Saturday, 21 May 2011

Anniversary @ the Chapel

Saturday 21st May 2011
East Lincolnshire Combination Division 2
Sea Road, Chapel St. Leonards

Six years ago today, the last time May 21st fell on a Saturday yours truly was getting married to one Angela Sidwell at the County Hall Registry Office in Glenfield, Leicestershire. A day that I keep getting reminded about in the sense that it was the only Saturday in May that year in which it rained!!!
In Havana on our honeymoon
We had been invited to a 30th birthday bbq up in Hucknall but due to having trouble getting a dog sitter we decided to go out for the day. The Lincolnshire coast between Skegness and Mablethorpe is an area I know very well, having had a lot of holidays at the family caravan in Anderby Creek. With me being me and my obession for football I checked if there were any fixtures in the East Lincolnshire Combination and hey presto! Three fixtures in the top two divisions caught my attention due to the location of the home teams involved:

Alford Town v A&G Auto Repairs
Sutton Rovers (from Sutton-on-Sea) v North Somercotes United
Chapel Swifts (from Chapel St. Leonards) v Mablethorpe Athletic

With us more than likely heading first to Chapel it would be a case of where we would be in time for the 2.30pm kick-offs. The journey to this part of Lincolnshire from south west Leicester takes around 2 1/2 hours and is approximately 95 - 100 miles away depending on the resort. We left Leicester in glorious sunshine and it stayed that way all day. I decided to head first to the small seaside hamlet of Anderby Creek which is located between Chapel St Leonards and Sutton-on-Sea. The reason being is that I knew it would be fairly quiet and we would be able to let Millie (the dog) off her lead and allow her to have a run round. More information on Anderby Creek can be found on the official website by clicking here. After getting back to the car we had a coffee at the beach cafe before making the two mile drive south to Chapel. This is where we had a lunch which consisted of what else...chips followed by again what, before making the (very) short drive to the village hall in time for the 2.30pm kick-off.
Millie on Anderby beach

Chapel St. Leonards

The East Lincolnshire Combination is a league that will be new to me in terms of watching a game, and it was only about a year ago that I had even heard of the league itself. In the end I decided to take in the division 2 encounter between mid-table Chapel Swifts and division champions Mablethorpe Athletic in what will be both clubs final game of the season. There is only one other game today and that is between North Thoresby and Barnoldby. 

League table (upto & including May 14th 2011)
Pos Team                   Pl W. D. L. For Aga Pts
1   MABLETHORPE ATHLETIC   15 11  2  3 63  23  35
2   Tetney Rovers          16  9  4  3 51  34  31
3   Burgh Town             16  7  6  3 47  28  27
4   Barnoldby              15  8  2  5 46  37  26
5   CHAPEL SWIFTS          15  7  1  7 53  37  22
6   North Thoresby         15  6  3  6 26  37  21
7   Donington              16  5  2  9 33  55  17
8   Theddlethorpe Village  16  4  4  8 30  52  16
9   Scamblesby             16  0  2 14 25  71   2
    Tetford United         Withdrew during the season

Chapel St. Leonards is a small seaside village in the East Lindsey District of Lincolnshire. In 2001 it had a population of 3,405 (source: Statistics of Chapel St. Leonards) and is located 6 miles north of Skegness, 11 miles south of Mablethorpe and 44 miles east of Lincoln. There are numerous caravan parks which are located to the south of the village centre along South Road and Trunch Lane. The football club play behind the village hall on Sea Road which is approximately a five minute walk from the beach. The pitch was not roped or railed, no dugouts or anything else for that matter, though there are various items of children's play equipment which including a swing and climbing frame.
Club Logo
This was a typical end of season game played on a rock hard pitch. There was nothing on the game and despite this it was fairly competitive and entertaining to watch. The first half was a fairly even affair and predominantly a midfield battle. Chapel settled quicker but were hit on the counter attack on 10 minutes when the Athletic #4 slotted the ball past the Swifts keeper following a run that took him past several defenders. A couple of minutes later and it should have been all square but after being put through and with only the goalie to beat the ball was put wide. Just before the half hour mark and Mablethorpe doubled their lead when the ball was scrambled home from a few yards out following a free kick. The closest the home side came to scoring came on the 38th minute when the ball was lobbed over the Athletic keeper, only for it to hit the bar and bounce kindly back into the grateful keepers hands. The second half was more one sided and Athletic could, and should have scored more than the three goals. It did feel like that if they wanted to, they could step it up by another couple of gears. Their third goal of the afternoon was the best of the lot when a diagonal ball found the #9 unmarked in the penalty area and he volleyed it side footed past the keeper. The Swifts best chance of the half came with around 20 minutes left but the ball was dragged wide of the left hand post. A fourth for Mablethorpe was added a couple of minutes later before the scoring was completed with four minutes from time.
Admission / programme: none
Attendance: peaked at 20
Match rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

A slideshow of photos taken can be viewed below:

Sources / Links:
Chapel Swifts FC
East Lincolnshire Combination website

For the record the result of the other game in division 2 today ended in a 2-2 draw, while the results of the other two games I was considering ended in two comprehensive away wins. Alford lost 6-2 while Sutton were on the wrong end of an 8-2 scoreline.
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