Wednesday, 22 July 2009

About time...

Tuesday 21st July 2009
Field Mill
Pre-season friendly

My first game of the new season saw me head up to Mansfield Town F.C. for their pre-season friendly with Leicester City. With the weather being bloody awful it does make you question why sometimes, but after having a three month break from watching football I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms and itching to take in a game again. I have visited a lot of non-league clubs in the area but not actually Mansfield Town itself, so tonight was an ideal opportunity to visit a new club that is not that far from home and also see my home town club Leicester City in action. I met my dad at the Trowell services on the M1, from then we headed north to junction 28 and headed across the A38 towards Mansfield itself with the intention of finding somewhere to eat and hopefully the premises allowing us to leave one car there while we headed to the game. This was achieved when we pulled into the Watermill @ Sutton-in-Ashfield and after having some lunch we found the ground very easily and managed to park for free in the adjacent health club. Mansfield charged a £10 pay on the turnstile admission policy for the game and £2 for a programme which covers all four of their home pre-season games. The away fans situated behind the far goal which backs onto the retail park.

Leicester settled the better of the two teams and created a fair few chances with the home keeper dealing with the ones on target. Midfielder Max Gradel wasted at least two good opportunities when he blasted the ball high and wide after cutting inside on his left foot. The home side got into the game around the half hour mark but could not find the breakthrough. Six minutes into the second half Mansfield had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside and this was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock. Overall a typical pre-season game I suppose and it was good the see Leicester in action at a ground that I have not been to before.

I can’t imagine I will go to man more pre-season games, though one is confirmed as I have tickets for Leicester’s home game with Spanish side Real Valladolid on Sunday 2nd August. As I have previously stated on numerous occasions my work plays a large impact on when and where I can watch football, and as most leagues have finalised their constitutions and started to release fixtures my list of clubs has changed a few times in the last couple of months.

At present it now looks something like this:

Melton Mowbray BS [Leicestershire Senior League] – hope to go to their first game on Saturday 15th August v Dunton & Broughton Rangers. This will complete the LSL in terms of 1st team clubs again. With Kingsway Rangers being promoted to the Premier Division of the Leicester & District League (L&D) I would like to take in at least half a dozen of their away games, examples being County Hall, Blaby United and Welby Lane United. As well as games in the L&D I intend to break my duck in the two other feeder leagues for the LSL, the North Leicestershire League (NLL) and Leicester City League (LCL). With the early fixtures released by NLL a possible is the Asfordby Village – Markfield fixture on Saturday 5th September. Before league fixtures commence in the LCL the clubs play in the Mick Booth Memorial Cup and I am thinking of taking in a game involving defending league champions South Wigston Wanderers. Away from football in my home county I would like to tick off a few more clubs in the following leagues: Central Midlands, Midland Combination and the United Counties.
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