Sunday, 2 October 2011

Village v Town

Saturday 1st October 2011
Leicestershire Intermediate Cup 1st Round
Parish Hall Ground, Main Street, Asfordby
source: official website

Despite Oadby Town having a home game against Ibstock United I decided to give it a miss this afternoon and take in a game in a 1st round tie of one of the Leicestershire & Rutland county cups. The county FA run seven open age competitions for teams that play on Saturday's. They are in descending order of status: 1) Challenge Cup; 2) Senior Cup; 3) Intermediate Cup; 4) Shield; 5) Trophy and 6) Vase. There is also the Saturday Plate which is for reserve sides of the more senior non-league clubs in the county. 

The tie today is in the Intermediate Cup and is competed for by 1st teams in the Leicestershire Senior League (Division 1), Leicester & District League (Premier Division) and North Leicestershire League (Premier Division). Of the nine ties in the opening round, there were three that stood out as they met two criteria. One was that I had not seen the home team before or watched a game at their home ground and 2) the tie must be between two teams from a different league. 

The full 1st round draw:
1: Whitwick (NL) v Hathern (LSL)
2: Friar Lane & Epworth (LSL) v Lutterworth Town (LSL)
3: Genesis (NL) v Markfield (NL)
4: Barlestone St. Giles (LSL) v Magna '73 (L&D)
5: Melton Mowbray (LSL) v Asfordby Amateurs (LSL)
6: Allexton & New Parks (L&D) v Earl Shilton Albion (LSL)
7: Asfordby Village (NL) v Glenfield Town (L&D)
8: Sileby Saints (LSL) v Birstall Royal British Legion (L&D)
9: Birstall Old Boys (NL) v Shepshed Amateurs (NL)

In the end my three choices were Asfordby Village (obviously!!!), Whitwick and Sileby Saints.

Asfordby is a small village and civil parish in the Melton District of north Leicestershire. It lies 3 1/2 miles to the west of Melton Mowbray. The parish consists not only of Asfordby itself but also Asfordby Valley and Asfordby Hill. Combined they have a population around the 3,000 mark.

Asfordby was the site of a modern deep coal pit built between 1984 and 1993. It closed in 1997 due to numerous geological difficulties and the low price of coal at the time.
source: The Blue Bell - Everards official site

Before the game it had been arranged for myself to pick up Cheltenham based Colin Buchanan (who specifically came up to watch this cup tie!!!) from Narborough train station before heading off to the Blue Bell pub in Hoby for liquid refreshment and if time lunch. If not lunch would be after the game before Colin headed home to Cheltenhamshire. The plan changed, as on Friday evening Colin called and stated that he would not be coming due to catch too much sun during this exceptionally warm week. In the end I along with my wife, mum and her partner went up to Melton Mowbray to visit the East Midlands Food Fair before making our way to the afore mentioned pub and football. The Blue Bell is a pub that I have been to one a couple of occasions before and is a typical English country pub, helped by the fact that they serve good food and beer. Beer drinkers will like the fact that they serve four Everards beers (Tiger, Beacon, Original and Sunchaser), Adnams Bitter and a guest beer. A pint of Sunchaser went down very well before making the short drive back to Asfordby. 

Asfordby Village Football Club are one of two teams that represent the village itself. The other and more well known 'Amateurs play just outside the village on Hoby Road and compete in the Leicestershire Senior League, while Holwell Sports of the East Midlands Counties League play their home games in Asfordby Hill. The ground that Village call home is behind the parish hall which is located on the eastern end of the village on Main Street. There is as expected nothing at the venue with the pitch not railed or roped off and no dugouts - typical for this level of football. 

Asfordby Village were formed in 1993 and I have no idea about their first eight years of existence, but in 2001 they joined division two of the Leicester & District League (LDL). A 3rd place finish in the eleven team division secured promotion to division. Final placings of 8th, 4th and 12th were achieved before they switched to division 2 of the North Leicestershire League (NLL) in 2005. They were promoted to division 1 at the end of season having finished in the runners-up position behind divisional champions Radmoor. In 2009 they secured promotion to the premier division despite only finishing in 4th place in division 1. The two seasons in the premier division have seen Asfordby record 12th and 8th place finishes respectively. 

The game was to be honest the worst part of the day as it was pretty poor. The first half was a niggly, stop start affair that saw very little football being played. Glenfield appeared to be the better side right from the start and we did not have to wait long for the opening goal. It came on eight minutes when the ball was worked well down their right and following a low cross the ball was turned in with a first time shot. Just after the half hour mark and Glenfield got their second of the afternoon. A cross field ball was headed back across the goal and David Postlethwaite headed home from a couple of yards out. The best move of the afternoon also saw the best save of the afternoon as following an excellent move the Asfordby keeper got down well to his right to turn to ball round the post. The third and final goal of the afternoon came on the hour mark when the Glenfield #4 scored with an individual effort, having finished well into the corner following a run through the home midfield and defence. To be fair to Asfordby they always kept trying to get something from the game but in reality did not look like scoring. I can only recall efforts they had that were on target and both were in the second half. One was a header that was cleared off the line and the other was a long range effort that was straight at the keeper.

In the end it was a comfortable win for the visitors but if they are to progress to the latter stages of this competition they will have to play a lot better than this.

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: 13 (head count)
Match rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

41 photos taken at the game can be viewed below:

North Leicestershire League: official - full time
Leicester & District League: full time

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