Friday, 23 December 2011

Seasons greetings to everyone

Happy holidays to everyone who looks in. I will hopefully be at the two games in the side bar, say hello if you see me. I hope you all have a good holiday break and if you are travelling over the festive period, take care,

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Brigg Town v Ilkeston Saturday 17th December 2011 Evo-Stik Division One South

Grimsby Borough do not have a game today and although the Reserves are at home (although it was cancelled late on) I decide to take a look at how the newly formed Ilkeston are doing on their visit to Brigg Town. The Hawthorns is only a 22 mile drive for me and I arrive in plenty of time to get some decent pictures in the daylight.

Outside the ground is already busy as there are a fair number of Ilkeston fans here and they all seem to be heading into the Clubhouse, encouraged by the Brigg officials who tell them to drink plenty as "we need the money". I take a few photos outside the ground and head inside.

Once through the turnstiles you find yourself in the corner of the ground. To your right is the building block containing the toilets and the dressing rooms for the teams and officials. There is also a bit of overhang from the roof to give some cover.

Directly in front of you is the portacabin which is used for hospitality and beyond this a single level terracing runs down to the corner of the ground where there is a tea hut.

After the hospitality hut the ground opens out and there is a grassy area behind the hard standing which leads to the fence which has a net to stop balls going into the gardens of the houses behind the ground.

This brings you to the far side of the ground which has a seating stand which runs down a good part of the ground. There are three rows of red seats, which I have to say are probably some of the most uncomfortable seats I have sat in.

At either end of the stand there is a small area of covered terracing although they were not many takers today as the weather, although cold, did not give us any rain.

The hard standing narrows up after the stand as the floodlight here has a fencing around it but it opens up again after this to the corner. The end here is wide and open with a single level of hard standing which runs the entire end of the ground.

This leads you back to the side of the ground that I came in. The first stand you reach is a small covered terrace of three steps with a roof that comes out to the edge of the wall in front of the pitch.

The weather has changed now and the sun has gone and there are some menacing looking clouds overhead, as you can see in this shot of the seated stand across the pitch.

After the small terraced stand there is a small open area before you reach the very narrow seated stand on this side of the ground. There are only two rows of seats and there is a very narrow walkway past these as you can see below.

After this there is another open area before the buildings which house the dressing rooms with an exit which allows you access to the Clubhouse outside the ground.

Ii has taken me longer than normal to make my circuit of the ground today as I've been involved in several discussions with both Brigg and Ilkeston fans on my way round and it is very close to kick off. There are not many Ilkeston fans inside yet, but almost as soon as I've thought this they start to appear and soon make themselves heard.

The Ilson fans quickly make their way to the end their team will be attacking in the first half and an array of flags are put up.

The game kicked off and both teams were playing some nice football early on but without creating any clear cut goal opportunities. It was end to end stuff with both sides struggling to find that edge to beat the others keeper. Probably the best chance of the half fell to Ilson's Gary Ricketts but his shot flew well over the bar. An entertaining half came to a close without any score.

Ilkeston took over the game in the second half and it was mostly one way traffic towards the Brigg goal. The problem for Ilkeston was a combination of some poor finishing and resolute Brigg defending meant they were unable to open the scoring. Brigg went forward when they could but the final ball was always disappointing and they too struggle in front of goal. There were Ilson claims for a penalty when Maguire burst into the box and went down under a challenge from a Brigg defender. However the referee felt that he had dived and dished out a booking. I have to say that I thought it was a clear penalty especially as he was clear to have a shot and could not see why he would go down in that situation.

As in so many games like this, it was the team under the cosh who scored the opening goal. Brigg's Liam Davis raced down the right hand touchline, beat his man and placed an inviting ball into the path of Ryan Paczkowski who hit his shot into the back of the net from about 10 yards out. The Ilson fans around me seemed stunned and could not believe they had gone behind. Ilkeston went straight back onto the attack and four minutes later they were level. A neat move saw the ball come out to the left wing from where it was played inside to Jack Watts who drilled his shot into the net. The game ebbed and flowed for the remaining time but neither team could find the decisive blow and the full time whistle went with the final score at 1-1.
This was a thoroughly entertaining game and I was glad I made the choice to come here.

