Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Armthorpe Welfare 1 v Bentley Colliery 2 - PSF

Wednesday 1st August 2012,
at the Welfare Ground, Church Street, Armthorpe
Pre Season Friendly
Armthorpe Welfare (1) 1
Joe Lumsden 1
Bentley Colliery (1) 2
Ashley Hunter 25, 64
Admission £2
Virtually straight from kick off, Armthorpe went ahead through Joe Lumsden ... slightly against the run of play ;-)
Both teams got what they deserved from the game in the end though, as two goals from Ashley Hunter saw the visitors take the spoils in this 'Donny derby'.
Hunter's first goal was a sublime effort from 25 yards out, his second a simple header from 25 inches out.
I have a genuine soft spot for the village of Armthorpe, warts n' all, and I would really like to see the local football club there doing well ... fingers crossed then, that what I saw tonight wasn't their best side and they can play a lot better than this once the season starts for real, or it's going to be a grim campaign for the Church Street faithful.
Ever wondered why your gate receipts are so low? Even though the ground is full
of teenagers? Keep an eye on that wall at the bottom of Morrison's car park

Of course, it would be wrong for me to judge Armthorpe on the strength of one friendly game, but the locals I spoke to, don't seem to be overly enamoured with the playing staff that are being assembled, to replace those who have moved on this Summer ... and several of them were predicting difficult times ahead and said that the recently installed manager Leo Fortune-West would have his work cut out to keep 'the Wellie' out of a relegation battle this season.
I think pre season is a bit too soon to be allowing a 'doom n' gloom' psyche to take root, but the standard of some of the home side's passing, ball control and in particular, their finishing, left a lot to be desired tonight.
And besides, people round these parts are straight talking and honest and call things as they see them.
They'll give praise where it's due, but don't hold back, or demonstrate any modicum of shyness whatsoever, when they feel a bit of a straight talking tongue lashing is in order either.
I trust their judgement.
Sure, it was only a friendly game to work on a few things before the season starts for real ... but Armthorpe kick off their NCEL Premier Division campaign in just 3 days time, so if they're not ready yet, they're never going to be.
The alarm bells are ringing ... it's time for Armthorpe Welfare to take heed of them, roll up their sleeves and prove the doubters wrong.
With twenty minutes still remaining, a good few of the locals had seen enough and they began to drift off home.
With just three minutes to go, an Armthorpe player kicked the ball away to waste some time when Bentley had been awarded a free kick, with his side trailing 2-1.
That didn't go down very well with the Armthorpe supporters who were still in the ground.
There's a real air of resignation and foreboding hanging over Armthorpe Welfare at present. In the past, when the club have been going through a lull, their was at least a bit of gallows humour, pragmatic realism and optimism about the place, but there was none of that in evidence tonight.
In fact, I suspect two long standing local football enthusiasts I shared a coffee with before kick off, were almost predicting a win for their CMFL North Division visitors tonight.
Expectation levels are low, pessimism is taking over and Leo Fortune-West is going to have to pull a plump rabbit out of the hat, to convince a few people that this side have got what it takes to compete at NCEL Premier Division level.
I hope they turn the current malaise around, but it's going to be a tall order.
Well played Bentley Colliery, deserved winners tonight.
And good luck to both sides for the 2012-13 season ... I really think Armthorpe Welfare are going to need it more though.