when she plays 'Twenty Five Miles' by Northern Soul sensation Edwin Starr - he was found dead in the bath at his home near Nottingham in 2003.

Murphy, 'The Skipper' and Groundhopper are queuing up in the kitchen for a bacon sandwich. Mrs P drops the grill pan on the floor. Six rashers of bacon and a river of grease are on sitting on a floor tile. I remark it's a child protection issue when Mrs P swears in front of Murphy.

I firm up a date for the next Real Ale Trail around Nottingham with The Zuffler. It's on FA Cup final day, with a 1pm kick off in the Cock and Hoop. There was a good question on the Colin Murray Show yesterday: Who was the last player-manager to pick himself in the Premier League?

I have to give 'Howard Webb' a lift down to Dunkirk, as he's reffing an U12 title decider. I'm impressed with what's on view and make a mental note to follow up. The 50mph speed limit on the northern stretch of the M1 is an irritant.

Destination is Crofton, in West Yorkshire, home to Nostell Miners' Welfare and an area where the Bronte sisters were educated. I can't find a decent pub in the guide so opt for a re-visit to the Brewers Pride in Ossett, adjacent to the Ossett Brewery. It has  olde worldy charm about it and has a bustling main bar. I grab a pint of Durham Citra Nova and a steak baguette.

I'm scrolling down the Evostik Division One North fixtures when I notice that Ossett Albion are playing Padiham from Burnley in Lancashire. Ooh, I've never seen those two teams before. I'll put Nostell MW on the back-burner. Murphy will be cross as he's predicted a 4-0 win for the visitors Pickering Town.

Ossett is a market town in the metropolitan district of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, with a population of just over 20,000.  The town is mentioned in the song ‘It’s Grim up North’ by cult alternative techno group KLF. Famous folk from the Ossett include: Stan Barstow, Black Lace, Helen Worth (Gail off Corrie) and the novelist David Peace of the Damned United fame.

The drive to Dimple Wells Road is a breeze. Adjacent to the football ground a cricket match is taking place. A ring rusty batsman fails to keep a low delivery out, as the bails go flying up in the air.

It's £7 on the gate and £2 for the programme. That Durham Citra Nova has done for me, it's time for a toilet inspection. It's a good start, they have Armitage Shanks but they could do with Sticky Palms Cleaning Services as they are filthy.

I like the rugged look of the ground. It has soul and character. I stand on the far side close to the goal that Ossett will attack. Behind me are sweeping views out towards Emley, with it's big tower of a transmitter dominating the skyline.

It's a bloody nightmare trying to jot the teams down as the PA guy has a Norman Collier faulty microphone moment. I'm sure he says that Benjamin Britton is on the subs bench, so at least we'll be good for a tune at half-time.

Ossett play with the wind behind them and enjoy the lion's share of possession. Padiham have pace and technique in their locker. Kieran Pickup thumps a half volley from miles out, only to see it bounce back off the crossbar.

I've got some guy next to me with a headphone in one ear who repeatedly shouts out 'bloody hell' like Dave off the Royle Family. On my other side are two referee assessors. They won't have much to report as the young man in the middle is brilliant.

I bump into Zac a 5 year old Springer Spaniel at the break. He supports the Albion. Not missed a game home or away for two seasons, apart from Lancaster City, where dogs are banned. His owners' lad plays left back. I say lad; he's 42.

Ossett's 19 year old loan 'keeper from Rotherham is caught napping as a 40 yard free-kick catches the wind and sails over his head to give Padiham the lead. On the hour Mark Sharples doubles their lead with a smart finish, following good work down the left.

The best player on view, Kieran Pickup, puts the game to bed in the dying embers. I check the score from Nostell as I exit the ground. It's 4-0 to Pickering. "Bloody Hell, Finley."

Man of the Match: Referee, Luke Watson

Attendance: 227

Quiz answer: Stuart McCall

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