Didsbury or Doncaster?

Well Saturday rolled around again & with that the FA Cup campaign started all over again. So the only thing to decide was where to go for the extra preliminary round? West Didsbury were at home which is only about half hour away or we could take a train over to Doncaster to watch Glossop North End play Armthorpe Welfare…. Doncaster it is then!

A new season & new transport as little Droylsden is now connected to the big bad world via a light railway system or “a tram” to you & me. Every 12 minutes one of these shiny new yellow metal monsters sets off on its way to the city centre & stops at Piccadilly station which is an ideal way for us to start & finish one of our ventures, no more jostling with drunks in Piccadilly gardens for a decent place in the que for the bus :-)

Rhino – “How come we’re going to Doncaster? What’s the matter with staying on the tram to Didsbury?” I suppose It did seem a bit strange as a few of our 30 teams had home ties today and yet we we’re on our way to Doncaster :-)  “why not?” I told the big fella, “if you’re going out for the day then you might as well go out-out!” whatever that means???

After purchasing the usual Greggs coffee from the station the big fella then approached a very nice young lady called Anna who was working at a juice bar and asked for a bit of extra sugar for his hot beverage, unfortunately she didn’t have any but that didn’t stop him from trying to talk her into parting with something for nothing! However, she did look a little concerned when the Rhino offered to bash out his rendition of “Jungle is Massive” in an attempt to drum up business for the little bar!

I felt duty bound to rescue the poor mare & whisked the big fella away to platform 6 for the 12.20 to Doncaster. £12.55 each for a day return and although the train was a little crowded until we arrived at Sheffield, it took just over an hour to reach the famous South Yorkshire town and lots of people were all dressed up in their Sunday best as today was also race day in Doncaster.

We quickly found the bus stop for the 81 / 82 frequent service to the ground thanks to my new favourite App but the Rhino (who has no faith in my new App & the fact the driver seemed clueless) decided to enlist the help of a local chap to make sure we was on the right service & also where to get off. A bit of “lost in translation” had to be overcome with the word ‘two’ sounding like ‘toe’ plus a few others that are hard to put into text, plus the bloke’s wife seemed fairly keen on him not to talk to us? but i’m pretty sure that had something to do with me asking her if she was out spending all his money? lol they don’t like spending money them Yorkshire folk :-) other than that we were on course for the game & in plenty of time.

20 minutes or so later we arrived at Church Street with the welfare ground just a few yards to our right and a big pub called the Wheatsheaf even closer to our left. We headed down the little alleyway, paid the £5 admission but forgot to buy a programme! By the time I went back for one just after kick off of course they had sold out and the guy told me I should have bought one on arrival? Maybe he should have offered me one when he was taking all my change off me for the golden goal, raffle etc… lol.

First visit to the welfare ground and it’s not a bad little place at all. The pitch was in pretty good shape, as most are at this time in the season and the main stand looked a solid, well built & clean place to sit.

Glossop had brought a good traveling support with them of about 30+, they were hard to pick out at first as the Hillmen’s club colours are exactly the same as Armthorpe’s. fortunately the away fans were very vocal and in fine voice as kick off loomed & as the ref called the captains together for the obligatory hand shake & coin toss the teams changed ends which sent the Glossop Army scuttling from behind the goal to our left to the empty stand behind the goal to our right, now we could easily tell who was who :-)

Of course it was a lot easier telling the difference between the 2 on the pitch with the visitors wearing their tangerine shirts & black shorts away strip and it was the visitors who started much the better team. Just 3 minutes in when the first shot on goal went just inches over much to the relief of Richard Watson in the Armthorpe goal.

Glossop carried on creating more chances as the half grew on and finally made the breakthrough just after 20 minutes when Nathan Neequaye slotted his shot past the outstretched Watson to nestle just inside the far post to give the visitors a well-deserved lead. Armthorpe did have a good 10 minute spell of possession during the half but Glossop finished strongly as we reached the break and held their lead. HT. 0-1.

Half Time means pie time for me & the big fella so off we went to Welfare’s very well named tea hut, the “Welly Boot” :-) the Rhino ordered the first Bovrils of the season and a couple of tasty looking pies.

