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Saturday 4th March 2023 ko 16:45

North West Counties League Division One South



Att 367

Entry £5

Programme £2

As the sun set so the temperature fell. It didn’t take long for us to reach the car park at Birches Head Road from Foley Meir. That was a task made easier by some well thought out traffic marshalling by the Abbey Hulton volunteers . But I was aware the coach was struggling, picking its way along narrow lanes and we were getting concerned we might have to delay kick-off slightly. Craig and I dashed into the ground, expecting to have to make ourselves useful.  We didn’t, the club were completely in control and the coach arrived well before kick-off.

Abbey Hulton’s time in the North West Counties League has been brief; they have been present since 2017 and that includes two pandemic-eliminated seasons. The ground reflects that, it is a work in progress, although I’m bound to say that while the FA ground graders don’t like grass banking, they were popular here, not least with Robyn who could watch the game from the car, with the heater on!

Sometimes all you want as organiser, is a quiet life, and here we got it. Abbey Hulton were unconsciously competent hosts, to the point that in the hospitality cabin at half time they managed to help league officials conduct two cup draws; which they did with the minimum of fuss. I ended up wondering whether they took any advice from visitors Cheadle Heath who themselves were excellent hosts 3 years ago even with the additional burden of following a botched hosting. I suspect they didn’t, but the romantic in my hopes they did!

With plenty of respect from me from both sides, I suppose a draw was what I’d hoped for, but without winding up the types that hate nil-nil draws! Sadly that was the case, with the two sides utterly cancelling each other out. I shivered as I’m sure plenty of others did, and the game did little to warm the heart either literally or figuratively. 

Still, at least Robyn kept warm!