Saturday, 15 October 2011

Gainsborough Trinity 2 v Frickley Athletic 0 - FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

Nights in White Satin, never reaching the end ...

Saturday 15th November 2011, at the Northolme
FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round
Gainsborough Trinity (0) 2
Darryn Stamp 55, Ryan Kendall 65
Frickley Athletic (0) 0
Admission £10, Programme £2.50, Attendance 644
The official attendance would've been more, if some people hadn't entered the ground, ex gratis and uninvited, through a door that leads into the ground from the the Blues club shortly before kick off.
A few of them had arrived together from West Yorkshire, but were only in town because of the lure of an FA Cup tie and were on the Frickley bandwagon as opposed to being regulars at the Westfield Lane club's games.
Others were locals, again not all familiar faces at Trinity ... and a few of them were drinking cans of beer and paying scant attention to the game.
The most galling aspect of so many people free-loading however, was that a couple of them obviously thought nothing of shelling out £45 for a Liverpool or Man Utd shirt (the Premier League game had been on in the club before today's far more important fixture), but begrudged paying to get in to watch their local club.
Some people who had turned up in the shirts of their Premier League heroes did pay at the turnstiles, but certain others ... well, you know who you are.
One or two people pointed the finger of blame at the Blues Club for not locking the doors.
Hmm ... the club was packed today, the consequences of having the fire doors locked so they won't open from the inside kind of outweigh that argument.
Either way, the interlopers made for a boisterous, but never really intimidating atmosphere and replaced the noise that the Carlisle Street terrace air raid siren would've usually been making ... if the club hadn't banned it from their premises this week.
The siren is a very contentious topic among the Trinity faithful.
Whilst threads on their forum devoted to such such trivial issues as a new ground, away travel, photo captions and the much needed (and most welcome) recent change of management come and go every few days ... debate about the siren rages on for about ten squillion pages every time the subject is raised.
Personally, I think Trinity fans should get something more unique to their own club sorted for creating an atmosphere at the Northolme, because their poor relations over at Sincil Bank used the air raid siren idea years ago ... and I'm sure you Blues don't want to be tarred with the same brush as them!
To be honest, the siren got on my bloody nerves ... but I'm an intolerant old killjoy who was never young myself once upon a time ;-)
Free team sheets were issued for anybody who wanted one ... here's one that I filled in with all the match details n' stuff ...
Seriously, the trouble I go to for you guys.
Left click any images on this blog to enlarge them btw.
Today's match sponsors

As soon as the draw for the 3rd qualifying round was made, there was only one place I was going to be today, on the proviso that Gainsborough overcame Fylde ... Trinity against either Frickley Athletic or Harrogate Town, drew me over the Trent into Lincolnshire like a moth to a lantern. And whichever team got through the Wetherby Road replay (and for the record I'm REALLY glad it was Frickley), I was looking forward to a long overdue revisit to the Blues Club, where the clientèle are always so welcoming and sociable ... OK, they're a bunch of piss takers too, but it's all in jest and if I dish it out, then it's only right that I can take a bit back.
OK then, an overview of the game, which I shall attempt to write from a position of complete neutrality (Come on Frickley!) ...
Gavin Cowan came close to opening the scoring for Trinity after just 3 minutes, but his header from a corner cleared the crossbar (see above).
Frickley attacked next, through the former Gainsborough winger Ryan Mallon, who's forward pass freed Brad Grayson ... alas, his effort flew narrowly wide into the side netting.
Some of the visiting support congregated in the corner of the ground cheered when they saw the net bulge, but that's probably because they had their beer goggles on ... the bar takings these lads will have generated today, at several ports of call by the look of them, will help a few people in the licensing trade to pay a few bills.
James Ashmore and Lincoln Adams both got on the end of attacking moves for the visitors without being able to find the final touch when it mattered, but Gainsborough were more clinical in the penalty and it took a great reflex save, by Adam Billard from Gavin Cowans, to keep the scores level.
Ryan Kendall, Trinity's number 9, then fired a sitter of a chance over from an unmarked position.
Grant Darley fired wide of the Trinity goal, Leon Henry shot over it, but it was the home side who looked more dangerous going forward ... and once more Adam Billard had to pull of a great save from Ryan Kendall after Darryn Stamp had created a chance in front of the open end of the Northolme.
On 44 minutes, Frickley bulged the net again ... but it was Lincoln Adams turn to find the outside of the side netting this time.
Right on the stroke of half time, Darryn Stamp escaped his marker and with the goal at his mercy headed wide.
Half time, nil apiece and everything still to play for.
While managers, players and fans alike, all look for the ball,
a spectator in the background balances it on top of his head.
Can you spot it?

