Sunday 4 December 2022

Polonia Coventry - Massey Ferguson Sports Ground

Polonia Coventry FC
Massey Ferguson Sports Ground
40 Summerhill Lane

Ground Number: 1138
Saturday 3rd December 2022
Polonia Coventry 3-0 Coventry Warriors Gurdwara GNP
Coventry Alliance D1


The club was established in 2017 to represent the Polish community of Coventry. Polish is the third most popular language spoken in the city, with around 6.200 people, or roughly 2% of the population having it as their first language. The Poles have been coming over to Coventry for some time, starting around World War 2 although they haven't always received the warmest of welcomes from ignorant people, despite doing vital jobs. They started out in step 11 of non-league, the Coventry Alliance Division 3. A 4th place finish in their first season was a good start and this earned them promotion to Division 2 where they finished 5th in 2019, earning them promotion to Division 1. They were 7th when the season was cut short due to the pandemic in 2020 and a place higher when the same happened the following year. Last season saw them finish bottom of the league but avoid relegation.

They are based at the Massey Ferguson Sports Ground, the former home of the team of the same name. They are the works team of the tractor manufacturer and are still playing Sunday league football in Coventry. They started out in 1956 and initially played local football in the Coventry & Warwickshire League and the Coventry Alliance. They were highly successful here and as a result joined the Midland Combination Division 2 in 1993. Two successive titles saw them reach the Premier Division and they played sixteen seasons here, their highest finish 3rd in their debut season. This division sat at step 6 of non-league football. They resigned from the league in 2011, taking the place of their reserve team in the Coventry Alliance Division 3. Local cup wins included 3 successes in the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup, 3 in the Foleshill Charity Cup, 2 in the Bedworth Nursing Cup, and once in the Benevolent Cup.


I always like to do a game by public transport if possible on a Saturday, and this was no exception. There was very little inspiring me though and I'd loved to have done an FA Vase game. However, the only option open to me was Hartpury University but that was a pricey and long-winded trip via public transport. If I'd been able to double it with the 12 PM kick-off at Tuffley Rovers ( a revisit) I'd have been happy, but that wasn't working out public transport-wise between the two games. I was still keen to do a double though and the Midlands would provide me with this at a push. The Midland U21 League would usually provide me with my morning game but on this occasion, it was not obliging. It was a real shame as I fancied going to the Post Office Vaults in Birmingham but that will have to wait for another time.
Instead, it was the thought of a post-match mini pub crawl in Coventry that clinched this hop. I'd put out my idea of a double on Twitter to gather the thoughts of other hoppers. Kiz was first to respond and he warned me that the FA Full Time site for the Coventry Christian League was a bit hit-and-miss. This did make me a bit indecisive and I searched for alternate doubles without luck. Thankfully, the Coventrians Holy Family were part of the bigger Coventrians side and they had a fairly well-run Twitter feed to allay my fears of problems. The second piece of correspondence that I got was from well-respected hopper Pie Man who runs the excellent Pie & Mushy Peas blog. He confirmed that the Broomfield Tavern was a cracker just before 8 am without a care in the world. By the end of the morning, he was dead, thanks to a heart attack. It's crazy how things can change and it's a real reminder to enjoy life while you can and not work too hard.
From my last game at Coventrians, I headed out hoping to catch the 11.44 bus. That didn't turn up, nor did the 11.56, nor the 12.08. Two eventually turned up at 12.14 which meant a relaxing couple of pints in Wetherspoons along with lunch would become rushed. I eventually arrive at the Flying Standard Wetherspoons at 12.45, eating up the half hour I saved on the early kick-off. At least service is immediate and I have a pint of Black Dragon for £3.25. I then ordered my meal, the excellent chicken strips basket. This only took 4 minutes to come. As I was finishing my meal, my second pint of Black Dragon turned up. I walk to the bus stop and as befits today's service, it is both late and packed. Part of it is due to the city centre being rammed with cars, personally, I'd ban them and make them park on the outskirts. There is also a little brat screaming its head off, but two pints of Black Dragon deep, I am not so bothered. I get to my bus stop as kick-off is approaching, but still have 20 minutes of walking to do. I make up some time by jogging but then lose time thanks to Google Maps' dodgy directions. I eventually find the edge of the ground and follow the fence around, arriving just under 20 minutes into the game.
The hosts were in 6th place following this game. They had played more games than any other team though and had the worst goal difference in the league. They'd lost their last game 2-0 at Christ The King and had taken some heavy beatings - 10-1 at Brinklow and 7-1 to Stockingford. Victories had come with a 3-1 at Folly Lane and a 3-2 win over Christ The King. Coventry Warriors Gurdwara GNP were in 10th. They'd won their last two games - 3-1 at Stockingford and 6-1 at Triumph Athletic. Polonia Coventry were in all red, befitting their national team colours. Coventry Warriors Gurdwara GNP had an unusual choice of a Paris St Germain kit, an attractive navy strip. It was already 1-0 to the Polish side by the time I'd got there, Alex Kiselov the scorer. Kiselov got the second after 40 minutes too, a cross from the left poked home. On 68 minutes, he completed his hat trick, a shot blasted into the net from a quick break. That was how it ended, but a special mention for the Polonia keeper. He was a fairly big lad but gave a reassured performance between the sticks, claiming all the high balls and pulling off some good saves. I was talking to the referee assessor who agreed and it was nice to see. 15 were in attendance at the game.
There was more woe with the buses on the way back. I'd seen that the bus was scheduled to leave at 16:16 and was there five minutes early. It was a no-show, as was the 16:24. Finally, at 16:55 after over 40 minutes of waiting, the bus finally arrived. My destination was the Broomfield Tavern, near Coventry Rugby and Coventry United's ground. This place was superb although its packed nature meant that I had to sit outside if I wanted a seat. They didn't have my first choice of Normandy Cider, so I had to have one of the other around 20 on offer. I opted for a retry of Badgers Spit and then had a new try of Barbourne Oak Cask. With both at 7.5% I thought I'd better get off home but was peckish. I got a bottle of Irn Bru from a shop and then went to a takeaway called Blue Rooster. There I had 7" Tandoori Hot Pizza, chips and a drink for £3.90. It was great for the money and it was nice to sit in the warm and have my meal. By then, I fancied another drink and so headed to the Hops D'Amour where I had a pint of Devon Jasper. This was a more sensible 5% and it was a decent micropub, even if not as brilliant as my earlier watering hole. I ambled my way to Coventry station and after finding my platform and train, got to Leamington. I had 45 minutes wait for my train south, very frustrating, though I was in no mood to do my blog in the cramped waiting room. Eventually, I was back in High Wycombe by 9.50. I stopped at my favourite Chinese, Peking Chef, for my usual order of salt and chilli pepper chips. These were great as ever and I eat them whilst walking home. I was in by 11.30 and had a cherry beer whilst watching YouTube videos, going to bed around 1.

Although the Massey Ferguson ground no longer has the stand it once had, it's still a good setup. The pitch is fully railed and also has floodlights. It's set in pleasant and peaceful woodland and has hard standing most of the way around. There's a club building, although I didn't check inside. Parking is plentiful and it is near a few bus routes, though these are unreliable.

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