Friday, 12 October 2012

Deano's day on the Farm

Saturday 15th September
ERCL Division 1
Easington United Reserves 2 Walkington 2
ERCL Division 4
Easington United Casuals 2 Kings Head Hedon 2
This was the day Dean Windass finally made his Low Farm debut.  How he must have longed for this occasion, ever since he was forced to withdraw from an Ex-Tigers game here a couple of years back due to “other commitments”.  Let’s face it, what else is there for you to achieve in football when you’ve scored the winning goal for your hometown club at Wembley, the “Sixty Million Pound Goal” that secures top flight football for the first time in their history?  Why, to play at The Farm Of Dreams of course.  And this he did.  For Walkington.
Yes, Walkington.  Formerly The Barrel Walkington thanks to the sponsorship of a local hostelry, the club from the picturesque village once famous for Ernie Teal and his Hayride now boasts one of Hull City’s favourite sons in its ranks.  And, if rumour is to be believed, Mr Windass will soon be (or already has been) joined therein by a certain Bryan Hughes and Ian Ashbee.  Wow!
The pull this Division 1 club has over such luminaries probably comes down to their manager.  Leigh Palin was one of the first players I can recall interviewing for City fanzine ‘From Hull To Eternity’.  It was conducted in the old Sherlock Holmes pub on Baker Street, which perhaps tells you all you need to know.  Leigh Palin – gifted footballer, amiable chap, ale-cart and a man currently reassembling a midfield good enough to grace the Championship…in Walkington.
Deano’s anticipated appearance had helped swell the Low Farm attendance to 62.  This was almost three times last season’s average for Reserves games and bigger than many CML gates.  It helped give the game a real sense of importance.
Both sides had opened with a win.  The Stiffs had triumphed 3-1 at Hodgsons Reserves despite Gav taking just the bare eleven to Beverley.  Meanwhile, Walkington had begun with an impressive looking 4-1 win over Wawne United Reserves.  It looked a decent game on paper.
One-nil down, two-one up!
And so it proved.  Both sides looked to get the ball down and play, with Deano orchestrating things for the visitors without ever really having to leave the centre-circle.  It must be terrific to be a youngster in the Walkington ranks at the moment.  Coached by one of the few gems of City’s Dolan Era and with another one playing – and encouraging – alongside you, there’s little wonder they appeared a confident bunch.
Still, we had the better early openings and Karl Hodgson passed up one excellent chance before Walkington took a first half lead, which they held to the break.
At half-time I wandered across the Ditch to catch some of the Casuals’ action.  Due to no referee being appointed, this game had kicked off several minutes later than the “main feature” and had almost ten minutes to run to the break.
On arrival, we appeared to be in the ascendancy although I soon learnt we were actually a goal down.  “Their keeper’s made two or three cracking saves”, said new signing Damon Ellis’s granddad – one of this season’s bright young hopes at Third team level…Damon of course, not his granddad!
“He is but ‘e needs to fill out a bit” was the older man’s view when asked if his grandson was enjoying it.  For today’s game he had the physical presence of Shane Keyworth alongside him to help counter a team that could play football but could also resort to other means if required.
I returned to the main pitch during half-time with the Hedon side still ahead.
The second half of the Reserves game began with the locals on the front foot and they deservedly levelled when the player/manager’s free-kick somehow found its way into the Walkington net.
Things got better.  A poor back-header was seized upon by Frosty who proceeded to round the keeper and slot home for 2-1.
Within the next ten minutes the game could have been settled.  Thommo saw one effort saved, Sam Gatti fired wide and Stu saw one cleared off the line.  I think we knew what was coming.
In fairness Walkington had also passed up a couple of decent chances before, with just three minutes left, Mr Windass delivered a corner which wasn’t dealt with and the ball was lashed home for 2-2.
Don't you just hate it when that happens...
Across the ditch, two late Shane Keyworth goals salvaged a point for the Casuals from two down to mirror the Reserves’ result.  I think both Gav and DC would’ve taken that at start of play.
A full report and Craig Stephenson's pictures can be found here.

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