I checked my phone and the half time messages from Mansfield weren't very encouraging ... though the updates appertaining to goings on at the club off the pitch, were even more worrying than the news that the Stags were destined for another home defeat.
I'll bite my tongue about the situation at Field Mill ... because with all the official statements, counter claims, official withdrawal of statements, unfounded speculation and bare faced contradictions that are flying around, it is perhaps best to reserve judgement until all the ripples have dissipated and a clearer picture of what is really going on emerges.
Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!
Well ... not just yet anyway.
Worksop Town were two goals to the good at Burscough ... well Skelmersdale to be precise, because that's where Burscough are currently playing.
I've never been to a game at 'Stormy Corner' before and that is where I would've gone today if the FA Cup draw hadn't thrown up such an appealing cup tie at the Northolme.
Trinity wait for the mascot to get off the pitch before kicking off the
second half ... oh, hang on a minute, that's Ryan Williams, innit!?

Frickley attacked first in the second half, but the Trinity defence snubbed out the threat and they counter attacked themselves ... Ryan Williams shot from 20 yards out skimmed Billard's crossbar.
The deadlock was finally broken on 55 minutes, Darren Stamps looping header for Trinity put them in charge of the game ... and it was going to be an uphill struggle to come back from a goal down for Frickley, against opponents from an higher league, for a third consecutive match.
Leon Henry burst through into the Trinity box, but his shot was high and wide ... my mate muttered that it had probably hit his van that was parked behind the stand.
On 65 minutes Adam Billard came out to the edge of his area to collect a high ball into the box that was going nowhere ... at exactly the same time as Lincoln Adams decided to muscle in and deal with the clearance himself.
Adams collided with his keeper, the two fell to the ground and the ball bounced to Ryan Kendall who was only to happy to knock it into the now unguarded Frickley goal.
I probably covered more ground that most of the players
today while I was getting all the best camera angles

The two goal deficit was too steep a hill for the South Elmsall side to climb now ... and Steve Housham's (and the other guy's) team had the luxury of being able to pack their midfield out, while the visitors had to deal with the problem of how to make any in roads into Trinity half whilst leaving themselves vulnerable to counter attacks if they pushed too far forward.
As a last throw of the dice, on 75 minutes Frickley's boss Peter Rinkcavage, swapped Brad Grayson and Grant Darley up front, for Ollie Ryan and Jack Watts, but they found it hard to get into the game and Gainsborough were home and dry ... all but for running the clock down and keeping it tight at the back.
In the end, the difference in class between the Blue Square Bet North and Evo-Stik Premier Division told ... and through sheer hard graft, concentration and application, Trinity came out on top of a no frills and few thrills sort of game.
Credit to Frickley Athletic for having got so far in the competition and good luck to Trinity in the next round ... both sides never really did themselves justice this afternoon, but the result mattered more than the performance.
The visitors have a couple of 'if only' moments to mull over, like when they found the side netting twice and when a defensive mix up cost them dearly ... but in fairness, Trinity were denied the chance of putting the score out of reach several times. by a great display from Adam Billard in the visitors goal.

Meanwhile at Field Mill, the Stags had lost to Southport :-( and up in Skelmersdale, Worksop Town had recorded their 3rd straight win under new manager Simon Clark.
And I'm happy to report, Retford United beat Maltby Main with a last minute goal. I got home from Gainsborough so soon after the game, that there were still people leaving Cannon Park as I sped past the ground in an effort to get airborne on the first bridge ... c'mon Retfordians fess up, we all do it!

Time out with my young lady ... a man can't live on football alone.