Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Tuesday 13th January 2009

Hucknall Town 1-1 Alfreton Town -- Blue Square North

Yippee -- first game for 10 days!! Thought the recent heavy rain might have put this game in some doubt, but the pitch looked ok. The main worry as the night wore on was that the pitch might freeze again - it was really bloody cold - and here's me thinking the cold snap was over!!

We arrived at the ground at 7:40pm and were surprised to see the Alfreton players still on the pitch warming up. The Referee was in the players entrance waiting to lead the teams out!! He politely reminded them that ko was supposed to be 7:45pm not 8:00pm....

Hucknall only named three subs, and one of them was a sub keeper Michael Chapman... bottom of the league and struggling for players - it's going to be hard for Hucknall to attract any half decent players, I think.

Carlton Town had just foiled Hucknall Manager Bryan Chambers' attempt to lure away their utility player Fabian Smith - it seems Carlton offered a better deal financially and also offered him a contract. Carlton may well be playing Hucknall next season anyway - although the "Yellows" did show some glimpses of how well they can play - and with just a few additions to the squad, who knows?

I'll tell you what, Alfreton could do with a new kit ! The red one they have now looks really tatty and on the whole the team looked like a bunch of urchins in rags - at least tuck your shirts in lads, make a bit of an effort!!
I used to Manage lads teams, and would NEVER have sent my players out in that kit.. sorry, Alfreton, but at this level, surely getting a new kit is not a problem?

Before kick off there was a very well observed minutes silence in memory of Hucknall defender Jay Smedley's partner, who so tragically lost her life at Christmas.

Hucknall went ahead in the 4th minute. A probing ball from Deon Meikle lead to a corner, and Laurie Wilson fired the ball in at the far post, where an unmarked Gary Ricketts rose majestically to head powerfully home. Poor defending from the Alfreton players, and their slack defending cost them dear.
Joe Ward had a great chance to double Hucknall's lead on 15, but he could only lift the ball into the arms of Reds keeper Sutcliffe when he should have done better.

On 23, Ricketts, Ward and Bacon all challenged for the same ball, and in the confusion, between them they managed to steer the ball wide of the near post.

Alfreton were showing very little up front, but had got their act together at the back - apart from the odd scare they were not unduly worried. Laurie Wilson lined up a 22 yard free-kick on 35, and looped it way over the wall and the bar, prompting one old wag sitting hear me to say "he mightus well've let me tek it !!" Come on, it wasn't that bad!!

The Referee indicated that there would be one extra minute added, and it was in this minute that the Reds levelled the score.... Marples' corner from the right was flicked on by Curtis and Liam Hearn managed to bundle the ball home at the far post. H-T 1-1

Had the option of food and drink from the mobile burger bar, but past experience with dicky tums meant it was a couple of choc bars and coffee courtesy of Kev's flask. Very nice and very welcome!!

Kev rang Brian "Evening Post" Dennett thinking he was at Eastwood - he had been, but decided that it was so poor he left and went to watch Belper v Brigg. Mind you the Badgers XI were 3-0 down at the break - and even their Management team of Paul Cox and John Ramshaw weren't at Coronation Park - they were spotted among the 365 present at Watnall Road.

Alfreton should have taken the lead three minutes from the re-start - Sucharewycz bringing down Reds no. 9 Clayton in the box - but Josh Law's penalty was well saved by Hucknall keeper Lindley. Josh is the Manager's son -- ouch! I never used to let my lad take penalties when I was Managing ..... it's a bit more painful if the kick is missed and it's your lad who missed it, trust me!!

Alfreton dominated the rest of the game, but some decent defending and a couple of fine saves by Lindley meant that the game ended all square. A point each was probably fair - and credit to both sets of players for some giving us some decent football on a tricky pitch in freezing conditions. F-T 1-1

As we were leaving, Carole Smith, widow of ex-Eastwood Chairman Keith said "hi" ... loves football does Carole - and is a keen reader of this blog... hope to see her again this season, sooner rather than later.

Admission £9.00

Programme - didn't bother

Coffee - Kev's flask 8/10 again

Attendance 365 ( poor for a local derby)

The Eastwood game finished Eastwood 0-4 Boston .. prompting Chairman Rob Yong to offer 3 free drinks ( worth £7.50 ) at next weeks league game against Boston on production of a match ticket. Great if you drink!! I remember a few seasons ago Eastwood played Leek in the League Cup with just Adam Kerley and Peter Knox from the first team ( Eastwood lost 6-0). UniBond rules used to state that for League Cup games teams should include at least 8 first team regulars - apparently last nights team contained just three...hence the result and the "refund"? Guaranteed to get people into the bar next week anyway!!

Saturday -- all being well, we are going to see Kirkby Town take on Church Warsop in the CML Premier division .. new ground for us and a 2:00pm kick off.

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