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Wednesday 27th November 2013 ko 19.45

East Midlands Counties League Cup 2nd Round

GREENWOOD MEADOWS 2 (Spencer 45 91)

BORROWASH VICTORIA 3 (Thompson 90 105 Finlay 100p)

Att 31

Entry & Programme £5

Tea 70p

Pie & Chips £1.50 (what no peas?)

If I kept detailed records of where I’ve visited, Nottingham’s Lenton Lane would loom large. Its not the prettiest place in the world, a narrow road a sharp left from the Clifton flyover, with a hotel owned by former Hi-de-hi actress Su Pollard at one end, but to the groundhopper you find yourself returning time after time.

There are a multiplicity of football pitches, but 3 senior clubs call Lenton Lane home. At the far end is Bilborough Pelican, then there’s Dunkirk, and at the near end is Greenwood Meadows. In 2004 the 3 clubs were used as the meat in a 5-games-in-a day Central Midlands hop sandwich, a year before I started hopping!

With Fareham Town secretary Paul “Splodge” Proctor for company we reflected on just how much my lack of attendance on that hop has cost for me complete the set, whatever around 600 miles worth of diesel costs I’d imagine, plus the extra 200 miles involved in watching Pelican play on Dunkirk’s second pitch at the end of last season. click here

On arrival the principle issue was actually seeing a game, as only one floodlight pylon was working! It turned out that a bulb had blown, costing the club £400, but the offending pylon had to have the dead bulb isolated and the system allowed to cool, before it could all be fired up once more. It all looked a bit dicey for a while, but in the end all it cost the fixture was a 10 minute delay.

On a heavy pitch Greenwood absorbed a lot of Borrowash pressure, and hit their visitors with a real sucker punch through Carl Spencer snaffling the rebound following up his own shot on the stroke of half-time. It wasn’t to be the only sucker punch as with just seconds left at the end of the second half, Callum Thompson floated an exquisite free kick past Kurtis Hopkinson to force extra time.

It took a mere 19 seconds of extra time for the next goal, an erudite diagonal ball from the Greenwood midfield found Spencer clean through to slot past Charlie Mansfield. That was hugely harsh on the visitors, but they equalised from Marc Finlay from the penalty spot, and won the game with another gorgeous free kick from Thompson.

So if the financial cost of Lenton Lane outwith an organised groundhop is the cost of 3 journeys, then on the way home we discovered the true cost, in time. The road out of Nottingham was closed, as was the M69. It was worse for poor Splodge who had to contend with the A34 being shut too! Who said groundhopping is easy?!