Destination: The Welfare Ground, Oxford Street, Rossington, Doncaster, South Yorks, DN11 0TE
Competition: Northern Counties East League, Division One
Kick Off: 3pm
Directions: Being situated close to the M18 / A1(M) intersetion makes Rossington easily accessible for car drivers. The club has its own car park, with plenty of next-door street parking also available if that fills up. The best route on public transport is via bus from Doncaster, with the number 55 running every ten minutes and taking just under half an hour to get to Rossington (leap off as soon as you see the Welfare Club on your right, which is next to Oxford Street, with the ground 100 yards away at the other end of that road). Also bear in mind that the bus does a circular route, meaning that you get the bus back into Donny from the exact same stop as you got off at (and it takes around five minutes less journey time). A return ticket on the bus will cost you about £3 from Doncaster – or, if you’re travelling from anywhere in South Yorkshire then you can get a combined train/bus Day Tripper ticket for the whole county for £6.
Pre-Match Build Up: Hopefully any regular readers of this blog will pick up shedloads of invaluable info along the way. This should certainly include the notion that:-
Doncaster can lay good claim to being the epicentre of English non-league football at Steps 5 to 7
Anything that happens later in the upper echelons of association football will be pioneered at grass-roots level.
Today, Rossington Main’s Twitter account told us just before the game kicked off that Grimsby Borough’s team was 18.2 percent bald players. When the OPTA stats include such info next season for Premier League games, remember where you heard it first! I’m not sure which category Wayne Rooney would fit into, but thankfully Grimsby Boro brought no players with false hair weaves with them.
Off The Pitch: Like many clubs at this level, Rossington Main’s ground is one which reflects the amount of hard work that goes into doing the best you can with the limited money available. After being greeted with the impressive billboard above announcing today’s fixture, the inside of the ground is all painted in the club colours of blue and white (with bits of red), with three small stands and various clubhouse / portacabins and the changing rooms along the near side, and another covered seated stand along the halfway line at the opposite side. The ends behind both goals being undeveloped apart from the concrete hardstanding which runs the entire perimeter of the pitch.
The club house is excellent, and you wouldn’t think that it was made by essentially bolting together 6 separate smaller portacabins (see here on their website for further pics of how do contruct a DIY prawn sandwich / fish butty hospitality area for the local masses: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/rossingtonmain/a/club-house-3292.html ). If you’ve got some time to kill before the game, then as well sampling a selection of food and drink (including alcoholic refreshment) in there, you can have a shufty through the selection of flags, photos and old programmes that adorn the clubhouse walls. Merchandise including hats, scarves and badges are also available, and the matchday programme itself clocks in at a whopping 60+ pages for £1.50, and has righly been recognised in the past for its quality at this level of football. Editor Pete Murden tells me that he is taking a well-earned break from the job at the end of the season, so catch it while you can if you want to see why his handywork is considered so highly.
Not many clubs at Step 6 have four separate stands (some league clubs only have three even!). Here you’ve got the covered structure above with some bench seating; the two-rows-of-seats one below; the ‘main’ seated stand in the top pic, which has the changing rooms under it; and another bit of covered, stepped-terracing, which you can see in some of the photos lower down.
Rosso’s shy and retiring PA announcer & Programme editor basks in the glory of a yet another seamless Katy Perry / Napalm Death segue during the halftime music mix
On The Pitch: Having been involved in a minor traffic incident earlier in the day (when the stationary bus I was sat on got shunted from behind by some dozy twonk in a lorry), due to feeling a bit out of sorts this match report will be even more non-in-depth than usual. It was a good game to watch though, with both sides finding quite a bit of space to play an open game, and some end-to-end stuff resulting. Grimsby I felt were perhaps guilty of allowing Rossington a little too much time on the ball overall, and as the match wore on the home side took advantage of this, comfortably passing the ball around confidently in midfield, with some nice flowing football carving out enough openings to maybe have won the game by even more than the eventual 3-0 scoreline.
The opening goal had come midway through the first half, when Liam Charlton lobbed a fine effort over the Grimsby keeper from the edge of the box. Grimsby had a couple of good chances to equalise, but one poor finish plus one goal-line clearance meant that the score reamined 1-0 at the break. In the second half, Rossington gradually took charge of the game, Will McGhie making it 2-0 a few minutes after the restart with another well-timed finish – this time a low shot from around 20 yards out. Around the hour mark, the game was then put to bed when Lewis Hilton got Rossington’s thid from close-range. Grimsby never looked like getting back into the game, and if anyone was likely to add to the scoring it was the home side. However, Grimsby managed to keep them at bay thereafter and the game finished 3-0. At some stage of the season I’ll probably see a bad game in the NCEL, however this certainly wasn’t it. Another fine afternoon’s football ended with watching the Championship scores come in on the telly box. Rock bottom Donny Rovers were 2-1 up at Leeds with full-time approaching, then Leeds pulled it back to 2-2. A million minutes into injury time Leeds then got the winner. I thought this might not have gone down too well in the clubhouse, except it soon became apparent that there were probably more Leeds fans around than Donny fans. Funny old game, football.
The entire 18.2 % bald content of Grimsby Boro’s team captured in one photo
Hand-signals: either this means ‘feed the rabbit’ or else someone’s not entirely happy with the defending on Rossington’s second goal
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