Sunday, 17 September 2006

Another Disaster, Nine!

Goalmouth action at Clough Hall

Kidsgrove Athletic 0-0 Leek Town

My all-time favourite description of Kidsgrove records that this place is "happy to never be where the action is." This was never truer than today, local rivalry or none, with a big crowd and a sense of occasion initially promising better.

Leek's following, home or away, invariably comes packaged with a boisterous soundtrack. A collection of foghorns bellows "WHAT AN EMBARRASSMENT, REFEREE" and "ANOTHER DISASTER, NINE," at intervals of about five seconds throughout the match.

There's rarely any foul language here, as offenders this far down the pyramid can so easily find themselves the subject of a glare and a tap on the shoulder with the thermos flask or walking stick.

Indeed, the Kidsgrove number 9 looked rather overtaken by anxiety as he was taken off, chewing his shirt all the way to the touchline, just as my wobbly-headed two-month old sucks the top of his dungarees.

A brace of excellent saves by Kidsgrove keeper Matthew Conkie followed by the withdrawal of Leek's best players Adrian Littlejohn (what, THE Adrian Littlejohn?) and Alan Naginton, and that really *was* it. Oh, and a corner sometime in the first half, which you can see in the picture.

The two sides will replay on Tuesday night for the honour of taking on, oooh I don't know, could be Glossop North End or New Mills (if they're lucky.)

And so England's best cultural and sporting tradition fizzes on; as does a busy footballing fortnight for me, with Darlington travelling to the Gay Meadow new weekend. Plus some serious evenings of payback when Sammy's on to the bottle, I sense... ;-)

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