Wednesday, 28 September 2016

28/09/16 Review: Northwich Victoria vs Kidsgrove Athletic

Northwich Victoria 3-1 Kidsgrove Athletic (Evo-Stik First Division South)
Wincham Park

With just a month to go until the big Pint of Football Groundhopping tour to Ireland, NI and Wales, it was time to take in one last match on home soil and with that came about a midweek trip to Northwich and another trip up the dreaded rush-hour M6 in search of some more Evo-Stik goodness. Having already visited, and loved, the Novus Stadium roughly one year ago I had since been following the progress of the Grove and was thrilled to be getting another chance to see the Blues, who were taking on one of my Football Manager conquests of yesteryear. I managed to take the Vics to League Two and became somewhat of a club icon.

However, in reality, they are ground-sharing with Witton Albion
At this early stage of the campaign, it is a bit harsh to call tonight's game a "basement battle" at the bottom end of the Evo-Stik South, but the sad truth was that neither side had began the campaign in the finest of form. Both sides were already out of the FA Cup and they have so far managed just 11 points between them to this point, despite neither looking particularly shy in the attack department. At the start of the evening, Kidsgrove sat joint bottom of the league and Northwich's first League win on Saturday had still only seen them climb up to 16th- having played as many as 3 games more than some sides just below them. With a hope to see some better defending than my last two outings, I parked up nice and early at Witton Albion's home ground with plenty of time for a pre-match beer.

And I wasn't the only one
The positive thing to point out instantly about Wincham Park was that it had a nicely sized Clubhouse adjacent to the ground and even more than that, it was serving up some fairly cheap larger! Good start. Additionally, it was nice to look around and see a mixture of Witton, Northwich and Kiddy fans all sharing a brew beforehand in what was a fairly local match for the away fans. When I visited the Novus last year, I was so impressed that I gave it my highly prestigious "Home Away From Home Award" for Friendliest Ground Visited in 2015/16 and this was another reason behind my visit here. The Grove's fans were here already and, as I'd hoped, they were having a good laugh- a few beers, a game of pool and full commentary on said game to keep everybody in good spirit before heading out to pitch-side. As I passed the group to head out into the ground, I overheard one man saying that "the Wiseman" had predicted a 2-1 win for the Grove tonight to get their season back on track- and who was I to disagree? I took the mighty Wiseman's words on-board and decided to go for a 2-1 Athletic victory as my pre-match prediction.

A nifty little ground to soak in the match
With the main stand sharing a similar look to my old stomping ground, Queensgate Park, I felt like I was in a good place for a good evening of football- and before I knew it, 7:45 had arrived and it was time for kick-off. Playing in the classic Green and White hoops, the Vics headed out alongside the Blues and after exchanging the usual pleasantries we were soon to be up and running. The game started with good attacking intent from Kidsgrove and they could have quite easily opened the scoring within the opening 10 minutes. After a swift break from the Grove, the ball eventually fell to an onrushing attacker who struck the ball goalwards from just 3-yards out- only to be somehow denied by a well-spread Mason Springthorpe in the home goal. The following corner was then hit by a Grove attacker and subsequently had to be cleared off the line by a perfectly poised Vics man- a great start!
The game was in fifth-gear from the off
With a strong opening, I felt that it seemed like it'd be one of those games where the first goal would be crucial. On 20 minutes, it came from another bursting attack. This time it was the home side on the move forward, and they did it from one killer pass in midfield. With the defence sliced open, THREE attacking players broke clear and it was an in-form Jamie Hinchcliffe who struck his 4th goal in 3 games to get the ball rolling on the goal front. Vics 1-0 Grove. It was already clear to see that both sides had set out an expressive line-up and as the game continued to be end-to-end for the remainder of the half, it seemed likely that there'd be a few more goals.