Programme cover

More pictures of The Hawthorns here.

There are more pictures of the ground, action and the fans here.

Brigg Town 1-1 Ilkeston
Att: 143
Admission: £7
Programme: £1.50

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Market Rasen Town v Grimsby Borough Reserves Saturday 26th November 2011 Lincolnshire Premier Division

I decided to stay fairly local today and decided upon Boro's reserve game away at Market Rasen, about 20 miles away. This is Rasen's first season in this League and I'd heard that they had a stand which had had some work carried out on it, but as with many grounds at this level that was the only stand. Mrs Reynard came with me as we intended to go to Willingham Woods for a walk and something to eat before the game.
However, I decided to pop to the ground before we went to the woods to get my photos. It was fairly easy to find thanks to Google Maps, with the narrow entrance and lane fairly well concealed if you did not know it was there.

We parked up and the ground was already a hive of activity with a training session for local youngsters just about to start and in the distance, there were Club officials setting up the supports for the rope barrier to mark off the pitch. The only stand was on the far side of the pitch which in turn was past the cricket pitch.

There is no hard standing here and you have to walk across the grass to get the pitch and the stand, which is not a problem today even though there has been a heavy overnight dew and it is fairly damp and misty today, but in the depths of winter it would be advisable to wear some good sturdy footwear. We reach the stand and you can see that there has been some recent work done on it.

There are no seats as such, but the concrete has been laid to provide a continuous raised seating area although it might be a bit cold on the bottom on colder days. The dugouts are part of the stand although when we are at the game the reserves seem to use the concrete seats behind them. With no barriers and no game on yet I'm able to nip onto the pitch and take some photos of the stand face on.

The only other facility is the Clubhouse which contains the bar and tea hut together with the dressing rooms for the teams and officials which is situated where the car park is.

Photos finished we head off to the woods. Three hours later we return for the game which kicks off at 2pm as there are no floodlights here and so the game has to be completed in daylight.
The game kicks off in bright sunshine with the shadows of the trees beside Brimmer Beck that runs behind the Stand. Boro start brightly and have the best of the early stages without really creating anything to trouble the Rasen keeper. We even have time to have a bit of banter with Rasen's keeper Dale Christie as Rasen get into the game and put Boro on the backfoot, but again do not really trouble the Boro goal. Christie is then called into action, pulling off two superb saves, especially one from John Toyne which he tipped over the bar.

The first half ends with no score and we head over to the Clubhouse for a cup of coffee and a sit down. After a couple of minutes we are joined by Rasen keeper Christie who proceeds to light up a cigarette! I don't suppose you would see this at any Premier League games, but at least he had an energy drink too.

Rasen start the second half with renewed hope of a victory and start to dominate play with Boro struggling to get their own game going. Some determined defending by Boro kept Rasen at bay and their better chances were wasted by their struggling forward line. Boro started to find a bit of space as Rasen continued to attack and were able to exploit the space and make some attacks of their own. On about 70 minutes Boro won a corner and the ball was played into the heart of the box where John Toyne beat Christie to nod the ball home.

The game became even more of a midfield battle with Rasen creating the better chances but with no end result. Several balls had ended up in the during the afternoon and towards the end of the game several balls had gone missing and Rasen's keeper shouted to the bench "Get these balls sorted out!" only to be met by the reply "We can't mate, they are all in the water".

The Boro defence hold Rasen at bay and with no further score they head home with all three points. There is not a lot to see at Rase Park in terms of stands but it is a nice ground and well worth the visit, although I think I would save it for spring or summer day.

More pictures of Rase Park here.

There are more pictures of the ground, action and the fans here.

