Sunday, 6 September 2009

Nott again!

Saturday 5th September 2009
Notts Senior League Senior Division
Roko Health Club

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: 32 (h/c)

My original plan was to head to a game in the North Leicestershire League, but with games in this league kicking off at 2pm this makes this difficult due to working nights. Instead I decided to make the short trip to West Bridgford for another game in the Notts Senior League between Magdala Amateurs and league leaders Basford United. This was to be my third game in this league and fifth new ground visited in Nottinghamshire this season already.

This piece on the club is taken from

“There are two pitches at the Roko Sports Ground which, up until the 2005/06 season, were shared between Magdala & Notts Police. Until the Force vacated for pastures new, historic, yet little known about Magdala, would usually play on the left hand pitch, with Notts Police playing on the other slightly superior right hand pitch.
Playing second fiddle is something which isn't particularly new to Magdala. To anyone affiliated with Midland Amateur Alliance outfit Nottinghamshire Football Club, it would be easy to deride Magdala as having always played 'second fiddle' to them. Why? Well, go back a hundred odd years and this was indeed the case.
In 1895, Bishop Gwynne founded Notts Magdala Football Club. However, up until 1902 the Club did not play any competitive fixtures, only local friendlies. By which time, interest in the Club had grew to such an extent that a second XI was formed. Not content with life in the reserves, this group of players decided to break away to form a new club called Notts Magdala Amateurs, a title kept until 1906, when they became the Magdala Amateurs that still exist today.
Had they not broken away, The Amateurs could have soon found themselves being part of a Club which would play friendlies against such distinguished opposition as Corinthian Casuals (who at that time made up the majority of the England team) and Old Carthusians (who were beaten F.A. Cup finalists in 1881).
Still, the fact that Magdala Amateurs are on a higher rung of the football pyramid then Notts Magdala, now Nottinghamshire Football Club, perhaps provides some small comfort for this historic second XI.”

The ground is owned by the Roko Health Club and there are two pitches, the main one used my Magdala is fully railed off though there are no dugouts or hard standing. Catering facilities are available inside the health club through a Costa Coffee franchise.

Magdala have not had the best of starts to be fair having lost all of their opening four games while leaders Basford had won four and drawn one of their opening five encounters. One this basis you would expect a comfortable away win. As things turned out this could not have been further from the truth. It was a game of very few clear cut chances but was at times compelling due to the effort and work rate put in by Magdala and they did not allow Basford to play the passing game I saw them in their last fixture v Bulwell. The only goal of the game came on the fortieth minute through an Austin Wallace header, though the home side were somewhat aggrieved as it looked like there was a foul from the player that made the assist. The second was held up for twenty minutes when Basford forward John Manders suffered a broken leg and had to be taken to hospital. I did not have a good view of the incident being on the other side of the ground, but it looked like two Basford players and a Magdala player went for the ball with Manders coming off considerably worse. When play resumed it was a case off as you were with Basford looking to and unable to break down a spirited Magdala side, who played some pretty good football themselves in search of an equaliser.
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