Saturday, 15 September 2007

A Kick In The Bantocks - Bilston Town (2007) 3 Penkridge Town 2 - Sport Italia West Midlands League Division Two - 15/09/07

Bilston Town are a famous old name in Black Country non-league football, I can remember The Steelmen playing in the Southern League and my Dad remembers them having a couple of superb FA Cup runs in the late 60's / early 70's when both Halifax and Barnet were visitors to their Queen Street ground.
I have always liked Queen Street, it's a proper football ground, unfortunately it is in a...errr..well, not exactly posh area! Apparently it got broken into that often that the owner of the Social Club on the ground just used to leave a few cans out for the scrotes to pinch so they didn't get frustrated and trash the place. Unfortunately a combination of these break-ins and some alleged problems with money being owed by the last chairman (I say alleged because I was only over-hearing a conversation, I have no proof). Then there was the inevitable walk out of unpayed manager and players and another club folds, it's all so sad but we've all been here before.

But the Bilston name lives on, the latest reincarnation named Bilston Town (2007) have been given a lease on a pitch at Bantock Park just outside Wolverhampton City Centre, it's a glorious setting, 43 acres of greenery with a museum and gardens, Cameron can be seen posing in front of Bantock House with a ginger beer in the above picture. It was lovely in the gorgeous Indian Summer sunshine. The pitch is just a basic taped off parks pitch, someone from the council was erecting two gazebos to be used as dugouts and that was your facilities! Still, this IS only a temporary measure, Bilston hope to get Queen Street back into repair sooner rather than later and apparently there is some decent funding to try to move back up the pyramid. Let's hope so.


Luxurious home and away gazebos for the comfort of the substitutes.

And so to the game, Penkridge only had one point before this game and Bilston were coming into it fresh from last weeks 5-1 hammering of Black Country Rangers, so, a foregone conclusion then? Far from it, within a minute Penkridge were 1-0 up, and it was a lovely goal too, chipped over the goalkeeper and in off the far post. Bilston then pressed and went close several times but, as is the way sometimes, went 2-0 down, totally against the run of play but if you don't take your chances.


A bonus point for every type of tree you can name.

Fair play to Bilston though, heads didn't drop and they fought their way back, they always seemed to have plenty of pace up front and they used this to good effect. 2-0 swiftly became 2-1, a decent free kick bought them level and before half-time they were ahead, apologies for the lack of any real detail but I was playing Frisbee with Cameron and a couple of other lads so I didn't really see a lot!

I spent half-time cloud watching, something which can keep me occupied for hours, Cameron went off to play "Wembley" and I day-dreamed my way through a fairly turgid second-half in which Penkridge, playing down the slope, were the better team but were unable to get past the decent Bilston goalkeeper. This is as low as I have been in Pyramid terms but I would have no qualms in returning, there were no facilities, it was a parks pitch but I was surrounded by knowledgeable non-league enthusiasts who just want to see their team return to somewhere near their former glories, it may never happen but it won't be for a lack of trying.


Remind me not to let Cameron loose with the camera.

Attendance - Hard to tell with people wandering up from the surrounding park but of those that were obviously watching pretty much throughout I'd say around 35 - 40.
Programme - No
Refreshments - Lovely little cafe attached to Bantock House, who needs a burger stand?
Clouds - Spotted one that looked just like Elvis, he wasn't sitting on a toilet though.
Tamworth Watch - Drew 0-0 at home to Barrow, missed two penalties, apparently played better than last week but that is hardly difficult.

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