Today sees the start of the new season for the Northern Counties East League. A full programme gave me plenty of choice but I decided to visit Selby Town, a ground I’d been thwarted from visiting due to postponements. I arrive at the newly sponsored Rigid Group Stadium but they obviously have not got round to putting the new sign up as I met with a sign declaring “Welcome to the Selby Times Stadium”.
The turnstiles bring you into the centre of the ground with the Clubhouse immediately to your left. I decide to head anti clockwise round the ground for my pre-match amble. The side where I came in has a three step terrace to the right of the entrance which leads you to seated stand behind the right hand goal.
“Selby Town FC” is painted in large red letters leaving you in no doubt whose ground this is. The “seats” are actually long benches with no backs. I watch the second half from here and it is actually quite comfortable.
At the far end of the stand is the “executive box”.
The opposite side to where I came in has hard standing the length of it and the changing room complex is situated by the half way line.
I carry on to the far end which has a covered four step stand with hard standing running the length of the end.
This brings me back to where I came in and I head into the Clubhouse in search of a badge. Inside there is a table set with Selby merchandise including hats, tops, programmes and of course badges. I make my purchase, get a coffee and head back outside having noted that the telly has Sky Sports news on, half times scores can be checked later. Outside I sit on a bench which is against the outside of the Clubhouse, and I watch the first half from here in glorious sunshine.
The game starts brightly with both teams looking to play it about. Maltby play some nice football but without making any clear openings, while Selby struggle to get their passing game going but have the better of the chances in the opening period. The opening goal of the game comes from the penalty spot after a cross into the box is handled by a Maltby player and there are no protests as the referee points to the spot. Brenton Leister steps up to put the keeper the wrong and Selby take the lead after 23 minutes. (Pictured below).
The goal seems to settle Selby’s nerves and they continue to press for a second. Jack Debnam for Selby has already had a couple of good runs at the Maltby defence when he has another which he converts this time for goal number two after 42 minutes. The referee blows for half time with no further score.
I go back into the Clubhouse to catch up on the scores and with no texts from home or from Helen at Palace I assume it’s 0-0 for the Foxes. Imagine my shock when I see we are 3-0 down!
I go back out for the second half to find that it is pouring and so I head for the seats behind the goal to watch the rest of the game. Maltby come out well and are rewarded on 53 minutes when they are awarded a clear cut penalty when the Selby player takes down the Maltby striker from behind. Chris Dickman calmly stepped up and put it away. The game really came to life now and there was some excellent play from Selby which went unrewarded. Maltby had a couple of chances but their forward were not really on form and they were wasted without really testing the Selby keeper. Shahin and Debnam were causing problems for Maltby with their pace and Selby put a stranglehold on the game. The game gets a little tense as Maltby’s left back Wragg puts in a couple of challenges on Shahin which get the Selby faithful a little agitated but Selby are happy to run the clock down and nothing comes from the free kicks they are rewarded. The game ends with a 2-1 victory for Selby which on the balance of play they deserve.
More pictures of Rigid Group Stadium here.
Selby Town 2-1 Maltby Main