Monday 10th August 2020 6.45pm
PSF Wirksworth Ivanhoe 0 Ashbourne 3 HT: 0-2 Att: circa 50
from Wirksworth Recreation Ground
After almost five months real football was back. Groundhoppers everywhere came out of their homes slavering, manic and slightly insane, like a hostage chained to a radiator in the dark finally released…
So there we were squinting in the blinding light, scouring twitter feeds to find those rare gems of grounds at step eight or below, on account of the spectator ban on step seven fixtures upwards. They’re few and far between, you’re lucky if you get a perimeter bar or even rope. Dave joked that we may be required to remove our jumpers.
Talking of the other Dave, it was his excellent groundwork on twitter that unearthed this friendly, not too far from us in the Peak District. Wirksworth Ivanhoe play in the Midland Regional Alliance and Ashbourne in the Staffs County League.
I wouldn’t normally consider travelling any distance for this sort of fixture and venue; I generally draw the line at travelling for a perimeter bar ground (let alone no perimeter bar), as to me that’s just getting another tick for the sake of it, you may as well save petrol and watch something local; there’s nothing unique about a perimeter bar.
However, needs must in these strange times, and tonight was more than just a new ground. It was a pleasant picturesque drive with a mate through the peak district to a scenic venue – a pitch was perfectly sufficient for the end event. It wasn’t like bombing down a motorway for two hours for the sake of it.
There was a sign too, on the clubhouse. Us groundhoppers love a sign or too.
For a friendly the game was very watchable and competitive. It was an idyllic setting for some pre-season football. Ashbourne put their chances away and ran out deserved 3-0 winners.