Thursday 10th May 2012 ko 6.30pm
Northants Combination Premier Division
WELDON UNITED 1 (Fraser 64)
RINGSTEAD RANGERS 3 (A Wells 10 Tarr 17 Coles 83)
Att 23 (h/c)
Played at Ringstead Rangers
Nothing for sale
To do this hobby well, you do need a good support group, and a lot of “Plan B’s!” This evening proved the point well. Plan A was Didcot Casuals at their Upper Thames Valley League ground, but Peter Hack phoned to say that was off. Then Chris Garner told me Lee West had found something in the Northants Combination, and it was Lee who’d discovered that Weldon had switched their game to Ringstead due to their own ground being waterlogged. Even as I headed north, Rob Tyler contacted me to tell me of another UTVL game at Saxton. James Rennie also let me know that he’d had a no-show at City Colts. So, its a big thankyou to all of you, without your help I wouldn’t have chalked up ground 1,300 tonight.
Ringstead is about a mile from Raunds. If you’ve ever visited that town, and travelled there on the A45 you use the same junction, but travel in the opposite direction. The village was once a home to a large gravel works, that’s now been turned into lakes, which must set off the local flower festival rather nicely. I doubt if anyone noticed when local resident Alf Roberts left his birthplace to set up a grocer’s shop in Grantham. I would imagine they might have, many years later when his daughter Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister!
The ground is found at one end of Gladstone Street, and is functional. There’s just the one pitch, but there are signs that cricket may have been played too at one point. There’s a changing room block rather touchingly built by, “Players, Committee and friends.” The pitch is roped off and cover is provided by was looked to be a shed!
It was obvious that Weldon are a Corby side, judging by the Scottish accents, and names! On this occasion they looked second best to a side that lost their keeper to a dislocated shoulder after an hour. At that point they’d done well to get back in contention after being blown away in the first 20 minutes, with a well taken goal from Sean Fraser. However they failed to force a single save from stand-in keeper Glenn Turner, and with all substitutes used, the 10 men of Ringstead went up the other end to score a third, David Coles forcing in at close range.
It was, in truth typical end of season stuff, rather lackadaisically refereed by Scott Dempsey. What he couldn’t keep up with he didn’t see, and what he did he often didn’t give. How he failed to give Ringstead a penalty early in the second half I’ll never know.
So, Ringstead joins my group of 100th’s. Amongst these are, Holbrook MW (500) Darlaston (800) Cardiff City Stadium (900) Newbridge (1000) Dobwalls (1,100) and Blackstones (1,200). Wonder where 1,400 will be?