I went for the meat & potato with peas & gravy option and very nice it was too! The big fella sat down with a steak & kidney and we both agreed that the Welly Boot offerings were more than adequate :-) the Bovril was granules as well, which always puts a smile on the big fella’s face but not as much as the young ladies serving today who have to be the nicest we’ve seen for a long time :-)

Back to the action as the second half gets underway with Armthorpe on the offensive after what must have been an encouraging half time team-talk, the visitors sat back to try and soak up the pressure but 10 minutes into the half the home side had the chance to equalize with our first penalty of the season when Alex Byrne was adjudged to have brought down Callum Smith inside the area and Jonathan Mirfin made no mistake with the spot kick to level the game. 1-1.

Glossop reacted positively and went ahead again just 5 minutes later with the goal of the game when Lee Morris picked the ball up in midfield and dribbled his way past 3 defenders on his way into the box before picking out his spot to beat Watson on his near post. 1-2.

A decent cup tie was unfolding as the game went on with the ref playing his part too letting a few things go here & there in an attempt to keep things flowing. We were joined by fellow football tweeter from just up the road Tony Greenall mid-way through the second half & as I turned to talk to him I noticed one of those tight-arsed gits you see at non league grounds who blatantly watch the game from a vantage point outside the ground rather than spend a few quid to come inside! You know who you are!!!

We chatted with Tony about various grounds we’ve both been to while listening to the Hyde game on 26nil as well as watching the game in front of us, and who said blokes can’t multi-task? lol :-)

In the closing minutes of the game it was looking like Glossop would hold on and come away with a close 2-1 win but as ever in cup football the home side pushed hard looking for another goal to level the game & force a replay but that also means leaving holes at the back. 2 goals in as many minutes for the visitors as Tom Bailey & man of the match, Nathan Neequaye exploited the thread-bare home defence to give us a final score that doesn’t really reflect what a close fought game this actually was. FT. 1-4.

We had A couple of beers over the road in the Wheatsheaf while waiting for the barmaid to put the Swansea v Man United game on only to find out off the Landlady that they only show games on the BT Sport channel not Sky so we went for the bus back to town to catch the second half in a pub closer to the station.

The Rhino said that Doncaster looked like one big wedding reception as the bus picked its way through the town streets, all the pubs we passed had people outside that were all suited & booted fresh back from the races that day. All the women had long frocks on and most had some sort of head-wear and I’m quite partial to a woman in a nice hat :-) so we stayed in the pub just outside the station with a few of these race lovers until our delayed train was due.

No wonder the train was over 30 minutes late! I’ve been on football special services in the 80’s that were better than this! Gawd knows what happened on its way from Cleethorpes? I won’t go into graphic detail as to what was swimming around all over each carriage but considering this trains final destination was Manchester airport I’m pretty sure the holiday makers aboard were even less happy than us considering that all of the toilets were out or order as well……. IT STINKS!!!

About an hour or so later we were on a cleaner and much sweeter smelling tram back to Droylsden and it’s only a 2 minute walk from the tram stop to the Sweaty SS…. Happy days :-)

No cup action next week but as it’s the bank holiday weekend we have plenty of footy to go to but where to go? The big fella come up with a rather good idea… “why don’t we let Chilli decide?”

Bank Holiday Weekend Round Up…

Avid follower of this blog- John “Chilli” Reyes had a ‘free’ Saturday the following weekend, normally he spends his spare time having his photo taken outside various RBS branches from around the country for some reason? But this weekend he wanted to come to a game with us :-)

The Rhino sent him a small list of fixtures, told him to pick one out & we would meet him there but he must have struggled with this difficult task and Mrs. Reyes came to the rescue picking out Abbey Hey v Silsden in the North West Counties premier league. Mrs R. dropped our bank-hopping pal off at the Abbey stadium but didn’t come in herself which was a shame as me & the big fella was looking forward to meeting the brains of the Reyes household for the first time :-)

We had a good day out with Chilli and the game was pretty good too with Abbey Hey coming from a goal down to win 2-1. On our way back to the SS we called in at the Pig & Ball Bearing for a swift half and to see if we could talk Chilli into bringing his missus to a charity match at Ashton United the next day.

