Sunday, 7 August 2011


Saturday 6th August 2011
Midlands Regional Alliance Premier Division
Twyford Road Playing Fields

This weekend is to be my first competitive fixture of the 2011/12 season and the game today was on an original shortlist of three possible fixtures. The other two were both in the Wolverhampton area, but about ten days ago my wife Angela was put in for an extra shift at work. Due to us going out for a meal this evening I was instructed to pick her up at 5.30pm. This left me with only one fixture in which I could get back in time with it being only a 40 minute drive back to Leicester from Willington.

Willington is a small village in South Derbyshire and has a population of around 2,700. It is situated on the River Trent and is located between Derby (7 1/2 miles to the north east) and Burton-upon-Trent (5 miles to the south west). 

The following history on the village is taken from it's wikipedia page:

"The meaning of the name Willington is the Old English tun (homestead or farm) among the willows.In the Domesday Book, the village was calledWilletune or Willentune, and the land belonged to Ralph Fitzhubert and was an agricultural village on the floodlands of the Trent. The village is recorded as Wilintun in c. 1150 and as Wyliton in 1230.

In the 17th century, Willington became the highest navigable port on the Trent[citation needed]. It first began to grow from a population of 477[citation needed]with the construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal in 1777 the same year Bass beer in Burton was started, at which time it became a small inland port and a village with four public houses: The Railway (which was later demolished), The Rising SunThe Green Man and The Green Dragon, all selling locally brewed beers from Burton upon Trent for the many Irish canal navvies.

The railway arrived in 1838, the station being known as 'Repton and Willington' and brought the scholars to nearby Repton School. Although the main-line station was closed in 1964, a new station was re-opened in the 1990s as part of the (incomplete) Ivanhoe Line project to link Leicester & Burton-on-Trent and runs mainline trains to Derby, Birmingham and beyond. The village's population increased to 708 by 1940[citation needed]. Trentside Cottage, Bargate Lane is the oldest cottage in the village[citation needed]. A two century old Cedar of Lebanon lies on the site of the now-demolished 'Potlocks Farm', on Twyford Road in the village.

The bridge over the Trent was opened on August 7 1839, being the only one between Swarkestone and Burton.

In 1995, the train station was re-opened at a cost of £565,000 funded by money from the EU."
Club badge (source: club website)

I don’t have a lot of information on the club as the earliest records I can find only go back to 2007. This is when they joined division one of the Midlands Regional Alliance (MRA). Their debut season in the league resulted in the division one title and promotion to the premier division. Their first two seasons in the premier division resulted in 7th place finishes while last season they finished in the runners-up position, though some fifteen points behind champions Allenton United. The two teams played this same fixture at the same stage last season with Willington recording a 2-1 victory. Rowsley got their own back in October when they recorded a 6-0 victory in the reverse fixture.

Note: On speaking to someone @ the club I was told they transferred from the Burton & District Sunday League.

The journey up to Willington was both traffic and hassle free with it taking around forty minutes. Like stated at the top of the report the ground is on Twyford Road which is the main A5132 that runs though the village. There are no spectator facilities and parking is at a premium as it also doubles up as a recycling centre. Like a few others I parked on the other side of the road, while the main Birmingham – Derby railway line runs behind the ground.

Beforehand I expected this to be a close game and this proved to be the case. Willington looked the better side in the opening forty five minutes and created a few half chances before they deservedly took the lead around the half hour mark. Robbie Cox was played onside and slotted the ball past the advancing Rowsley keeper into the bottom left hand corner. I can’t recall either keeper being tested in the half with the crossing from the visitors being particularly wasteful. The second half saw a more assertive display from the visitors and they equalised just four minutes in. A corner was headed home at the back post from (I believe) Andrew Rhodes. Rowsley continued to have the better of things and should have taken the lead only for two of their players to get in each other’s way with the goal at their mercy. Following their best spell of the half Willington retook the lead with the goal of the game with around fifteen minutes remaining. Substitute Matt Belmore hit an unstoppable shot from twenty yards that flew into the top right hand corner. The lead only lasted five minutes as Willington were undone from another set piece as a free kick on the left was headed home at the near post. Just as the game nearing its conclusion Willington were awarded a penalty, and following some protests Joe Brock stepped up and sent the Rowsley keeper the wrong way. With three minutes of injury time player a Willington player went down injured and the game was held up and hopefully the injury was not serious. With having to get back to Leicester asap I could not hang around indefinitely to see the games conclusion, and I am not 100% certain the game ended in a 3-2 victory for Willington even now as I am finishing my report @ 7.30am on Sunday morning.

For the record I got back to pick up the wife with five minutes to spare.

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: 13 (head count)
Match rating: 3 out of 5


A slideshow of photos taken at the game can be viewed below:
Post a Comment