Friday, 12 March 2010

Frickley Athletic v Ossett Town - UniBond League Premier Division

Friday 12th March 2010. UniBond League Premier Division
at Tech 5 Stadium, AKA Westfield Lane, South Elmsall

Frickley Athletic (1) 1 (Lee 7)
Ossett Town (1) 1 (McQuire 3)

Admission £8, Programme £1.50, Free Team sheet
Attendance 191
£1 admission for holders of professional club season tickets
A bloody good result for Worksop Town as it happens, given Frickley and Ossett's respective positions in the UniBond League table at present.

Prior to the match I spotted a sad and lonely individual, huddled on his own in the corner of the stand. It transpired that he was actually a fellow 'bloggist' who had been enticed into the depths of the south/west Yorkshire border region by the allure of whippet popularity in the area.
"You can't beat shagging a good thoroughbred on a Friday night" he told me (possibly), whilst snapping eagerly away to get pictures for his on line cathartic diary ramblings cum watertight alibi (for now), which can be found here -->
In fairness, it is a well above half decent blog the bounder has going on there, but I'm beginning to suspect the whole operation is merely a ruse to hoodwink the police into believing his motives for patrolling the towns and cities of the UK, in pursuit of canine grooming opportunities, are merely innocent ground hopping excursions.
You'll have to decide for yourself if further proof is required, or if we can take the word of a man such as the one stood before us at face value.
But I will resist discussing the topic ever again in the future.
A quick pint or two? Well, it would be rude not to on a Friday night.

Ossett took the lead after just three minutes.
A free kick was headed out 'to safety' from in the Frickley box, but Pat McQuire was on hand to fire the ball back into the box and in off the post from just outside the area.
Ossett kept that lead for just four minutes. Alistair Benson cut in from the right wing and provided a cross that Adam Lee stooped to head home. Cue, a restrained ripple of applause up in the old grandstand.
A few rows down in front of me, a guy in the directors box was booming out instructions to the Frickley players. It transpires that this was the Blues manager Billy Heath, serving the final game of his three match touchline ban.
The home side used all three subs in the first half, having seemingly picked several players who were carrying knocks and who subsequently needed to come off.
A strange way of going about things you'd have thought.
Ossett's goalkeeper picked up a sliced back pass, much to the chagrin of those around me.
It would seem that the referee had a different interpretation of the back pass rule to everyone else present and also struggled to grasp the concept of what a free flowing game of football was about.
He obviously hadn't heard of the benefits of playing the advantage sometimes either.
Micky Goddard, the ex Worksop, Alfreton, Retford and Goole shirker, whoops, silly me I meant to say striker, now seeing out his twilight years at Frickley, rattled a chance against the crossbar, Benson got a shot in under pressure while he was off balance (the referee didn't seem too concerned about shirt pulling either) and Matty Bloor, the home side's number 7, fluffed a chance from six yards out.
Frickley, whilst not exactly being in the ascendancy, were the least worst of the two sides.
A bit like saying Mo out of EastEnders is slightly less attractive than Jo Brand, which actually isn't true, she's much less attractive than the former nurse turned comedienne. Fact.
On the hour mark, the Ossett keeper Liam Sutcliffe was involved in a collision whilst attempting to clear the ball, that left him with a broken nose.
In the scramble that ensued, Frickley should have buried the loose ball, but a convenient 'ball to hand' block by a defender, prevented the keeper from having his misery compounded.
The game was held up for five minutes while Sutcliffe received treatment on the by-line.
The 'sporting' local crowd bayed for the referee to get on with the game, sans visiting goalie!
But in a rare moment of clarity and consummate professionalism, Mr D Lawrence ignored them and waited to see if Sutcliffe could carry on or if he would need replacing.
In the event he carried on and was soon in action punching a corner away.
Frickley seemed to realise that a draw was a better result for them than their visitors and painfully ground to an halt, as the game crawled wearily towards the finishing line.
Ossett pumped a couple of long balls forward, one of which nearly caught Adam Nicklin in the Blues goal out as he just about grasped it to safety from under his crossbar.
But the visitors hadn't really put up much of fight of it after those first three minutes if truth be told.
In the final five minutes, Frickley's Alistair Benson, possibly the man of the match for being just above average in a very disappointing game, was shoulder charged off the ball in the penalty box, but the referee waved it away.
The man in black had put in a curious shift, putting it mildly. But if he was out of sorts, he wasn't alone out on that pitch tonight.
How many vests does one man need?

I had a great time anyway, with some good companions.
And I've always had a soft spot for the down to earth gritty realism of the top end of South Elmsall, where people call a spade a 'fucking spade', even if it was a bit more of an adventure 'back in t'olde days' before the majority of properties in the immediate vicinity of the ground were demolished, or burned down.
I do miss the old Westfield pub, there was never a dull moment in there.
The house on the corner with boarded up windows and the WELCOME TO BEIRUT graffiti has long gone, along with some of the character and charm of the old place.

As regards the game itself, hmm ... definitely a question of quantity (as in how many games have I attended this season) over quality.
But I wasn't really expecting an end to end thrilling goal-fest when I set off to Westfield Lane this evening.
After Sunday, I'm going to have to put the brakes on a bit to ensure I don't do over a hundred games this season, that would be REALLY sad.
Wouldn't it?