Mrs P recently suggested I take a break from football, I agreed with her and have spent the last few weekends watching Keyworth United Community Football Club.
I saw the reserves smash Ruddington 6-2, a boy called Wooloch scored four; he looks more than first team material to me. Last Saturday champions elect, Cotgrave, visited our parts and stole a win. It was one–way green traffic until the mercurial Tom Aldred was sent off for handball. Even with 10 men KUCFC were mighty impressive and missed a host of chances. Cotgrave made them pay with a Paul Nicholls 20 yard daisy cutter which the clown Bally could only help into the net.
On Sunday, Sticky Junior was playing for the U11s away at Hucknall Sports, his team have had a miserable season and are coached by posh Scot, Dave Reilly, who has served these boys well. We won 6-1, with 4 goals from Siswick, the most accomplished finisher in the county. Dave Reilly is also the manager of the Keyworth Veterans, this afternoon they are playing Gedling MW in a cup final at Calverton MW.
Sticky Junior has got the hump, he didn’t score this morning and fails to make the trip. “The Skipper” joins me, we drive down the A46 via Gunthorpe Bridge, it’s a picturesque route. “Dad can you put on track 4 on the CD player please?” he asks. It’s only “Chico Time” by Chico that imbecile off X-Factor; I rip “The Skipper” to shreds.
I used to “work” at Calverton Colliery; this place holds fond memories for me. “The Skipper” meets a few mates and showboats on the astro turf – time for a swift one for me in the welfare. There’s a waft of Sunday roast in the air, Newcastle are playing Chelsea on Sky, it’s turgid.
A high percentage of the KUCFC vets are Keyworth born and bred. Two of them, Robbie Marchbank and Ian Woolley were given a testimonial for 25 years service. They donated all monies made on the day back to the club. This is the calibre of guys we are talking about. They are salt of the earth.
If there had been academies in his day, Woolley would have walked into one. He’s quiet off the pitch but has plenty to say to the referee on it. It’s a travesty that he’s only ever played at this level. We do have some superstars: Gary Lund, Kevin Bartlett and Richard Dryden have all worn the black and white stripes of The Pies.
Neecey, my travelling partner on The Groundhop, is playing today, I look forward to some good natured ribbing, he’s bound to get wound up. I’ve already placed a bet at Ladbrokes that he’ll get booked; odds of 8/13 are a steal.
Gedling MW have one or two big cheeses: Andy Beckford, Everton Marsh and Paul Tomlinson have all played at a good level.
There’s a moment of controversy in the opening seconds when Keyworth sponge man, Alan Jackson, is asked to leave the technical area by the fourth official for infringing the smoking laws. I’m showered in cigar smoke as he retells his tale.
Keyworth play 4-5-1, (it’s a tactic Reilly has used unsuccessfully for the U11s; we won 6-1 this morning and played 4-4-2). I’m disappointed, Lund and Bartlett are a good partnership but KB is on the bench.
The game has a slow start, Gedling look fitter and have more bite, Keyworth often get the ball forward early but Lund is a lone ranger and is not getting enough support.
I notice Neecey wipe his brow on 15 minutes. I don’t know why he hasn’t had a touch yet.
Gedling take the lead, Stanhope floats a ball in from the left which Marsh, unmarked, heads home easily. Within 2 minutes there’s another cross from the left, Marsh is allowed to turn, 2-0.
Gedling are bullying us in the midfield. Woolley is struggling for fitness, and Webster is not seeing the ball. Neecey is increasing in confidence and puts in one or two useful crosses. It is from one of his corners that Lund gives Keyworth hope with a smart finish.
Keyworth go two up top in the second half and start with a bit more urgency but all looks lost when Tomlinson converts a Bucknall cross to make it 3-1. Bucknall appears to put the game out of sight with a sublime finish, 4-1.
By now Dryden has limped off and coach Reilly is marauding down the left flank. All hell breaks loose on 80 minutes Bartlett and Gedling 6 jacket Mickey Hodgson collide, and get involved in a bit of afters. Hodgson is an unpleasant character, on the pitch, who has little interest in playing the beautiful game. It is a miracle that he is still on the pitch, as he appears to be involved in all unsavoury matters.
It’s all too much for Richard Dryden who sees the red mist. He charges from the dugout intending on retribution and is red-carded. I hope “The Skipper” hasn’t seen it as Dryden is his coach and this is not a good example. Bartlett is booked, even I’m telling the ref that no.6 has to go (I’m fairly placid on The Groundhop).
Hodgson is showing anyone that is remotely interested his stud marks: live by the sword die by the sword. The referee belatedly sends him off, the Gedling bench are in uproar. They are having a laugh.
Lund makes it 4-2 with a close-range finish. Dave Reilly, who mysteriously was nowhere to be seen during the ensuing melee, (Braveheart my arse!), floats in a cross at the death, it hangs in the air for what seems an eternity, and ends up in the top corner 4-3.
Gedling MW are all over the show and can’t cope now their ankle tapper has been dismissed. Keyworth are pouring forward in search of an equaliser and are creating chances. Neecey ensures I clean up at the bookies; he’s booked in the 90th minute for dissent. The game is over, the finish is breathtaking. Apparently the referee thought it was 3-3 and was asking what end they’d be taking penalties? His notebook, like mine is full.
All this for £2, what tremendous value, just think some sad people have stopped in this afternoon and watched them miserable sods on the Eastenders Omnibus edition, well I’ll tell you “Eastenders ….. no-ones talking about it”