Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A day out in West Yorkshire

A nice couple of games lined up today. They formed the last two games of day 2 of the NCEL groundhop. As this was the Easter weekend and part of the A1 Motorway was shut. We decided to leave a bit earlier so as to arrive in good time at our first destination. As luck would have it, the traffic was quite light and we arrived with well over an hour to go till kick off. Better to be safe than sorry as they say. The journey went even quicker thanks to the dub Reggae banging out from the car stereo system.

  Liversedge 0-1 Arnold Town.

Liversedge have, in my view, one the of the most scenic grounds in the NCEL leagues (Not saying much i know but there you go) Although the approach to the stadium is little more than a dirt track that is only really wide enough to fit on car at a time down. There appeared to be two car parks with one for the "advance ticket holders" and one for the rest of society. As were were the first car to arrive we got directed right to the far corner of the car park which meant in all likely hood that  we would be one of the last to leave at the end of the game.
The ground is in a natural bowl so as you enter the turnstile block you get a good view over the whole stadium. Today admission was a bargain £5 which included a rather smart matchday programme. As a quick   look around the ground to take a few pictures we retreated to the warmth of the club house for a few pints before the match kicked off. The clubhouse was reasonably priced with two pints of Smooth and a pint of Fosters coming in at £7.70. Half of the clubhouse is segregated for the Sponsors and officials which makes the clubhouse quite small but its well decorated with pennants and old team pictures etc. Arnold tend to have a decent away support and quite a few were in the bar before the normal array of characters that make up the groundhopping community came ambling in for their third game of the day, most of them armed with their 3 year old carrier bags, note pads, and flasks.

I have seen Arnold play twice before today this season and both away from home (At Lincoln Moorlands Railway and Stavely MW) They were unlucky not to take all three points in Lincoln and pretty much took Stavely to the cleaners on their own pitch, which takes some doing. On paper it looked like an end of season match with nothing for either side to play for as both sides were in midtable with no chance of going up or down. Although i wasn't expecting a huge amount from the game i didn't expect it to be quite as bad as it turned out.

With the ground being in a bowl its pretty easy to get a decent view of the action. We stood near the corner at the end of the ground near to the snap hut and the executive entrance to the ground. As the crowd for this game was alot bigger than normal it would have been understandable if the players suffered from a little stage fright. As it was, neither side took control of the game and both struggled to string 3 passes together. Arnold created slightly more chances with the home keeper more happy to punch the ball away than try to catch it. In fairness to him it was raining a slight drizzle so maybe that's why he took this approach.

Whatever his reasoning his luck ran out a couple of minutes before halftime when he parried a long range shot which Arnold's Tyrone Burton slotted home from the rebound.
Sometimes when you get a goal late in the first half it opens the game up for the second half but not in this case. The only real action of note came when Liversedge missed an absolute sitter when one of their players headed over with the goal completely at his mercy from about 6 inches out. That pretty much summed up the whole match. Arnold held out pretty comfortably for the win which means the Eagles have taken 7 points from 9 in the games i have seen them play in this season.

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