Date: TuesdayAug 17 2010
Ground: Bush Ground
Comp: Midland Combination Premier Division
Match: Pelsall Villa 0 Bolehall Swifts 1 HT: 0-1 ATT: 30
Additional: Entrance £3.50, Programme £1.00, Coffee/Tea £0.60
Bush Ground in pictures
Port Vale aren’t the only club with initials PVFC, as it turns out. The other one, Pelsall Villa, play at step six of the pyramid in the Midland Combination. They seem to like their initials as they adorn both their programme and their main stand in red bricks. The club formed in 1897 but considers it’s present incarnation to have been born in 1961.
The club is one of an absolute glut of non league teams north of Birmingham. It’s like the non league equivalent of the curry mile. In a rough triangle between Cannock, Walsall and Wolverhampton (not a lot in square miles)there is a cornucopia of clubs. (All step six and above). The ‘Golden Triangle’ of non league. If you lived in the middle of it, picking up grounds would be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Just in North Walsall alone you have from right to left Walsall Wood, Rushall Olympic, Pelsall Villa and Bloxwich. Between Walsall and Wolves you have Darlaston and Willenhall. In Wolves itself you then have Wednesfield and Heath Town Rangers (groundsharing), Goodrich and AFC Wulfrunians. Completing the triangle’s northern section you have the south Staffordshire teams of Wolverhampton Casuals (Coven Heath), Chasetown, Hednesford and Heath Hayes. There was also Wyrley Rangers until a few seasons, but they folded. If you’re desperate you could also watch either Wolves or Walsall. Luckily for me I have a fair few of them left and they’re all within an hour’s drive, so it gives me plenty more Tuesday night options, after work.
Pelsall started out in the Staffordshire County League. This was followed by success in the West Midlands Regional League, which gained them promotion to the Midland Alliance, where they enjoyed eight seasons of step five football before being relegated back to the WMRL. In 2004 they stepped sideways into the Midland Combination, which covers a similar catchment, but which they felt was better suited to them.
Their opponents Bolehall Swifts were founded 1953 and hail from the Bolehall suburb of Tamworth. They have had a very similar playing history with their highest elevation also the Midland Alliance.
The ground is next to the Old Bush pub. There is parking at the front of the ground or easily enough in the streets around. The ground is very much of the lived-in variety, that I like. There’s lots of structures going on, such as ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin, taking entrance money and selling programmes.
Pelsall’s main stand is behind the goal as you come in. It looks like a fairly new build and holds a good 500 or so seats, some in a state of disrepair, but nevertheless a large stand for a club at this level.
Down one side were the snack bar, main clubhouse and wooden ‘director’s box’ with one bloke in sat on a school chair. The other two sides were just hard standing framed by trees and back gardens.
The game was one of those weird 1-0s with a goal in the first minute. Bolehall got off to a flyer with Newford running on to a through ball to pop under the keeper. Within another minute Bolehall missed an open goal for 2-0. They dominated the first half completely in all areas. The second half saw a much better Pelsall come back at Bolehall but to no avail. Bolehall held on for a deserved victory.
All’s well that ends ALL, for the Boleh- variety anyway. Sorry.