Sunday, 28 February 2010

Steel City Show

Saturday 27th February 2010
Central Midlands League Supreme Division
Woodbourn Road Stadium

Thanks to the weather my original choice of game in the Leicester & District League premier division between Welby Lane United and Kingsway Rangers was postponed on the Friday, so it left me with the option of choosing another game or heaven forbid not going at all. To be frank there was not a lot that grabbed my attention or that I could be bothered with until a posting on Tony’s non league forum by Rob Hornby – he of Central Midlands League fame!! which stated that Parramore Sports game v Louth Town had been switched from their normal venue of the Don Valley Stadium (DVS) in Sheffield to the nearby Woodbourn Road Stadium, a smaller athletics venue which does not normally host men’s open age football. Having been to the DVS before to watch the Sheffield Eagles Rugby League team I had no interest in going there again to watch football, but thankfully this switch gave me the chance to visit a new venue and see a new team in action. A call on the Saturday morning to Rob gave me confirmation that the game was on and I duly gave him confirmation that I would definitely make the seventy mile trip up the M1 to the independent state of Yorkshire and asked him to reserve me a programme and badge.

The stadium facilities include an eight lane track with an addition two for the sprinting; two long jump / triple jump pits; 400 seated stand and a bar. The stadium is fairly easy to get to and took around 1 hour 20 minutes to get to from my home in Leicester. If coming from the south exit the M1 at junction 33 and take the A630 towards Sheffield, continue to follow City Centre signs when the A630 becomes the A57, exit the A57 signposted Manor Park onto Parkway Drive, turn left at island onto Parkway Avenue, then turn right at junction onto Woodbourn Road. Stadium is ahead of you on right hand side, though for the small car park turn right at lights immediately before stadium.

Parramore Sports Football Club were founded in 1936 and played in the Sheffield Works League from then until 1972. Three seasons were then spent in the Barnsley Junior League before returning to the Works League in 1975. Just two seasons were spent back in the Works League before they joined the Sheffield Amateur League in 1977. Eight years later in 1985, following success at Amateur League level they joined the highly rated Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League. Despite not being in the premier division of the County Senior League the club, in 2008 made the switch to the Central Midlands League and recorded an excellent fourth place finish. Promotion to the Supreme Division was achieved at the first attempt. Their first game in the Supreme Division saw Parramore record a 5-0 away victory at Lincolnshire side Nettleham. At the start of play ‘Sports sit literally in mid-table in the eighteen team division, recording eleven wins in the twenty-one games played so far. Sports go into this game in the back of four straight wins, two in the league and two in the Floodlit Cup and last Saturday saw them record a 3-1 victory @ strugglers Kimberley Town in a league match with Lewis Fothergill (2) and Gavin Davies scoring the goals. Opponents Louth Town, also in their debut season at Supreme Division level top the table with fifty points from their opening twenty one games played so far. They have a one point cushion over Sutton Town AFC but have played two games less. I visited Louth Town in September last year for their league game against Calverton Miners Welfare (report can be found here: where they record a 3-1 victory. Louth come into the game on the back of seven straight wins, recording a 3-0 win at Southwell City last Saturday.

The game was one of the better ones I have seen this season with the visitors from Lincolnshire emerging victorious in a seven goal thriller. The visitors supporters from Louth and neutrals in attendance did not have to wait long for the first goal when Jamie Rowbotham lobbed the ball over the Parramore keeper Mark Clements on eight minutes despite being under pressure from a couple of defenders. A further eight minutes passed and it was all square when a mistake in the visiting defence allowed Gavin Davies to score from ten yards or so out. Parramore then took the lead for the first time just four minutes later, when the first of three penalty kicks was awarded by referee Craig Langton. Davies went down under a challenge from Louth keeper Craig Wherey and Kieran Gallagher despatched the penalty in the top right hand corner. The second penalty kick was awarded on thirty three minutes, this time for Louth. Mark Wood stepped up and made it 2-2. Louth nearly re-took the lead on 38 minutes when an incisive breakaway resulted in Mark Clements making an excellent save at his near post. Just two minutes into the second half and Louth did indeed regain the lead with Mark Wood getting his second of the game, steering the ball home from a cross from the right. Just after the hour mark and the third (and final) penalty kick of the game was awarded and Kieran Gallagher made no mistake and brought the game level for the third time. The winner for Louth came with ten minutes remaining when Mark Wood completed his hat-trick, scoring direct from a free kick. The game did not end with all players remaining on the pitch as both teams had a man sent-off in the last five minutes. Both sending offs were for two bookable offences and not straight red cards, though this came as no surprise to myself as, despite it not being a dirty game it was competitive and the referee took the names of at least ten players and you felt that one or two would end up being turned into dismissals.

Overall it was an enjoyable outing to the Steel City of Sheffield and credit to both teams for producing an entertaining game of attacking football.

Admission: £3
Programme: £1
Badge: £3
Coffee: £1

Woodbourn Road Stadium
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