The last day of the football season on June 5th !! and I had the opportunity to watch one of the last Abacus Central Midland Football League Division One Central games of the season, either the home game at Holbrook St Michael or Kilburn. Both of these villages are just off and straddling the A38 in Derbyshire within 6 miles of each other. I chose Holbrook St Michael as it sounded the most interesting.
I set off following Google maps and eventually arrived in the pretty village of Holbrook St Michael but could not see the ground. Parked up looking at a phone screen with prescription sun glasses is not easy but I saw a playing field on the map about a mile away at Holbrook and set off again. Sure enough I arrived at a football ground with a few minutes left to kick off. The car park looked quite full but I could see no activity on the pitch through a small opening in a wire fence. Walking round the perimeter I passed the bowling green where at least 50 people were playing or watching and then found an entrance to the deserted football ground.
My thoughts were that this could be another game that had been cancelled because one club couldn’t get a team together in the current climate in the same way that a Glapwell game against Newark was cancelled by their opposition a few weeks ago.
However not to be beaten I thought I would go to Kilburn and headed off to soon find the village. But now I drove round that village three times until I finally found a small hidden drive next to the Jade Garden Chinese takeaway.
Darting down there I was confronted by a very full carpark and had to go back out into the main street where there were no parking spaces but eventually found one on a newish housing estate a brisk walk away. I finally walked into the ground 25 minutes after the start where someone was standing with a program. I tried to buy one off him but was soon told that the program was his and I needed to go to the kiosk where I bought the last program for £1 and a coffee for the same price. As the coffee was being made I watched the game and saw Kilburn take the lead at the far end.
The gound is compact with a children’s play area at one end. The playing area is fenced off but surrounded by Hawthorn bushes that were in full bloom with the rolling countryside beyond. The day had beautiful blue skies with some rolling cotton wool clouds that were motionless in the still wind.
The pitch sloped from side to side away from what looked like a good sized club house and was bumpy with good long grass cover. There looked like a crowd of about 40 who were dressed to enjoy the sun.
Kilburn 3 Woodhouse Colts 4
This was a mid table end of the season game that Kilburn needed to beat Woodhouse by 17 goals to pass them on goal difference in the league table.
As I said earlier I just caught the first goal when a Kilburn player found some space to smash a ball to the right of the goalkeeper to take the lead. This was doubled shortly after when a game of pin ball in the goal was greeted by shouts of goal by the Kilburn players and the linesman, provided by Woodhouse corageously signalled it had crossed the line.
So two nil at half time and 15 more to score to overtake Woodhouse.
A headed goal at the re-start for Woodhouse put paid to any silly results but Kilburn scored again quickly when their lively and most dangerous forward, No,9 ran on to a through ball and ckeekily chiped it over the diving goalkeeper. It was then the Woodhouse number nine’s turn to get in on the act with an audacious lob over the keeper. The Woodhouse defence now seemed to take an iron grip on the game and hit long balls to each wing, especially the left, for their forwards to run onto and cause havoc. It was no surprise that they equalised through number 12 who powered a shot along the floor to see it bounce over the diving keeper and into the net. Woodhouse were now fully in charge and had a goal disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper in amongst a group of players.
The drinks break midway through the half was welcomed by all but it did not stop the pattern of play and Woodhouse were ahead through their No.14 and never looked like relinquishing the lead until the end of play.
An exciting game to end the season a little spoilt by the grumbles of some players towards the referee who was doing his best on a very hot, tiring, end of season day. Thank you Kilburn for you hospitality I would like to visit again when the clubhouse is fully open and a game in normal seasonal football weather.
When I sat down later at home I looked up the results and found that Holbrook St Michael Development did play at home and lost one nil to Cromford and Wirksworth and that the ground I visited, only just over a mile away was Holbrook Sports. Amazing to find two such teams so close together and surviving. It also showed that I must do more planning before I set off but at the end of the day I think I was fortunate to see A SEVEN GOAL THRILLER. It also proved that I should have researched my journey more carefully before starting. The plus point is that I now have two new teams to warch in the coming seasons and I know where their grounds are,
The end of a very unusual season.