I didn’t think I would be watching any more football this season but some leagues lower than step 7 have restarted to complete their season and spectators are able to attend if it is a public park.
So I was all set to visit Glapwell and checked their Twitter feed an hour before kick off to find that their opponents had cried off because they couldn’t raise a full team. A frantic look at other games within my now constrained travelling time to find Ripley Town F.C were at home to Clifton All Whites Development Team only 30 minutes away.
The ground at Greenwich Park was easy to find alongside the A610 and was an open area next to a skate board park. Being the first of May a cricket match was in progress just beyond an adjacent football pitch.
The weather was disappointing for May in that although dry it was overcast with heavy dark clouds and a cold chill was in the air. The pitch was very undulating and reminded me of past Sunday League pitches I have known and loved. The goal mouths were bare of grass but a nice strip of dandelions and daisies ran down one side.
Ripley Town FC
There has been a football team named Ripley in the town for over 130 years although there have been many restarts, mergers and reorganisation. Ripley Town F.C. currently play in the Central Midlands League Division 1 South.
Clifton All Whites Development Team
Clifton All Whites have been going 1963 starting as a youth team in Nottingham, originally named Thistledown Rovers and in 1973 formed a senior team. They have played their football in and around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The club is a community club with men’s and women’s teams of varying ages.
Ripley Town 2 Clifton All Whites Development 2
Ripley started the game most promisingly but a dull game was brought to life 7 minutes before half time when The All Whitles number 7, James Itokun, who had mafe some mazy runs which ran into cul de sacs, stooped to head home a great right wing cross.
The second half quickly started with just a quick 5 minute turn round. The dullness of the first half disapeared as Ripley pressed to equalise, which they did through Jason Whitehead. The All Whites now came back into the game strongly to go ahead through Ben Cooke. During this period of play they had a goal disalowed and a penalty saved by Ripley’s keeper diving to his left. However it ended all square with Alex Crossley getting the equalising goal. It was an enjoyable second half only dampened by some unnecessary swearing at the referee by an All Whites defender.
With no food available at Ripley I could not have any ‘chips’ so I took a flask of soup instead. It must be because I have been used to non organic tomato soup all of my life that this just did not have the flavour I expected. At least it was hot on a cold day.