Monday, 10 January 2011

Peacocks Get Feathers Ruffled

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 9 January 2011 at Garden Walk
Gornal Athletic 0 Runcorn Town 3
An FA Vase Third Round tie between two sides having decent seasons in step 6.  Gornal Athletic are from the West Midlands Regional Premier and Runcorn Town are from the North West Counties Division One.
I am here because this game was moved to a Sunday and @Gornal_AFC let us all know in plenty of time on Twitter.  I am now the proud owner of a Peacocks scarf – thanks for your hospitality!
This match in one sentence

Much closer than the scoreline suggests, as Runcorn Town grabbed a critical goal just before half-time and then defended stoutly before adding two very late breakaway goals as Gornal were forced to leave space at the back.
This match summed up in the style of:
Aynuck (the archetypal Black Country Mon)

Yo wor ‘alf lucky, Runcorn – good job yo’ got defenders built loik outhouses, ay it?  Them Gornal players all worked very ‘ard loik, but the Runcorn keeper’s jumper wor dirty enuff at the end.  Good luck to yer in the next rahnd, lads.  Now, where’s me scratchins?
So what?
Runcorn Town progress into the last 32 of the competition, as the sole representatives from the North West Counties League.  They will play either Dunston UTS (from the step 5 Northern League D1) or Heather St Johns (leaders of the step 6 Midlands Combination Premier Division).
The drama unfolds
The first quarter was pretty even.  Gornal always had good approach play, and their best chance came from a header which smacked back off the crossbar.  Runcorn, for their part, forced a series of corners.  Just when a goalless first half looked likely, an inswinging corner from the right was met by midfielder Ian Robinson who powered in an unstoppable header.  0-1 at half-time.
The crossbar keeps the score at 0-0
The second half saw wave after wave of Gornal attacks, with the visitors looking dangerous on the counter.  The Town back line did an excellent job of protecting their ‘keeper, and this result was really secured in defence.  Eventually substitute Carey got a second and decisive goal for Runcorn Town in the 81st minute and there was time for one more to be walked in by another sub, Adegbenro, as Gornal went for broke.  A harsh scoreline, but these things happen in cup-tie football.  Final score 0-3.
Alternative activity of equal excitement for tourists in nearby Dudley
Spend the morning shortening your vowels at the Black Country Museum, then take your pet canary down into the coal mining exhibit to help it understand that living conditions for juvenile canaries are so much better these days.
A snippet from the programme
The one downside of the day – other commitments meant that I arrived only shortly before KO so the print run had sold out.  I consoled myself with a bag of authentic pork scratchings with wholemeal monosodium glutamate.
What I learned today
Garden Walk is a hidden gem in the Black Country.  Sitting in a kind of natural amphitheatre, spectators have the choice between touchline closeness or lofty supervision.  Hopefully the video clips below give you a sense of the occasion (and Runcorn Town’s defensive solidity!).
What Next?
Tuesday Night is 'Hopping Night!  Watch this space ...

Some clips to give you a feel for the match and the venue ...

1 comment:

  1. Gornal always had good approach play, and their best chance came from a header which smacked back off the crossbar.nice post thanx for sharing