Travels to the soul and heartbeat of English football...alright primarily Leicestershire!!!!
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Saturday 28th February 2015 Kirton Brickworks 1-7 Keyworth United Notts Senior League Senior Division Station Road, Kirton, Nottinghamshire, NG22 9LG
Outside of my home county of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire is the county that I have visited most for football and at the start of play I had watched the sport and fifty nine different locations within its boundary. In East Midlands non-league football circles Kirton Brickworks had been attracting attention for the performances on the pitch, though not for the right reasons as they have been on the receiving end of some heavy defeats. This was not my reason for me choosing to visit them today - it was just a case of why not.
I got up in plenty of time after my night shift and made the 52 1/2 mile journey in around an hour. There is an ample sized car park close to the social club and when I arrived Rob Hornby and a few other ground hoppers were already there, with some coming a lot further than I had. In fact hoppers made up around two thirds of the thirteen in attendance. The club did not charge an admission but an eight page programme was on sale for 50p. Also the club had refreshments available for spectators with a coffee also costing 50p. The ground as expected was basic with in being inside the grounds of the Hanson Brickworks. The pitch is railed off on three sides of the ground and there is a little bit of hard standing in from of the social club.
At the start of play the hosts were, and in fact still are bottom of the table with just two league wins all season. Both of these came in consecutive weeks in late November - Beeston AFC were beaten 2-1 at home on the 22nd and then they won 3-2 at PMG Cavaliers a week later. The visitors from Keyworth had recorded seven league wins this season and sat in tenth place in the sixteen team division.
The game took just ten minutes for the opening goal when an Ian Marley shot was deflected past James Fuller in the Kirton goal. Two further goals followed in the next five minutes - Jack Smith slotted the ball past Fuller and then came the goal of the game and a goal of the season contender - left midfielder Callum Barratt hit an unstoppable volley into the top left hand corner of Fuller's goal from the edge of the area. At this stage we could have been looking at a cricket score and Keyworth certainly had their chances to increase their lead further. Right at the end of the half the hosts got a goal back from Daniel Bircumshaw - a goal I missed as I had gone into the social club to get a coffee. The visitors added four more goals in the second half. Gregg Whatnall converting a penalty kick on fifty two minutes, though the awarding of it annoyed the Kirton manager. Jack Smith got his second of the game on sixty five minutes before substitute Jurgen Charlesworth added Keyworth's sixth of afternoon on seventy one minutes with his first touch. The final goal of the afternoon came with fifteen minutes left when Luke Burrell got the ball ahead of Smith who was looking for his hat-trick.
Credit must be given to Kirton who despite some demoralising defeats continue to put a side out every week. It cannot be easy for them and hopefully they can re-group next season. After the game I took a detour into the northern suburbs of Nottingham to tick off two JD Wetherspoon pubs - The Samuel Hall in Sherwood and The Woodthorpe Top in Mapperley. The former is located on the A60 Mansfield Road and there is a free car park a few hundred yards away on Winchester Street. The latter is located on the junction of Plains Road (B684) and Woodthorpe Drive and there is a handful of parking spaces outside of the establishment which is restricted to thirty minutes.