Tuesday 13th October 2015 ko 19.30
Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division
G.N.G. 1 (R Gill 30)
DUNTON & BROUGHTON RANGERS 1 (Weaver 11)
One day an ethnically-based club is going to encounter a group of hoppers, maybe even on an organised event, and they are going to make a massive impression (and profit) from simply being different. Let’s look at that idea for a minute; some of my non-footballing friends express surprise that over 1,700 grounds into this odyssey I can still give them details of the vast majority of the places I’ve visited. They expect them to have merged into one generic footballing soup, and to some extent I’ve surprised myself that so far it hasn’t happened.
Writing and photography has helped, that process of looking for the differences rather than the commonality of it all allows you to compare, contrast and aid your memory. I thank my former self every time I poise my fingers over the keyboard that I never allowed myself to write to a formula, or God forbid write before I’ve even visited the place!
G.N.G. are based in Leicester and are a Sikh-based club, the G.N.G. stands for Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Guru Nanak being the founder of their faith. Unlike their virtual namesakes Guru Nanak FC in Gravesend there’s little or nothing to give an indication of their background.
They share the Riverside Football Ground with Leicester City Women, and as well-appointed though the facility is, I found myself hankering after some, well, flavour. Even the anticipated samosas didn’t arrive, and when you fancy one of those, chips just don’t quite cut the mustard do they? Still I learned more about Bhangra from 30 minutes sat in the bar than I ever did beforehand!
On the pitch the game was far more interesting than the form book suggested. The visitors came into the game having lost all seven league fixtures, with a goal difference of minus 26. It was, therefore a surprise when they took the lead, Neil Weaver taking advantage of poor defending at a corner, but after that the game saw more or less continuous G.N.G. pressure.
I’m sure I’ve written before along the lines of “Profligate finishing,” but this game was far more about the brilliance of Craig Coombs in the visitors’ goal. He pulled off save after save, and was only beaten when Ricky Gill swept home from a corner. It got to a stage where whilst on the balance of play G.N.G. deserved to win, but you couldn’t begrudge Coombs the point he earned his team.
It was a great rearguard action and a fine game to watch, but as I left I still hankered after those samosas….