You are here: Home > Uncategorized > Cold, Wet and Windy

Cold, Wet and Windy


Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

 Author: unknown




Tuesday 17th December 2013 FA Carlsberg Trophy k.o.:- 7.45pm
2nd Round Replay

Forest Green Rovers                                                             0
Chorley                                                                                  0

after extra time, Chorley win 3-1 on penalties
referee:- Dean Treleaven (West Sussex)                  attendance:- 508 (51 away)


The last time I had seen my beloved home town team, Chorley, was over 300 games ago, in April 2012, when they came a cropper against FC United of Manchester (Chorley 0 FC United of Manchester 2 Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, Premier Division Play-Off Semi-final, attendance:- 2,754). This evening, after a long trip down to Nailsworth, via Chipping Norton, where I picked up my son, James, I fully expected another disappointment. Speaking to Graeme, earlier in the day, I was just hopeful that they might play as well as Bradford Park Avenue’s display against Kidderminster Harriers in The FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round Replay, a game we both attended at the end of October.


I didn’t realise – until Chris put me right the following evening – that this was a different stadium to the one I had visited previously (Easter Monday, 16th April 2001: Forest Green Rovers 1 Hereford United 1 Nationwide Conference, attendance:- 1,076). Apparently, the stadium has been moved a couple of hundred yards and turned sideways, but still retains a couple of stands from the original arena.


There was a relatively small ‘gate’ for the match. even given that Forest Green Rovers are not the best supported team in The Conference! The Chorley support was herded into the corner of the stand and watched over by a couple of friendly stewards who endured some relentless, but pretty gentle barracking from the fans.


It was a dour game. Two evenly matched sides fought out a dogged struggle with neither able to gain the upper hand and some woeful finishing from both sides! The referee mercifully drew the main event to a close after 120 minutes and Chorley won the toss to choose ends for the penalties and chose the end furthest away from the home fans, and adjacent to the small pocket of their own fans! Then they promptly shot themselves in the foot by having their first penalty saved! Not to be outdone, Sam Ashton in the Chorley goal saved the first two Forest Green penalty attempts. Chorley didn’t miss again, but when Ashton saved the home side’s fourth penalty, from Ed Asafu Adjaye, the tie was won and the celebrations began!


We had a long drive home – forty miles to Chipping Norton to decant my son James and then another seventy-five miles back to deepest darkest Northamptonshire – but the journey was buoyed by reflections on a famous victory!



Wednesday 18th December 2013 Toolstation Northern Counties East League k.o.:- 8.00pm
Premier Division

Long Eaton United                                                              2
Shaun Rickford 56,
Ben Watkiss 58,

Winterton Rangers

Dan Waring s/o 86                                                            0   
referee:- Nicholas Hopton                                        attendance:- 56

Oh, what a miserable evening, weatherwise, It hadn’t rained all day, but just as I reached the environs of Long Eaton, the rains came and by the time I’d picked up Chris and parked in a very muddy spot at the ground, it was positively teeming down aided and abetted by a strong wind!

I had only been to Grange Park once before and that was in September 2004. (4th September 2004 Long Eaton 0 Spalding United 3 FA Cup Preliminary Round attendance:- 104). Then, from memory, the ground in the Autumn sunshine seemed neat and prosperous and the clubhouse was much bigger than the cramped untidy lounge that greeted us this evening. There was more cover outside, however, a new stand had been erected on the near side, but the front seats were open to the elements and everyone scrambled to the back to avoid the downpour.



The referee’s assessor gave me the teams – such as he had been able to glean from the referee. There appeared to be some hiccup in the clubhouse, where the teams were normally posted. There was no question of the match being called off, despite the foul conditions (see below), and, indeed, in the second half, both the wind and the rain slackened off, but the pitch remained very heavy1


Neither of these two teams have distinguished themselves this season, but Winterton were the more lowly placed, despite a 1-0 away victory at third placed Retford in their previous game. The wind and the rain howled in the home side’s favour throughout the first half and they ought to have collected a bagful of goals. Winterton defended with determination, but rarely left their own half.


After half time, I thought that it would be quite a different story in the second half. I was interested to see how the wind and rain would affect the home team. It didn’t. The winds died down and the rain fizzled out. The Blues scored two goals early in the half and eventually ran out comfortable winners. The Rangers went home empty handed.


We neve did find out why it was an 8.00pm kick-off, nor was any official very forthcoming over the attendance. I drove Chris home and his friend out to Shardlow, before joining the A50 and M1, but the A46 at Groby was closed and I was forced to return to the M1 and the Leicester ring road. By then, the howling wind had disappeared and the rains had completely gone!

Friday 20th December 2013 Chromasports & Trophies United Counties League k.o.:- 7.45pm

Premier Division

Yaxley                                                                              2

Jamie Graham 8

Ricky Hailstone 16

Huntingdon Town                                                        2

Declan Rogers 39 (pen)

Ben Seymour-Shore 47

referee:- Anthony Griffiths              attendance:- 121


When I saw Yaxley earlier in the season, they lost twice in quick succession to Peterborough Northern Star and I had them down for a difficult season. They also had a very eccentric A4 programme which was not very easy to manage. Since then, the team have moved up to sixth in the league (whilst Peterborough Northern Star are ninth) and the programme, whilst retaining its format has been reduced to A5 in size. This evening, they were playing hosts to second placed Huntingdon Town.


The wind played its part and swept Yaxley forward in the first half. They opened up a two goal lead, but six minutes from half-time, they conceded a soft penalty, right on the very edge of the box. I was sitting next to The UCL Chairman, who sucked in deeply, seemingly querying the penalty decision!

In the second half, The Cromwellians took control, pulled a goal back to draw the sides level and held the initiative for the rest of the half without really threatening to score again. In the end, a draw was the fair result!

Saturday 21st December 2013 Windsor Food Service Central Midlands League k.o.:- 2.00pm

Black Dragon South Division

Barrowby                                                                               4

Callum Tyndall 27, 49,

Barry Payne 31,

Craig Wilson 37,

Blidworth Welfare                                                              0

referee:- Darren Tingle                                     attendance :- 28

Barrowby is a small village on the edge of Grantham and just off the A1 at The A52 junction. There is a pleasant pub serving real ale and a delicatessen incorporating a cafe. I sampled them both on my way to The Sports Pavilion on Lowfield at the far end of the village.


It was bright and reasonably clear, but the clouds weren’t that far away. At Lowfields, there is a club house and changing rooms and three football pitches and two smaller 5-a-side pitches. On the main pitch, there were a couple of dugouts and in the space between them was a small covered standing area for perhaps fifteen or twenty spectators. Otherwise, the hardy hopper was at the mercy of the elements!


Barrowby are new to the league this season, having gained promotion from The Grantham & District League, last season. They have endured a chastening start to life in a higher league, having won just three of their opening sixteen games. Their opponents, long serving members of The Central Midlands League, Blidworth Welfare, were in similar trouble, having played two games more than Barrowby, but below them on goal difference!


As a contest, this was a pretty one sided affair. It took the home side half an hour or so to get their noses in front and shortly after half time and now 4-0 in the lead, the home manager rang the changes and brought all his three substitutes on in quick succession. The away team only had one substitute and he came on after less than fifteen minutes after an injury to the left winger. The introduction of substitutes had the effect of dumbing down the scoreline. Barrowby really should have score many more. On this showing, the two sides will shortly be moving rapidly in different directions!


The tiny covered area in the gap between the dugouts.

Graeme is fourth from the left



We think that this is a view of Harlaxton House on the horizon

This season:- matches – 113   New grounds – 83

This year :- matches 213  New grounds – 132

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS