Tuesday, 11 September 2007

There Is A Predictable Headline Not Far Away - Greenhill 0 Castle Vale JKS 6 - Jack Mould Cup 1st Round - 11/09/07

To start my midweek football fix this season I decided on a new ground and two new teams. I don't know why I haven't been to Beeches View before, I have just never got round to it. Right let's lay some ground rules here, yes I am a non-league enthusiast, and yes I know a bit about the local non-league scene, but if you come here expecting loads of facts and figures about the games I go to then you will be sadly disappointed!

1. I have no idea what the Jack Mould Cup is, I know from Google that Wernley Athletic won it last season, and I found on the wondrous Football Club History Database that there used to be a Worcestershire Combination Club called Jack Mould's Athletic, and that's about it, sorry.

2. I know very little about Greenhill. They are one of those clubs that just seem to appear from nowhere in the lower divisions of the Midland combination and hang around for a while before disappearing back into amateur or Sunday league football, but I am probably doing them a disservice.

In fact I know I am because despite my ignorance they are a wonderfully welcoming club, they groundshare with Cradley Town at the aforementioned Beeches View, which is definitely NOT an easy ground to find. Myself and my mate and driver for the night Dave Woodhall spent a while wandering around a Cradley Heath housing estate before suddenly finding ourselves in open countryside and farmland. Knowing we had gone too far and thinking we had somehow teleported to Wales we doubled back and as quickly as we were in trees and fields we were back in the middle of houses! Truly bizarre really! Anyhow we made it before kick off and set about counting the crowd. It looked good for a single figure attendance for a short while, something Woodhall obsesses about, his lowest ever is 6 and he'd love to beat it, but more people drifted in, possibly because this is International week and there are no games on the telly tonight.

A view across Beeches View and the glorious countryside of...err...Cradley Heath!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that a programme was available so I snapped one up and walked around to the ramshackle little red and black painted stand on the right hand side as you look from the entrance, there is a larger stand (The Alfabet Stand according to the sign on the roof) at the far end but no one had bothered to walk that far. One thing that did stand out was that the away dugout was on the opposite side of the pitch to the home dugout. Saves all those niggly arguments I suppose. We had just about sat down when Castle Vale opened the scoring with a superbly taken lob over the goalkeeper from about twenty yards out. And if we thought that was good then Vale's second will take some beating no matter how many games I go to this season, it was an absolute screamer from fully thirty yards which even did that nice little trick of getting lodged in the stanchion as it arrowed into the top corner, marvellous stuff and less than ten minutes gone!

There was only one team in it throughout, although Castle Vale were unable to extend their lead before half-time. I missed their third as I was still in the tidy clubhouse, watched them walk in a fourth, missed the fifth because we were leafing through a found copy of a Cradley Town programme before seeing Vale wrap up a comprehensive victory with a well taken sixth. Bloody good entertainment for the free admission I must say.

To me Castle Vale JKS look too good for the level they are at (Midland combination Division 2 or level 8), they may well be a team that have come through the junior ranks together (JKS are a community club with a full range of junior teams), they have a lot of talent in their ranks judging by this performance, it could have been double figures and Greenhill couldn't have had many causes to complain.

Finished off the night with a swift pint in the Bull and Bear near Halesowen and got home to see that Tamworth had somehow managed to get themselves knocked out of the Birmingham senior Cup 2-3 at home to Sutton Coldfield, ho hum!

Price - FREE!!
Programme - £1, love the scratchings adverts.
Attendance - 27 (head count)

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