Travels to the soul and heartbeat of English football...alright primarily Leicestershire!!!!
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North Leicestershire League Cobbin Trophy 1st Round
Greenhill Youth Centre, Coalville
As regular readers of this blog will have noted there was no report from last Saturday. This was because I was down in Paignton for the weekend attending my uncle Peter's wedding to his now wife Sarah and did not manage to attend a game in deepest Devon. It was not through lack of trying as the wedding was on the Friday but in the end I decided to keep the peace as it were and keep my wife Angela happy. We did have a very enjoyable day out with my dad (Paul), his partner (Julia) and my Nan using the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company which took us from Paignton to Kingswear on the train (30 mins), the foot ferry to Dartmouth, river boat to Totnes (1hr 15 mins) and finally bus back to Paignton (25 mins). This round robin trip cost £21 (adults) or £19 (concessions) and allowed us time to spend in both Dartmouth and Totnes.
To be honest I had no idea where to go today as Oadby Town were knocked out of the FA Cup by local rivals Quorn. There were several games in both the Leicester & District and North Leicestershire Leagues and it was a case of deciding where to go and whom to see. After my usual indecision a game in the North Leicestershire League's Cobbin Trophy took my fancy between division 1 side Greenhill YC and division 3 side Victoria. Following on from a 0-0 draw in my last game accusations of potential goal whoring to be deliberated!!!! For the record the Cobbin Trophy is a competition for 1st teams while reserve teams compete in the Bonser Trophy.
Greenhill Y.C. were formed in 2006 and joined division 4 of the North Leicestershire League (NLL). They finished bottom of the twelve team division winning just three league games. Things improved dramatically the following season as they secured promotion to division 3 by finishing in 2nd place, just two points behind winners ATI Garryson Reserves. A 10th place finish was recorded in the 2008/09 season before they won promotion for a second time in three years by winning the division 3 title. Last season was another successful season for the Coalville based club as they won the division two title on goal difference ahead of Sutton Bonington Academicals. They only lost one league game and that was to the Accies on Easter Saturday. This was a game that I attended and a thoroughly enjoyable one it was too - see link on right hand side of blog. The defeat left Greenhill needing to win their last game of the season @ home to Castle Donington and this was duly achieved with a thumping 8-0 victory. This season they have carried on where they left off last season by recording two victories in their opening two games - 6-1 @ Loughborough Athletic was followed by a 7-3 goal feast last week against Woodhouse Imperial. Opponents Victoria are based in Syston and like previously stated compete in division 3. They have only played one game so far this season and that was a 4-0 victory @ Loughborough Galaxy.
My mum's partner Dave agreed to come and watch the game with me and we arranged to meet at The Birch Tree pub which is adjacent to the Bardon Hill Quarry for a pre-match drink. The intention was also to have another drink afterwards but on arriving back at the pub found it had closed at 2pm.
The Greenhill Youth Community Centre is very easy to find being just off the main A511. If heading towards Coalville from the M1 go past the quarry and Bardon Hill Sports Club and turn right into Waterworks Road. This in turn leads onto Cropston Drive and the community centre is on the left hand side. There is nothing (as expected) in terms of pitch side facilities so was not disappointed. Also excepted as well was the fact that there was no admission charge or programme issued .
The scoreline was one that I felt flattered the hosts a tad as they hit the visitors for six in the opening forty five minutes. Victoria should have took the lead after only sixty seconds but the shot went agonisingly wide of the far post. Greenhill made their visitors pay in emphatic style by scoring three goals in a devastating six minute spell. The first came on three minutes when #9 put the ball past the advancing keeper from twenty yards out into an open goal, and just two minutes later in became 2-0. A long throw in appeared to go straight into the Victoria goal but with the referee allowing it it must have took a touch from a player from either side. The third goal came with just nine minutes on the clock as the #9 got his second of the game, having been played onside saw his first attempt saved by the Victoria keeper but made no mistake second time around. The home side did not have to wait long for goal number 4 as this came in the 14th minute and this was primarily caused by the visitors themselves. A mistake by the right back allowed the Greenhill #10 pull the ball back to allow his team mate to finish first time. To be fair to them Victoria did not let their heads drop and more than matched their hosts in terms of possession and territory. They created a few half chances but they were generally off target. Greenhill's fifth chance of the half resulted in their fifth goal around the half hour mark. This was probably the best move of the half as the ball was played down the right, this was played across goal and finished with aplomb. The sixth and final goal of the half was also the most comical as the ball was moved quickly down the left and the cross was turned in by a defender via the post.
The second half was despite there being fewer goals a lot more enteraining. Victoria came out with the attitude that despite being six goals down would make a game of it. This they duly did as they played some good football and created a few chances. Generally the final ball and finishing let them down. Against the run of play Greenhill scored a seventh around the hour mark when a defence splitting through ball was laid across the goal for a simple tap in. Five minutes later and Victoria got a consolation goal they richly deserved as a free kick was knocked down and the ball drilled into the far corner past the keeper. Several more chances came and went, this time from both sides as Greenhill nearly added to their tally on a couple of occasions before Victoria ended the scoring in the last minute. A corner was only half cleared and volleyed home by their captain.