Sunday, 16 November 2008

Say Hello, Waverley Goodbye - Darlaston Town 0 Long Eaton United 3 - FA Vase 2nd Round - Waverley Road - 15/11/08

I was coming off a night shift so I had to go local and what better than a Vase game at a ground I have a strange fondness for, it must be the slope that does it.

Darlaston had made an excellent start to the season but have been stuttering of late and were definite underdogs against a Long Eaton team that lie fourth in the Northern Counties Eastern League Premier Division (one step above the step six West Midlands League). I was also confident of a few goals seeing that Long Eaton's last five results in all competitions were: 1-8; 1-0; 5-1; 4-2; 6-5! Darlo of course had home advantage and the slope and the very heavy looking pitch could have been a leveller I suppose.

Pre-match refreshments were once again taken in The Olde White Rose in Bilston and from there it's just ten minutes on the 79 bus and a five minute stroll to the ground and a pint in Fingle's Bar in the clubhouse.

I was slightly disappointed that they had run out of programmes, the bloke on the gate said that they could only manage to print 30, but I'm not an avid paper-chaser so I shrugged it off, what a trooper I am!

Cameron set about finding out what food they had and settled on a hot dog for just a quid and then he went in search of somewhere to kick his football and settled on annoying a group of three men behind the goal who probably stood there every week, they tutted a bit but Cameron isn't bothered about a bit of tutting when there's football to be played.

The three grumpy men - probably still tutting even now! >>>

Intermittent drizzle greeted the players as they came out and from the start it was obvious which team were from the higher division. Long Eaton attacked from the start and it was only wayward shooting and last-ditch defending that prevented them scoring for the first twenty minutes. When they finally did score it was a cracker. They were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area and took advantage by curling a corker into the corner giving the Darlo keeper no chance.

Tempers then started to flare a bit and the referee struggled to keep control of the game, as he blew for half-time there was a fully fledged punch up in the changing rooms with players, coaches and several spectators all piling in, looked like fun and at one point some of us wondered if the game would be abandoned. Eventually calm was restored and all 22 players returned for the second half and the only victim appeared to be the ref who had come back on with a pronounced limp!

The ref eventually decided he couldn't limp on and he gave the whistle to one of his assistants and he himself went to hobble along the line.

Darlo had the advantage of the slope in the second half but still rarely tested the LEFC keeper and the inevitable happened when they were awarded another free-kick in almost the same place as the one they scored from, and the result was exactly the same, 2-0 - game over.

Long Eaton had time to add a third from close range after good work out on the right wing and their run of putting out West Midlands clubs continues (previous rounds had seen them account for Warstones Wanderers and Bewdley Town).

The bloke in the picture above by the way has apparently taken his bear suit around 784 different football grounds, he does it for charidee apparently so I bunged him a couple of quid, the charity may well be his personal pension fund but what the heck eh?

One final pint in the clubhouse to get the results (Tamworth continue to scarily top Conf North after a 3-1 win at Farsley Celtic and Villa beat The Arse at Highbury, a good day all round!) and it was home for curry and wine.

Admission: £4 Adults. £2 Kids

Programme: Dunno, they had run out.

Att: TBC but headcount was just around the 100 mark.

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