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Tuesday 9th May 2017 ko 18.30

Coventry Alliance Premier Division

PEUGEOT MILLPOOL 3 (Nesden 36 70 Kalu 68)

STOCKTON 3 (Grudzinski 45 R Cole 53 56)

Att 16 @ Henley College, Coventry

70 minute game

In recent years the FA Fulltime site has made the Coventry Alliance far more accessible to the occasional spectator, having all the information at your fingertips is a boon to the groundhopper. But with any low-level game you do have to build in the possibility of last-minute changes, and this game was a case in point. 

As perhaps you’d expect Peugeot normally play their home games at the Peugeot Sports Ground in Palatine Way, in south east Coventry. So I arrived, and the place is locked up, so that called for another friend of the groundhopper, the FA’s “Find a club” and I was fortunate that Robert Turrell’s mobile was switched on!

It transpired that the ground had been turned over to cricket, so the football team had been forced to hire a replacement pitch to get their remaining games played. So I blasted over to north-east Coventry to the back of Henley (Further Education) College, and immediately spotted the problem.

I have no idea why the referee chose to restrict the game to 70 minutes- there was no lack of light, but Peugeot had obviously been let down by whoever had handled the booking. There were posts and nets, I suppose we should be thankful for that, but the pitch hadn’t been marked for sometime and they’d neglected to provide corner flags.

I remember a game on the second Swedish Hop being played without corner flags to the amusement of those of there and the consternation of the chattering classes on a gossip forum. But having corner flags is essential so credit to Peugeot Millpool for being creative! I’ve not seen two traffic cones, a bucket or a bin used as corner flags but there’s a first for everything!

It meant we got a game, and while I can think of quite a few folk who would have taken one look at the bin and turned tail. It would have been their loss as the two teams put on a highly entertaining, if truncated game, Steve Nesden’s celebration with his son after scoring being a highlight.

It was one of the odder games I’ll see, but in the end all rather satisfying nonetheless.