Saturday, 11 May 2013

Coventry Alliance - part 1

If anyone still looks at this blog hoping for proper match reports then I can only appologise, as due to my increasing interest in photography I am spending less time actually watching the game(s) taking place and more time being behind the lens.

With a night off from work on Thursday I took advantage of this and headed to Nuneaton for a game in the top division of the Coventry Alliance. The Coventry Alliance (CA) sits outside the National League System and does not have any formal promotion and relegation agreement with the Midland Combination (MC). That said often teams from the CA will beat teams from the MC in Birmingham FA County Cup and numerous charity cup competitions. I have seen very little football in this league over the years, in fact prior to Thursday I had only seen two games in which the home team were / are members of the CA. The first one was a few years ago when I saw the now defunct Witherley United lose 3-1 @ home to Woodlands WMC, and secondly was this season when Brinklow defeated Mahal of the West Midlands (Regional) League 4-3 in the Birmingham FA Junior Cup. In the games so far I have found the standard to be of a pretty decent level, with less emphasis put on the quality of the grounds. In the top division there are also three officials at the games, something that is very rarely seen at what is nominally step 9 or the 13th level of English football. There is one thing that is a major bugbear of mine about the league, and that is getting up to date fixtures and ground details for the member clubs. The CA does finally have a page on the football.mitoo site but often scheduled fixtures are not shown. For example there are no fixtures for May 11th being listed, but on Stockton FC's website there are sixteen listed across all six divisions. It was also like this for Thursday as well with the fixture I attended not showing on the football.mitoo site, but was listed on the afore mentioned website of Stockton FC.

On to the football...

Like I said at the top of the last paragraph I headed to Nuneaton on Thursday 9th May for the following game...

Ambleside Sports 0-1 Folly Lane
@ Ambleside Sports Club, Ambleside Way, Nuneaton

Admission / programme: none
Attendance: 6

Ambleside Way is located in an affluent part of northern Nuneaton off the Higham Lane, and the sports club is set back behind houses. Unlike other venues I have been to like this, the entrance is easy to spot. A drive way takes you to the car park and social club, with the cricket the football pitch located in front of the social club itself.  The Ambleside Sports Club is a registered charity (no. 512783) and has numerous clubs and organisations affiliated to it. These include Ambleside Bowls Club, Prostate Cancer Support Organisation (Central England), Ambleside Sports FC, Ambleside Cricket Club and Nuneaton Hockey Club. A full list can be found the sports club's website.

The game for the most part was played in miserable conditions weather wise with the only shelter being from a few trees nearest the entrance. Despite this it wasn't a bad game with the only goal coming midway through the first half. Shortly afterwards the Folly Lane #2 was shown a straight red card for throwing a punch at one of the home players during a coming together of most of the players (see last photo on slideshow). Ambleside did not take advantage of the extra man, and in fact it was the visitors who should have added to their lead on more than one occasion during the second half. They were nearly made to pay for this in the final minutes as after a good cross from the right, one of the Ambleside substitutes blazed the ball over from six yards out with the goal at his mercy.

24 photos taken during the first half can be viewed in the slideshow below:

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