Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hard fought derby in the Vase

Saturday 19th November 2011
FA Vase 2nd Round
Greene King Park

After a five week break I am back at GKP for what on paper should be a cracking tie in the FA Vase. Both teams currently sit in the top six in the East Midlands Counties League (EMCL), and they played each other at the end of August with Oadby running out 3-1 winners.

Since I was last here Oadby have had mixed fortunes in three competitions - two wins (v Radford 1-0 and Radcliffe Olympic 5-1) and one defeat (v 2-0 @ Borrowash Victoria) in the EMCL, a 2-1 victory at Lutterworth Athletic in the last round of the Vase and finally a 3-2 defeat at home to Holbrook Sports in the ECML Cup 2nd Round. 

On a personal note before the draw was made I was hoping for an away tie at a ground that I had not previously visited. The options were limited to five due to visiting quite a number of grounds in the Midlands over the years. They five were Bloxwich United AFC, Brocton, Ellesmere Rangers, Norton United and Wisbech Town. Alas it was not to be and this is as good as tie as any. Hopefully with Leicester City not playing until tomorrow this tie might catch the attention of some of their fans looking for their Saturday football fix. Looking at the Vase draw at the start of play there is only one other Leicestershire side still involved in the competition, and they are Bardon Hill who have a tough away tie at Midland Alliance side Tipton Town. One other tie did catch my attention and that was Leverstock Green v Enfield 1893. Why you may ask? Well these two teams played in the 1st round of last years competition and Leverstock won a nine goal thriller with the winning goal coming in the last minute. It was a game that yours truly attended and was the best game I saw last season. Click on the Leverstock Green link on the right hand side of the page for more details.

Since I was last down here Oadby have set up their club shop which is located adjacent to the entrance on the clubhouse side of the ground. They currently have a small range of merchandise for sale which include badges (£3), mugs (£5) and key rings (£2.50) plus several boxes of old programmes. 

The game was like the heading says a hard fought victory for their hosts against their local rivals. Clear cut chances were at a premium but the visitors should have opened the scoring early on, but their #9 shot straight at Oadby keeper Elliot Shilliam's legs. Oadby then felt they should have had a penalty when Michael Reeve went down but the referee waved away their calls. The only goal of the game was came midway through the half and was to be honest the only real bright spark in the game. Jon Stevenson connected sweetly on the volley and it flew past Warren Butlin in the Andrews goal. Matt Piper nearly doubled Oadby's advantage but his free kick was saved by Butlin. At the other end the afore mentioned St. Andrews number 9 headed a corner wide. Just before half time the floodlights went out and the start of the second half was delayed ten minutes while the problem was rectified. Only five of the six sets came back to life but the referee was happy for the game to go on, despite a second of the pitch being in darkness. The second half was again similar to the first with few clear cut chances being created by either side. There were two that fell to Oadby that I can recall - the first from Matt Piper who turned his marker inside out, cut inside but his shot was saved at his near post by Butlin. The second came in stoppage time but having created space for himself in the penalty area Michael Reeve dragged his shot wide. 

Joy and relief at the final whistle and now all eyes will be on the draw for the 3rd round on Monday. These two sides will be sick of the sight of each other shortly as they were paired together in the 2nd round of the Leicestershire Senior Cup, which will be played @ Oadby on Tuesday 29th November with a 7.30pm kick-off.

Admission: Free for me 
Programme: £1
Attendance: 158 (official) - nearer 250
Match rating: 4 out of 10

A final note is that the game was attended by members of the Oadby Owls Under-9's who were mascots for the day. 

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