Travels to the soul and heartbeat of English football...alright primarily Leicestershire!!!!
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My plan today despite the weather is to make the 30 minute journey to Melton Mowbray and in particular to the All England Sports Ground on Saxby Road, home of Melton Mowbray Football Club. There are two obvious things that spring to mind when the town of Melton Mowbray is mentioned – Pork Pies and Stilton cheese, neither food stuff I am particularly fond of!!! According to the towns official web site About Page the population is just over the 25,000 mark and is located some 15 miles north east of Leicester and about the same distance south west of Grantham.
It is about a 20 mile drive to the ground for Melton’s game against Barlestone St Giles. Melton Mowbray were promoted to the LSL in the summer as North Leicestershire League champions and they also seem to have changed their name from Melton Mowbray Building Society. To add to the confusion there was a Melton Mowbray FC playing in division 1 of the Leicester & District League (LDL) last season, for which there is no record of this season. Another possibility is that the two clubs could have merged. At the moment I don’t know. If we go on that it was just a name change then Melton spent eight years in the North Leicestershire League after leaving the now defunct Melton & Rutland District League. The Melton Mowbray FC that was in the LDL last season spent five years in the league with the highlight being division 2 winners in the 2006/07 season. To add to the mix there is another team that play in Melton – Welby Lane United who use the now defunct Melton Town’s old ground on Egerton Park in the town centre.
At the start of play Melton were in mid-table winning a third of their nine games played and obtaining twelve points in the process. Their last outing last week saw them record a 3-1 victory at Ravenstone. Barlestone meanwhile are in third place with 20 points from their nine games, though last week saw them crash out of the league cup to FC Dynamo 6-1.
The All England Sports Ground is a basic affair and the football club share the ground with Melton Mowbray Cricket Club. The pitch is railed off on three sides with permanent dugouts on the far touchline. The ground isn’t the easiest to find and is located between houses just after Richard Close.
This was my third visit to Melton this season with the other two visits resulting in cricket being played so it was a case of third time lucky. The game was a comfortable victory for the home side with the opening goal coming on 26 minutes when a shot from outside the area went into the top corner and was helped on its way with the wind and a deflection. The second came two minutes into the second half when the ball was lobbed over the keeper from some 25 yards or so. The third goal which killed the game as a contest came on the hour mark when the ball was slotted home from six yards or so following a through ball. To liven things up a mass brawl erupted midway through the half which was caused by a stamp by a Melton player. Punches were thrown; one in particular knocked the home number 3 off his feet. Amazingly only two yellow cards were shown – one for each side.