Friday, 31 July 2009

Pre-season Catch Up Time

I'll do the Tamworth v Birmingham City XI later, I actually have some pictures of that one. Meanwhile, I have done a few other pre-season strollabouts but they were mainly either an excuse to drink beer or, in the case of Coventry Sphinx, tick off a ground that I doubt I'll bother going back to.

Anyhow, in no particular order except that in which they were played:

Wellington Amateurs 0-5 AFC Telford

Apparently now a regular pre-season fixture and a fine way for The Ams to inch their financial way to being able to install the floodlights they need at their School Grove ground in order to gain promotion to the West Midlands Premier. They won division One last season and on this showing, although outplayed, they stand a chance again, they play nice football and on the Dave Woodhall Rule of Three* criteria they are a decent side

*The Rule of Three - If a team can do three good things in a row (pass, shoot, control the ball etc.) then they will do okay in a step 5 or below league. Look, don't blame me, it's Woodhall's rule.

Good crowd (400+), crap burger, not many facilities. Basically it's a fully-railed field at the end of a housing estate with a small stand which they have recently installed a few seats into, perfectly okay for this level but without too much scope for expansion, should it ever be needed, due to it's rather cramped location.

Anyway, I was really only in Oakengates to sample some ale at the two real ale emporia that face each other across Market Street.

The Crown Inn:

And The Station Hotel:

On my unscientific analysis The station wins this battle of the pubs for not only selling a wonderful selection of Pictish Brewery ales but also for selling Spanish onions at two for 50p.

Tipton Town 2-3 Stourbridge

Attendance: 70 or so on a head count, a rather disgraceful £5 to get in as well.
Tipton is the nearest 'proper' ground to my house, but I don't visit too often because, well, it's an athletics stadium, with all the gripes that you will always get with athletics stadia.
Plus Tipton don't seem to want to even try to add any character to the place, there's no decent pubs anywhere close either.

I was going to go off on one about the state of the bogs here, but it was explained to me that they had been vandalised the day before and there had been no time to get them sorted out.

Much more fun was had pointing and laughing at the assortment of nutters, oddballs and wierdos that follow Stour, The Beast looked like he had just finished decorating his house and another 'character' was wearing pink pumps, shorts and rather natty tights. It was pointed out to me that he is gay, not that I was really in any doubt!

Decent game, kept my seasonal goal average up above four.

Coventry Sphinx 4-1 Aston Villa XI

Actually more like Aston Villa Under-XI's, frighteningly youthful!

Typical works ground, three sided bordering on a cricket pitch, with the ubiquitous bowling green next door, every works ground has both of these, see also Pilkington XXX and Dudley Sports.
One small stand, half bench seated, half just a concrete floor, imaginitavely graffiteed though. Wouldn't have sat in it due to the amount of kids playing behind it and regularly thumping the corrugated iron back with resounding thumps loud enough to loosen teeth.
Nice Social Club, as these places tend to have. again see Triplex and Dudley Sports!

Admission £3, Prog £1.50, now ticked, won't go out of my way to return.

Proper season with proper games now just around the corner.


MoondogAle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MoondogAle said...

Second attempt. The anal-retent in me wanted to tidy up my comment. So...Picture the scene - It's 5 months since your most recent blog, and I'm sitting here in a (rather nice) hotel room in Marietta, Ohio, on the West Virginia border in December 2009, reading your reviews. It's dark outside and there's been a lot of snow. Worse still, I discovered on my arrival that Marietta Brewing Co. had closed its doors due to financial "irregularities". I don't think CAMRA would be happy with that - surely a campaign is imminant to bring the brewery back. Thus, my evening was spent at a national chain bar & grill, putting down a few Sam Adams Boston Lagers. Back at my hotel I got on the laptop and started - for some reason - going through some non-league blogs that I had saved. Next minute, I'm reading Am I Supposed To Be At Home ?, and I'm in stitches - what a wonderfully descriptive and humorous site. This long winded comment is to say "thanks" for making my day and I hope you'll see fit to update your blog. Being an ex-pat and a Cheltenham Town fan, I need to see things that'll make me smile, especially because of the latter. A colleague of mine in Columbus, Ohio (a sad Brentford fan) and I run a website devoted to beer and football called Bogrolls & Barley Wines. Check us out at I'm going to update the site over Christmas and I'd love to include some of your scribes. Either way - love your blog !

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