Thursday, 13 September 2012

Blaby Boom Crowd Go Home Disappointed

It's a tuck shop that sells cobs and pop. Lovely.

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Wednesday 12 September 2012 at Warwick Road
Blaby & Whetstone 1 Eastwood Town 3
FA Cup First Round Qualifying – Replay
Impulsive midweek hop because I love the early rounds of the FA Cup.  #480 on the lifetime list.
Pre-match preparation
Er… they drew 1-1 on Saturday (this was a very very last-minute decision, be fair).  Blaby & Whetstone are in the step 6 East Midlands Counties League and winless Eastwood Town are bottom of the step 3 Northern Premier League. 
This match in one sentence
A creditable showing from the lower ranked home side but Eastwood’s breakaway third goal came at the right time and in the end the win was comfortable enough.
So what?
Eastwood will host Histon from the Conference North in the next round on 22 September and I have exactly 23 possible new FA Cup hops on that day for an attack of randomness.
The drama unfolds
The kickoff was delayed after local traffic issues and, at 8.20pm, we started in front of a crowd of about 250, that's around five times as many as usual for a league game.  Eastwood made a confident start - a tap-in was rightly disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper and then they hit the post.  The crowd at the clubhouse end then briefly celebrated a home goal before realising that a looping header from a corner had rippled the net from the wrong side!  The match was high  tempo but not high quality.  Blaby & Whetstone settled into their game and competed well, especially in defence, where they tackled well and made good decisions.  Just before the half-hour, the home keeper came for a route one free kick, as did several other players from both sides.  Nobody got there, and the ball bounced on the six-yard line and then over the bar.  My scene setter clip is from just after this, and the home side are in blue.

The second clip has the opening goal of the game, a deflected free kick from Alex Troke.  0-1

Unfortunately I was tweeting rather than filming when Blaby & Whetstone equalised just before the break.  They had already tried one neat training ground routine from a freekick, and this time the ball was rolled sideways to number 2 Tom Orton.  His first-time rising shot was superbly struck and I should be punished for missing this by being made to watch continuous re-runs of the "Diamond Lights" twaddle of Hoddle and Waddle.  1-1 at half-time

The home keeper was a bit fortunate not to be called for an accidental (and unnecessary) handball at the edge of the area after 50 minutes.  It took until 66 minutes for Eastwood to take the lead through TJ Nightingale.  Here's the goal.  The assist is from Craig Ryan.  1-2

Blaby & Whetstone pressed forward of course and the turning point came four minutes later with this breakaway score, made through the pace of number 7 Jermaine Hollis and served up on a plate for Ryan.  1-3

The home team did not collapse and kept on fighting till the end - they hit the post with a shot from Darren Wheeler but it was not their night.  I took one more clip in the closing minutes.  Eastwood fans were hoping that this win will give their team a much-needed confidence boost, and they were able to defend their two-goal lead in reasonable comfort.  Final score 1-3

Acknowledgement to the Eastwood Advertiser website for identification of scorers' names.
The programme

Something random
I find it impossible as a football blogger to publish anything today without acknowledging the stunning news from the Hillsborough review.  23 years ago I personally was very much out of love with the culture of the game and its spectators (specifically after being treated like a pack animal by police at Watford).  It would be another four years until I started going to matches again after a 12-year break, and another six before I started the groundhopping journey.  I am struggling to get my head round the fact that so much material in this inquiry was "previously unseen", and 23 years is a ridiculous time for a supposedly civilised country to learn its lessons.  I'd like to see "safe standing" back at the grounds of the future while conceding that without the changes of the Taylor report, I might never have taken my own sons for their first visits to The Hawthorns which means they have grown up to support their dad's hometown team rather than joining the southern glory-hunting phalanxes of reds and blues.  My thoughts today are with the inspirational mums and dads of Liverpool who have kept on fighting this cause.  I can only hope that I would have shown the same tenacity in the same position, and be thankful that I have never been faced with the challenge.
Hopping for Moorfields Update
The tally has reached sixty goals from fifteen games – four a game on average so the penny-a-goal pledge is heading to be around £2.40 in June 2013 when it will be time to pay up!  If you want to join in, it is never too late – email me at headyapp(at) or contact me via Twitter.
What Next?
Planning to be at Truro City v Bromley on Saturday to complete step 2, and at one of those 23 FA Cup ties the week after that.  Looking a bit further ahead, I can now reveal that the blog is heading to Denmark at the end of October for four days.  I won't tempt fate and announce the finer details until fixtures are confirmed.  I'm hoping that the times and locations will allow for six games and a minimum of four pastries.

No comments:

Post a Comment