Destination: The Welfare Ground, Crofton Community Centre, Middle Lane, New Crofton, Wakefield, West Yorks, Wf4 1LB.
Competition: Northern Counties East League, Premier Division
Kick-Off: 12 midday
Weather: Fine + knocking on for 10 degrees C – practically sunbathing weather!
Background Stuff: As I‘ve already covered the set-up at Nostell recently, I won’t bang on about the ground again – see here instead if you want more background info: https://thedribblingcode.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/sat-26-nov-2011-nostell-mw-v-retford-utd-ncel-prem/
Below though are some pictures from the Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd January 2012 game with Tadcaster Albion. This saw a more evenly-matched game than the two team’s respective league positions of 13th and 2nd would suggest, though ultimately it was settled by high-flying Tadcaster’s ability to take their chances in front of goal (courtesy of a fine hat-trick from Jamie Hopcutt), and Nostell’s inability to convert a penalty which ended any faint hopes of a late comeback. Hopcutt’s triple strike came via a curled left-foot shot from the right side of the box early in the first half, then two close-range finishes midway through the second. Looking on Taddy’s website just before posting this, I see Hopcutt has already left the club and just signed for Swedish First Division side Osterunds FK instead!
The early kick-off was a good move for the home club though, as it saw quite a few neutrals, groundhoppers, and other assorted football-starved types in attendance, helping to make the crowd larger than usual.
Eagle-eyed regular attendees of NCEL matches can also play a quick game of ‘Where’s Rudy?’, aka ‘Funk-watch’, and score one point each time you spy the current Scarborough Athletic boss in the photos below. The ‘official’ reason for his presence was no doubt given as scouting future opposition, but the keenness with which he filled out his new ‘Groundhopper’ notebook and made sure he obtained a teamsheet and touched all four corner flags before leaving, would suggest otherwise.