Tuesday 6th October 2020 ko 19.45
United Counties League Division One
MELTON TOWN 0
Hammond sent off 90 (violent conduct)
AYLESTONE PARK 2 (Preston 8 Beck Ray 18)
Holyoak sent off 90 (violent conduct)
I’ve always liked the idea of a football club being very much of its location, Miners Welfare teams playing next door to the pit being an example. That could also lend itself nicely to food too. I’m still amazed I couldn’t buy a hot chocolate at Cadbury Athletic for example or a real ale at Tadcaster ! But if ever there was a town whose famous foodstuff ought to be at their football ground it’s definitely Melton Mowbray!
By definition a Melton Mowbray Pork pie has a hand-formed crust and its filling consists of uncured pork, that has been chopped rather than minced. And given that Melton Mowbray is within the mandated area for the production of true Stilton cheese I reckon that’s the catering taken care of when the UCL hop reaches Melton Sports Village.
And that village is certainly an interesting place, albeit with a less than inspiring frontispiece. The ground is to be found at the back of Melton Sixth Form College on the Burton Road, and its the kind of place where there’s no end of car parking but the small area near to the football ground is invariably full! Nevertheless once you’ve paid your fiver the ground is well worth your attention.
This incarnation of Melton Town was established in 2004 and moved here in April 2016 after a spell at Asfordby. The ground could be seen as an expansion of a typically Leicestershire Senior League ground- featuring floodlights and little else ( as used to be necessary for their top division) But with elevation to the United Counties League the ground now sports a rather high quality seat stand. It may be only 4 years old but the ground does have character by the bucketload.
As, incidentally does the programme. My reputation amongst groundhoppers Leicestershire is seen as something off a “Bermuda Triangle” for matchday magazines so to get a neat, square, and newsy 16 page effort for a quid was appreciated; well done to Melton Town for having the chutzpah to try something different.
The game was played at as a local derby even if I couldn’t quite see it as one. Aylestone Park were quicker out of the blocks and won the game in the first 20 minutes, but after that the game took on a darker tone.
Now I will always try to support referees where I can but I’m afraid Aimee Kerr made one vital error, and that error haunted her for the rest of the game. Within a few minutes, a player from each side produced tackles that were both two-footed and out of control. They should have equally resulted in dismissals but were only punished by cautions. It needed a far stronger hand early on, and sadly that didn’t happen and so players learned they could get away with it.
It meant that for 70-odd minutes the game smouldered, with further poor challenges dotting the play and in stoppage time another poor challenge on Melton’s Laithan Hammond saw him sent off for his retaliation to it and Aylestone’s Holyoak for throwing a punch in the resulting melee. I’m bound to say all games are refereed by player consent, and there was precious little of that in evidence.
Rough, tough games are of course part and parcel of football and I suspect I won’t remember Melton Town for the game itself and more for the quirky yet characterful ground. I wonder how well Pork Pie would sell at the tea bar though?