Sunday, 8 January 2012

St Margaretsbury Good News Today

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 7 January 2012 at The Recreation Ground
St Margaretsbury 2 Holmer Green 0
(and MK Lightning 7 Telford Tigers 2)
South Midlands League Premier Division (Step 5)
A local one for me today, #446 on the lifetime list, followed by some Premier League ice hockey action.
This match in one sentence
A goal in each half from St Margaretsbury and Holmer Green failing to test a substitute keeper until it was too late.
So what?
St Margaretsbury are solidly mid-table but Holmer Green are facing a relegation battle.  Only Hanwell Town are below them, by three points but with a game in hand.
Something random

Composition of Scooby-Doo tree and not-quite-full moon not quite at the intersection-of-thirds No 26
The drama unfolds
The first incident of note came after 7 minutes.  The two photos show a routine-looking goalmouth incident and its outcome.  St Margaretsbury are in the red-and-black.

 Actually, the unlucky keeper, Bert Greenwood could have had a full burial and memorial service before anyone noticed his plight, so I hope he got some better attention later on.  Number 10 and captain Anthony Anstead took the Number 1 jersey and in goal-chasing mode I decided to hang around at that end, anticipating a Holmer Green barrage.

Here are some clips to set the scene.

Actually, the home side began to look the more likely to score.  Adam Lawton shot over after a nice move with triangles in it, and David Edmee in his pink boots was looking direct and tricky.  Meanwhile, the new number one was coping well enough as this clip shows.

St Margaretsbury tool the lead after 31 minutes with an explosive contender for goal-of-the-season from Leigh Rose and his distinctive hairstyle.  A long ball was flicked on, it fell and sat up nicely and he half-volleyed it from about 25 metres into the top right corner.  A wonderful goal.  1-0

With the sun appearing low in the sky and making photography tricky, I completed my circuit just before half-time and took a clip from behind the other goal.  There was no further score before the interval.  1-0 at half-time

The second half was preceded by a wonderful announcement to St Margaretsbury’s Adam Lawton… “Adam, your mum’s here now, pull your finger out!”  I wonder if this would have worked on Peter Odemwingie earlier in the season, but never mind.

The ref forgot momentarily that the teams change ends at half-time and there was a comedy moment when a Holmer Green player shouted, “What ARE you doing?” to get the reply, “Giving you a freekick!”.  You just don’t get these things in the Premier League.

Holmer Green started the half strongly and for a time an equaliser looked to be only a matter of time.  However, they soon conceded a freekick by fouling #9 just outside the box and Ed Taylor’s direct left-foot shot curled round the wall into the corner of the net.  The keeper Nick Hancox didn’t even have chance to dive, and it looked a soft goal.  2-0

After that, the game became even and end-to-end.  St Margaretsbury rattled the bar.  Holmer Green had a goal disallowed when they thought that the sub keeper had dropped the ball rather than being fouled.  Edmee continued to cause problems, and Joe de Silva had a very good second half in midfield for the visitors.  Holmer Green hadn’t done a lot wrong, but they hadn’t done enough in the final third.  My last clip is taken from the main stand side in the closing minutes and catches the away supporters' bemusement at the disallowed goal.  Final score 2-0

There was time for a quick jaunt up the M1 to watch MK Lightning demolish Telford Tigers 7-2 in the English Premier League of ice hockey.  The visitors took a two-goal lead in the first period and a major shock was developing until the home side woke up.  They drew level in the second period, and this clip shows the turning point – a power-play goal to give them the lead for the first time in the match.  They never looked back and added four more in a one-sided third period.


Honourable mentions to Edmee and de Silva, and of course Anstead for a clean sheet from his unexpected stint between the sticks, but I give the nod to St Margaretsbury’s #9 Leigh Rose for the finish and the indirect assist which decided where the points went today.
A snippet from the programme
Mostly adverts of course, but very nicely produced to a high standard.  I liked the announcement of cheaper bar prices for members by a new bar committee.  A learning point for all clubs in the eastern counties, perhaps?

“One of their first actions taken was to aggressively re-negotiate with the Green King Brewery to get a better deal on the cost of the bar products.”
What I learned today

The club was founded in 1894 as Stanstead Abbotts FC.  The change of name to St Margaretsbury was a condition of the move to their current location in 1962.  The ground is in a very pleasant setting alongside a waterway (not sure what exactly but it connects to the Lee Valley waterways to the south), but alas, no ballboy-in-a-boat as far as I could see.  The large building visible in the background of the early clips is part of Amwell View, a specialist special school (yes, special schools can have specialist status too) for children with severe learning difficulties.
What Next?
No idea – follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for announcements!  MK Lightning have a big game against league leaders Guildford Flames next weekend.

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