Sunday, February 18, 2007

Eastwood Town 0 Cammell Laird 2

It's a Unibond Division 1 play-off rivals clash today, this one caught my eye whilst scanning the fixture list a few weeks ago. I will be looking at this game from a different angle today - the BBC have asked me to record an audio diary of the day's events.

The author and poet D H Lawrence was born in Eastwood in 1885. He died of TB at the age of 44. It would appear from research that he led an unhappy and controversial life. He was once accused of being a German spy and was banished from Cornwall, but it was not a great career move to marry a German girl shortly before the outbreak of The First World War!

Cammell Laird are from Birkenhead, near Liverpool, they also have a bit of history, this year they are celebrating their centenary. It is of course a famous old shipyard, The Ark Royal was built there. It sadly went into receivership in 2001. Coal mines, shipyards and steelworks may have disappeared but the communities live and fight on.

Only two sides in England are sponsored by Carlsberg and one is The Laird, and looking at the size of their goalkeeping coach I would say he too has enjoyed the fringe benefits of this sponsorship.

Eastwood Town has been a breeding ground in the past for future professional footballers. Alan and Steve Buckley, Martin Bullock, Richard Liburd and Ben Hutchinson all had spells with The Badgers. The latest kid on the block is teenager Lindon Meikle, I liked what I saw of him on my last visit.

Cammell Laird's most famous export, not the Carlsberg variety, is Peter Davenport, who Brian Clough bought for a song, and was later sold to Old Trafford for £600,000.

Paul Cox, the Eastwood manager has done an incredible job for this club, they are second in the league and he has just signed a two year contract, unheard of at this level, but Cammell Laird will be a stiff test for his young team.

I have waited to watch The Laird since a Shepshed committee member told me they were the best team to visit The Dovecote this season. They didn't disappoint me.

Eastwood kicked down the slope first half. The interplay between their forwards Peter Knox and Meikle was a pleasure to watch. Knox is all brute strength and hustle and bustle but he can hold a ball up too. Meikle's pace and ball skills were beginning to trouble the away team's defence. He wastes a host of chances, which his movement and pace create, but his left foot is for standing on and may hold him back. Energy and desire he has in abundance.

Deakin, the Eastwood keeper, makes a brilliant one-handed save from a Laird free-kick. Honours are even at the break, Eastwood are more direct, Cammell Laird play with style and panache. The game deserves a goal.

I counted the number of passes in one Laird move, 15 in total, amazing. Their winger Eddie Jebb is a feisty little character, he is buzzing and at times shows outrageous skills. Apparently he is unsettled, I am not surprised he's too good for these. His Grandad must have worked in the engine room at the docks because this boy can motor.

I have a wander. The club shop is full, an army of volunteers at the tea bar are rushed off their feet and in the crowded bar it takes me ten minutes to get my half a mild. Eastwood Town FC is quality, they should be proud of it. 210 people show their appreciation today, not a bad turnout.

Cammell Laird are now playing down the slope, are Eastwood going to regret all those chances that went begging earlier in the game? 9 jacket Cooke makes it 1-0 to The Laird two minutes into the second period, with a back post header following a corner.

It's game set and match three minutes later when leading scorer Ronnie Morgan makes it 26 for the season after Cooke, who has the turning circle of The Ark Royal, is allowed too much time and space to cleverly set Morgan up.

Eastwood huff and puff to no avail. They have an effort chalked off by the linesman's flag. Knox and Meikle are dealt with by The Laird's defence. There is no other outlet. The north west team can't put the game out of reach, Cole goes close to making it three.

The Cammell Laird bench are aware of my audio diary. I had earlier interviewed some of their fans behind the goal, "are you lads from Liverpool?" they are offended by that "no we are from Birkenhead." The goalkeeping coach is ripping me to shreds with a series of one-liners (he looks like Benny from Crossroads with his woolly hat on) The BBC can broadcast it, but it will have to be after the 9pm watershed. He is funny, very very funny!

Cammell Laird are to visit the beautiful setting of Belper Town's ground in March I will be there and it will be a cricket score.

The Badgers return to their sett hurt and wounded, Cox for once is speechless. They have been second to the ball for much of the game, they remain second in the table, but the pack is closing in and the injuies are piling up.

Eastwood Town 0 Cammell Laird 2 Cooke and Morgan

Attendance 210

Man of the Match Cammell Laird's Eddie Jebb


skif said...


You site is now linked from my site, which documents visits to mostly non-league grounds.

Any chance of a return link?


Mike Smith said...

Pedant's Corner - The Belper Town v Cammell laird game is on March 17th - as yet Mossley have a free Saturday - I might see you there !!

The Zuffler said...

It's a good job you're not doing an video diary for the BBC. I always said you had a face that suited audio only!!! Have you got that bed put up yet?

Alex said...

What is this dig at fat goalkeeping coaches ?. I am still a fat goalkeeper, but clean sheet no. 3 yesterday against the Police and No. 4 today for the Vets !. Want to see you down the Theatre for the KUFC Vets v Radford Vets 1st April. Neville Southall

skif said...

"Only two sides in England are sponsored by Carlsberg and one is The Laird"

Assume you mean the other to be Liverpool. There is at least one other. My club Havant & Waterlooville are sponsored by Carlsberg.

Here's a picture to prove it

Justin Gregory, H&W

the zuffler said...

Mansa done you there Stato, anyone else know of a team sponsered by Carlsberg?

The Zuffler said...

Which cheeky sod is logging in as me!! There is only one Zuffler!

Shepshed BWA said...

Why do you think the Belper game will be a cricket score?

Sticky said...

Belper were awful when I went a few months ago against Skelmersdale, they have sacked their manager, Ernie Moss since, but Cammell Laird look different gravy.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I have come to the conclusion that Sticky is due a career change. Why on earth is he not writing for a wider audience such as his local evening/daily/weekly newspaper?

It is obvious he has the gift for penning a copious number of words about very little and with wit too.

And anyone who is willing to spend his Saturday afternoons trekking to
non-league outposts to risk life and limb on a dodgy pie, deserves more.

I would also like to know: How does he get away with it?

I know his wife is lovely but she must also be exceptionally understanding.

There can't be many like her so hang on to Mrs P, Sticky!

Good luck - Blue Brookie