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Saturday 12th April 2014 ko 12.50

Notts Senior League Senior Division

RUDDINGTON VILLAGE 0

BOOTS ATHLETIC 1 (Bonnick 58)

Att 319

Entry £3

Programme £1

Team Sheet 20p

Badge £3

The trip from Wollaton took the cavalcade over Nottingham’s Clifton flyover, where for Rob Hornby his groundhop organising started, the famous 5-games-in-a-day Central Midlands hop where in 2004 Bilborough Pelican, Dunkirk and Greenwood Meadows were the meat in a Graham St Prims and Sandiacre Town sandwich!

From there it is was a very short drive to Elms Park in the pretty village of Ruddington, and my first impression of the place was that an awful lot of cars were doing U-turns! The reason was that in with the prepaid ticket was a set of instructions on how to get to the ground, but the club had decided to make that entrance for players and officials only! Cue a quick volte-face and an entirely sensible trip to car park on the 2nd XI pitch which allowed a surprisingly quick exit afterwards.

The club were easily the best on the hop for catering, and the vegetarians who’d lost out on breakfast at Wollation tucked into their baked potatoes and cheese with relish. My cheese filling had chilli too, its always good to have choice in these things! The team sheets proved as popular as ever, but this game saw the start of a running theme of inaccurate team sheets, completely negating the point of producing them. Here the inaccuracies were minor, Starbuck was printed as “Starduck,” and Gaz Willows wore 17 not 12, but the final two games saw more glaring errors. I’ve included my records, complete with Tippex if it helps anyone!

Hot potatoes helped stave off the cold, but unfortunately the players treated the ball like one of the hot spuds on sale. There was much endeavour but no one to slow the game down in midfield, and pass the ball effectively. Chances came and went, victims of players snatching at opportunities that deserved more care. Goalscorer Anton Bonnick was a case in point, scoring with a difficult chance, then missing a straightforward one afterwards and being quickly withdrawn afterwards.

The defeat was hard on Ruddington, a draw would have been fairer, but my trained eye spotted a well thought out and executed operation, one that will gained the club a good pay-day. and for that they’ll have the likable man from Mansfield to thank.