Friday, 19 July 2013

Winslow United - Winslow Sports Club

Winslow United FC
Winslow Sports Club
Elmfields Gate
MK18 3JA

01296 711039

Ground Number: 283
Friday 19th July 2013
Winslow United 2-1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds

I have said before on this blog how much I prefer Friday night football, as opposed to a few drinks on a Friday night. Especially this week with my birthday being on the Thursday. I had a great time, loads of nice gifts and great messages from friends and family. And in the evening a nice meal at the William Robert Looseley pub in town. It was curry night, so I opted for the hottest thing on the menu - the dragon curry. I also carried on my participation in the Wetherspoons cider festival, getting up to 12 out of the 16 on offer. I now only have 4 to go, and 9 days to complete it. One of the nice gifts that I got was a selection of ciders from all over the world, but I will be savouring these, and be saving them for future weekends.

Thankfully I would have company again, in the shape of usual traveller Anwar, negotiated the evening before after a few pints. Work the day after was a pain, as it was on my birthday. I've been totally knackered this week, and will be glad of a good nights sleep tonight. After work I watched the Australians collapse again in the Ashes. I'm not a huge fan of cricket, more a casual one, but it's something nice to have on in the background, and Test Match Special on the BBC is the ideal soundtrack, as the Sky Sports commentary is a bit dull. After a dinner of Chilli Con Carne, I was on my way at 6.15, picking Anwar up in Aylesbury at 6.45. On the way I tested out my new Pure DAB Highway Radio for my car. Results were excellent, only losing signal on a small part of my journey. I listened to the end of the cricket and then put Absolute 80's on.

Like my last game, this would be at step 6. The hosts played in the Spartan South Midlands League Division 1, with the likes of Amersham Town and Bedford, finishing in 14th place last season. They had already had a notable victory in pre season, beating MK Franchise 4-2 on Monday night, as well as losing to Notts County's youth team 2 days ago.

AFC Rushden and Diamonds meanwhile were formed from the ashes of Rushden and Diamonds, but playing at Wellingborough as opposed to the money pit that was Nene Park. Their problems were of course financial. Ironically, they had been involved in a 9-0 thrashing of Weymouth, which was covered in all it's glory on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday show. This was when the Dorset club suffered a similar fate and had to play all their youth players after releasing their first team squad. At the end of the 2010/11 season they were expelled from the Blue Square Premier. They were quick to try and reform, but sadly too late to get together a senior side for the 2011/12 season. Instead they entered a youth team in the Northants Youth League and put all their support behind that. They had a successful season, winning silverware, despite losing their first game to Raunds Town. The following season saw them play senior football for the first time, gaining promotion from the United Counties League Division One at the first attempt, and getting to the league's Premier Division at the first time of asking. They will be hoping to make further progress this season, as they continue the road to recovery.

We got to Winslow at 7.15 and parked in the Royal British Legion opposite. Entry was just £3 to a friendly gatesman, good value for a nights entertainment. Sadly there were no programmes or teamsheets, but I wasn't expecting one for such a low key friendly. I checked Facebook and took a few pictures of the ground. The game was a pretty decent one. The first half was all Rushden and they took a deserved lead through Ben Morgan who cooly chipped the keeper.

At half time we chatted to the Rushden photographer, recalling many meetings between the Diamonds and Wycombe over the years. Rushden started the second half well again and could have had another goal. But hesitancy in the visitors defence allowed Winslow in for an equaliser and from then on they had the better of the game. They got their reward when, right at the death they scored an absolute screamer from 40 yards that flew in the top corner. A goal worthy of winning any game, but a bit harsh on Rushden, given the balance of play. It was Shrieves that got both of the goals for Winslow and did the damage, right at the death.

All in all it had been a good game, on a really pleasant evening for watching football. The club were really friendly too, thanking us for our visit as we left. It was a quick drive home and after dropping Anwar off, I was back home by half ten.

WINSLOW SPORTS CLUB is quite basic, but has all you need for a step 6 club. Apart from one small stand, it's all uncovered. There is a clubhouse at the ground which is compact and modern, but as you would expect, no club shop.

The town is nearby and offers a wise range of places to eat and drink, overall a nice club to visit and a good day out.

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