Tuesday 21st May 2013 ko 18.30
Central Midlands League South Division
BILBOROUGH PELICAN 2 (Tarbotton 62 Andrews 90)
BELPER UNITED 3 (Wadsworth 23 Smith 29 Nicholls 85)
played at Pitch 2 Ron Steel Sports Ground, Lenton Lane, Nottingham
Entry & Programme £3
Nottingham’s Lenton Lane on the face of it isn’t the most prepossessing place, a narrow road, on a tight bend just off the Clifton flyover. It’s a place of a faceless hotel, albeit one owned by former Hi De Hi actress Su Pollard, and dull industrial units, but for groundhoppers it’s a footballing heaven.
Three adult clubs play here, nearest the bridge is Greenwood Meadows, then there’s Dunkirk FC, and at the end is Bilborough Pelican’s Brian Wakefield Memorial Ground. There’s more too, as nearest the entrance is Lenton Youth FC, and there’s Grove Farm now under the umbrella of the University of Nottingham, but home to many local league clubs. There can’t be many Saturdays where NO football is played on Lenton Lane.
That wasn’t lost on the Central Midlands League who in 2004 used the 3 clubs as part of a 5-games-in-day groundhop. They were the meat in a sandwich between Spondon-based Graham Street Prims and Sandiacre Town. With the 5 clubs now spread across several leagues that event is unlikely to be repeated, and so far no groundhop organiser has attempted the 5-game-trick again. There aren’t many places where its possible!
Pelican’s Brian Wakefield Ground is shared with cricket, and with that sport taking precedence there at this time of year, the club’s final fixture of the season was moved one ground down Lenton Lane, or as the crow flies, through the line of trees! The problem was that Dunkirk had a reserve game to complete, so they took the main pitch, relegating the nomadic first eleven game to the reserves pitch. It broke every ground-grading league rule, there wasn’t even a rail round the pitch, but the game got played.
The Belper substitutes commandeered the one dug-out, and chairs from the bar provided the home bench with somewhere to sit on a cold, wet and windy evening.
And to be honest it wasn’t the easiest game to watch, Belper clearly had a little too much for their hosts and 0-2 at half time was a fair reflection on what was a niggly, scrappy game. The second half saw Pelican claw a goal back but Belper soon re-established their two goal lead, and although Pelican scored in stoppage time an equaliser never looked on the cards.