The crowd could barely contain themselves
One more big chance fell to Northwich in the first-half, and this time Hinchcliffe couldn't capitalise. A poor pass from the Grove centre-back, the first of many to come, was intercepted by Hinchliffe and his 30-yard lobbed shot headed towards an empty goal. As the home fans cheered what looked like a goal, the ball awkwardly bounced off the grass and just over the crossbar. After all that excitement, it was time for a break. The half-time 90's Dance Anthems began to blast out and I headed in to grab a beer before going for a mooch around the rest of Wincham Park.

Bold claim there!
My walk around led me towards the Witton Albion Museum, which unfortunately wasn't open. With a curiosity to see what was behind the legendary red doors, I scouted around for a side entrance to see if I could pop in have a peek. Instead, I found the haven of football groundsmen! I assumed that this wasn't a part of the museum, but I would also not be surprised if it was- a tardis of rakes, mowers, spades and ladders took me by surprise and it has to go up there with the old tractor I found at the Novus last season!

Roll on Winter, lads
With the sites seen and the pint supped, it was time to get back to the action on the field as the second-half was kicking-off. In a similar fashion to how the first 45 ended, the opening of the second-half was fast and furious. Yaw Gyimah was looking feisty on the right-hand side of the Vics midfield tonight, and he was making some tricky runs off the ball. Having just about gotten away with the first poor backpass of the evening in the first-half, this next one was intercepted by Northwich's attacker who then tricked his way past the keeper before looking to finish. With a defender in his way, the lad instead passed to Gyimah who aptly slotted home the second goal. Vics 2-0 Grove. Straight from the kick-off, things almost turned worse for the away side who looked drained of confidence by this point. More poor passing led to the Vics hoofing a ball up to Dan Cockerline who is faced by the sweeping Burzynski in the Grove goal who took a boot to the chest in a 50-50 collision. As the ref ran over to produce a card, the question would be whether it was a challenge that could be seen as an honest challenge or a high boot- and the Ref obviously decided that it was a dangerous challenge as he gave Cockerline a straight red. The home fans were furious, and with half an hour to go this could be a big call against them. One fan shouted out with infinite wisdom "Ref, he was outside the box!"- clarifying the age-old rule that you can do any amount of damage to a Goalkeeper as long as he's outside of the 18-yard box.

The final 30 would no doubt be interesting
With 10-men, the Grove had a chance to get back into the game- or concede a sloppy third. Whilst Kidsgrove pressing up the pitch, the Vics defence hit out a good clearance and the attackers began to hunt down the under-confident defenders. The pressure told at the back again, as one centre-back for Kidsgrove headed the ball past his own Keeper and into the path of a yet again well-placed Gyimah who grinned with delight as he confirmed the win for Northwich. Vics 3-0 Grove. As is often the way at this level, a side who are out of the game finally turned on the style. The third goal conceded by Grove seemed to hurt them enough to be able to find a goal themselves. Just a couple of minutes after conceding, Dan Turner found the ball in his grasp and lashed home a consolation goal, despite the best efforts of the Vics defender (who I'd thought at the time had scored an own goal!). Vics 3-1 Grove. The last 20 minutes saw a few chances come to the away side and the odd counter from the Vics. With the crossbar being struck by the Grove, a Northwich defender going in the book for time-wasting and even an off-the-ball scuffle in the 85th minute, the game concluded in an entertaining style that could've quite easily seen a couple more goals at either end. The final chance of the game fell to a Vics substitute though, and his 25-yard first-time hit was well held by Burzynski. The Ref called time on a good game of football and it was a second win of the season, and on the bounce, for Northwich Victoria on this fine September evening.

Edge of the seat stuff tonight
In a match containing defending that was more dangerous than a round of golf and a chat with Sam Allardyce, the Grove has proven themselves to be lacklustre in defence once again this season. I left the ground knowing that I'd no doubt watch the Grove at the Novus again this season, but in the meantime I'd like to end with a thanks to Northwich (and Witton) for a good night out in Cheshire and another Evo-Stik ground ticked off the list. Ground number 45, done a dusted!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

17/09/16 Review: Market Drayton Town vs Spalding United

Market Drayton Town 2-3 Spalding United (Evo-Stik First Division South)
Greenfields Sports Ground

I would like to start today's entry with a quick look-ahead to some news that I announced on Twitter earlier on in the week. After much talk with Partizan Bristle about a joint ground-hopping venture to outdo our 3-day bonanza in the Western League back in May, we settled on a 4-day trip to 4 countries in the UK. If you follow me on Twitter, look out for the tour at the end of October- it's going to be a good 'en!

