Result: Parrswood Celtic 2-2 Moston Brook (Lancashire & Cheshire League Premier Division)
Venue: Rushford Park (Wednesday 6th April 2016, 6.15pm)
Att: 10 (approx.)
A third game in three days for myself, following on from the Manchester Utd u21 & Rylands games previous. To complete the trifecta of games, I was to tick off a random long term target of mine, only due to me having passed by the ground on numerous occasions on trains while venturing on to other places. Yes I was off to finally tick Rushford Park, the home of Lancs & Cheshire League side Parrswood Celtic.
I decided to head into Manchester on the bus (being the cheapest way) and after making a couple of musical purchases from the HMV in the Arndale (I’m very anti-download and prefer the physical disk), I headed off down Wilmslow Rd to visit a couple of nearby pubs prior to the game, namely the Wetherspoon’s, The Great Central and the Friendship Inn which is just over the road. The latter though was an afterthought visit, as I thought it rude not to pay a short stop. You all agree I’m sure?
Anyway, after a small stay in these two pubs and dodging the heavy showers which were blowing in, I eventually headed off towards the ground and headed past the old Fallowfield Station building, which is now a Sainsbury’s as I did so. 25 minutes or so later, I was just about to arrive at the ground when I received a text off usual accomplice Dan which read something along the lines of “I’m at the ground, there’s nothing here”. I then had that horrible thought that there had been a late change of venue, but I wanted a look for myself.
I arrived at Rushford Park to find players putting nets up and a sure fire game in the process of being readied. I also noticed that Dan was nowhere to be found. It turns out he had ended up at another playing fields on a different road, having been sent to a nursery prior to it. That’s his story anyway!! But, eventually we struggled along to get the right direction to allow him to arrive at the ground just in time for kick-off.
There isn’t much to Rushford Park in earnest, with the ground just being a barred off pitch squeezed between the two lines out of Manchester Piccadilly. There is a small building which houses boxing and other activities in a small, community hall like area for sports and that’s about it. But anyway, here’s some history about Parrswood Celtic FC…
Parrswood Celtic FC was formed in 1963 following a conversation by the two founders in the Parrswood Hotel. The club initially competed in the South Manchester & Wythenshawe League, playing at Fog Lane, Didsbury.
The 1970’s saw Celtic move to Hough Lane until their next move to the Ducie High School, where you could overhear the cheers from Maine Road, such was the close proximity of the school to the old ground. The club, by this time, were competing in the Lancashire & Cheshire League where they achieved promotion to the 1st Division in the late ’80’s. After a yo-yo period of promotion/relegation through the ’90’s and a further change of home to the Parrswood High School (surrounding a 2-year period at the Manchester University Sports Complex), the club found themselves down in the L&C Division 3.
2005 saw them promoted back to Division 2 and the next year saw a return to Division 1 as runners-up. They were eventually promoted to the Premier Division in the ’13-’14 season after a 3rd place finish. Last season, Celtic finished up in a respectable 5th place, but this season they are currently sitting in a lowly 10th. At some point they switched to play at Rushford Park, but I can’t find details of when.
Both teams eventually made their way onto the pitch in dribs and drabs and we were soon set to get started. It was a quick start to the action as well, as Parrswood took the lead after just a couple of minutes, #7 breaking clear and finishing from close range. That was the good news for him. The bad news was that, in the process of scoring the goal, he’d pulled his hamstring and had to go off. Impact.
But Moston soon found themselves on level terms once more, as a free-kick was curled into the top corner, giving the ‘keeper no chance. After this, we set off on a lap of the ground where little happened on the pitch, bar a tame shot being cleared off the line for Moston, but that was that in terms of action really in the first half as it all petered out and into a 1-1 half-time score line.
After a short 5-minute break in between the two 40 minute halves, we were back underway but only for a short time as a heavy hailstorm blew through forcing the teams off the field for no more than a minute or so, before all cleared and the sun shone once more over Rushford Park. As for the game, we got back underway and the action stepped up. It was Parrswood who netted again next, with a low free-kick flying past the statuesque Moston ‘keeper. 2-1 to the home side with around 25 to play.
As it was, this proved to spur Moston on and they were awarded a penalty with around 15 to play, as a push right on the edge of the area was correctly, it appeared from reaction, to have been adjudged inside. Up stepped the taker, but he thumped his strike well wide. A poor penalty and the Brook remained trailing by the odd goal, though the guys in the car pitch side who beeped their horn as the kick was taken looked mighty happy with their tactic!
But, the miss was soon to be rendered somewhat obsolete just minutes later, as Moston did grab their second equaliser of the evening, with a good finish ensuring that both sides would share a hard earned point on the evening, which I’m sure both would suggest was the fair result. Anyway, that’s that, no further action happened and after a boring journey back I could take stock ahead of a return to the big leagues on Saturday. The Etihad awaits…
Game: 6- Decent game, definitely had worse.
Ground: 4- Just a barred off pitch, though there is an inside community sports space.
Food: N/A, though there may have been snacks at the bar.
Programme: N/A (Leaflets available!)
Fans: There was only 7 people, I don’t think a rating applies!
Value For Money: 8- Pretty cheap day. Free game, £4 travel and £4.50 “extras”!