Chelsea Transfer Target
Aug 31, 2019, 7:38 PM
Team(s): Not any more
Rowsley '86 1 Blidworth Welfare 1 (HT 0-1)
Central Midlands League, South Division
Programme £2 (28pp)
Attendance 31 (h/c)
Mug of tea 50p
Poor finishing cost Rowsley an emphatic win. The hosts, promoted last season and playing only their second game at this level, squandered three one-on-ones during the second half. They were the most glaring of several misses. Blidworth, turning in, I was told, their worst performance of the season, went ahead, against the run of play, in the 36th minute. Peter Stubley got free on the right side of the penalty area, and slid a low shot past advancing keeper Matt Rhodes. Rowsley's 58th-minute equaliser was a beauty. Clearing a free-kick into their box, Rowsley broke quickly. Jack Bradbury raced through the inside right channel before hitting a tremendous drive into the net. In the first minute of stoppage time, a Blidworth sub was red-carded for a horribly crude challenge. The apparently regular offender's victim was fortunate to escape injury. As usual with the Central Midlands League, there was more commitment on show than skill. Reasonable entertainment, though, on an afternoon that turned delightfully sunny after a couple of sharp, post-lunch showers.
This was my first football match in five months. During that period, spent watching cricket and rugby league, I'd almost forgotten about dissent toward match officials. Depressingly, it was present in spades this afternoon. Glad it's not just me irritated by such appalling behaviour. The parents of a Blidworth sub (not the guy sent off), standing next to me, reckoned it's getting worse every season. They said it's starting to spoil their enjoyment of games. Me, too. I'll be at rugby union next Saturday, and don't expect a repeat of the unnecessary nonsense I witnessed today. When football grinds to a halt, owing to lack of willing referees and assistant referees, maybe the penny will drop. But I won't hold my breath.
Over the years, I've done a lot of walking in the Peak District. Rowsley, just outside the National Park and scenically pretty ordinary, isn't a village I've bothered visiting for the purposes of that hobby. Low hills, cloaked with trees, provide a pleasant if unspectacular backdrop to the football at Rowsley's village rec home, yards from the lively Wye. It's a very basic ground. Spectators are allowed access only to the near touchline, which is roped off. Ramshackle wooden dug-outs, opposite, are the only permanent features. The dressing rooms/clubhouse, a small wooden hut, are 75 yards away, next to the rec's main entrance, by a tiny car park. This afternoon's late arrivals had to park on Peaktor Lane.
Rowsley's programme, a glossy, full colour 28-pager, available from the clubhouse, is one of the best I've picked up in the Central Midlands League. Not that the competition is too demanding. With crowds this low, however, one wonders why Rowsley bother.
(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Aug 31, 2019, 8:49 PM)