Noah's Ark v Totley West End

10.30am  7 October 2017

Sheffield and District Fair Play League, Division One
Noah's Ark 3 Totley West End 1 (att 5)

Today was Non League Day, when in the absence of Premier League and Championship fixtures fans are encouraged to watch their local amateur and semi-professional sides for a change. I watch non-League football almost all the time, so I marked the day by going to three games.

First up was debut in the Sheffield and District Fair Play League, one of a number of leagues with Christian roots that play on Saturday mornings, providing 'Sunday league' football for teams who prefer not to play on the Sabbath.

These days the Fair Play League seems to have a mix of teams, with village and sports club sides among those whose names suggest a religious background. And with four divisions at a time when other leagues are contracting or disappearing it must be doing something right.

I chose Noah's Ark versus Totley West End because I wanted a top division game, and it was in range for my planned second game of the day at 1pm.

The 3G pitch at Sheffield Park Academy was never going to be an interesting venue, although the modern academy buildings at least provide an impressive backdrop. Unfortunately though they didn't provide much shelter from the strong and cold wind blowing across the pitch.

Noah's Ark - who disappointingly didn't enter the pitch two-by-two ahead of kick off - won this after turning around a 0-1 half time deficit. It wasn't a high quality game, although the strike that put the home side in front was excellent.

With regular 10.30am kick offs on Saturdays I'm sure I'll be watching more games in the Sheffield and District Fair Play League.

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