Wednesday 21 December 2022

GNG Oadby Town - Riverside Football Ground

GNG Oadby Town FC
Riverside Football Ground
51 Braunstone Ln East
Braunstone Town

Ground Number: 1141
Tuesday 20th December 2022
GNG Oadby Town 4-1 Long Buckby
United Counties South


The club was formed in 1937 under the name of Oadby Imperial. They joined the Leicestershire League in 1949 and changed their name to Oadby Town in 1951. They spent many years there before joining the Midland Alliance in 1999 after being Champions for the eighth time and the third time in succession. They carried that on in their first season, winning the league at the first attempt. They continued to do well, but fortunes soon declined and in 2010 after finishing 22nd out of 23 teams. For the next season, they transferred to the East Midland Counties League, finishing 3rd. Once again they were on the move though, going over to the United Counties League Division 1. A 4th placed finish in their first season was followed up with the title in 2014. They've been in the United Counties Premier ever since, although this was regionalised at the start of last season. The club have never been hugely successful at this level and their best finish came in 2015 as they finished 13th. The club added GNG to the start of its name a couple of seasons ago to recognise the contribution of Guru Nanak Gurdwara who helped the club out when they were facing

The club's best season in the FA Cup came in their debut season of 1999/00. They beat Bilston, Willenhall and Halesowen before losing out to Eastwood Town in the 3rd Qualifying Round. They have had several good runs in the FA Vase, the best of which saw them reach the semi-final in 2002/03 before going out to Brigg Town of the Northern Counties East league. Numerous local cups have been won - the include the Rolleston Charity Cup ten times, the Leicestershire Challenge Cup four times, the Leicestershire Senior Cup five times, the Leicestershire Senior League Cup three times, the Battle of Britain Charity Cup four times, the Coalville Charity Cup three times, the Harborough Charity Cup twice, the City Medals in 1940 and the Midland Alliance Joe McGorian Cup in 2001. The town of Oadby is located a few miles east of Leicester city centre, near the racecourse. It has a population of just under 24,000 and the town is twinned with Maromme in France, and Norderstedt in Germany. The most famous person from Oadby is John Deacon, the bass player from Queen. 


This game was decided as long ago as a fortnight in advance, thanks to Dan's spot. Originally, this was not on my list for this season as I thought I'd already ticked Oadby. However, it turned out that they had moved ground following their formation of a partnership with Guru Nanak Gurdwara following financial difficulties. Dan agreed to go with Richard and I roped in Colin & Anwar, so it was going to be another hoppers convention, just as at Moulton where this fixture was planned. A check around five days before revealed that the weather would hopefully play ball and everything worked out with pickups. All that was left to do was organise somewhere for a pre-match meal and find out an updated version of the club's history.
The week before had been a dull one, with no football thanks to the unpleasant weather. There was one option, but I didn't risk it, missing out on Longwell Green Sports 0-2 Bristol Telephones. There was a further disappointment on Saturday, Anwar missed the Wycombe game due to a virus. That meant that I told him not to risk coming with us Tuesday as I didn't want to give it to my old dear for Christmas. Colin was a diamond getting me a couple of things from the Wycombe club shop, in return I gifted him a free lift home from my revisit to Burton Park Wanderers on 27th December. Luckily the day got better and Wycombe recorded a wonderful 1-0 win over league leaders Ipswich Town. It was the happiest I've been after a Wycombe game in some time and I celebrated with a few drinks. Sunday and Monday were my longer days at work but they flew by with it being pretty busy.
The day of the game came and it was my usual day off. I was up just before 8 after a patchy night's sleep. I had a shower and got dressed before my usual walk down town. I got most of the stuff that I wanted as well as a few bits I didn't intend on getting. I came back and had a long wait for the kebab thing I bought for lunch as it took 1H35 to cook from frozen. It would at least do me for a few meals though. I watched TV at home before leaving at 4.30 and got to Colin at 4.45. From there it was a mainly decent journey, though there were a few slow spots on the M1. We arrived near the ground at 6.50 and made our way to the takeaway we'd selected, Chicken and Pizza Express. I went for a 9-inch Peri Peri pizza for £4 50. This was excellent, though did take 20 minutes. From there it was a five-minute drive to the ground although the small car park was rammed. I had to park across the road before walking back and paying £6 to get in.
GNG Oadby Town had been in mixed form and sat in 10th place. In their last six, they'd beaten Cogenhoe United 3-1, Lutterworth Town 3-2 and Desborough Town 3-2. They'd lost the other three - 7-5 at Wellingborough Town, 4-0 at Rugby Town and 2-0 to MK Irish. Long Buckby were bottom and had won just twice all season. They were winless since 17th September and in their last six they had gained a 1-1 draw at Easington Sports. They'd lost the other five - 3-1 to Eynesbury Rovers, 3-0 to Godmanchester Rovers, 4-0 to Bugbrooke St Michaels, 6-0 at Histon and 3-1 to Desborough Town. Oadby started on top and they took the lead on 17 minutes, a low drilled shot from Ryan Robbins. It was 2-0 on 32 minutes, a ball in from the right was slid home at the back post by Robbins for his second. Long Buckby pulled one back on 55 minutes through a quick attack down the right and a finish by Gokhan Ulker. However, a couple of minutes later, Amarvir Sandhu restored the two-goal lead, making it 3-1 as he finished from point-blank range. They also hit the post soon after and it was 4-1 on 76 minutes, a shot from the edge of the area by Mussa Bham.
It had been a good game and night and plenty of hoppers in attendance. On the Futbology app alone, there were 28 check-ins out of the 95 that was eventually declared as the attendance. The highlight of the night was the excellent vegetable samosas, just £1 with a lovely chilli sauce. It was just a shame they didn't advertise them more as they were delicious. The programme had sold out by the time I got there but I picked up an old copy for free. It was time for me and Colin to say our goodbyes and head for home. My passenger had been so busy talking to other hoppers that he thought the game had ended 2-0!. We left at 9.45 and had a great journey home. I dropped Colin off at 11.20 and got home 15 minutes later. It took me nearly two hours to feel like sleeping, so it was a groggy start the following morning. I was hoping to revisit Stratford Town for an FC Stratford game the following evening. I got home and had an early dinner but it was all for nothing with the game called off, luckily before I left.

THE RIVERSIDE FOOTBALL GROUND is a fairly typical setup for the level. There are two covered areas - a seated stand holding around 100 and an area of flat covered standing for around 50. The rest of the ground is open. It's fairly plain and there's not a lot to let you know who plays there. The clubhouse is spacious and warm and offers basic drink options in cans and bottles. By far the highlight are the samosas with sauce, just £1 each. Outside, the car park is pretty small but there's further parking in the adjacent college and also street parking. For a wider choice of food, Braunstone, around a mile away, has a great choice.

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