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