Roll on October!
But in the meantime, I was taking advantage of my weekend off to travel to a more local ground in Market Drayton Town's Greenfields Ground. With another chance to catch some Evo-Stik action on my doorstep, I grabbed my sunglasses and headed out with the sun scorching down on me as I drove from Stoke-on-Trent to the Shropshire town. With this weekend also being allocated for another bout of FA Cup Qualifiers, Market Drayton had already fallen in the early stages to Evesham United and Spalding had been defeated away at Mickleover Sports. With both sides having been dumped from the Cup, it would be a League fixture for this afternoon. Despite never having seen Drayton play until today, I had witnessed today's away side play before and it was a real cracker! My trip to Lyme Valley last October is the highest-scoring game I've ever reported on and with the memory of that, I was hoping to witness something as entertaining today. When I arrived at the Sat Nav destination for the big match, I was led down a slim back-road into a parking area which was excitingly busy. Once I got parked up, I quickly found out that the parking was not just for the footy- with a large amount of fans pouring in for the rugby ground and a few heading off to the tennis courts that were adjacent to the area I was in search of. After eventually leading myself to the wooden shack where I purchased a ticket and programme, I walked out to pitch-side where I was hit by more glorious rays of sun which glistened on to a very appetising pitch. I was here!

Time for a pint I reckon
As I sipped a much needed can of Carling in the Clubhouse, I took a minute to check the latest League Standings and check that I was up to date with the teams before the game starts. At start of play MDTFC were sitting in 11th and they were facing an unbeaten Tulips side who were sitting pretty joint at the top of the pile with Witton Albion and Romulus. Expecting the away sides would be the favourites, I'd stuck my neck out and predicted 2-1 for the visitors today, hoping that Drayton would give them a good game.

Up the Drayton!
With the nickname of "the Gingerbread men", Markey Drayton started life as "Little Drayton Rangers" back in the late 1960's and it was only in 2003 when the club changed it's name to the current one. Since this change, the club had been on the up and Drayton have managed to climb from Step 6 to Step 4 in the non-league pyramid, which is where they have been for the past 7 seasons. The Tulips on the other hand are fairly new to the division, having been promoted in the 2013-2014 Season and are looking to emulate the success that they had in the 1980's where they made it to Step 3, just two leagues away from the Conference.

From Manchester United to Spalding United...
As 3pm arrived, there was a one-minute silence observed for the memory of Shaw Lane Aquaforce's Dan Wilkinson who tragically died on Monday night. Following this, we were up and running with the match.
A minute of respect after a tragic incident
The game itself started off in a fairly strong manner from Spalding, who went close in the opening 5 minutes. A cross from the right-hand side was met my the head on the end of an outstretched Tulips neck, but his header lifted just over the bar. This was a sign of things to come though and the ball would prove to be in the net soon enough. Firstly, Kevin Buxton was dispossessed in a dangerous area and, at the cost of a corner, Drayton keeper Ash Rawlins saved the day temporarily. The resulting corner was headed goalwards by a Spalding player and then prodded home by Sam Downey to give the travellers an early advantage. Drayton 0-1 Spalding. After an initial mistaken announcement by the man behind the scenes at Greenfields that said the goal was scored by Matt Varley, he tuned back in a couple of minutes after to admit he'd got it wrong. Fair enough.

