Manchopper in….Partington

Result: Partington Rovers 6-1 Sale Amateurs (Altrincham & District League)

Venue: Moss View Road (Wednesday 10th May, 6.15pm)

Att: 45 (approx.)

I entered the final week of my 2016-’17 season with just the two games remaining on the schedule. First up came Partington Rovers, who play in the Altrincham & District League and as at Orford vs Windle Labour the previous Saturday, they are another team coming to the end of their first season at a new level. So, without further ado, let’s get into the tale of my trip to Moss View Road…

After meeting Dan at just before five, we headed up on the bus to outside the finely named ground of “The Sty”, home to “The Pigs” of Carrington RUFC. See what they did there?! However, it wasn’t to their ground we were actually headed, but instead we were off to the Windmill Inn, which is just a couple of minutes walk from the bus stop and on the main road.

The Windmill is a real, old, traditional pub with wooden sleepers on the low ceilings and pictures of the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal adorning the walls. It really is worth a visit if you get the chance. Another bonus is the cheapness of the pints in here, the Taddy Lager priced at just £2.35 which was confirmed by the friendly barmaid.  You can’t really complain with that can you?! So, we settled in to waste away the half-hour we now had until the next bus came around to take us onwards to the promised land.

The Windmill. It’s open, honestly!

Nice inside too. Some strange convo’s though!

After heading back out of the closest pub to the ground (yes, I forgot to mention there isn’t one sole pub in Partington anymore), we arrived back at the bus stop before heading the five minutes up the road. After heading down a couple of small back alleys (and getting slightly lost in doing so), we eventually found ourselves within sight of the ground. The issue then was we were at the rear of it and, with no entrance forthcoming here, we then had to head round to the main entrance where we eventually got into the “Partington Pavilion”. Nope, no idea either.

The ground here is very basic. Bar the couple of community buildings to the right of the pitch and the adjoining changing room block, there is nothing in the way of furniture. The pitch is fully railed off, however, so easily ticks my necessary requirement for a ground. It could probably do with being spruced up a little, as some of the rails were on the verge of (or had already) collapse. However, I do believe it is a public pitch, so…

Arriving at the ground

The “Partington Pavilion”

Anyway, we arrived just a couple of minutes before the game was underway. This one quickly became an open contest, with little defence on show! Indeed it took just a few minutes for the first goal to fly in, Partington’s Joe Shenton seeing a free-kick deflect of the wall and right into his path. He took a touch before firing his shot high into the net to break the deadlock and give the hosts the lead.

The game did settle down after a hectic start, with both sides getting to grips on the weed-filled pitch. However, it would be Partington who would grab a second after around a half-hour, Ryan Mellor breaking clear of the Sale defence before slotting under the advancing ‘keeper. This was celebrated by someone from the Partington ranks on the side lines exclaiming loudly “Dave, you bastard!” in celebration.

Match Action

Match Action

Broken rails

The impressive Mellor then added his second almost immediately after the restart, forcing the ball over the line from a couple of yards whilst battling with a defender to get there first. Three-nil to the home side and that was that for the first half.

The break came and went in triple-quick time (it was about four minutes) and we were back underway. Again, it didn’t take long for the net to be rippling again and it was that man Mellor who completed his hat-trick, benefiting from a tackle in the area to slot into the bottom corner with ease. The visitors, who sat second prior to the game, still maintained slight title aspirations, but they were seeing them snuffed out with some authority this evening.

After having a quick chat with Partington’s Warren Collier, who Dan and myself know somewhat from his time at Trafford, we watched on as Sale grabbed a goal back from the spot. A handball on the goal-line, though it was unintentional which probably helped him in terms of repercussions, saw the ref have little hesitation in giving the penalty and up stepped #9 to fire in.

Match Action

Don’t cross the line

Match Action

The goal-fest in the sun didn’t end there as Partington continued on unabated and grabbed a couple more to add gloss to the score-line. Firstly, a good ball in from the right-flank saw Dean Ashford collect the ball at the far post, the winger having all the time in the world to pick his spot and find the net, before Jake Pollard, who for me was the best player on the pitch with regard to his control and touch, got a deserved goal for himself. Again it was the Sale defence who were static and Pollard burst clear and side-footed beyond the beleaguered visiting custodian.

So the score read 6-1 with around fifteen to play, but there was to be no further addition to the score, though Sale somehow spurned a chance to make it look a bit better for them in the last-minute. One of their forwards missed a good chance before the rebound fell to a team-mate and the ball looked destined for the net. However, a pure air-kick from said team-mate saw the ball able to be cleared for a corner. After the set-piece was also cleared by the home defence, full-time arrived, Sale’s season came to an end and our own season’s final whistle grew ever closer.

Through the trees

The five-minute walk through the back streets saw us back on the main road for the bus back home, where we went our separate ways, with me actually getting home first for once! So a decent enough day was had in the end, with the threat of an end of season walkover being non-existent. Phew.

As for the game itself, Partington did look very good and completely belied their mid-table (7th) position. Sale Amateurs, on the other hand, did look out classed in all areas which was a little strange, but nothing too out of the ordinary this late in the season.

