Use it right and social media can be a positive thing, and that was the case when, checking The New Saints FC’s timeline, I saw a tweet from RAF Cosford (who the club follows) saying that there was a friendly game later that day against Telford Juniors.
As I’ve never been to the stadium before, I immediately changed my evening plans so that I could add a new ground to the list. I arrived with plenty of time but had difficulty entering the ground itself. The two gates and changing rooms were locked, and after walking around and asking people if there was another way in, I thought I’m not going to get through.
As it happened, there was a gate with a grille that at least you could see the game from, albeit at a distance, that I thought I’d watch through. Although it was just a twenty-five mile round-trip, I was determined that it wasn’t going to be a wasted one.
As the players were about to kick-off, another car arrived, and it was a very late player who was also trying to get in. He telephoned his manager and the gate was opened. Whether anyone else had turned up and then gone again, or was I the only one anyway, I don’t know.
I do know that it is the first game ever though where I have been the only spectator. Everyone else there was associated with the clubs involved.
The other first was when a substitution was made and a female came on. It’s the first time I’ve seen that, at that level. It got me thinking on the way back about mixed-gender games and especially in recent times where people can identify with a gender.
Anyway, the game itself. Telford took the lead with a looping ball over the ‘keeper and I thought that this will be a test of character for the home side. As it was, a well-worked and well-executed goal saw the teams leave the pitch at half-time all-square.
The RAF side looked significantly fitter and sharper, and I thought they will win this in the second-half, and that’s exactly what happened. If it hadn’t have been for the Telford goalkeeper, and the regular straying into an offside position, it could well have been double-figures.
I enjoyed the game, as I do every one that I go to. It was played in the right spirit and Cosford deserved the victory but that’s not to take away from Telford. They battled well and there were positives to take from the game from their perspective.
It’s an impressive stadium as well and the stand offers an excellent view of the game. This was my 20th new ground of the season and you can visit my groundhopping pages here.
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