Not the start the home fans wanted
At this level, a defensive error is not exactly a rare sight, but even so Market Drayton had started in an uncomfortable fashion today and my only hope at this stage would be that the defence would firm up a bit. They didn't, and on 18 minutes they would fall into meltdown again. The culprit this time was Josh Green who tried too hard to give the ball back to the keeper and as a result hit a short pass a bit too short, meaning that Andrew Wright could swoop in to knock the ball around the keeper and tap in an easy second goal. Drayton 0-2 Spalding. Already I was starting to get flashbacks of my last outing at Hanley Town and the similar signs of defensive frailty were settling in.
The ball was spending far too much time in the Reds final-third
With time still to salvage, the Gingerbread men did eventually grab a half-chance of their own in the first-half. Just before the 30 minute mark, the first of many free-kicks were awarded against a very physical Spalding side and a header was met well by Duggan in the away net, but it did at least so some sign of Market Drayton looking for a way back in. One fan had already turned to me at this point and said that the only way his side would get a goal today is from set-pieces. Back at the other end, Spalding had sliced through the defending Reds again and the league's top-scorer, Bradley Wells, was one-on-one with Rawlins. After rounding the keeper though, he was met by a last-ditched hand from the floored keeper who managed to slap the ball away from underneath his feet before he could pull the trigger. This would prove to be the last big chance of the half and the last 10 minutes mainly consisted of rough tackles, shirt tugging and all sorts of physical play- it was a proper game of football! Not that Martyn Davies, the meaty Scotsman who was managing Market Drayton, would agree as he rose from the bench several times to vent his anger at the over-physical approach from some of the Spalding defenders. Some would argue it was solid, unnerving defensive play, some would say it was a touch too far. Either way, the cards would remain firmly tucked away in the opening 45 and the closest they came to coming out was when today's referee Andrew Dallison ran over to the dugout to ask one of the Drayton team to stop being so vocal about his officiating. Feisty!

On his Twitter page, Martyn describes himself as a Clooney lookalike- what a guy!
Half-time brough the game to a brief stop and it was time to go and enjoy another luxury can of Carling before checking out the half-time scores. With most fans taking shock at West Brom being 3-0 at the break against the Hammers, the ringleader of the conversation in the Clubhouse was a Man United fan- with his topic of conversation being, surprise surprise, the hardworking nature of Wayne Rooney. At this point, I decided to evacuate the bar and go back into the sun.

It's good to see that people are still using 1980's kitchen colour-schemes
to decorate the restrooms
Unfortunately the second-half started far too similarly for the home-side, and it wasn't long before the keeper uttered these words- "I am not conceding again today!" This came after yet another Spalding Corner wasn't dealt with, and on this occasion it was the in-form Wells who would clinically volley in the crucial third goal. Drayton 0-3 Spalding. With the game sealed, the tempo undoubtedly dropped for United and the players began to switch in to battery saver mode. Within the Market Drayton attempts to get back into the game, there was the odd counter from Spalding but these all seemed to lack the urgency now that the game seemed won. Star player Andrew Wright even found time to have a laugh with one of the chaps writing notes on the game, as he turned to him and said "that's two assists now, don't forget to put that on your website."

Is that shadow me, or one of the Spalding wingers taking a quick break?
Whilst there was a five minute drop of tempo on the pitch, the announcer decided to take this time to appeal to the good nature of the fans. At least 3 minutes of a man reading out car registration numbers was heard over the speaker, as he asked for several car owners to vacate the ground to move cars that were blocking exits/entrances from the car park. Safe to say that even with no chances being created, nobody moved from their seat to attend this particular call. It's a good job too, because they would've missed the next goal! Around the hour-mark in the game, Drayton produced the best bit of play we'd seen all afternoon and the conclusion was a decent clip into the box which was met by a bullet header from Daniel Beddows to spark a cheer amongst the main stand. Drayton 1-3 Spalding. At this point I got chatting to one fan, who turned out to be the club's Twitter guy (special mention, must be worth a retweet!) and he was telling me about how he had attended the club for many years having explained that he is officially a Plymouth Argyle fan. Spotting my Macclesfield shirt, we had a quick discussion about the beautiful game before sharing a gasp at the next Drayton chance. This time it was Kev Buxton, who had so far been in shocking form, and he struck a John Arne Riise style shot that powered just wide of the mark.

