Saturday, 5 November 2011

Plan B

Saturday 5th November 2011
North Leicestershire League Cobbin Trophy 2nd Round
Recreation Ground, Church Street, Belton

Like the heading says this was Plan B today due to my first choice being postponed. I had originally planned to watch the Castle Donington - Butler Court tie in the same competition, but on arrival at Spittal Park (home of CDFC) I thought it strange that there were no nets up or players warming up. When I enquired I was told it was postponed due to some players being involved in a road traffic accident on route to the game. Hopefully nothing serious has happened and everyone is ok. I was aware of other ties in the competition, and on having a quick look at the road atlas found out that Belton Villa were the nearest to Castle Donington. Fortunately I arrived at Spittal Park early and this gave me enough time to get to Belton and I arrived at the recreation ground in Belton with a couple of minutes to kick-off. The recreation ground in Belton is like the name suggests a basic affair. The football club share it with the cricket club and it is located on the southern edge of the village on Church Street, with open countryside to the south and houses to the north.

If anyone is unaware the North Leicestershire League's (NLL) Cobbin Trophy is for 1st teams only and this tie pitched second division Belton against premier division Genesis. I am not sure when Belton were founded or when they joined the NLL as my records for the NLL only go back as far as 1997. The previous two seasons were spent in division 1 but having finished in 10th place in the 11 team division they were relegated to division 2. This season they currently find themselves in seventh place recording two wins from their seven league games played. Last time out they drew 1-1 at home to Markfield Reserves. Opponents Genesis currently sit top of the premier division with an unbeaten record - further details on them can be viewed in the previous post.

Belton itself is a small village located a few miles north west of Shepshed and is sandwiched between the A453, A512 and M1 motorway. 

On paper this game should have been a complete mismatch but on the day we had an intriguing and interesting cup tie. Genesis, as expected started the brightest and made the early inroads but were limited to long range efforts. As the half wore on the home side grew in confidence, got into the game more and at times more than matched their opponents in the middle of the park. The opening goal came with five minutes remaining of the half and what a goal it was. Jorge Jimenez who was always a threat throughout the game controlled the ball on his chest some 25 or 30 yards out and hit a swerving volley that flew into the top corner. A goal right out of the top drawer that would grace any level of football. Genesis started the second half in the ascendancy and on 55 minutes doubled their advantage. A corner was won on the left and despite calls for handball it was stabbed home from a few yards out. Belton did not let their heads drop and midway through the half got a goal that their effort deserved. I did not have a good view of it but it appeared their #9's shot took a deflection before it looped over Wiggins in the Genesis goal. This gave the visitors a kick up the backside and within two minutes they nearly made it 1-3, only for the Belton keeper pulling off an excellent save at his near post. Genesis continued to make the most of the running but with seven minutes remaining Belton were awarded a free kick. It split the Genesis defence but the shot was well saved by the advancing Wiggins. In the end Genesis closed the game out and advance to round 3.

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: 7
Match rating: 7 out of 10

Some photos taken during the game can be viewed in the slideshow below:
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