Market Rasen Town 0-1 Grimsby Borough Reserves
Att: 47 (Head Count)
Admission: None
Programme: None

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Teversal v Grimsby Borough Saturday 5th November 2011 NCEL Division One

I leave Cleethorpes on an overcast day, but with no rain, not too bad for a football trip. The weather soon changes and I endure very heavy rain on the M18 and M1 and it is still raining when I reach the Teversal Grange Sports & Social Centre, Carnarvon Street, home to Teversal FC.

It is still raining as I wander about the car park for some pictures. The ground is situated next to the The Teversal Trails Visitors Centre. The trails follow the track beds of the former colliery railways which, together with the local footpaths, provide a network of varied and enchanting walks through countryside that is abundant with wildlife. Much of the network has now been designated a Local Nature Reserve due to its valuable and fascinating flora, fauna and geology. A Coal Garden, incorporating a variety of artifacts from the local colliery, including Pit Wheels, marks the entrance to the trails themselves.

Pit wheel at the park entrance

The entrance to the turnstiles is fronted by a new set or iron gates with the Club name picked out in the middle and they look very impressive. I'm even asked if I would like to buy a pair of gates!

You go through the gates and the turnstiles are to the right and bring you into the corner of the ground. To the right are the dressing rooms, Clubhouse and hospitality room. Thankfully the rain has stopped and so I set off to make sure I get my photos before it starts again. I head to the left of where I came in, behind the goal.

As you can see, there is a white railing running the whole length of the end with a one level hard standing area and a further area behind this. This end also gives you a good view of the Main Stand on the far side.

As you reach the corner the railing and hard standing continues to the stand. There is a barrier either side of the seating stand pointing out that there is no standing allowed in front of the stand.

After the main are of the stand there is another small section of seating with a single row of seats and a bench behind these. There were not many takers for these as I am pretty sure that the dugouts would block your view of the pitch.

After the stand there is the white railing and hard standing again with a grassy area running up to the perimeter fence.

This leads you to the opposite end where we came in. This has the hard standing running along it's length and there are two covered areas either side of the goal.

These two covered areas have an unusual cover, something which I had heard about before I came here and was usually in a derogatory way. As you can see they have used Tesco Trolley Park shelters. Personally I think they are brilliant and would give you reasonable cover on a rainy day.

The next side of the ground has the same format of white railing and hard standing leading down to the dressing rooms area at the end.

At the far end of this side of the ground, as I have said, are the dressing rooms and in the corner after this there is a very smart Clubhouse with a bar showing Sky Sports and the "tea hut" is also in here with a good choice on offer.

I go inside and watch the last 10 minutes or so of the Sky game with two fellow Boro fans who have made the journey before heading out for kick off. Boro set off attacking the Trolley end and begin confidently. Six minutes in and Lee Stephenson puts Boro 1-0 up following up a spilled George Newby shot.

Minutes later it could have been two when Andy Taylor just fires wide. Its all Boro in the early stages and the chances keep coming but poor finishing keeps the score at 1-0. On 25minutes George Newby fires in a shot which takes a deflection which beats the keeper only for the ball to hit the crossbar and go out for the corner. Boro really should be further ahead and I start to wonder if we will rue these missed opportunities. Teversal start to get back into the game and on 35 minutes they find their equaliser. A good passage of play results in the ball being played to Greg Tobin on the edge of the box and he places his shot just inside the post and beyond Leigh Cook in the Boro goal. 1-1.

This seemed to stun Boro and it is Teversal who have the better of the game up to half time.
The second half starts with Teversal beginning much better than in the first half. A change of tactics cuts out the space that Boro exploited in the first half and makes it difficult for Boro to play with the same fluency that they showed in the first half. The Teversal players are really up for the game and are playing some decent football. The early pressure pays off on 53 minutes when Greg Tobin scores his second with accurate angled shot after good approach play. This stirs Boro up and they start to play better but with no end result. Both teams have chances but it is Teversal who score the fourth and best goal of the match. On 78 minutes Ryan Atkins gets the ball on the left of the box and fires in a terrific shot which arrows into the top corner of the net to make it 3-1 to Teversal.