The Gingerbread men goal was looking much quieter than any other part of the game
The funny thing about football is that a player can go from almost scoring a wonder-goal, to doing something rash within minutes. This was the case in the 73rd minute as all hell broke loose by the corner-flag. With Spalding taking the game to the wings to try and stretch the opponents, Kev Buxton reached boiling point and flew in on Wells with a lunge. As players surrounded the down-and-out striker, the Ref jogged over with his red card in prime position. Repeating the phrase "Go, appalling!" to Buxton, it was game over for him after a pretty poor display. In an attempt to defend what was a first foul for the player, Lyndon Campbell wound the man in black up even more by asking him "if he was out on the piss last night", which led to him picking up a booking also. Being in prime location to see the incident, I'd probably have gone for the red too, but then again I also think that a few of the away team's challenges could've being worthy of a yellow.

Who'd be a referee?!
As with many teams, the sending off some how managed to make Market Drayton play better and they spent the last 10 minutes or so in full command of the match. With shots coming thick and fast, the 92 in attendance could sense another goal in this truly entertaining game. And deep into injury time there was to be one final chance for the home team. A good shot from the left-wing looked to have been deflected wide by a defending player's arm, and in fact a penalty was awarded to Drayton. Knowing it was likely to be the last kick of the game, Josh Green stepped up to rectify his poor pass that led to the second goal and firmly converted the spot kick straight down the centre. Drayton 2-3 Spalding. And as expected, from the kick-off the ball was kicked away and the final whistle blew in the 96th minute. With goals, fouls, a red card and a penalty to report on, today was a fine game to be a neutral for. The ground itself wasn't the best I'd been to at this level, but this has to go down as a real classic in the Pint of Football books.

The ground may have been largely wooden, but the game certainly wasn't
As I swiftly departed Greenfields with a smile on my face, I made a mental note to myself- watch Spalding United, there's bound to be goals. My next game is likely to be another local tie before I fly off to Dublin in search of a night out at Dundalk's Oriel Park, so for now I'll say farewell and thanks to Market Drayton and Spalding for a cracking match.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

03/09/16 Review: Hanley Town vs Atherton Collieries

Hanley Town 1-4 Atherton Collieries (North West Counties Premier League)
Potteries Park

Saturday 3rd September 2016, aka NON LEAGUE DAY! Another day set aside in the Football Calendar for folk to head on down to their local ground and support the sides who desperately need every fan that walk through the turnstiles. With the hope that Liverpool fans would show up to see Cammell Laird 1907, the Hammers faithful would pop up at the Old Spotted Dog to see how Clapton are getting on and even the chance that Manchester United and City fans might go to Ashton's FA Cup Qualifier. My beloved Macclesfield Town were at home today but I decided to make the short journey to see how a rainy Potteries Park would fair as NW Counties Premier favourites Atherton Colls visited Hanley Town.

The fans were flooding in early doors
As with last year's Blog from Non-League Day, the big one between the Silkmen vs Kidderminster, I am going to start this entry with a fact-file including some Non-League info from my already very busy 2016/17 Season.

Best NL Ground Visited
Alongside Nantwich Town, there have been some stunning outings this season so far.

Worst NL Ground Visited
Sorry guys, but you stored your corner flags in the toilet.

Best NL Match
A Tuesday night delight over in the West Mids has been a highlight so far.

Worst NL Match
Aside from the overlooking views of the Peak District, my last outing offered little.

Most Friendly NL Ground Visited
A Silkmen pre-season match was enhanced by some good laughs with the folk in attendance.

Loudest fans
A visit to the Old Spotted Dog is worth it, just to see the Clapton Ultras do their thing.

Highest Scoring Match
Stone Dominoes 3-2 Abbey Hulton United and Middlewich 1-4 Stockport Town
A couple of back-to-back 5-Goal thrillers in pre-season action.

Grounds I want to visit this season
The Creek (Bristol Manor Farm)
My mate Tom (Partizan Bristle) has been recommending this one for as long as I can remember.
Harbour View Stadium (Harbour View)
Maybe if I win the lottery I'll pop over to Jamaica for this one.
Oriel Park (Dundalk)
If all goes to plan, a trip to Ireland is on the cards for late October.

