Sunday, 24 February 2008

Game 528

Pilkington XXX 2-1 Bolehall Swifts
Midland Combination Premier Division
Saturday 23rd February 2008
Triplex Sports Ground

Unlike previous games this was no change of plan. Ian McDonald (programme editor and webmaster) had organised a couple of groundhopper's days - this being the second and I thought I would take up the offer. I was planning to visit Pilkington but more than likely next season so this gave me further incentive to visit. I had arranged to go with my mum's partner but my mother and wife decided to come along as well. We left Leicester around midday and headed down the M69 and M6 into Birmingham city centre. The idea being to have some lunch before going to the game. Unfortunately all the pubs were packed due to the Birmingham City - Arsenal game being on the tv and we ended up eating in the glamorous surroundings of a Subway restaurant!!! We arrived at the ground about 5 minutes before kick-off - note if you have not yet visited there is no on site parking, and with the voucher it cost £10 for admission and programme x2 plus a badge. Bargain! The ground was originally used by the works' team from Triplex Safety Glass. Since 1984 there has been a few previous clubs using the ground - Triplex, Richmond Swifts / Kings Norton Town. The Triplex Sports Ground also houses a lawn bowls club while the football pitch has a 100 (approx) seated stand which also contains a small section of covered standing on the far touchline next to the dugouts with three rows of terracing behind both goals. There isn't a clubhouse as such but the building is a private members club, though the club uses one of the rooms at half time to serve refreshments.

Now to the game was literally a game of two halves. The home side dominated the first and the visitors the second. Pilkington at times were a joy to watch - they got the ball down, didn't result to long ball tactics and played some really good football. The first chance of note came in the 6th minute when the post was struck from 20 yards by one of the home forwards - excellent effort that deserved a goal. The home side struck on the 23rd minute when Paul O'Brien scored as he slotted the ball past the keeper in a one on one situation following a well worked move between himself and the no. 10. Seven minutes later it was 2-0 following a throw in midway inside Bolehall's half the ball was worked into the penalty area and no. 6 Matt Hill hit a low angled shot from 15 yards that went into the bottom right (keeper's side) hand corner. No further goals were added in the first half. Bolehall had a reasonable amount of possession and never gave up but lacked anything up front. The second half was a complete role reversal and Bolehall hit back within five minutes of the restart with Hussain Turgut scoring from 20 yards. A few minutes later Pilkington had an excellent chance to restore their two goal lead but the visiting keeper thwarted the home side no. 8 on another one on one situation. My gut reaction was that could prove costly but despite having most of the possession and chances they could not find a way through and force and equaliser.
Final score: 2-1 (attendance 41 - Midland Combination website)
An enjoyable game, nice ground, excellent hospitality and well worth a visit. Top marks.
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