Saturday 20th April 2013 ko 10.10
Notts Senior League Senior Division
SELSTON 2 (Barnes 4 Moore 90)
WOLLATON 2 (Ranson 47 Ranshaw 82)
I’d stayed overnight in Long Eaton, so a 10.10am kick-off held no fears for me, particularly as my responsibilities added up to nothing more than turning up and watching the game!
The Ashfield-based village of Selston lies to the east of Nottinghamshire, and its leafy hilltop location was in contrast to our urban environs the previous evening. The local St Helen’s Church dates back to 1150 AD. An older Saxon church is thought to have occupied the site, the monolith in the church yard is evidence of this, and that may well have been of ceremonial importance for pre-Christian pagans in the area.
The football club play behind the Parish Hall, and I was impressed at the way the parking was organised as the street outside is narrow and the potential for a bottleneck both before and after the game was massive. Nevertheless the traffic management was excellent, and there were no delays even when leaving the ground.
The club clearly had decided on a tilt for organiser Rob Hornby’s hospitality award; a marquee had been erected and a local brewery had been invited to sell their wares. That proved to be interesting as the brewer Sarah Webster aka The Naked Brewer uses 13.5-tog duvets to warm her containers in her 5-barrel custom-insulated plant attached to her pub, the Corner Pin in Westwood.
Merchandise was sold and the bacon rolls were fantastic! Where the club fell down slightly was the vexed question of line-ups. Many hoppers, me included, like to jot down the line-ups before the game and the normal method of dealing with this is to get the club to use a flip-chart to record the information. For this hop the modus operandi was team sheets, but Selston printed theirs the night before, and they were inaccurate, negating the whole point of producing them. Still I found referee Andy Rolph enjoying a big cigar, and recorded the line-ups direct from the official paperwork and passed the information on to those interested.
It didn’t detract from a superb morning’s entertainment, with Wollaton hitting the bar after a mere 20 seconds! It didn’t take long for Selston to take command, and Richard Barnes slotted home from a good cross from the left. The trouble was that Selston failed to capitalise and the game got rather mired in ugly tackles and still uglier back-chat. In the final analysis Mr Rolph did well to keep 22 men on the field.
Of course if you don’t take your chances you end up paying, and Dave Ranson’s low finish after a good passing move was a real shock to Selston’s system. It got worse for them as Rich Ranshaw’s superb strike gave Wollaton a lead that looked barely credible 45 minutes earlier. And if Wollaton had carried on pressing, they surely would have won the game. Instead they tried to defend the last few minutes, and paid the price.
The Selston keeper Luke Wigley went up for a free kick from the right, and it was his scuffed header that Tim Moore managed to back-heel in to equalise. It was the last kick of the game. A choker for Wollaton, and a game that the hosts could have won, but fantastic entertainment for the bumper crowd.