Match Details: Eccleshill United 1 – Rossington Main 0 (NCEL D1)
Pre-Match Build Up: For the penultimate Saturday in the NCEL’s fixture calendar this season, the Dribbling Code visited the village of Wrose – which looks down the valley onto Bradford and Shipley, and is home to NCEL Division One side Eccleshill United FC. Next Saturday the potential Premier Division title-decider between Bridlington and Retford is our likely destination, whereas this week on the face of things there was less at stake. However, that’s not the way teams run in the NCEL, as players fight for every possible point and every position higher up the table they can achieve. Today’s visitors Rossington Main had already achieved their highest number of points ever in the league, which is good going considering the number of players they have lost over the course of the season. Eccleshill, meanwhile, coupld leapfrog Rossington in the table if they secured victory today. So no surprise then, that today’s match was fiercely contested on the pitch.
Destination: Plumpton Park, Kingsway, Wrose, Bradford, West Yorks, BD2 1PN
Competition: Northern Counties East League, Division One
Off The Pitch: The current Eccleshill United came into being just after the Second World War, taking the place of a previous club of the same name, which had ceased operations in the late 1930s. After moving through various different grounds, in 1963 Eccleshill United bought a former quarry site, on which it then built its current ground. The club also owns a plot of land just to the side of teh main enclosure, which contains an open pitch currently used by the general public. There is the possibility that one day this could either be developed (as a synthetic or training pitch) or sold off (e.g for housing), but the latter would depend on another sports facility being set up elsewhere in its place for legal reasons.
The current set-up includes two areas of spectator cover – stepped terracing behind the near goal, and a main stand with four rows of seated accommodation which stradles the halfway line. Built in the late 1980s, with seating first added in the early 90s, the main stand was updated last year when its original ‘bucket’ style seats were replaced by newer tip-up seats that had been obtained from Chesterfield’s former Saltergate ground.
And in the far corner (pictured below, with the aforementioned neighbouring pitch also visible on the left) sits the infamous Eccleshill outside bogs – no longer in use though, and possibly to be demolished over the summer, sadly! Also the close season is likley to see some ground improvements at Plumpton Park, including updating the changing rooms and levelling the pitch. The latter is part of plans which should see Bradford City’s Reserve team move back in to play their home games in Eccleshill next season. With the ground also used for at least one local cup final, and Bradford City regular pre-season-friendly visitors, the Eagles seem to have a good standing within the local football community, which is always pleasing to see for non-league clubs.
On The Pitch: A highly competative game saw the home side narrowly take the spoils this afternoon, though possession must have been fairly close to 50-50 I would have thought. Skill-wise, there was a bit of an end-of-season air to it, with very few clear-cut chances and a couple too many shots sailing over the bar for either side to be entirely happy with. So neither goalkeeper had a great deal to do in terms of shot-stopping.
The only goal of the game came around the hour mark, with Eccleshill’s pacy number 9 Marcus Edwards (pictured above) latching onto a high ball that outfoxed Rossington’s offside trap, and executing a precise lob over the keeper and into the net. Elsewhere, perhaps Rossington’s best chance came when Dean Sidebottom shot just over the bar, and Eccleshill came close to a second goal when Andy Fieldhouse just failed to direct a cross from the right on target with his shot.
And now, the gallery…
Twitter updates via www.twitter.com/dribblingcode