Leicestershire Senior League Cup, 2nd Round
Guru Nanak Gurdwara 0 Houghton Rangers 0, 1-3 on penalties (att 38)
The first floodlit game at GNG's new ground in Leicester attracted fewer groundhoppers that I'd expected. Perhaps some stayed away due to the lack of a match programme, or perhaps they somehow knew it'd be an uninspiring goalless draw on a cold night.
GNG (as the club's lengthy formal name is usually shortened to) and Houghton Rangers are both mid table in the county league's top division, and there was little to choose to between them in 90 minutes. Houghton had the better what chances there were, but it was the sort of game that looked like ending 0-0 well before the final whistle.
Thankfully, as it was cold, competition rules are that drawn ties go straight to penalties, so we were spared an extra 30 minutes. Fittingly, even the penalty shootout was a low-scoring affair. GNG scored just one of their four spot kicks, while Houghton netted three of theirs for a winning lead.
After playing in Loughborough for a few years GNG now play that the newly-opened Riverside Football Ground, in Braunstone Lane East, Leicester. Like most new grounds it's not a venue to set the pulses racing, but it's not bad and it provides a great community asset.
The pitch is railed off, and is surrounded by hard standing on three sides, which will no doubt be extended to the fourth once the dugouts are completed on the far side. There's a clubhouse behind the near goal, and a 3G pitch at the far end. A steep grass bank along one side isn't designed for spectators, but it does give a good elevated view of the action.