On Friday night I checked on watching the FA Vase game between Quorn AFC and Nirvana where I was to meet my daughter but I found that they had played the game the night before (Thursday) for some reason! Quorn going through 2-1.
Change of plan, I noticed a Northern Counties East Division 2 game between Rainworth Miners Welfare FC. and Hallam F.C. having both been knocked out of the F.A. Vase in an earlier round.
This was a rearanged match after a previous encountr had been abandoned on 14 August at half time with the score at 1-1. It was abandoned due to one of the Assistant Referees falling ill on the touchline as the players and officials resumed the field. As the players realised the gravity of the situationte the Hallam physio and other trained people took control and with the help of the Defrillator, a first responder, an ambulance crew and the Air Ambulance, Andrew Jarvis was flown to Derby Hospital where he was operated on. His recovery meant that he was again back at Kirklington Road and able to start the match from the touchline.
My journey to the ground was held up twice as I queued to pass queues for fuel as the UK supply chain for many goods and services seems to be tuning upside down and increasing in price
The game was at the unusual kick off time of 2pm due to floodlight maintenance which will not be completed for a few weeks.
The temperature was 20 degrees the same as last Saturdays game, crazy for late September, the air felt sticky and the sky was very grey with fluffy clouds.
The pich was undulating and sloping slightly end to end but giving no great advantage to either side and to emphasise the unusual climatic conditions the pitch was yellowing badly due to lack of rain.
Rainworth is South East of Mansfield, an ex mining village like many in the area. The club was formed in 1922 and spent most of its life in the Nottinghamshire Alliance League, sometimes known as Rufford Colliery F.C. Their greatest achievement in the last century was reaching the FA Vase final in 1982 where they lost to Forest Green Rovers who were at the start of their major climb from almost obscurity to the Football League.
Being accepted to the Central Midlands League in 2003 was the start of a swift promotion succession to the Supreme Division, The Northern Counties East Division One and Premier before reaching their peak with entry to the Northern Premier League Division One South in 2010. This elevated level was not to last and they find themselvesm two steps lower today.
I have written about Hallam before being one of the oldest teams in the worl and playing on the oldest, still in use, football pitch in the world. I was interested to see them play as after a shaky start to the season they seem to now be knocking goals in for fun and atracting big crowds that would grace a much higher level. Whether it was the fuel problems, the early kick of, or something else the attendance of 80 was very disapointing.
Rainworth Miners Welfare F.C. 0 Hallam 4
The Wrens v The Countrymen
Hallam immediately showed their recent form and dominated play. It was no surprise that they took the lead on 7 minutes when Chris Salt’s downward header found the net after a beautifully delivered free kick from the right. Chris wood then put the game out of reach of the Wrens with a simple tap in to make it 2 nil on 11 minutes and a minute later made it three guiding a left foot shot into the right hand side of the goal after some pretty interpassing by his team mates.
The game though was held up on 15 minutes when Carl Fielding in goal for Hallam jumped to catch a cross but fell badly on his knee. After a long period of treatment he was unable to continue and was carried off and the substitute goal keeper Daubney-Hughes took over.
This seemed to unsettle Hallam and they let Rainworth more into the game and no other goals were added by half time.
Hallam settled in the second half and took control but did not look like adding to their tally and it was Rainworth who came closest hitting the bar on 53 minutes. However Hallam’s continual pressure paid off when Josh Scully curled a sublime free kick round the Rainworth wall from outside the penalty area. The ball curved seriously to end up in the top right hand corner of the net.
Two minutes later there was an injury this time to the Rainworth goalkeeper who was replaced by an outfield player for the rest of the game.
Hallam’s stand in goalkeper looked very sound and could be in for a long spell in the first team with the injury to Carl Fielding looking serious.
As I said the crowd of only 80 was disapointing even more so whe I overheard two fans talking about the record crowd for an FA Vase semi final having been at Kirklington Road.
Unfortunately there were no chips at Rainworth so a sausage roll with mushy peas and mint sauce was a great substitute. Mint sauce on mushy peas seems to be a Nottinghamshire delicacy.