Chelsea Transfer Target
Dec 22, 2018, 8:16 PM
Team(s): Not any more
Skegness Town 3 Armthorpe Welfare 1 (HT 1-1)
Northern Counties East League, Division One (3pm)
Programme £1 (16pp, covered the basics, decent colour pics)
Attendance 86 (per league website. I made it 95)
Didn't bother investigating refreshments
Skegness are finding their feet after an uncertain start to life in the NCEL. This was their fifth win in six league games. Deserved, too, considering four players were absent and they didn't have any substitutes. Three subs were named but the locals reckoned they weren't 'proper' players. Have to say I've never rated the bottom division of this league and, for the most part, this was characteristically scrappy stuff. A stiff breeze and a bumpy pitch didn't help.
The game had a lively opening. Tom Finley, unmarked at a corner, headed Armthorpe in front from 10 yards in the fifth minute. Two minutes later, a loose ball fell kindly to Joshua Morrall and from 25 yards the Lilywhites left-back cracked a low shot into the corner. Skeg's Will Britton was denied in a 21st minute one-on-one before Finley (47mins) headed wide when well placed. Out of the blue, I felt against the run of play, the hosts went ahead in the 68th minute. Armthorpe failed to deal with a cross from the left and Daniel Stevens, unpoliced, nodded past a static keeper from eight yards. Skeg, up to 13th, sealed victory with seven minutes of normal time remaining. The visitors were caught in possession on their left. James Wroot seized on the ball and from 20 yards smashed a beauty across the keeper into the far corner. Armthorpe lost their heads towards the end. A poor challenge on a Welfare player resulted in most of the players getting involved in pushing and shoving. Referee Colin Unwin didn't seem to know who had done what to whom therefore satisfied himself with lecturing both managers. Armthorpe picked up two bookings just before the final whistle for petulant fouls.
The pitch at the Vertigo (unnervingly, a scaffolding firm) Stadium isn't plastic but everything else is. Hardly a ground anybody needs to rush to. South of the A52 Wainfleet road (approaching Skegness via the Humber Bridge, I'd forgotten how dreadful Lincolnshire's roads are), it's at the west end of an older multi-sports complex accommodating an indoor bowling club, Skegness RUFC (two bare pitches) and Skegness Imps Junior FC (who use a floodlit cage with a plastic pitch). According to a plaque, the pavilion, the rugby and junior football clubs' clubhouse, was opened in 2010 by Skegness-born ex-England, Liverpool and Tottenham keeper Ray Clemence. I bet Clemence, who as a teenager earned money hiring out seafront deck chairs, was thrilled to escape this complete toilet of a resort. The fully enclosed Vertigo Stadium, in its second season, is adjacent to the rugby pitches. For a club Skegness's size it is a decent (albeit wholly functional) facility. The bar, hospitality area, kitchen and dressing rooms are housed in a nondescript building at the near (north) end. There are two kit stands (both offering a mixture of seats and standing) along the east side, with permanent dug-outs opposite. Hardstanding everywhere and the pitch is fully railed. Reasonable floodlights. Town's reserves play on a pitch immediately to the south. Located outside the Vertigo Stadium, it has hardstanding and railings. Plenty of free parking driving in off the main road. This yawn of a ground has one quirk: the rugby club's recessed kit stand juts into the gap between the stadium's stands. Doesn't assist football viewing! Noticeable how many spectators were old men. I guess Skegness, one of God's waiting rooms, is that sort of place.
Skegness's previous ground, Burgh Road, which I visited in April 2007 during the club's Lincolnshire League days, is now an Aldi supermarket.
That's me done with the NCEL until another new club is accepted.
(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Dec 22, 2018, 9:23 PM)