Oxford Street, Rossington, Doncaster. 15/04/17.
Northern Counties East League, Division One. Easter Groundhop 2017.
Day three, match five of the Easter Groundhop. Today would see us closer to home with two fixtures in Doncaster, neither venues are new grounds for us but it is always nice visiting Rossington and Armthorpe. There is a third fixture this evening but Ken will be on his lonesome for the final Groundhop fixture, I am off to Sheffield to watch the final session of the Snooker World Championships, Day One. Coincidently, the game I am missing is Selby vs Penistone, I will be in Sheffield viewing another Selby as the World number one looks to wrap up his first round match against Fergal O’Brien.
It was great to return to Oxford Street; we had visited earlier in 2017, covering the Main vs AFC Emley match for The Bootiful Game magazine. My college students created an augmented reality feature and we found everyone to be so welcoming and happy to help. The crowd was slightly bigger for this match, I hunted down Chairman Carl Stokes and had a quick chat pre-match. Stokes had agreed for Dan to film the game again as we look to build his confidence and hopefully set him up for a Saturday job filming Rossington in the future. Dan set up in the gantry, this time joined by the club secretary who was more than happy to share his lofty vantage point with Dan. I left him to it, joining Ken just behind Rossington manager Chris Glarvey’s dugout. Glarvy and his assistant Ben Scott had been spot on back in February and welcomed us with a handshake and a brief chat before today’s game got underway.
Hall Road Rangers were the visitors, the club that have spent all season in the chasing pack and have slipped under the radar. If the games go to form, Hall Road look like they will be promoted, pipping both Pontefract Collieries and AFC Emley by a single point. They have been out of the headlines but have been consistent throughout the season. Rangers battered beleaguered Nostell 8-0 in their previous game to exert their title credentials over the Colls and Pewits, their final game is at Campion, I wouldn’t bet against another win.
After yesterday’s second half footballing masterclass by Pontefract, it was going to be interesting seeing Rangers for the first time this season. In all honesty, I was left uninspired. Victory by a single goal over Rossington in a game that Main should have got something from, typical of a team that is going to win things, the ability to win ugly.
The goal came from a penalty, Chri Spinks dispatching after Josh Batty was brought down clumsily in the box. It could well have been 1-0 to the hosts, Jason Stokes beating the offside trap and forcing superb save from Phil Dobson. Hall Road broke from the resulting corner and were rather fortunate as a fortuitous deflection landed in the path of the counter attacker. The rest was history and Hall Road won ugly, Glarvy was livid at full time as his boys had somehow lost against the champions elect. Glarvey had got the basis of a good little team, captain Shaun Pendleton is a great leader while off the pitch Main are certainly doing something right.