Tonight's destination, Dene Park, home of Hall Road Rangers is 40 miles from home over the Humber Bridge to Dunswell, just outside of Hull. I find the ground very easily, it helps that I can see the floodlights from a couple of miles away as I drive towards it.
But as I pull into the ground there are an awful lot of cars leaving the car park and I must admit I fear the worst. I park up and ask someone if the game is still on. He looks puzzled but then tells me the game is on. It is only later talking to someone else that I find out that the cars leaving as I arrived had been attending Weight Watchers in the social club. The gates are not open and so I wander outside the ground. There are several other pitches outside and the ground underneath varies from icy to boggy! A cry of "Here you go lads" signals the opening of the gates and I make my way in. As seems usual in my reports, I enter the ground in the corner with one goal to my left and a hard standing terrace running the full length of the pitch. A little way down this side is a covered area.
I must apologise at this point about the quality of the pictures. My camera was just not up to the dark conditions and I struggled to get many good shots. Hopefully this will be resolved when my new camera arrives.
I walked down this side to the far end where the hard standing behind the goal narrows because of the fence that backs up to the houses behind the ground. The other side of the ground was identical with a further covered standing area available for supporters. Unusually, there is one dugout each side of the pitch, something I do not recall seeing too often. Back to the end I came in, is a covered seating stand, changing rooms, toilets and tea hut.
As the clock approached 7.45pm it became clear that the game was not going to kick off on time and I got talking to a nice chap from the local area who was making his first visit to Dene Park. He tells me that the game has been delayed because the hail shower earlier had washed the lines away, but I later discover that Liversedge had had a terrible journey to the ground because of several accidents on the M62. This obviously did not help with the Liversedge team's preparation on what was a very cold night.
We kick off just after 8pm and it becomes obvious the pitch is going to be influential on the game tonight. The same conditions I found outside are visible inside and the bobbly pitch in other places makes it hard for the players to control the ball. To be fair, both teams put in a good effort to play football and they are commended for their efforts. Rangers have several good chances before scoring the decisive goal on 25 minutes. A pretty poor backpass is intercepted by Adam Walker who slots it past the Liversedge goalkeeper. Liversedge struggle to get into the game but manage to keep the score down to one by half time.
Liversedge make a couple of changes for the second half and this makes the difference for them. They make a few chances for themselves but never quite have the run of the ball to peg that goal back. Rangers' Walker has several chances and on another night could have had a hat trick. The game gradually peters out and the only incident of note late on is a penalty appeal by Liversedge for handball as a Rangers player does touch it with his hand as he goes down but it would have been a harsh decision if it had been given. There are no more goals and Rangers run out 1-0 winners.
A nice ground to visit, with friendly locals, I would recommend a visit and I may return if only to get some decent photos!
More pictures of Dene Park here.
Hall Road Rangers 1-0 Liversedge