My second groundhopping journey in three days once again took in the West Midlands Regional League. This time it was a trip to Pendeford Lane to watch AFC Bilbrook host Gornal Colts in Division Two.
On a glorious day on the edge of the West Midlands conurbation, it was also my 50th new ground of 2017/2018. I love working in football, and have done well in excess of 100 games during the course of the season, but I equally appreciate the ones I take in purely as a fan. It’s all football. It’s all good.
It was Gornal who were the better side in the first half. They were hungrier and sharper and worth their 2-0 lead at the break. When they added a third in the second period it was always going to be a mountain to climb as far as Bilbrook were concerned.
That mountain became even steeper when the goalkeeper received a red card. A ball played into the box saw the number one opt to head the ball, which he did cleanly. In the process, the Gornal player went to ground. I was surprised when the referee gave a penalty (and that’s not a criticism of the official) and even more so when a straight red was produced.
However, a penalty it was and the outfield player’s first job as replacement keeper was to pick the ball out the back of the net. Two more goals followed, ensuring it was Gornal who registered a comprehensive 6-0 victory come the final whistle.
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