Saturday 15th April 2017 ko 11.00
Northern Counties East League Division One
ROSSINGTON MAIN 0
HALL ROAD RANGERS 1 (Spinks 37p)
The procedure was well-worn. The alarm sounded and I immediately dashed to the hotel window to check it wasn’t raining. Whilst the weather wasn’t quite so much of an issue here as it was in, say the Carmarthenshire League it doesn’t half make your life easier when it’s dry. After the daily attempt to decimate Yorkshire’s pig population through bacon consumption we set our course for Doncaster which evoked memories of the Central Midlands League Hop.
So much so in fact we passed by the colliery village of Thorne where infamously the coach was parked on grass, and refused to move after the game. GroundhopUK’s briefing notes STILL prohibit parking the coach on anything other than hard standing.
The trip to Rossington evoked those days spent exploring the colliery sides of South Yorkshire. The club does have the distinction of being “Main” for two reasons. Firstly it’s the name of the former colliery, the pit wheel is half-sunk in concrete a few hundred yards from the Oxford Street Ground. The second is more esoteric, the ground lies near to the East Coast Main Line, you may not be able to see the trains, but you can certainly hear them thunder by!
For good reason the club are mighty proud of their home; as one of the committee put it, “Everything you see here, we did ourselves.” The result is a glorious hotchpotch of buildings that makes the football romantic love grounds like this, and Fratia Bucharest and merely respect the homes of Bayern Munich and West Ham United. Nothing quite matches, but who wouldn’t want a seated area with a ledge to rest your beer?
The game was hard-fought, as it should be, this win was the difference between Hall Road winning the championship and having to enter the lottery of the playoffs. But more than anything else it was a good start to our final day in the Northern Counties East.