Sunday, 30 September 2012

Plan D

MOORGREEN 1-1 ASHLAND ROVERS
Saturday 29th September 2012
Notts Senior League Division 2
Birnam Park, A610, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire


After my trip to York last week I was always going to stay relatively local today, but over the past week or so changed my mind several times. Plan A was a double involving Nuneaton Town Under-18's followed by Moreton Rangers, while Plan B was to head south east into Northamptonshire for a Junior Cup tie @ Stanwick Rovers. Then on Friday evening I changed plans again and decided to head to Corby Locos in the same competition for a tie against Northampton Harlequins, but around lunchtime Rob Hornby put a post on Facebook stating he was going to be at the above game. This swung my decision as firstly I knew where the ground was, and secondly Rob is always good for a tale or two if the game is crap!!!

This was the first season for Moorgreen as an open age side, with the club more associated with junior or youth football. They were accepted into division two of the Notts Senior League (NSL) and before today had picked up four points from their four league games. The victory came last week @ West Bridgford Reserves. Opponents Ashland Rovers who this season are based at The Summit Centre in Kirkby-in-Ashfield joined the NSL in the summer after switching from the Notts Amateur Alliance. They are unbeaten so far picking up eight points from four league matches. Last week they recorded a 3-1 victory over Selston Reserves. 

The ground is very easy to find with it being located just off the A610 dual carriageway, heading north west from junction 26 of the M1 motorway. After passing IKEA on the right hand side take the next exit which is signposted sewage works, with the entrance to the ground on the right hand side. 

The changing rooms are immediately in front of you with the pitch being set further back. The pitch is railed off on three sides and there are dugouts and a stand also. During the game the club had a tea bar in operation, with hot drinks costing 50p. Also on the site is a model racing club next to the changing rooms and a shooting club to the left of the pitch.

Rob was already there when I arrived, in fact he was there when I phoned him at 1pm having stopped off here on his way home from a two week holiday in Cornwall. He had arranged with the club to take a team photo in their new kit, and kindly allowed me to do the same. 
Moorgreen FC
The game was played in bright sunshine for the most part, but there was also a biting wind that made conditions tricky at times for these amateur players. It was not the best game I have seen and generally a scrappy affair. Ashland settled quicker and looked the better side and came as no surprise when they took the lead on seventeen minutes. A corner was only half cleared and Mark Canon hit a sweet half volley from twenty five yards that flew past the Moorgreen keeper. There was plenty of effort from both sides but chances were at a premium. The equaliser came with eleven minutes remaining as Matthew Clowes chipped the ball over the oncoming Ashland keeper. In the final few minutes Mark Canon was sent off for violent conduct. A decision that bemused not only Rob and myself but also Mark himself. We saw a push from Mark on a Moorgreen player and thought yellow card here, but were not expecting a red.

Overall a very pleasant afternoon at a very friendly club. Rob did inform me that the ground was used by Priory (Eastwood) FC before they folded in the mid-90's, and that Moorgreen have been awarded a grant to make improvements.

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: 18

Rob's account on the game can be found on his blog "Around the Grounds" http://aroundthegrounds2012-13.blogspot.co.uk/

A slideshow of photos of the ground and game can be viewed below:
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