Saturday 29th August 2020 14.30
Melbourne Dynamo 1 Cromford & Wirksworth Town 0 HT: 0-0 Att: 25(hc)
from Melbourne Sports Club
Another foray into the lower echelons of non-league football, this time to Melbourne in Derbyshire. Melbourne in Australia gets its name from here, via Melbourne House in the village, which was the seat of William Lamb, the British Prime Minister and 2nd viscount Melbourne in 1837. It was renamed from Batmania.
This original Melbourne is a small market town, recorded in the Domesday Book as Mileburn, which means mill by the stream. It’s next to Donnington Park racing circuit which in turn is next to East Midlands Airport.
The football team play in the Central Midlands League in the first division, below the regional Premier leagues, as do their opponents, Cromford & Wirksworth Town. What is it about the suffix Dynamo in these parts? Shepshed, Loughborough and now Melbourne?
Melbourne Dynamo were established in 1950, according to their corner flags. There was another team called Melbourne United, est. 1986, and around until a few years ago, but not sure what happened to them.
As for the opposition, this is a 2019 merger of Cromford and Wirksworth Town.
The ground is on the left side of the town and comprises a very smart clubhouse that has a sizeable veranda overlooking a cricket pitch. There is also a rugby pitch, where Melbourne Rugby Club play and tennis courts, as well as Melbourne Dynamo’s ground, which has a perimeter bar on three sides.
The ground is quite open giving it a windswept feel.
The game was a bit cagier than the other pre-season friendlies I’d seen. There was no lack of effort, but chances were fewer and Wirthsworth & Cromford had an unsusual tactic of playing it from the back and keeping it in their own third of the pitch, often for so long that they got dispossessed in a dangerous position. I’m surprised they don’t concede more goals.
Melbourne were the slightly better side throughout and had more clear cut chances, but it did look like it was heading inexorably towards a 0-0. However on 72, some great footwork on the right of the box, evaded a defenders swiping tackle to take the ball to the by line where it was crossed perfectly for James Smith, whose bullet header found the far top corner.