Anyway, all roads now lead to the final footballing Saturday, before the willow and leather returns…

RATINGS:

Game: 6

Ground: 3

Food: N/A

Programme: N/A

Value For Money: 9

Manchopper in….Broadheath

Result: Broadheath Central 1-0 Sale Amateurs (Altrincham & District Amateur Football League)

Venue: Viaduct Lane (Wednesday 15th April 2015, 6.15pm)

Att: 15 (approx.)

A blog that should have been done 12 months ago, Broadheath was one that was neglected due to the fact I left last year’s game early. No such decision had to be made this year, as I made my third visit to Viaduct Road. Coincidence meant that the two sides who played in the 6-0 last year were the same pair who faced each other in this evening’s game. Not only that, but the later game I was planning to catch the second half of also featured the same two sides who met each other on the same day as this game the previous season, when I made the same journey, that being Northwich Flixton Villa & AFC Darwen. Weird, huh?!

Talking to a brick wall...

Talking to a brick wall…

As it was, I got the 245 service heading towards Altrincham at just before 6.30, and it was on said bus that I met the acquaintance, in person, of fellow groundhopper/FCUM/Carlton Town supporter Sam Hodkin. After much musing over the travails of relegations and possible reprieves, which I’m sure had others around us nonplussed, we disembarked at the Broadheath Retail Park stop and after a minute’s walk, we arrived onto the grassy park, and barred off pitch area that serves as Broadheath Central’s home. As it seems obvious, there is pretty much nothing to the ground, though there is a slightly raised pathway/viewing area down the left hand touchline, under the trees. There is a coffee shop, signed at least (I’ve never seen it open) at the rear of the ground, and I am told there is a clubhouse on the other side of the old railway viaduct which lends its name to the ground and one was part of the Broadheath-Warrington railway, with the viaduct arches being one of the last remaining remnants of the line.

The coffee shop

The coffee shop

Raised area

Raised area

There are some further details of the line, if you are inclined or interested, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadheath_(Altrincham)_railway_station

With not much else to speak of, and with kick-off delayed due to a late arrival/lack of players Sam and I headed off on a lap of the pitch before settling behind the “coffee shop end” goal. Luckily, some additional Sale players sprung up from nowhere and we were all set to get underway. Here is a brief history of Broadheath Central FC:

History Lesson:

Broadheath Central joined the Mid-Cheshire League in 1991, but a previous incarnation of a Broadheath side served as a forerunner to Altrincham FC, prior to 1903. The current side joined the Mid-Cheshire Division 2, winning the title in their first season. They remained in Division 1 for the next 5 seasons, before being relegated in 1997. A further tenure of four years were played in Division 2 until they were again promoted, again as winners, in 2001. Relegated again in 2004, they remained in the Division 2 until 2008, when they resigned from the league after finishing bottom of the, now named, Cheshire League Division 2.

The club resurfaced in the Altrincham & District AFL, where they have been an ever familiar name at the sharp end, winning the title on two occasions since their change of league, and finishing runners-up to AFC Quarry last season. This season, it’s the same two sides competing for the title, with Quarry leading the way, but Broadheath having a game in hand to go top.

Well, this game was something of a non-event. It was a good job that Sam was there to chat with about all manners of football grounds, games and cricket matters, and indeed it was something of a shock when a goal arrived a couple of minutes before the break, Broadheath’s #8 finishing off a cross at the back post. 1-0, and I guess it was deserved on balance.

Match Action

Match Action

Match Action

Match Action

Hoof

Hoof

After half time, it was a case of wasting time by having another couple of laps, whilst more nothing happened on the pitch bar a guy removing some dog waste, and the game, mercifully, ended with the score at 1-0. Oh, the Sale ‘keeper did make a good save, I can remember that, a low one-handed stop to his left. A really class save that would grace any ground or top game. Sadly, it took place in this one. If you don’t believe me and my account of the game, then just ask Sam. I’m sure he’ll try and blank it from his memory, but I’m sure he’ll back it up.

Match Action

Match Action

Match Action

Match Action

Waste removal

Waste removal

After the game, it was a planned walk back to the bus stop and a change at Stretford onwards to Valley Road for me. Of course, as you usually see, there was a group of teenagers with a ball and one standing on the bus stop roof. Why, I’m not quite sure. But each to their own, I guess. Luckily for me, it turned out my parents, who’d been out for the day just happened to be driving past, so I was offered a lift up to the ground directly, so I bid farewell to Sam, whose bus had just arrived, so it wasn’t being rude not offering one. Honest! The least said about the game the better, and in case you were wondering, the second half of NFV-Darwen was just as dull. It must be me. The curse remains….

wpid-20150415_191923.jpg

Man of the Match?…No idea who played. #8, just for the goal, can get it.

RATINGS:

Game: 2- Really dire, dire.

Ground: 3- Not a ground as such, just a park pitch with a bar around it.

Food: N/A

Programme: N/A

Fans: 2- I think fans can count just for people turning up. Or dogs.

Value For Money: 4- It wasn’t worth the journey money, really, but oh well.