Played at Watnall Road, the home of Hucknall Town. The pitch has seen better days and didn't help the players at all. Admittedly some of the players are a bit rough around the edges, but the pitch was awful and I think that even players with a bit more talent would have struggled to shine on that surface.
Third game in three days - TOO MUCH !! We have never done this before and I will admit that I personally will never do it again.......
It didn't help much that the game was uninspring and it was a cold, damp miserable evening...
My mood was lightened a little when Wollaton keeper Ian Barker said hello and that he enjoyed reading this blog... cheers Ian!!
Barker was called into action as early as the third minute - collecting well from a cross. A few seconds later he was called on again blocking well with his legs as the Boots' no. 9 ran in on goal.
Wollaton's no.7 was Michael Banister - Mike used to play for me at youth level - and he was arguably the best Wollaton player on the night. On 27 after great work by 8 & 10 shirts, Banister fired at goal and saw his effort well claimed by Boots keeper Richard Povey. In the 38th minute, Banister fed the 10 and although his delicate lob beat the keeper, it crept just over the bar.
Wollaton went ahead just before the break. A rash challenge some 40 yards from goal was punished fully when the free-kick was fired to the far post - the 8 shirt rose well to head back across goal to no. 5 who headed powerfully home. H-T 1-0
Had a wander around the ground during the break - grabbed a minute with Hucknall's gaffer Bryan Chambers - he seemed happy enough, and we had a chat about the old days at his previous team Eastwood Town.
Boots powered forward from the restart, and Barker had to be alert and push away a decent effort. From the resultant corner, Matt Hogg headed off the line. Banister almost doubled Wollaton's lead on 54 - his free-kick crashing against the angle of post and bar with the keeper well beaten.
We had a bizarre moment with 10 to go -- the 4th official had run out of balls! His ball sack was empty!!! Mind you, they had been flying over the roof of the stand with alarming regularity, and play could only restart when someone went into the carpark to retreive one!
As the game entered it's death throes, we had to thank Barker for punching away well when Boots piled on the pressure searching for an equaliser that would have taken us into extra-time... God forbid!!
Anyway, as the ball was played back down the pitch, a Boots defender fired past his own keeper much to our relief....but then - Boots pulled one back - a great header by their no. 12 from a corner. Barker no chance on this occasion. After Referee Mr. Kirk had played 7 minutes of added time, he blew the final whistle... phew..... F-T 2-1
Footnote : the Referee was awful - one of the worst we have seen this season. His manner, decision making, fitness all left a lot to be desired, but he must have had some sort of a decent season to be awarded a final........
Admission £3 ( inc programme)
Attendance - estimate 200 ?
Saturday - Kimbo v Forest Town