This effectively finished the game although Teversal were reduced to 10 men when Danny Pearson picked up a second yellow. To be fair, the game had been played in a good spirit and in my eyes it was a genuine challenge that did not warrant a booking but there was an assessor present and I think this was why he picked up the second booking. Despite this Teversal were able to see the game out and win 3-1.

A disappointing result for Boro but it was an enjoyable day. Everyone I met was friendly and I had some good chats with the locals, which is what it is all about.

More pictures of Carnarvon Street here.

There are more pictures of the ground, action and the fans here.

Teversal 3-1 Grimsby Borough
Att: 45
Admission: £4
Programme: £1.00

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Dinnington Town v Grimsby Borough Saturday 24th September 2011 FA Vase Second Qualifying Round

It's Cup day and Grimsby Borough travel to Phoenix Park which lies somewhere between Worksop, Rotherham and Sheffield in South Yorkshire. I locate the ground very easily and after taking a few shots outside I head for the turnstiles.

Phoenix Park turnstiles

The turnstile operator seems surprised to see someone this early (its only just 2pm) and when I am inside I'm the only spectator to be seen. Excellent, no one to block my pictures. The turnstiles bring you in on one side of the ground more or less on the half way line. I head to my right. After a few yards there is gate which separates spectators from the players as they enter the pitch. Immediately after this there is a small covered seating stand with benches in it.

Covered seating stand

After the stand the hard standing runs down to the corner with a grassy area behind it with a white railing separating you from the pitch.

Looking back to the seated stand

There is the same arrangement from this corner running down to another seated stand behind the goal with a high fence separating the ground from the bowls club situated behind the ground.

View behind the goal

There was a bench situated in front of the goal at this stage and I wondered what it was there for as the players totally ignored it when they came out for the warm up and were all over the goalmouth. Later on it became clear why it was there as a team photo was taken using it.
The seated stand at this end is set to the right of the goal to give you a better view of the pitch as there is not much distance between the stand and the pitch. It has three rows of plastic seats with a capacity of 50 odd.

Seated stand behind the goal

The far side of the ground consists of a one level hard standing with some dodgy plastic flooring after that and plenty of weeds. The white railing continues along this side. There are three floodlights down this side and the dugouts are here too.

Far side of the ground complete with weeds

The far end of the ground is a narrow strip of hard standing bordered by a breeze block fence to separate the ground from outside and more breeze blocks also form the fencing between the pitch and standing too.

View behind the other goal

This brings me back to the side of the ground I came in. The wide area on this side of the ground is split between a single level of hard standing and a grassy area. It leads to another covered stand and the tea hut.

View of the side of the ground

The stand is a simple but effective affair and gives plenty of cover although we did not need it today as the weather was glorious. The tea hut is a brick building and offered the usual fayre.

View across the pitch of the stand

By now the Blue Army had assembled in the ground and an impromptu pitch invasion enabled a picture of the band of supporters to appear on the website with yours truly on it.
The game kicked off in bright sunshine and the first few minutes saw both teams testing each other out with Dinnington having the slightly better of it.

Boro's Scott Raworth on the ball

Boro then started to create some good chances with both Nathan Emson and Matty Hall seeing efforts come back off the cross bar.

Beats the keeper but hits the bar

Luke Hands in the Dinnington goal also did well to turn another shot round the post and Boro hit the post in another attack. The game then saw few chances running up to half time but there was no doubt that Boro had had the better of the first half.

A Boro attack broken up

But all that hard work was undone at the beginning of the second half. A good move down the left hand side by Hoyland and Pearce saw the ball arrive at Reet's feet and he fired home with a good finish. This put Boro on the back foot and it was all Dinnington. After 72 minutes a defensive mix up left debut boy Dachi Khutsishvili clear on goal and he finished coolly to put Dinnington 2-0 up. Boro did rally late in the game but were unable to carve out many chances and there were no Cup dreams left at full time.

Programme cover

More pictures of Phoenix Park here.

There are more pictures of the ground, action and the fans here.

Dinnington Town 2-0 Grimsby Borough
Att: 38
Admission: £4
Programme: £1.00