Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Game 24 - Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion 7th November 2009 Coca Cola Championship

Todays game sees the Remembrance Day Fixture at Leicester. As usual, the players shirts are adorned with the Poppy and the shirts will be auctioned on the Official Site later in the week. I'm proud to say that it was Leicester City who first came up with this idea several years ago, with the opponents that day, Blackburn Rovers, also having the Poppy on their shirts. We have travelled down on Friday to stop with relatives in Leicester so our journey to the car park only takes 10 minutes today, where Keith is already waiting for us. After a quick drink in the Club we head to the ground to take in the atmosphere of the day. One of the other traditions of the day is for the match ball to be delivered by helicopter and this duly arrives just before kick off.

Something different today is the playing of the Last Post and the minutes silence which follows. It is especially poignant as the family of Marcin Wojtak, a Foxes fan, who was killed in Afghanistan on 1st October 2009 are attending the game today. The relevance of the Poppy Appeal brought home to everyone present.
At half time we have the parade of the veterans together with Cadets and a couple of currently serving soldiers.

The game, well we lose to the best team I've seen this season, but the 2-0 scoreline at half time was a travesty. We played fairly well but were unable to take advantage of any of the chances we created. Just one other point though. Starting to waste time from 51 minutes is disgraceful, but not the first time I've seen this before from a Di Matteo team, but this time we are unable to snatch a late late equaliser. I'll stick with my pre-season prediction that Albion will win promotion this season, let's hope we follow them.

Leicester City 1-2 West Bromwich Albion
Att: 28,748
Admission: £14 (with my Season Ticket)
Programme: £3

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Game 23 - Brighouse Town v Worsbrough Bridge Athletic 31st October 2009 NCEL Division One

Brighouse Town is situated near Halifax about 8 miles off the M62 where I am delayed by an accident for about 20 minutes but I'm still pulling up in the car park of the Dual Seal Stadium just after 2pm. It's fairly full but I am able to park just near to the exit/entrance.

You enter the ground in the left hand corner of the car park.

All the facilities are to your right as you enter the ground in the corner, toilets, tea room, hospitality room and dressing rooms are all at this end of the ground. There is a covered seated stand in front of you down the near touchline with the dugouts opposite this stand, which is the only cover in the ground. The rest of the ground has hard standing and behind the dugouts there is another pitch lower than the main pitch which has it's own floodlights and I can see both teams using this to warm up on.
Brighouse were formed in 1963 as a works team and have progressed through the local leagues to join the NCEL at the start of the 2008-09 season. Their opponents were formed in 1923 and were original founders of the newly formed NCEL in 1982. They are having contrasting fortunes this season with Brighouse in 6th just behind the leaders while Worsbrough are second from bottom and are on a run of six defeats.
I go into "Dave's Tea Bar" buy a badge and a coffee and sit down at a table. There are pictures on the walls of past teams and another nice touch is a montage of Brighouse's first ever game in the NCEL at Teversal which they won 2-1. After a minute or so a gentleman sits on the table next to mine. We start talking and it turns out he is the Referee's Assessor for the afternoon. It's an interesting conversation about the offside law, technology and fans banter at games and before we know it, it's time to go and outside for the game.
Brighouse started the game very well and were creating most of the chances in the game and it seemed only a matter of time before they opened the scoring. However the Worsbrough defence proved to be resilient and the half ended goaless. The TV in Dave's had Sky Sports on and were showing Cov losing. Happy days.
The Worsbrough defence had obviously enjoyed their half time orange too much as Dave Watson put the hosts ahead with a well taken goal. Now I must admit that I thought I was in store for a goal feast from Brighouse, but credit to Worsbrough, their heads did not go down and they then had their best spell in the game, constantly attacking their hosts goal without a breakthrough. Brighouse were still creating chances themselves but could not extend their lead with a combination of poor finishing and good defensive play thwarting them. On 78 minutes Worsbrough got their reward for a determined 2nd half performance. Danny Thompson won the ball out on the right wing and put in a good cross which was firmly met by Dean Shirt who headed the ball into the corner for the equaliser. Both teams felt they could still win the game and there were two or three more chances for each side but there was to be no further score. A very enjoyable game and in the end I was pleased that Worsbrough got the point with a good battling display.
An easy exit and fairly light traffic on the M62 meant I was home for 6.30pm, an enjoyable day at a very friendly Club, somewhere I would recommend to anyone.

Brighouse Town 1-1 Worsbrough Bridge Athletic
Att: 64
Admission: £4
Programme: £1
Badge: £3

More photos of The Dual Seal Stadium here.