You can never have too much of a good thing and that’s a fact as far as football is concerned. My own weekend began with a trip to Bangor City’s VSM Stadium in the Welsh Premier League, but as I’ve been there numerous times before it wasn’t one for the groundhopping blog.
With one West Midlands Regional League and two Welsh National League fixtures lined up on consecutive days though, I was looking forward to a hat-trick of new grounds. However, the very heavy rain put an end to my plans as they all fell by the wayside.
An opportunity out of the blue, although not a new ground, saw me at Molineux for Wolves against Hull City in the English Championship. It all came around courtesy of Matt Lee, the facilities manager at Park Hall, with hospitality packages via one of the companies that we do business with at The New Saints. I ended up going with my wife and we had a great time.
I had to wait until Thursday, however, before I added a new ground to my list. Haughmond at home to Boldmere St Michaels in the Midland Football League was the game and Shrewsbury Sports Village the destination.
I was at TNS during the day, and living near Wolverhampton, it was all very convenient indeed as the excursion was just minutes off the A5 on the way home. The facilities are great and I was very impressed with the quality of the pitch – especially with the conditions that we’ve been through recently.
Within minutes of the start, the visitors were down to 10 men with a red card being shown, due to a poor challenge. Immediately the power-balance shifted to Haughmond, but as proved in the end, it was Boldmere who triumphed through adversity.
Falling behind twice, The Mikes not only hauled themselves back on each occasion but went on to win 4-2. It was a very good game with both sides looking to play good football, which they did.
When you have one less player on the pitch then you organise yourself accordingly and Boldmere did this. Getting bodies back when out of possession and pushing forward when they had the ball. Tactically, they were spot on.
Haughmond were impressive though and in particular I liked the number 6 in midfield. Looking very comfortable on the ball, always calling for it even in tight positions and his distribution was intelligent.
I’ve been to a number of games right across the board recently, from Champions League through to matches well down the tier pecking order. Outside of the professional fixtures this has been easily the one that shone as far as quality on the pitch is concerned.
There was a good crowd as well, which was nice to see. The Midland Football League is a decent standard and if you’re near one of the teams then it’s definitely worth checking out. Plus, for those who complain that football is expensive, at £5 admission (at Haughmond anyway) it’s hardly going to break the bank.
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