Saturday 30th April 2016 10.05am
Notts Senior League Premier Division
Beeston 0 Underwood Villa 0 ht: 0-0 att: 291 Ent: £2 Prog £1 Coffee £1
from the Hetley Pearson Recreation Ground
I’d never been to a Notts Senior League game before. This was the annual Notts hop, which Rob Hornby has been organising for a few years now. This was to be the last of the Notts hops. Rob ran the Central Midlands League hops before this. I’d been on one of his CML hops before – they are seemlessly organised and great for the local clubs and the groundhoppers alike. They are very popular among hoppers, but personally, I prefer to watch non-league at a higher level, step six and above, both on account of seeing furnished grounds and better football. However, the lure of four new grounds in one day was too much.
I’d seen quite a few Staffs County League grounds; they were all required to have a solid perimeter bar, and quite a few in the top division had some character to them. Occasionally you’d get a good game too. I have to confess to being disapppointed when I saw Beeston. Despite being in the top division of the Notts Senior League, their Hetley Pearson Ground was a pitch within a cricket pitch, with twine and plastic sticks forming a thin gossamer barrier round the pitch. It didn’t fulfil my criteria for a ground.
However, the most basic of football venues can be overlooked by what happens on the pitch. The facilities at Arnold Town a few weeks hence, were completely overshadowed, firstly, by the presence of Julian Joachim, and latterly by the 4-5 scoreline. The match today though, gave the ground a run for its money. Yet again, my experience of county matches is that the players are just too inept to score, going against the prevailing trend of them being higher scoring.
It was a shame; as once again the organisation was superb and Rob had pulled all the stops out for a great day, but the first match of the day was dire.