Saturday, 22 January 2011


Saturday 22nd January 2011
Leicester & District League Premier Division
YMCA Sports Ground, Leicester

This is my second attempt at seeing GNG this season having originally tried in November when I turned up for their League Cup tie against Burbage Old Boys, only to find that the game had been switched to Burbage. In the end that day I went home and strolled down to Braunstone Park and took in the division 2 encounter between Aylestone Lounge and Kingsway Celtic. To be honest the only reason I am watching them today is that on the Thursday evening before the game I noticed that, for some reason the game is kicking off at 1pm. This also (if I so wished) made it possible to take in a 3pm kick-off as well with St. Andrews, Aylestone Park and Oadby Town all within striking distance.

The records I have for GNG only go back to 1997 when they were members of the Leicester City League (LCL) and competed in the premier division. They won the LCL title in the 2000/01 season winning ten of their fourteen league games, before transferring to division one of the Leicester & District League (LDL) in the summer of 2002. Two seasons were spent in division one before a third place finish in 2004 secured promotion to the LDL's top flight. Just two years were spent in the premier division before they were relegated back to division 1 on 2006. A further four years were spent in division 1, the last securing the division 1 title ahead of (now defunct) runners-up Topps United. This season GNG have made an impressive start to life in the premier division and find themselves at the start of place in second place. They are only three points behind leaders Birstall RBL having played two games less. This season saw the club move from their previous home, the County Scouts HQ in Blaby to the YMCA Sports Ground in Leicester. This ground was home to former LDL and Leicestershire Senior League side Leicester YMCA. The pitch is part of a large sports ground which houses numerous football pitches. The main one is fully railed off and has a stand and dugouts on the far side. There are also floodlights though whether they actually work is another matter.
Opponents Kirkland FC are currently based in Syston which is a small town six miles north of Leicester, and currently play their home games on Memorial Park along with fellow LDL side Midland Syston St. Peters. Like their hosts they were also promoted to the premier division in the summer after finishing the season in third place. This season they sit in mid-table with ten points from seven games played. 

The game started some twelve minutes late which put paid to my plans of going to another game, though to be honest I would have given it a miss anyhow due to spending two hours in a cold biting wind. It was a fairly even first half with very few clear cut chances with neither keeper being tested of note. GNG played some nice football which was not unlike Young Warriors last week but at times it had no substance. Kirkland matched them with a more workman like performance and created a couple of half chances themselves. As the half wore on GNG looked more of a threat in front of goal with Gurjeet Shergill going close with a curling shot. The second half was of a similar pattern and vein and it was around the hour mark when the hosts took the lead. Shergill was fouled in the box and then stepped up and converted the resulting spot kick. The decision to award the penalty from my vantage point seemed on the harsh side but the only opinion that counts is the referees. Ten minutes later and Kirkland were level with a penalty of their own which was converted by Richard Ekins. With the game in the balance going into the last ten minutes Shergill slotted the ball underneath the keeper, this despite the attention of two Kirkland defenders for what turned out to be the winning goal.

To sum up: not a bad game played on a heavy pitch in blustery conditions.

Further photos taken during the game can be found here: GNGFC

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: peaked at 10
Match rating: 2 1/2 out of 5
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