GNP Sports v Birmingham Tigers

24 February 2018

Midland Football League, Division Three
GNP Sports 7 Birmingham Tigers 0 (att 19)

Both these sides are new to the Midland Football League this season, and while Tigers have comfortably settled into mid table GNP Sports have taken the competition's fourth tier by storm.

This comprehensive win kept their healthy lead at the top of the division, and preserved their unbeaten league record, although the visitors were still in the match until just before half time.

GNP took an early lead, but failed to make the most of other chances and on occasions Tigers threatened to draw level. The game moved out of their reach in the few minutes either side of half time, as GNP scored twice just before the break, and again in the opening seconds after it.

It was then just a matter of how many more they'd score, by the end they managed another three, and had a penalty well saved along the way.

I visited what I assume to be the same GNP Sports back in 1998, when they briefly played Midland Combination football at a ground in Solihull. Twenty years on and they've moved a few miles into Coventry, using a pitch inside an athletics track that's run by Warwick University.

A reason the the venue was on my radar was a recent announcement that GNP Sports will be moving for next season, to groundshare with another local club.

Pitches surrounded by running tracks are rarely great places to watch football, but at this one spectators are able to stand on the track next to the roped-off pitch, so you are close to the action. The track's striking Coventry City-esque sky blue colour also makes it a little different.

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