Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Farsley Go Out, Curzon the Weather

The crowd could be described as "sparse".
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Monday 24 October 2011 at the Tameside Stadium
Curzon Ashton 2 Farsley 0
FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round Replay.  Both teams play league football in the Northern Premier League Division One North at step 4 and lie 1st and 7th respectively.  They drew 2-2 on Saturday.
Stadium #431 on the lifetime list, on my way back south after the McHop.
This match in one sentence
In a game technically ruined by the strong wind, Curzon Ashton crucially took the lead with a fluke goal in the first half.
So what?
Curzon Ashton will be at home to Belper Town (also step 4 but in the Division One South) in the next round.
Something random

Here are some nice autumn colours from the Scottish borders earlier in the day.  Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, as Keats said.  Season of midweek cup replays and cheesey chips, I say.  By the evening, conditions had become decidedly more unpleasant.
The drama unfolds
The wind was blowing strongly from left to right as I was looking, favouring Curzon Ashton in the first half.  My scene-setter clip, after 10 minutes, will now have to go down as an “If only…” moment.  Farsley are in green.

There was very little of real quality to write about in these exceptionally difficult collisions.  The Farsley keeper, Tom Taylor, had regular difficulty with clearances sailing straight out of play on the near touchline.  The deadlock was broken by a fluke goal after 41 minutes.  Jordan Goodeve’s cross dropped over Taylor’s head and just under the bar.  The half-time question was whether a lead of one goal would be enough.  1-0 at half-time

Curzon Ashton’s keeper Joshua Ollerenshaw was fairly busy, with several blocks and saves to protect the lead.  It took both teams a good 15 minutes to re-adapt to their new context.  Farsley looked most dangerous from corners and freekicks such as this one from the midpoint of the half.

With ten minutes to go, an altercation in midfield led to three yellow cards, two for the visitors, as things got tense.  Ollerenshaw was again called into action as extra time began to look likely … until a decisive breakaway moment settled the tie.  Curzon Ashton forwards swarmed into the box as the ball was crossed from the right byline and Chris McDonagh had an easy tap in.  He’d been one of those involved in the fracas moments earlier and was perhaps lucky still to be there after raising his hands to an opponent.  2-0

There was still time for Farsley to hit the bar in stoppage time but this was not their night.  Final score 2-0
Joshua Ollerenshaw, the Curzon Ashton goalkeeper, for several saves and avoiding an evening of embarrassment.
A snippet from the programme
Padiham FC secretary Alan Smith is quoted at length in an article about match postponements, and whether groundsmen should play a larger part in the decision.  He gives an example of where, “… the game took place, no injuries occurred, and the three officials went home after the game happy with their decision.  On the face of it, you can’t argue with that … but left behind was a pitch that took three days to put back together and a badly scarred playing surface.  If we want better playing surfaces week in, week out, then I think we will all have to accept that sometimes a game that would have been played thirty years ago might have to be postponed now.”
What I learned today
It’s been a weekend of statues – see my posts from Paisley and Glasgow Celtic – and the Tameside Stadium has one of its own.  Three players with World Cup winning pedigree were born locally.  Jimmy Armfield (L) and Geoff Hurst (R) were in the England sides of 1966 and 1966/1970 respectively, with the latter of course scoring a hat-trick in the final.  Simone Perrota (centre) is English-born but represented Italy as they won the trophy in 2006.
What Next?
An FA Vase replay on Tuesday evening – Witham Town v Woodbridge Town.

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