Thursday 29th September 2011 ko 7.15pm (although it actually kicked off at 7.30)
Leicestershire Senior Cup First Round
HIGHFIELD RANGERS 2 (Jamu 51 Patrocinio 54)
ST ANDREWS 5 (Williams 11 Trevor 20 Connolly 42 48 Preston 87)
Att 41 (h/c)
Another trip to Leicester, this time to Gleneagles Avenue, home of this decidedly Afro-Caribbean club who ply their trade in the top division of the Leicestershire Senior League. A bit of a do at the gate as I tried to pay for Lee and I with a tenner, to discover that the gateman had precisely no change, it set the tone in a way…
The ground is typical of the league, railed, floodlit (but with quite a few bulbs missing), cover but no seats. There’s a decent enough clubhouse, and to be honest I’d have written off the whole thing as an unremarkable “tick” but then I found the echoes.
For a start this is the club that nurtured a young Emile Heskey before he moved on to Leicester City and stardom (of a sort). On gaining the teams I visited the officials room, and on the way discovered the quite wonderful graffiti-style art hidden to most. Add to that the visitors’ manager, Clem Dublin, Deon’s younger brother and you have a demonstration of the power of the community football club.
St Andrews are having a good season one level above Highfield, in the East Midlands Counties League and claimed a notable FA cup scalp of St Neots the previous weekend. Trouble is they had 9 out injured for this encounter. Nevertheless they soon rattled up a substantial lead, and then well you’ve read the script, they tried to sit on it. And Highfield gave it a real go, two goals in quick succession, and if one shot had have been just an inch or two lower, who knows……