Saturday, 9 July 2011

Season opener

HOUGHTON RANGERS 1-2 OADBY TOWN XI
Saturday 9th July 2011
Pre-season Friendly
Gipsy Lane, Leicester (4pm kick-off)

My opening post of the new season is going to be a relatively short one. This fixture was one that had been changed several times over the past few days that I am somewhat surprised it went ahead at all!! Originally it was to be a 3pm ko at Houghton's home ground on Weir Lane, but a couple of days ago I read that it had changed to a 4pm ko @ St Patricks FC (Leicester & District League) on Gipsy Lane due to cricket. Another change then ensued - it was to be played @ 1pm on Manor Road in Oadby. On arriving at Oadby Town FC just after mid-day I was told that it had been put back to the original change due to Houghton not being able to make the 1pm ko time. If anyone is still following this well done!!! Then to cap it all of we (myself, Kev Zupp and his young son Daniel) arrived at St. Patricks FC to find plenty of people around but no goals or any sign of a football match taking place. After a few minutes wondering we noticed some players walk through a gap in the hedge towards us, and we headed to where they came from and found that the game had already started on a seperate sports ground. I knew about this sports ground but had no idea how you got into it as there is no road access. The only other form of access is through a gap in the fencing from Gipsy Lane itself. Will I be classing this as a new venue? Well after thinking about it and looking at Google maps I decided I would - my hobby, my rules :-)))

The game saw Oadby field two different teams in each half as they begin life in the East Midlands Counties League following relegation from the Midland Football Alliance. They are also have a new manager in the form of former Coalville Town boss Lee Harriman. The first half was slow to get started but became quite competitve and reasonably entertaining. After creating a few half chances Oadby were caught out on 36 mins when Houghton took the lead. This lasted just five minutes when Kelvin Philips hit an unstoppable free kick past the motionless Houghton keeper Jimmy Greasley. Greasley himself had pulled off a couple of decent saves prior to this and is probably the best keeper in the Leicester & District League. The second half saw a more younger looking Oadby side appear and had less quality about it. Both sides created a handful of chances but it was Oadby who got the winner with a last minute goal.

Admission / programme: none
Match rating: 1 1/5 out of 5

I also have two more contributors to my fund raising for Loros this season, making it at present 85p per goal seen. So after one game this stands at £2.55. 
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