Sunday, 21 August 2011

Hopping up Hopping Hill to Holbrook

A refreshment hut that would put many higher level clubs to shame!

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 20 August 2011 at the O-Kra Ground, Shaw Lane
Holbrook Sports 1 Greenwood Meadows 1
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.  Both these sides ply their league trade at step 6 in the East Midlands Counties League
See Friday’s post - I am here because a 3 of clubs appeared from a pack of cards selecting this as one of 27 Midlands ties. It’s random.  Holbrook Sports made a great first impression on this casual visitor.

This match in one sentence
Greenwood went in a goal down at the interval but got a deserved equaliser in the second half.

So what?
There will be a replay in midweek.

A random invention that would have the same impact on my personal happiness and well-being as watching this match
A small portable and safe-in-impact klaxon that Greenfield’s #8 could use to alert his teammates to his availability in space on the right wing.  I decided during the second half that the likelihood of him receiving a pass was inversely proportional to the volume of his calling.  This is bad news for any midfielder.  Perhaps it could use the same type of bleeping technology as is now fitted in the flags of the more upwardly mobile bleeping linos.

The drama unfolds
Holbrook’s keeper had more to do in the early stages of the game, although the saves required were pretty straightforward, as shown in my first scene-setter clip.

Holbrook (in blue) were playing down the slope in the first half and had half-chances of their own, like this one:

They took the lead in the 39th minute.  Midfielder Chris King burst through the centre and his shot took a wicked bounce up from the surface and ended up in the roof of the net.  1-0

Just before half-time, home defender #4 was called upon to make an excellent intervention to protect the lead.  1-0 at half-time

The next clip shows how Holbrook could have added a second.

Greenwood were also creating decent chances such as this one, denied by a good save.  The following clip shows the corner was wasted as #8 Karin Ibrahim was overcome by gravity at a critical moment.

The equaliser was therefore not unexpected, however, and it duly arrived after 61 minutes.  Midfielder Ibrahim gets the credit for the finish, getting himself in the right place at the right time.  1-1

Holbrook were denied a winner by a really excellent save from the visiting keeper as both sides tried for a decider.  The final two clips are from the end-to-end final minutes.  Greenwood probably shaded the second half in terms of creating chances, but in reality these two very similar sides cancelled each other out.  “Nowt between ‘em”, as they say in these here parts.

Final score 1-1

I’ll nominate Greenwood’s Karin Ibrahim for his involvement in the hinge-point of the game and for being generally threatening when going forward.  To be honest there were many others who gave similarly competent performances and picking one has been rather arbitrary.  (Acknowledgement to the East Midlands Counties League website for the scorers' names.)

A snippet from the programme
A quiz question (answer below):
WBA have won the FA Cup on five occasions.  Which other honour did the club achieve when they won it for the third time in 1931?

What I learned today
That one approach to this ground has a gorgeously appropriate name … and that, according to the club website, Holbrook will be missing two players today who are attending the V Festival (!)

What Next?
Malvern Town v Causeway United on Sunday afternoon in the same competition.  Not strictly random but the only game within reasonable distance of the ancestral home in West Bromwich where I have been this weekend. 

Quiz question answer: They won promotion from the second tier (then known as Division 2) and this is the only time that this “double” has been achieved.

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