East Midlands Counties League
Venue: Regatta Way, West Bridgford
Admission: £5.00 / £3.00
We’d never been to the home of West Bridgford FC before, so another new ground goes onto the list. Regatta Way is only 25-30 minutes on the road from Hucknall, and is relatively easy to get to and locate, so I have no idea why we’ve not visited previously. It was a pleasant evening, with little breeze and the temperature approaching double figures – a tad different to our previous few outings, where the temperature had struggled to reach one or two degrees!
No problems parking – quite a decent sized car-park, although there seemed plenty of room on the street should a game attract a larger crowd. Entering the ground the first thing we noticed was the fencing surrounding the entire playing area – creates a neat and tidy appearance. The only cover was the Tom Maccabee stand – plenty of seating if the weather is inclement. We didn’t do a 360 of the ground, but we will be paying another visit sometime in the near future, in daylight hopefully, and take a proper gander at the facilities. First impressions though were very favourable.
The Bridgford line-up contained a few familiar faces, but I had no idea of any of the Borrowash players’ names, so this is going to be another short report…..
The game began at break neck pace, with both teams showing both pace and ability. Borrowash had the first real attack just a few minutes from the off, their no. 7 shirt outstripping Jonathan Ventralla in a straight race before hitting a shot that the home keeper blocked.
The Vics’ custodian had to be alert to tip over a long range effort in the 8th minute, and his opposite number duplicated this feat ten minutes later as both teams continued their frantic start to the game. All the first half endeavours came to nought though, and the teams went in at the break for a well earned rest with no goals to show for their efforts. H-T 0-0
The home team finally broke the deadlock on 53 minutes, AKINTOMIDE JAIYEOLA stooping low at the far post to nod home a Tim Hopkinson corner. To their credit, the Vics didn’t let going a goal down get to them overmuch, although their attacks did become a little less frequent as the game progressed. Bridgford gradually gained more and more control of the game, and their solid looking defence was looking less and less likely to be breached.
The home teams lead was doubled in the 69th minute. This time the roles played for the first goal were reversed, a Jaiyeole corner met by TIM HOPKINSON at the far stick, the striker rising like “me grandmas soufflés” to send his powerful header into the back of the net.
Bridgford had a few decent attempts late on in the game and Carl Westcarr had a chance to add to the score in the 76th minute, but fired just wide with the keeper beaten. F-T 2-0
Referee Mr. Will Murray had an outstanding game - another young official with his head screwed on the right way. He respected the players and let them get on with the game, and also was never over fussy as some officials can be at times - let's hope he doesn't get this coached out of him.
The win puts the home team three points clear of Birstall Utd at the top of the EMCL table, both having played 31 games. With eleven games still to play, the battle for the championship is still well and truly on.