Wednesday, 30 July 2008

To Boldmerely Go - Boldmere St. Michaels 1 Walsall 2 - Pre-season Friendly - The Trevor Brown Memorial Ground - 30/07/08

I exchanged the missing Tesco Bag For Life for a similar one from Morrisons for this sojourn to the leafy suburbs of Sutton Coldfield, I'm not sure if this makes me any less sad, maybe a slightly posher version of sad? I reckon I added to my sadness quotient by dropping a copy of a history of Britain's railways into the bag before setting off though. Well I needed something to read on the tram and the train, what could be better? I made up for it with a superb pint of Bathams on the way into Birmingham though, The Lord Clifden is rapidly becoming my favourite pub, it's sun-trap of a beer garden is an oasis in this industrial part of Brum near The Jewellery Quarter. It's even got some Banksy Artwork, how cool is that?

Boldmere's ground is named after an ex-chairman, it was once just plain old Church Road, the road on which it sits and the church that the St. Michaels name comes from, I'm a bit perturbed about the lack of an apostrophe of course. Shame they never managed a sponsorship deal with M&S as well. I'm waffling now.

True to form this season I assumed that the game would kick-off at 7:45, and so timed my arrival to perfection knowing that there is a distinct lack of watering holes on that stretch of The Chester Road, and so it came to pass that the game actually kicked off at 7:30 and I missed the first few minutes!

So yet again I am finding myself sidling up to someone to ask what the score is, only to be met with a surly "F*ck knows, I've been on me mobile." Suitably chastened I slunk off to the far end of the pitch and just assumed it was 0-0, which if the rest of the first half was to go by was a reasonable assumption anyway.

There was a very intriguing game of bowls going on next door (see right for an action shot), the bloke in the blue seemed to be winning.

Boldmere's ground can definitely be described as "tidy", they play in the Midland Alliance, a league where I've probably been to 90% of the grounds, this one is just so much nicer than most of them, it puts many a Southern League ground to shame. It does have a pronounced slope from the stand side to the carpark side but it's not alone in that. The one stand isn't particularly remarkable but it is functionable.
I've seen people decry the lack of character at grounds because the stands are "identikit", well yes they might be but if you are a small club but with ambitions then a stand you can easily move or extend is surely practicle, and Boldmere's is just that, I know from my last visit that it has already been extended and could easily have more bits added without looking daft.

After an unremarkable first half (0-0 I still assume) I retire to the rather decent clubhouse for an unremarkable but cheapish pint of Worthingtons. I reckon Boldmere do quite well out of their Social Club, this was a Wednesday night and it was pretty full with most not being amongst those watching the match.

Suitably refreshed and with a very nice cheeseburger (£1.80) keeping the hunger pains at bay I settled down to wonder if I was in for my first 0-0 for two years.

Luckily, no, within a few minutes of the restart (which I predictably missed by the way), Boldmere's impressive Wellor outmuscled the Walsall left-back and finished superbly into the bottom corner, a rare moment of quality.

This finally woke Walsall up and they almost immediately equalised, Deeney (I think) poaching one after the keeper had spilled a cross-shot. Walsall then won it with another goall which I completely missed due to being distracted by a rather fine pair of breasts, sorry, did I say breasts? I meant squirrels or, err, something.

They were nice though.

This game was part of Boldmere's 125th anniversary celelbrations, there you go, a team that is older than most teams in the Premiership and I bet there's hardly a Chelsea fan who will have ever heard of them! They have bought out a book to celebrate this milestone and of course I had to buy it! I'm a sucker for this sort of stuff.

Hot or Not? - Boldmere WAG's

Attendance - Approx 160
Programme - Yes
Beer - Mediocre at the ground but the Bathams was lovely in The Lord Clifden
Public Transport - Train to Chester Road, 66, 111 and 118 buses do run past Church Road but I walked (just under a mile)


Michael Talbot said...

Thankyou for buying the Boldmere St Michaels book. I am the author.

You can see my website on `Unofficially Boldmere St Michaels Celebrating 124 years)

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