Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Clifton All Whites - Norman Archer Memorial Ground

 Clifton All Whites FC
Norman Archer Memorial Ground
Green Lane
NG11 9AZ

Ground Number: 1023
Tuesday 16th November 2021
Clifton All Whites 2-0 Ingles
United Counties D1


The club was established in 1963 as Thistledown Rovers. They were originally a youth team, dominating the local youth leagues and attracting players from all over the county. Over the ensuing years, they adopted their current name and progressed into senior football. They joined the Midland League in 1973 but struggled around the lower reaches of the table. They resigned from the league midway through the 1977/78 season and returned to local football. Clifton All Whites would join the Notts Senior League in 1991 but would suffer two relegations in their first two seasons - from the Senior Division in 1992 and Division 1 the following year. They did well to stop the rot and a 4th place finish in Division 2 was good enough for promotion back at the first attempt. In 1999, they were Division 1 champions, finding themselves back in the Senior Division. They briefly dropped the 'All Whites' suffix in the mid-2000s, coinciding with them finishing as runners-up to Cotgrave Welfare in 2006. The club would join the Central Midlands League in 2011 and would win the South Division in 2014. They would rejoin the Notts Senior League in 2015, winning the Premier Division in 2017. Following this, Clifton All Whites made the step up to the East Midlands Counties League. After two 12th place finishes and two abandoned seasons, the club was transferred to the United Counties League Division 1 for this season.

Clifton All Whites are yet to play in the FA Cup. They did play in the FA Trophy in 1972, losing 5-1 at Alfreton Town in their only game in the competition 1975 saw their best run in the FA Vase, beating Loughborough Colleges and Newfoundpool WMC before losing to Stamford in the 3rd Round. Several players have appeared for the club as youngsters before going on to greater things. These include Keith Alexander, Gary Birtles, Jemaine Jenas, Darren Huckerby and Jemaine Pennant. The team are based in the Nottingham suburb of Clifton which has a population of around 27,000. Famous people from the area include musician Jake Bugg and footballer Viv Anderson.


For this Tuesday, I had Anwar back in the passenger seat and there were plenty of options to do. The only problem was that they were all a fair old trek, over 100 miles each way. It would mean me contributing more to the travel costs as Anwar only had a limited budget, the price of fuel having skyrocketed in recent times. The initial choice was Thurnby Rangers v Glenfield United which was closer, but when I checked on Sunday evening, it had been postponed due to Covid. There were a number of further options and with Anwar not fussed about where we went, I chose Clifton All Whites as there were plenty of backups around there and the weather seemed fine. For once, Saturday had been a disappointment. For the first time since April 2019, Wycombe Wanderers lost a home game in front of an unrestricted crowd on a Saturday. The opponents on both occasions were Portsmouth. My 'lucky routine' finally bit the dust, maybe it was because I had Colin with me for the first time. But in truth, we have been spoiled, with pretty much every home game being enjoyable for the last two and a half years. To cap off a pretty miserable Saturday, I got suspended from posting on Twitter for a week for suggesting that some people that robbed a football teams dressing room whilst they were playing should have their arms cut off. I thought it was harsh, as I was only joking, obviously. I put in an appeal, but given other people's experiences of Twitter support, I don't hold out much hope.

Sunday as ever bought its usual trials and tribulations and it didn't help that I was going into the day in a really downbeat mood, compared to my usual happy one after a good Saturday.  Monday was calmer in store, but my morale had not really improved. I was glad to get home and look forward to Tuesday off work. The day of the game came and I was feeling a lot more positive. I'd had a decent night's sleep and after a shower and getting dressed, I walked to town. I decided to get some steak for lunch but a quick 10-minute shop in Aldi turned out to take 20 minutes to pay for his shopping, trying a succession of expired cards before giving up and allowing the rest of the queue to pay for their shopping. After buying a few other things, I walked home, arriving home around 2. I had just under a couple of hours at home before leaving at 3.45. I was with Anwar by 4.15 and we had a decent journey up, getting to Clifton Spice Tandoori by 6.25. I ordered chicken fajita and chips for £6 and Anwar had a burger of some description. We both agreed that it was absolutely top-notch and wished we had it in Wycombe. Our usual matchday takeaway in Wycombe had gone right downhill lately being inflexible, slow and getting orders wrong. So a search was in place to find a potential replacement. We finished up and were at the ground by 7, paying £5 to get in and £1 for a programme.


The two sides were 18th & 19th in United Counties D1 with 20 points each, well clear of the relegation spots. Ingles were a place above by virtue of one goal. The hosts had beaten Lutterworth Athletic 3-0 in their latest game and had also won 4-2 at Gedling Miners Welfare and 3-1 at Belper United in recent times. They'd lost 3-0 at Kimberley Miners Welfare and 2-1 to Aylestone Park in the last five league games. The visitors had won four games in a row in the early part of October but since then, they'd lost their last four. They'd been thumped 4-0 at Kimberley Miners Welfare and 5-0 at Hinckley as well as 3-0 at Hucknall Town. They'd also lost 2-1 at home to Dunkirk. The game kicked off a few minutes late, with the hosts in seemingly no rush to start. Ingles had a lot of the ball early on but didn't really threaten the Clifton goal. The hosts took the lead on 20 minutes when Dylan Kirkler cut in from the left and fired a shot into the roof of the net from just outside the area. On 33 minutes, Clifton All Whites had strong claims for a penalty and when this was refused it led to some pushing and shoving between the benches and players. Like the first period, Ingles started the second half brightly but any chances they created were wasted. Gradually, the hosts took control and their lead was doubled on 79 minutes when the ball fell to Jahred Russell who found the bottom right corner from 20 yards. The home Twitter missed an 'L' off of his surname, something I know to be a common mistake having it as my own name. Clifton were good value for the win in the end, but if Ingles had taken their chances, it may well have been a different story.

I'd had a Bovril at halftime for a reasonable £1.50. No attendance was given but I'd guess around 35 were there. We left around 9.45 and it was a reasonable journey. We learned of Wycombe losing 1-0 to Hartlepool in what didn't seem the greatest game. I wasn't too fussed though, we had a terrible draw in Lincoln City (A) in the 2nd Round, so maybe it's best that we don't waste our time and energy. The rest will do us good and it means that the Sunderland (H) league game will remain on a Saturday. There were negatives though, losing with such a strong team was not good and it continued our poor fun of form. Hopefully, that will change this Saturday when we play Bolton Wanderers on Saturday as we've not won in a month. I needed petrol on the way home and so stopped in Milton Keynes. For the third time in recent weeks, the so-called 24 hour petrol station at Tesco was closed, so I had to go to the ASDA near Milton Keynes FC to fill up which may need to my car needing to be disinfected. After all that, I dropped Anwar off at 11.50 and got home myself at 12.15. As with last week, the late-night meant that I got ages to get going the next morning and I was late for work for the second Wednesday in a row.



THE NORMAN CLIFTON MEMORIAL GROUND is a decent venue for the level. It is fairly unique and has character although only two and a bit sides are open to the public. There's a stand holding about 150 seated in a variety of benches and seats. The rest of the ground is open. There's a decent tea bar and a bar selling cans. The car park is large and the public tr links are decent. Around a mile away is the Clifton Spice takeaway which is brilliant and offers nice food. 

No comments:

Post a Comment