Tuesday 8th May ko 6.45pm
Midland Combination Division One
KNOWLE (Johnson-Bereday 86p)
WEST MIDLANDS POLICE 1 (Hitchmough 82) Nurse missed penalty 53
Att 21 (h/c)
The village of Knowle is pretty much adjacent to Solihull, on the fringes of the West Midlands conurbation. It really is a classic case of leafy suburbia with its smart houses, pretty church and library in a Tudor built house. The club is in Hampton Lane, and has the usual problem of clubs in these environs; they cannot get floodlights. The latest set of plans are there to be seen in the clubhouse, an Abacus 6 pole set is the plan, but the club are already hearing the lame excuses, ” Green Belt” “The neighbours” and so on. You wouldn’t think that this country had an obesity problem would you?
This division is the highest that clubs in the area can compete in without lights, and the club took voluntary relegation when the costs of a groundshare with Studley became too high. Not that a return to Hampton Road was too much of a bind, as there’s much to love here. All accommodation, save for the dugouts is on the far side, and this backs on to a cricket ground behind, There’s a homely clubhouse, where this evening a young lady was working on a photographic project on Olympic Sports. She got her equipment hit by a stray ball on arrival, but worse still was her choice of guinea pig for a test shot!
I was far more interested however in, of all things, the goalposts. I’m no connoisseur of such things but these were obvious non standard. I asked a club official, and it turns out they’re well over 40 years old, and better still are sunk 4 feet into the ground, and concreted in! As he put it, ” Try nicking them!”
It all rather made up for the game which was typical end of season fayre. On a difficult pitch neither side made much impression although the Police had marginally more possession. They forced a penalty, given on the insistence of the linesman when keeper Shaun Edwards brought down Richie Adams. However he did well to save Ste Nurse’s spot kick. Police did score, after I’d long since written off this one as a nil-nil, substitutes Danny Hitchmough and Rob Gray combining well for the former to fire home from 6 yards. As is so often the way Knowle raised their game and Jonathon Jackson-Bereday dusted himself off to level up the game from the penalty spot after being hauled down.
Honours correctly even for this one, and a club and ground I’d recommend to anyone wanting an antidote to bland identikit stadia. Just get their early and explore, including those goalposts!