Saturday, 14 May 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly?

Saturday 14th May 2011
Northants Combination Premier Division
Oundle Road

Today was a rare chance to meet up with good friend Kevin Zupp with this being only the second time this calender year. Our original plan was to go across to Oundle for a Peterborough & District League encounter between Oundle Town and newly crowned league champions Ramsey Town. With it being FA Cup Final I had e-mailed the secretaries of both teams but had no reply. Also this morning the kick off time on the Peterborough League website was still showing as 3pm. With this in mind we arrived at Oundle at 2pm only to be told that the game had just ended. Thanks a lot :-((((((((((((((( An hours drive for nothing. Surely it is not too much to ask for kick off times to be correct on league websites? Luckily I knew that Weldon United were at home in the Northants Combination, and as we had to go through Weldon on the way home we stopped at their ground on the edge of the village. The kick off time had not changed and we stayed and watched, thankful to get a game in. Also another bonus was that neither of us had been here before so a new ground tick as well.

Weldon is a small village on the eastern edge of Corby that had a population in 2001 of 1,644. Weldon United's ground is on the eastern edge of the village on Oundle Road itself. As you turn off the road the changing rooms and bar are on the right hand side with the pitch on the other side of the slip road. Immediately behind the ground is a caravan park. The pitch is railed off on the near side while there is no rope or rail on the other three. There is also no hard standing, dugouts or cover. 

The game was one that Welford should have won at a canter with the amount of chances created. Fortunately for the hosts most of them were off target or tame efforts that did not test the keeper. In truth the first half was pretty forgetable in terms of a spectacle for the neutral. The second half was only a few minutes old when an altercation occurred which resulted in the Weldon #7 being sent off for throwing a punch. During the ensuing melee Weldon sub Steve Brydon came onto the pitch but was hauled off by his team mates. Brydon then made threatening gestures to the Welford official running the line on this side. Thankfully there were no more incidents during the rest of the game and it went off without further incident. Weldon then carried on where they left off at the end of the 1st half and created numerous chances that were wasted. They took the lead with around twenty minutes remaining with a drilled shot from Ollie Watts. This seemed to inspire the home side rather than deflate them and they created a few chances of their own. Weldon equalised with ten minutes through the previously mentioned Brydon who drilled a shot past the Welford keeper. The winner came with five minutes on the clock when the ball found its way to Gareth Robb who hit a first time shot past the stranded keeper - cue mass celebrations from the home side. 

At the end of the game the Weldon player who was sent off wanted to "go for a walk" with the Welford player he had the altercation with but the offer was declined. He was then ushered away by his teammates and (I believe) the issue was sorted out with a handshake.

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: 15 (Kev Zupp head count)
Match rating: 2 out of 5 

A slideshow of photos taken can be viewed below:
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