The rain finally stops.

Finally after three weeks of postponements and Christmas commitments, a game. Even then this was the third choice with Selby and Ollerton both called off.

Staveley too have had their postponement problems this being their first home game in 63 days. Volunteers had been in since 8.30 a.m. pumping out water and preparing the pitch for a successful pitch inspection.

From 8.30a.m. to 3.00 p.m. what a transformation after the magnificent work of the Staveley crew.

This is a community club that has a vision to develop further and they are planning an artificial pitch that will ease the pitch problems and generate some extra income. Not everyone can afford the 3G pitch and some Non-league clubs are hanging on in there almost as heritage venues like some churches and perhaps deserve some sort of financial support to keep the community spirit alive. With the wettest season I can remember many teams are struggling to get by with no gate money, bar or snack sales.

A crowd of 179 was in attendance, down on the average so far this season but the competition of Christmas shopping and two World Club Championship games on TV was formidable. The fact that people did not know whether the game was on until the pitch inspection did not help although this had been countered by Staveley only charging £4 for adults, £2 for concessions and free for children, a nice touch. With all the money in the game more should trickle down the pyramid, to start with a defibrillator at all clubs, sports and recreation grounds paid for by the Premier League Clubs is a must.

20191221_144733_resizedOn the bar at Staveley’s ground.

But despite the weather the the bright, large friendly club house, male dominated, was buzzing with laughter and sales.

The game is Staveley Miners Welfare at home to Grimsby Borough in the Northern Counties East league Premier Division. Grimsby third in the table with game in hand of the top two and Staveley in fourth with even more games in hand.

Staveley M W 3 Grimsby Borough 1

The grey still skies did not look like any further rain was due but the pitch looked heavy and claggy.

The pitch caused the first real interest in the game when Dan Trott turned and hit an average shot from 20 yards. Myles Wright, in the centre of his goal dropped down to collect the ball which didn’t bounce but bobbled under his body and into the net. Everyone seemed stunned in the crowd and wandered what was next. Both teams from then on mastered the conditions and Staveley spent most of the half camped in their opponents half with Joe Pugh hitting the crossbar. With no luck Staveley went in one down but having put on a strong display.

Staveley started the second half dominating play again and they finally broke through on 55 minutes when Joe Pugh swept home a perfect cross from the left by Michael Burke.

After a series of long throw ins by Adam Lund one was headed on which Michael Burke prodded towards the goal which three Grimsby players franticly scrambled to keep out. The third followed on at 89 minutes when Matty Parkin curled a great cross in from the right for Patrick Lindley to head home with some force.

Grimsby now had their best spell of the game but much too late and Staveley move above them in the table. You just feel about Staveley as a team and club that they have a great future.

The chips were hot, tasty, and scored a very good 75.

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