It's the first game of the CML Football Bonanza 2010 tonight, although not an official game of the weekend, the Bonanza organisers were able to set this game up after the previously arranged game at AFC Hull was cancelled due to the pitch being double booked.
As I pull into the car park it is clear that the game is well attended and I end up way down the bottom end to park. I came here in October of last year, but I still make my way around the ground taking some shots of the ground again.
At this point I start to get the feeling there is something wrong. Various Club officials all seem to heading towards the generator running the floodlights. With that, several of the lights go out. The next 10 minutes or so see various lights go off and come on. I carry on round the ground and as I reach the goal at the end I started at all the lights go out.
I stand in the dark for a couple of minutes and after a couple of aborted attempts the lights start to come back on. The announcement is made that the kick off will be delayed while we wait for an electrician to arrive. Players and officials come back out to warm up again and it is announced that the kick off has been put back to 8.10pm. I go and find a seat and wait for the game to start.
Now something quite disturbing starts to happen. People are actually sitting next to me and not only that, they are southerners! These are true hoppers, not a part timer like myself. Everyone seems to know each other and being sat amongst them makes for interesting listening for the whole game as they recall past visits, train journeys and mention grounds I've never heard of!
The game gets underway and after 60 seconds Barton score and there is a cheer from all the hoppers as the dreaded 0-0 is avoided. Ryan Morton makes a great run down the right wing beating several Tadcaster players before crossing to Jason Moody who puts the ball into the net at the far post. Things get even better for Barton on 6 minutes as Gareth Barlow heads in a perfect cross from Moody's cross from the left touchline. Although Tadcaster had a chance on 11 minutes it was all Barton and they had chance after chance. The Tadcaster goal led a charmed life and on when Law's shot hits the post and rebounds into the arms of the grateful goalkeeper.
Tadcaster manage to reach half time without conceding any more and it proved to be a good game so far for Barton's largest crowd of the season so far.
I stay in my seat for the break and one of the visiting hoppers comes back and we have an interesting conversation which goes on throughout the second half. Not that this means the second half is dull, far from it. Tadcaster score with their first attack on 46 minutes when Taylor's shot comes back off the bar but the rebound is calmly slotted home by Sunley. It was now Tadcaster's turn to be in the ascendancy and it seemed only time before the equaliser would come. And come it did on 63 minutes when Grahame Whitehead found himself in space in the box and heads home from the free kick. 2-2. The game continued to throw up chances with both teams having opportunities to take the lead but there is no further score. This was an excellent game and the cliche of a game of two halves was apt tonight.
I make my way out of the ground and I can only hope that the games tomorrow match this one.
Barton Town Old Boys 2-2 Tadcaster Albion