Sat 29 January 2011, Ossett Albion 2 – Chorley FC 2 (NPL D1N)

At last! First blog update of the year (courtesy of the weather and a procession of postponed games from early December through to mid-January).
With my intended choice of game today (Frickley v FCUM) a victim of the frozen weather too, at midday the only two games still on in the vicinity seemed to be at Farsley and Ossett – both of which had passed morning pitch inspections and been declared ON. Getting to Farsley in time would be pushing it anyway, so I set off to the only choice left available, to watch Ossett Albion entertain Chorley in the (Evo-Stik) Northern Premier League First Division North. I later found out I’d made the right decision, as Farsley’s game was unfortunately called off around an hour before kick-off anyway.
Ossett ALbion FC
Destination: Queens Terrace, Dimple Wells Road, Ossett, West Yorks, WF5 8JT.
Competition: Evo-Stik (Northern Premier) League Div 1 N
K/O: 3pm
Attendance: 248 (including maybe 75 or so from Chorley?)
Admission: £7.00 (General admission)
Programme: £1.50
Directions: Anyone travelling by public transport is likely to end up at either Wakefield or Dewsbury. From there, the 126/127 bus runs every 10 minutes and passes close to the ground. The nearest stop is about 100 yards from where Station Road meets Prospect Road (noted by a bridged hump in the road). From here (facing towards Wakefield), turn right down Southdale Road, then right into The Green/aka Queen Street. Almost immediately across the road in front of you (opposite The Tap pub), you will see a sign directing you down Dimple Wells Road to ‘Ossett Cricket Club and Albion FC’.
If driving, take the B6128 to where Station Road intersects with Prospect Road, and follow directions as above. There is a fair sized car park right by the ground.
Off The Pitch: Dimple Wells is a really neat location for a football ground. Being situated atop a hill means you get a good view of the valley and opposite hillside from one side of the ground. It’s also within easy walking distance of several decent pubs and Ossett town centre too.
The pitch is fully fenced off , with hard-standing all the way round. There is covered standing behind each goal, with a small covered, seated stand straddling the halfway line at one side. The clubhouse is handily placed – being close to the pitch means you can get a decent view of the game from inside it if you so wish. No beer is served on tap, though cans and bottles of alcoholic refreshment are available.
There is also a small club shop, packed to the rafters with a good selection of old programmes, as well as selling a few bits ‘n’ bobs of Ossett merchandise such as shirts and pin badges.
The obligatory tea bar is also present, however, this is was the one disappointing element to our visit today, as it serves what must be a contender for the world’s smallest cup of tea, despite it being more expensive than a lot of more tea-savvy clubs at this level. Indeed, it has come to my attention that someone else blogged recently about the same establishment skanking them £1.50 for the world’s smallest pie  too – click link HERE – do they not realise what important criteria the groundhoppers union base their travelling decisions on? Sadly, they’re often not football-related! 🙂 . A bit of potential improvement to ‘Stingy Catering Services Inc.’ aside though, you have a top matchday venue in this corner of Ossett. It gets top marks for friendliness and a welcoming atmosphere, and the accommodating nature of the officials and volunteers at the club.
 On The Pitch: Ossett have recently signed a few new players in an attempt to get themselves out of the old relegation mire, + on this showing it should do the trick. Chorley lacked the general zip + neat passing game I’d witnessed a couple of months back when they visited Wakefield, but Ossett were fully able to match them, despite Chorley being second in the table. After a lacklustre first half, Ossett took a 2-0 lead. First through a defensive error, and then through a neat finish in a bit of a goalmouth scramble. Chorley then got one back somewhat fortuitously (mis-hit shot backheeled in by someone else standing in the way). With about 10 mins to go at this stage, Ossett just tried to run the clock down and pack their own box with players. In the end it backfired, as Chorley got their equaliser seven minutes into the advertised minimum five minutes of extra time. A draw was a fair result, but from 2-0 up Ossett will be crying into their after-match brews (though not for long, given the size of them).
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