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Showing posts from April, 2021

Dalton Athletic v Boroughbridge development

6.30pm  29 April 2021 Harrogate and District League, Division One Dalton Athletic 1 Boroughbridge development 5 (att 23) The lower of the Harrogate and District League's two divisions wouldn't normally be on my groundhopping radar, but on a evening when options were limited this was an enjoyable game. The division's bottom club were at home to the team at the top, and so an easy win for Boroughbridge was no surprise. It was a decent contest though, and played in a good spirit by both sides. Boroughbridge's first team play in the West Yorkshire League and they also have a side in its reserve divisions, so I assume their 'development' team is in effect their third eleven. They looked quite good though, and when they went ahead as early as the third minute it looked like Dalton might be in for a tough evening. It took a while before Boroughbridge increased their lead but then the floodgates opened and it was 4-0 by half time. A fifth goal followed early in the seco

CMB v Old Boltonians

6.30pm  28 April 2021 Bolton Hospital Cup, Quarter Final CMB 2 Old Boltonians 1 (att 105) The revival of the Bolton Hospital Cup seems to have caught the imagination of local football followers. Last season's competition was scuppered by the pandemic, but this year it's helping to fill a void caused by Covid. Sixteen teams entered, and West Lancashire League CMB (Chew Moor Brook, as they're less commonly known) moved into the last four after an entertaining tie against Old Boltonians. A home win was always likely, as the visitors play in the Lancashire Amateur League, but CMB were at that level themselves not so long ago and it was by no means an easy passage through the quarter final. CMB were still in the Lancashire Amateur League when I visited in 2008. That night they played on one of two undeveloped pitches. Since then the other pitch, closer to the clubhouse, has been enclosed as the main ground. Not only is the pitch neatly fenced off, with advertising boards and dug

Tarleton Corinthians v Standish St Wilfrids reserves

6.30pm  27 April 2021 Mid Lancashire League, Division One Tarleton Corinthians 0 Standish St Wilfrids reserves 0 (att 17) My first goalless game of the season. It was primarily Standish's wayward finishing, especially in the second half, that meant the evening finished scoreless, but it was an entertaining 90 minutes. The home side managed little more than half chances, but deserved a point for a battling performance. They had a two man advantage for the closing minutes, when Standish had two players sin-binned for arguing with the referee after he failed to award them a penalty. I was last at Tarleton Corinthians in 2009. Since then they've added dugouts and a post and rail barrier around one of the pitches. It's not the pitch I saw a game on last time, so by my groundhopping rules a return trip was required. What counts as a new ground is a subject that groundhoppers can, and do, debate at length, often to the bored bafflement of anyone within earshot. There's no set

Rawcliffe v Dunnington

2pm  24 April 2021 York League, Senior Cup, Second Round, Second Leg Rawcliffe 2 Dunnington 3 (3-4 on aggregate) (att 72) Dunnington were unbeaten when the York League season was cancelled due to the pandemic so their hopes of a trophy now rest on the league's Senior Cup, being played over two legs to provide clubs with competitive football. They're still on track, but had a tough job and needed a late winner to defeat fellow Premier Division side Rawcliffe, who had held them to a 1-1 draw in the first leg. The visitors started the game well, but Rawcliffe survived an early onslaught and play evened up as the first half went on. To be honest it was fairly scrappy, with few clear chances for either side. The second half was where the drama was. Rawcliffe, cheered on by good turnout of supporters, took the lead thanks to a penalty. Unusually it was taken by the goalkeeper, who must be the team's dead ball expert as he also came up to take a free kick on the edge of the Dunnin

Eastlands v Medlock Rangers

10.15am  24 April 2021 Manchester Saturday Morning League, Division One Eastlands 6 Medlock Rangers 0 (att 20) The Manchester Saturday Morning League has picked up where it left off since lockdown, with fixtures well into June in order to finish the league season. This was my final ground to recomplete the league, unless venue changes crop up in the coming weeks. Eastlands have had a few grounds, and several names, in recent years. They're currently using a pitch at Lumb Lane in Audenshaw. As Saturday morning league grounds go it's not a bad one, it's a tree-lined playing field with a single pitch. The park is bordered by a canal on one side and the M60 on the other. The drone of motorway traffic is ever present, although the referee was more concerned by the noise coming from the visiting bench (not that there was an actual bench). He had words with them after denying what might have been a first half penalty, and got so fed up in the second half that he threatened to aban

Holme Valley Academicals v Honley

6.15pm  23 April 2021 Huddersfield and District League, Barlow Cup, Group C Holme Valley Academicals 2 Honley 4 (att 11) The Huddersfield League has given up on its league campaign but is ending the season with league cups organised on a group basis. The Barlow Cup is for teams in the top two divisions, refreshingly still called one and two. Top flight Honley might have expected a comfortable evening at division two Holme Valley, but they got off to a poor start when the home team went ahead in the first few minutes. A second goal followed, but that spurred Honley into action and within moments they halved the deficit. The visitors equalised with the last action of the half, before two second half goals earned them a win. Both sides had a player red-carded following an ugly incident just before the end, but by then the important action was done. There wasn't much between the teams over the 90 minutes. Perhaps the narrow and undulating pitch, one of two at the Sands Recreation Groun

Howden Clough v Tingley Athletic

6.30pm  21 April 2021 West Yorkshire League, Division Two President's Challenge Howden Clough 2 Tingley Athletic 3 (att 42) Staying abreast of how different leagues are providing competitive post-lockdown football is difficult. It took some Googling, checking of clubs' social media and a quick pre-match chat with the referee to establish how this fixture fitted into what remains of the West Yorkshire League season. The normal divisions have been abandoned. Instead they are restarting from scratch with each club playing their divisional rivals just once in a 'President's Challenge'. I'm unsure whether promotion and relegation will follow. Howden Clough are long established in the West Yorkshire League, but for some reason their ground had eluded me until now. They're based at the Batley Sports and Tennis Centre, on one of a pair of railed off pitches that are a fair walk from the car park and other facilities. It feels more rural than I'd have expected fo

Shevington v Standish St Wilfrids

6.30pm  20 April 2021 Mid Lancashire League, Premier Division Shevington 2 Standish St Wilfrids 2 (att 70) A feisty local derby between two clubs who used to be rivals in the more parochial Wigan League. They've swapped that for the Mid Lancashire League, which seems to be gaining strength as well as a wider footprint since rebranding from the Preston and District League. Shevington appear to be a club on the up. When I visited in 2012  they played on a pitch at Shevington Recreation Ground, but this is their second season at a newly-developed ground in nearby Vicarage Lane. It's a home they share with amateur rugby league club Shevington Sharks. There's a clubhouse, enough space for several pitches and plenty of scope for future improvements. The football pitch is close to the entrance, with a car park behind one goal. The game attracted a good crowd. Home supporters lined one touchline, while those who'd made the short journey from Standish congregated (mostly in a so