Troubled times at Reserves & Casuals
Hull Kingston Rovers' date with destiny...
I was very much looking forward to the trip to Church Warsop last Saturday. Not least because of the review by Sticky Palms which painted an inviting picture of the place (see link on my previous blog). In addition, despite the result at Parkhouse on our previous trip into Derbyshire, the prospect of another day out on the "Ezzie Fun Bus" was an enticing one.
In the event the day lived up to its billing - mainly because the 3-2 win gained was not only deserved and bloody hard-earned but it also allowed us to indulge in some welcome liquid-based celebration on the way home.
However, opponents Church Warsop Miners Welfare are a team I perhaps wouldn't want to play against too often; not if Saturday was anything to go by. Not that the Club itself is unappealing but the team's conduct on the pitch left a bit to be desired. The language and abuse hurled at opponents, match officials and even Club Secretary Judy ("Shurrup, gerrome and get dinner on duck!") lasted from almost the first minute to the last and was accompanied by an "attitude" that was different to anything experienced thus far.
Perhaps having put nine past Thorne Colliery the previous weekend served to convince the second-placed hosts that we were the next lambs to the slaughter. It was not to be as for the second week running we produced some scintillating football.
Similar to the Kinsley game, however, we infuriatingly let our opponents back into the game from a position of strength. Thankfully, and again similar to the league cup win, we had enough in reserve to pull through.
There has always been something about organised away trips that bring out the best in the team, whether it be 16 souls crammed together on a mini-bus as with last week or with slightly more rattling about on a 52-seater as in the old days of "Burt-on-Bus".
It's a given that such excursions increase the camaraderie amongst the members of the team. This is especially important with us at the moment given the several new faces finding their feet. The fact that the average age of the first team squad is so young is another reason why such trips work - there's only a few old gits like me on board concerned about whether we'll be home in time to see Alesha and Kristina on "Strictly".
Unfortunately, the Church Warsop Miners Welfare Club itself closed down some four months ago, prompting a jaunt into neighbouring Warsop for our post-match fare. Shamefully the name of the pub escapes me but this is probably down to the fact that the board outside advertised "Cask Ales" before offering no such additions to the "Slush Ales List 2009/10" inside. I suppose I could have had 'em under the Trades Description Act but the Strongbow alternative proved refreshing on another fine late-summer's day...and the scran on offer was again top drawer!
Our next such trip on Pete's "Riding School Express" takes us to Phoenix Sports - another team currently going well - in a fortnight's time. Before then we entertain South Normanton Athletic tomorrow afternoon.
Our visitors 'The Shiners' are a new club borne out of the remains of one that's already undertaken the Central Midlands route into the Northern Counties East League - only to bring about their own demise in 2007 due to lack of new blood as much as anything else.
They will arrive at Low Farm boasting a half-decent record on the road (including a point at Parkhouse) and faced by a United side once again forced into three changes due to absences.
These absences at First Team level obviously have an effect on the County League squads, which is a real shame this week as both are in need of a pick-me-up after poor starts to the season. The Reserves go to champions Howden Amateurs (unfortunately without Miss GB Gemma Garrett in their ranks as shown in this pic from their club web site ) looking to repair the damage inflicted on them by last week's 10-0 humiliation at Goole Goods Office. Fozzy has stepped up to help new manager Lee and assistant Dawsey try and restore a bit of belief but the thing the Stiffs need most is some extra quality through the ranks, following the loss of a batch of players who'd showed great promise in pre-season.
The Casuals are also on the road tomorrow. They're at Eastrington Village Reserves looking to atone for a 6-2 defeat at local rivals Withernsea last weekend, a result that saw former Ezzie Vinny O'Hara net against his ex-team mates (pictured above). The good thing about the Casuals, though, is that win, lose or draw, Maccer's men have a great approach to the game and are in it for the "craic" as much as anything else. Mind you, I don't suppose the Ginger one would want successive bottom placings in different divisions against his management CV come the end of the season??!
Elsewhere this weekend the Tigers go to Liverpool tomorrow with Sportstalk this week having been dominated by the "Brown Out" brigade. In typical Hull City fashion I now expect them to be celebrating victory at Anfield come 5pm tomorrow evening! Then at half-past five it's Rovers v Wigan for a place in the Super League Eliminator semi-finals. Manager Mack will therefore leave his post-match debrief at the Farm tomorrow to 'Nige' while he hot-tails it to Hull in an attempt to get to Craven Park some time before the half-time hooter sounds! I don't envy him. Neither do I really envy him having to endure the game live - it really is one of those "too close to call" affairs. At least by the time I've finished entertaining our visitors from South Normanton in the Neppy, the game will be well underway and my nerves will have been well lubricated...
See you in Phoenix!