Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Game 511

Saturday 25th August 2007
Northern Premier League Division 1 South
The Town Ground

This was not a planned visit by any stretch. I had planned to visit either Rossington Main or Welbeck Welfare but signs on the M1 saying "Junction 25-27 Long Delays" made me think whether it was worth the risk as I hate (like a lot of people) being stuck in traffic. Fortunately Donnington services were in the vicinity and from there I made a couple of calls to clubs in the Potteries area - Alsager being one of them and with the help of a Sat Nav arrived at the ground with about 15 minutes to kick-off.

The ground is a strange affair as it is situated behind a cul-de-sac in a housing estate. There is no parking at the ground so the only option is to park on the street and walk along a track between the houses in the corner of the cul-de-sac. The layout is such is that it appears to be on three levels - the clubhouse, changing rooms, turnstiles and catering hut is on the upper level, below of which is a small carpark for officials and players and below further is the pitch. On the far side which is where the dugouts are located is a small covered standing area which probably runs maybe half the length of the pitch and on the other side is two covered seated stands which take up probably two-thirds the length of the pitch.

It cost £6 admission and £1.50 for an all-glossy programme which I thought was expensive - not enough reading material to warrant the price. The game itself was pretty good with both teams trying to play the ball on the ground instead of hoofing it into the heavens though the homesters looked the more sharper in the first 15 mins and deservedly took the lead on 17 minutes through Dave Whittaker and two minutes later were two up when Danny George deflected a free kick into his own net. On 26 minutes Spalding were awarded a penalty but this was saved by the home keeper and within two or three minutes were made to pay as Chris Budrys put Alsager 3-0 up. Alsager didn't set on their laurels and went looking for further goals but not no avail.

Half Time: 3-0

The majority of the second half action came with the first 25 minutes when Alsager scored two goals in two minutes to increase their lead to 5-0. Peter Heler got the fourth on 50 minutes and Chris Budrys scored his second on 51 minutes. Spalding then played some better football, maybe because of Alsager taking their foot off the gas and got a consolation goal on 65 minutes Benger. To make things worse for the visitors they had two men sent off within a minute of each other - the first a straight red card for I believe an elbow and the second was for a second yellow card. This ruined the game as Alsager didn't play with the same impetus prior to the dismissals and at time it looked like Spalding would be the one to add further goals to the game.

Final Score: 5-1 (Attendance 76 - Non-League paper)
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