Sunday, 24 October 2010

Trains and Football - It's All About Points

The wrong sort of leaves on the pitch

Hopperational details
Friday 22 October 2010 at Kingsthorpe Mill, Northampton Spencer 1 Wellingborough Town 1 in the step 5 United Counties Premier League.
This match in one sentence
A goal-of-the-season equaliser for the visitors ensured the points were shared.
So what?
Northampton Spencer look set for mid-table respectability as big-spenders St Neots Town lead the league.  Wellingborough Town are a bit too close to the bottom for comfort but may be happy with the point today.
Who caught the eye on the pitch?
Michael Boyle-Chong hit a screamer for Wellingborough.  A long ball was chested-down perfectly by the centre-forward into his path and his first-time shot arrowed into the top corner from 25m past the home keeper’s admiring gaze.  “Worth the entrance fee alone!”, was the sage response from fellow ‘hoppers nearby, and I agree.
This match had the same effect on my pulse rate as …
… the new sport (that I just invented) of synchronised trainspotting, which would be moderately easy from this ground in daylight given its proximity to two helpfully arranged high- and low-level lines close by.
A snippet from the programme
“Tonight we experiment with Friday night football …”  “It’s good to see clubs brave and willing to try new initiatives in a bid to increase gates.”  (The reverse fixture in December will also be on a Friday evening.)

Tonight’s attendance of 134 was roughly double the normal home gate, and the first to reach three figures this season.  Certainly a few of us appeared to be ‘hoppers so the club would need to try this again before deciding that the increase would be sustained.  I wonder how many other step 5 clubs are thinking actively about this.  Travel distances at this level would just about allow for it to become the norm, but I’m not sure that it is best for players and playing standards after a day of real-world work.
What I learned today
The Spencer in the club name comes from Spencer School who formed an Old Boys team in 1936.
What Next?
The 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and a trip to Sheffield v Tipton Town

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