Monday, April 21, 2008
Shepshed Dynamo 0 Nantwich Town 3
It will be a game that lives long in the memory. Notts County’s Meadow Lane yesterday witnessed a game full of skill, passion, emotion and total football. Of course it wasn’t miserable moaning Minnie Ian McParland’s Pies on display, but of course Channel Four’s crap north-west soap Hollyoaks Showbiz X1. Over 3000 screaming girls witnessed a seven goal thriller at The Lane, as Nottingham’s AC Broxtowe stuffed the crap actors 5-2.
Sticky Palms arrived at the ground, for a wedding reception, as the hysterical teenagers were mobbed around the players’ entrance. I’ve got to admit I did look a tad Hollywoodesque in my new Italian number purchased from The Suit Shop at Macarthur Glen for £99. You could hardly blame these young girls for mistaking me for one of these soave and sophisticated actors. They were all a tad disappointed to see me drive away in my battered old Citroen.
I attended a schools tournament at Ruddington this morning; it was nice to see children enjoying their football and not have the pressure of playing for their club, with their parents breathing down their neck. I bumped into former Forest player and now Ilkeston Town manager Nigel Jemson. We had a quick chat; I didn’t want to bore the bloke to death. He was concerned that his injury-ravaged squad were being sucked into a relegation battle. He’s normally cocksure, today he look worried.
I’m driving down the A6006 towards Hathern, the home of legendary groundhopper Richard Panther. I’m currently reading his book Dennis the Astronomer; it’s superb!
I hook up with The Auctioneer at the Pied Bull in Shepshed. We discuss “Dirty Dirty Leeds” pending appeal over a pint of Hook Norton. It’s spoilt by the dreadful 'I Have a Dream' by Abba in the background.
The Auctioneer claims to have past the ground on the way in so I follow him back into town. The clown takes us up a one-way street, the wrong way!
Butt Hole Lane is in millionaires’ row. I park outside a mansion and I’m guided into a parking space by a very courteous club official. Across the road is the Black Swan pub; in hindsight I wish we’d gone there now.
It’s £6 entry and another £1.50 for another delightfully put together programme. I also purchased a raffle ticket off a very nice lady. I don’t know why as I’ve never won one all season.I love this ground, it ticks all the right boxes. Martin O’Neill cut his management teeth here many moons ago.
Nantwich Town were formed in 1884. They won the FA Vase in 2006. They play at the Weaver Stadium, which is a brand new four million pound complex. The playing surface has been wretched and may have cost them a consecutive promotion.
There’s a good turnout of Dabbers today, as they aim to secure a play-off spot. I saw them back in October football Retford Town off the park for 45 minutes; they were hanging on for dear life at the end. I’m looking forward to seeing young winger Ashley Carter perform today.
We take a stroll around The Dovecote ground; both teams have hung up numerous flags. We poke our heads in the social club. I notice an old programme is printed and pinned to the wall. It shows the line-up from an FA Cup tie between Shepshed Charterhouse and Preston North End. Denis Jenas played that day for Shepshed; his son Jermaine plays for Tottenham Hotspur.
I will be forever indebted to the Shepshed committee member who I came across on my last visit. He told me I must take time out to watch Cammell Laird. It was the best bit of advice that anyone in Non-League football has given me.
Shepshed Dynamo have fallen on hard times. Manager Lee Wilson has been drafted in from Northern Counties East team Gedling Town. He’s brought half the squad with him. He’s performed a miracle to stabilise this club with limited resources, but it’s a big step up for some of these boys.
The Shepshed public address announcer has clearly been in his loft and dusted down a few old CD’s. We are treated to Don’t Cry for me Argentina by David Essex and Oxygen by Jean-Michel Jarre. He saves his joker for half-time.
There’s a stiff cold breeze and a cloudy grey sky. Dynamo elect to kick with the wind. We take our place to the left of the Nantwich bench.
It’s pretty uninspiring stuff for the first 45 minutes. There are a couple of old guys next to me who are taking the rise out of Shepshed ‘keeper Gary Hateley. I did notice on the Dynamo player profiles that Hateley was into fashion. These two jokers next to me claim that Hateley wants to fit a mirror to one of his goal posts and that he also likes to comb his hair in between crosses. The Auctioneer and I are in stitches.
What Dynamo lack in class and style they make up for in endeavour and hard graft. Millns and Saunders do well in a competitive opening. But for all their huff and puff Dynamo lack quality in the final third.
Nantwich look uncomfortable and become frustrated. They can’t get their two wingers into the game. I notice their Hungarian left back Gyorgy Kiss has played in the Champions League and UEFA Cup. Captain Phil Parkinson is absent today; he was very influential in their win at Retford.
The highlight of the half is on 32 minutes when The Auctioneer, cigarette and lighter battle against a fierce wind.
Now I have trawled my way to over 50 games this season, but it has took until Saturday April 19th to hear the worst song on any PA system. The Shepshed man on the mike must be the biggest practical joker in the shire; I cannot believe my ears. The song reached number 31 in June 1979 and is called Head Over Heels in Love. It’s by none other than Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan.
The PA guy is now in overdrive. There’s no love lost between Shepshed and Quorn. He tells the crowd three times that Quorn are losing 2-0 at Kidsgrove; it’s very amusing.
We have a cup of tea, a pie and a pasty. The tea is poured from an urn. We mark it with a seven, but give ten out of ten for the friendly service. As per usual I’m nowhere near on the raffle.
Nantwich kick with the wind and look a different prospect. Hateley is caught in no-man’s land, Nantwich forward Kinsey forces the ball back into the six yard area, and it’s headed into his own net by Norwood.
Andy Kinsey is running the show. He may look like a fat version of Steve Claridge but he also possesses the same work ethic. His run off the ball takes away two players, leaving space for Beasley to run into, Griggs plays him in and he finishes smartly.
Kinsey wraps things up on 90 minutes smashing the ball home from the edge of the area. “He’s fat, his round, he’s worth a million pounds.” The Dabbers salute their hero.
I ‘m driving home and hearing that things are hotting up at the bottom of League 2 (Division 4). Notts County have lost and Mansfield Town have won. The Stags entertain Rotherham United next week. Now that will be a game.
A very tired and emotional Glocko rings from Birkenhead; Cammell Laird have been promoted to the Unibond Premier League.
Shepshed 0 Nantwich Town 3 Norwood (og) Beasley and Kinsey.
Attendance: 171 (probably 50 from Nantwich)
Man of the Match: Andy Kinsey.