Wednesday 12th May 2021 18.30
Hope Valley League Premier
Baslow 4 Doveholes 3 HT: 2-2 Att: c15
from Baslow Sports Field
Wednesdays have become regular Hope Valley League days and tonight was the turn of Baslow. What a league it has turned out to be since the restriction on sporting activities. Since the pandemic began I’d seen nine games in this league and 68 goals; all at venues with varying shades of awesome undulating backdrops. Baslow’s wasn’t quite as hilly a panorama as some of late, but still boasted a lush and leafy surrounding. It’s situated a few miles north east of Bakewell heading towards Chesterfield and Sheffield.
The drive over has to be one of the best in the country, from Leek. You turn right, after the eye-catching Roaches rock formation, along the up and down stomach-churning, tortuous country road, through the scenic villages of Longnor, Crowdecote, Monyash and Bakewell. The Sports Field is right in the middle of the village, comprising a cricket pitch, with the football pitch next to the pavillion.
Baslow lies near to some of the best scenery in the Dark Peak and lies next to the River Derwent. It is just a mile from the famous Chatsworth House. The Sports Field is also home to tennis and 5-a-side and has a very smart yorkstone pavillion, circa 1993, called The Cavendish Sports Pavillion.
Baslow FC were foundering a little in the league, lying second bottom out of the 11 clubs. They had only won twice all season. This evening’s visitors Doveholes, from just past Buxton, were in seventh, three places above. Baslow were high scoring, averaging almost six goals per game.
Baslow’s propensity for goals continued in a brilliant game, that after 20 minutes, you’d never imagine the hosts could win, in a million years. Doveholes dominated the early exchanges, scoring a simple 18 yard straight shot into the corner after 10, followed a minute later by a tap in after a penetrating through ball. Not long after this, a cross from the right was volleyed from close range to clatter the crossbar. You wondered at this point if it might be a double figures job.
However, Baslow’s number 10 was a real thorn in Dovehole’s side, looking a potential threat all game. Shortly after having what I thought a perfectly good goal disallowed for offside, the No 10 scored a messy short range shot, fumbled by the keeper. And, unlikely as it seeemed after the first quarter hour, Baslow got a penalty just before half time. Again the No 10 weaved into the area ahead of the defender, who peevishly slayed him to the ground.
He stepped up to power his spot kick home into the corner to make it 2-2.
This set up a fascinating second half, in which it was a lot closer. You still fancied Doveholes to win as they just seemed to have a bit more class throughout the team, but Baslow still presented a risk on the break. Doveholes struggled to translate their possession into goals, as they missed a few good chances.
After 70 minutes it was the Baslow No 9 who expertly beat the last man in the box, only to be upended. A second penalty and No 10’s hat-trick followed. Doveholes showed an agitation after this, like you might see when a league team find themselves losing in the FA Cup to a non-league side; that sudden dawning that the result they fully expected, is somehow slipping away.
The yellows peppered the Baslow goal area, with attack after attack, and finally equalised with a goal similar to the first; a shot face-on from the edge of the box into the corner. You would only back one winner now, but there was a final twist to the tale. In over-stretching to score their winner, Doveholes left gaping (Dove) holes in their defence, so that in the last minute the No 9 ran through alone onside on the right of the field, crossed it in to No. 10, in the middle who, with time to spare, wrong-footed the keeper with a cool strike to make it his and Baslow’s fourth.
A wonderful end to an enthralling game in the sunny Peak