Tuesday 15th November 2016 ko 19.45
East Midlands Counties League
ASHBY IVANHOE 7 (Thorogood 7 17 83 Own Goal 28 Cawley 31 L Edwards 39 D Edwards 51)
GEDLING MINERS WELFARE 1 (Slawson 50) C Winstanley sent off (DOGSO) 17
It was difficult to channel your inner Walter Scott when the traffic was this bad and the fog this thick. The town in Leicestershire certainly does seem to have an eye for the exotic named as it is Ashby-de-la-Zouch after the Zouch family who were granted ownership of the town following the Norman Conquest. Then there’s the Ivanhoe suffix from the Walter Scott novel set in the 12th Century castle here. The football does have something to live up to!
Ashby Ivanhoe moved to the NFU Sports Ground in 2013, after spending the entirety of their existence at Hood Park since they were founded in 1949. You can see why they moved in an instant. Whilst the new ground is still so obviously a former works ground, it’s fully enclosed with clubhouse, and a seated stand, which all was sadly lacking back at Hood Park. The move was borne out of a desire to progress.
The club were promoted from the Leicestershire Senior League in 2014, and look to have come a long way from my visit 5 years ago. Although they did have one issue this season that wasn’t of their making, someone stole the generator that powers the floodlights! One has been hired, and was due, apparently, to be returned at the final whistle!
The only trouble was that at times it was difficult to gauge just how much progress Ivanhoe have made! The first half hour was obscured by thick fog, so thick that the referee’s assessor made it quite clear he thought it should have been abandoned. The first time I had any inkling that Gedling MW had had a man sent off was Connor Winstanley trudged disconsolately back past the stand, to the changing rooms.
It’s clear that Gedling MW have real problems; second bottom with just 9 points from 18 games tells its own story, the fog clearing served to shine a light on Ashby’s disembowling of their visitors. It was a question of “How many” as soon as referee Simon Fradley flashed his red card.
Despite it being extremely one-sided it was an extremely satisfying visit. In part that was visiting a excellent facility, but mainly seeing how well this friendly club have progressed.