Me & the big fella have become involved with a local family who are raising money to send a 5 year old little lad with cerebral palsy to a hospital in St. Louis USA for a vital operation he needs so he can stand on his own for the first time, he’s a smashing little fella who always has a smile on his face & I don’t want to start ranting about how his own government or health service should be paying for this operation (even though I really, REALLY want to) instead we just give what we can when we can, hopefully you can too! :-) check out all about Marley & maybe donate a few bob on his just giving page here Thank You x :-)

The weather was quite nice for a change at Ashton United which is very unusual for a Sunday in Manchester especially a bank holiday weekend. On the pitch Marley’s all-stars (a local pub team Marley’s dad plays for) were taking on former players from MCFC while off the pitch the big fella was spending all his beer money on raffle tickets, name cards & guess how many sweets are in the jar lol he even told the young girl selling tattoos that he would only buy one if she chose where to stick it! So that was him with a big fairy stuck on his forehead for the rest of the day :-)

The game itself wasn’t too bad as it goes, I didn’t recognise any of the “former players” although I’m told ex-City legend Peter Barnes was in the bar. Marley’s boys took the lead in the first half but an equaliser from the blues made it level at the break.

I didn’t see much of the 2nd half as I was far too busy dragging my girlfriend away from the local firemen who had turned up to let the kids play on their fire engine for the day. I know Marley’s boys scored another 2 but when the blues were awarded a late penalty I was fairly sure it was to make the final score 3-2 but I’m told the game finished 3 all as an earlier disallowed goal for the blues was given by the linesman.

Either way, it was a good day out for all who attended & a few hundred quid was raised for a fantastic cause which still leaves the final total needed a long, long way off :-( The big fella emptied one of the collection buckets into another one & put the empty bucket in the pie hut saying “I’ll need that tomorrow…. Ashton are at home to Droylsden & I’ll twist a few arms to raise a bit more” difficult to argue with him when he’s in that mood lol :-)

Next day true to his word there we were for the Northern Premier game between Ashton United & Droylsden and the Rhino was pretty much “mugging” people as they came in! he had also recruited the young girl who had tattooed him the day before to do a bit of collecting during half time and a further £53 was raised for Marley on the day :-) well done that man……. & Chloe x

On the pitch wasn’t so good for the Bloods even though they took an early lead when Dom Silveiro picked up on a loose back pass in the 3rd minute to put the visitors 0-1 up, the only shining light for Droylsden on the day as it goes :-(

It seemed really strange watching an Ashton side who now have Droylsden stalwarts John Hardiker & Carlos Logan in their ranks as well as long time Droylsden keeper Paul Phillips who is not only the Ashton No. 1 but also joint manager of the team! Was it only 3 years ago little Droylsden were on live Monday night football on ESPN playing Leyton Orient? Well you wouldn’t think so if you went to see them now, relegated from the conference north last season the Bloods are now 2nd from bottom in the northern prem with just one point from their opening 3 games :-(

It only took 5 minutes for the home side to level things up when Chris Denham hit a sweet, dipping half-volley set up by Hardiker! Denham went on to stand out for the rest of the half and was involved in Ashton’s 2nd and 3rd goals in a totally one-sided game and the Bloods seemed relieved to hear the half time whistle & slumped off 1-3 down.

No improvement at all from Droylsden in the 2nd half and Ashton looked like they were playing in a training session rather than a league game restricting the Bloods to only a couple of half chances throughout the second 45. Ashton’s man of the match Chris Denham was pushed in the back & went down in the area on the hour and Gary Gee stepped up to dispatch Ashton’s 4th goal of the day.

The game fizzled out without any further real action, well apart from Droylsden defender Daryll Grant blocking a howitzer of a shot at point blank range with his face! Ashton took their foot off the gas and the Bloods come away without anything again L FT. 1-4.

Back to the FA Cup for our next game as we’re off to Atherton for the Colls v Radcliffe Boro’ it promises to be a goal-fest with the Colls at home & riding high in the league while Boro are routed to the bottom of the Evo north & leaking goals for fun!

Until then Blog Buds……. :-)



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