Tuesday 18th October 2011 ko 7.45pm
West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Divsion
GORNAL ATHLETIC 4 (Martin 13 Nicholls 29 J Dale 36og Nisbett 48)
BUSTLEHOLME 2 (Seaman 33 J Dale 50p)
Att 64 (h/c)
Cheesy Chips £1.50
When I mentioned to a few hopper friends that I was visiting the Garden Walk Stadium, they assumed it was for a revisit! Its wasn’t, and the reason for their surprise was that Gornal’s ground, in the heart of the Black country, is reckoned to be close to groundhopping porn.
That’s mainly becuase the ground is cut into a slope, providing the means for a substantial terrace for a club plying their trade 6 promotions from the football league. There’s a small covered stand opposite too, with the Directors’ box cordoned off with the frame of an old bed! When you look at the floodlights, you spot that one is slightly shorter than the others, as it is in fact, a mobile phone mast. So yes, its everything that I’d been told, but I’ll remember this visit more for the game!
That’s partly because the Gornal manager Ian Rowe was also sat in the “new stand” on the terrace side. He’s serving a touchline ban, but was easily able to communicate, with his bench in front. And whilst Gornal were far too strong for their visitors, Rowe was not a happy man. Not just due to the obvious frustration at being away from his natural territory, but in the manner of the win. Gornal could, and should have won this by far more, and to nil. Bustleholme, having lost a forward to injury in the warm-up, looked devoid of ideas, and possessed a defence that was to be polite, porous.
So after 30 minutes and you’re 2-0 up, you do what Rowe said at the time “Crack on lads, ” and improve the goal difference, but Seaman was allowed to run through unopposed to reduce the arrears, and although Perks’ excellent cross was turned past his own keeper by James Dale to restore the two goal cushion, it was clear that on another day, against better opposition, Gornal would have been in trouble.
Opposite us, in the “bedstead” stand around 15 young lads shouted their support for the Peacocks. You don’t see this often enough, the game near the base of the pyramid can often be populated by the elderly, so it was good to see if not hear them! They were bright enough to reserve doing the Poznan for the immediate aftermath of a goal!
The tricky, skillful, yet indisciplined forward Nisbett finally got the goal his dash had suggested, but again Rowe was cursing more or less straight after as at Bustleholme’s first corner, noone bothered to mark centre-half James Dale, and he fired home, to even up his account for the evening.
And that rather summed up the evening. I expect Gornal to be there in the promotion shake up at the end of the season, but Mr Rowe will have his coaching skills tested to cut out the silly errors.