But for now, it's back to Abbey Lane
I arrived at Hanley Town's home with 20 minutes to spare and was greeted by a smart, albeit it very basic, ground for the afternoon. With a similar style of stand to Brocton's Silkmore Lane, it seemed right that I'd made it to the ground nearest to me finally on a day where the weather was rainy and dull. I always expect to turn up to any Stoke ground on a drizzly afternoon, it's almost guaranteed, and it certainly didn't stop others coming in to see how the newly promoted side would get on today. With a free programme offered on the premise of it being "let down by the printer" upon entry, I duly headed in to sink my teeth into the facilities on offer.

Champions last season and doing well so far this time around
The side travelling down the M6 to Staffordshire today were the Colls. Last time the two sides met it was 6-0 to Atherton and it is safe to say that the League favourites were hoping to pick up a win today too. I had made a pre-match prediction of a 2-0 Atherton win, although I expected Hanley to give it their all as they have so far this season. The game was fairly early to get going, around 2:55pm by my watch, and as the rain subdued for a moment, the teams entered the fray. During the final moments of he warm-up, a stray ball headed towards me and with time to react, I was able to turn by back into a shield for my pint. In an ideal world, I would've headed the ball back to the lad who kicked it, but my priority was to not lose the beer I'd just been poured.

Game time
The opening started with sparks, as both sides had a decent chance in the opening 5 minutes. First up, Hanley's Sean Mountford scooped a misplaced shot high, wide and not so handsome- and this was to be followed up one minute later by the opposition. The Colls mounted an attack of their own and as a ball was hit into the left channel, the assertive run of the Green's attacker eventually led to a ball turned into the net via an own-goal from an on-rushing Hanley defender. Hanley 0-1 Atherton. From the rest of the first-half, it was a case of turn away now for the Hanley supporters. Between a bit of banter between the Hanley management and the Lino, who actually said "I used to be a ref, but they told me I were shit." which proved to be the only bit of light relief for the home bench, as more goals were on the way. On the 12th minute, the Colls attackers found themselves in a 2-on-1 situation with a flustered Blues centre-back, and Jordan Cover floated a perfectly-weighted chip on to his partner Battersby who hit an easy volley in to the net. Hanley 0-2 Atherton. The goal obviously angered the home bench and a kick to the spectators fence from one of the coaches almost caused me to fall into cardiac arrest! Between being hit by a ball and this, I wasn't having the most sturdy of afternoons.

I took my next beer around to the other side, it seemed safer
In all seriousness though, Hanley had made a shocking start and didn't seem likely to turn it around. The best chance that the hosts had in the opening half came from a wind-assisted defensive clearance, which bounced up awkwardly on to the bar of the Colls goal and almost forced Keeper Adam Reid to suffer a terrible embarrassment. The blushes, unfortunately for Hanley, were all for the home side though in this first-half and on 18 minutes the game seemed all but over. In what was almost a mimic of the second goal, with the roles of Cover and Battersby being reversed, Hanley played some suicidal defending amongst the back-line and when an interception came, another low-placed volley was to be the result. Hanley 0-3 Atherton. The 90 or so that I could see in the ground certainly didn't expect this start to the game, and already the many youngsters in the ground had turned away from the game and to the more satisfying taste of a Stokey Oatcake- can't say I blamed em!
The comfort of the bar was the only place to hide
Just before half-time the penultimate crushing fourth goal was to be conceded. A corner from the away side was reacted to far too slowly by Hanley and before the ball could be cleared, Danny Lafferty was on hand to pop in yet another goal. Hanley 0-4 Atherton. With a fifth on the horizon before half-time, the referee spared the home team with the whistle. Thank goodness!

Time for a toilet break- don't forget to lift that lid!
With the rain taking over the start of the second-half, I sensed that the Colls aim for the second-half was to just see out the convincing win. Hanley, on the other hand had obviously had a stern talking to, and came out looking like a football team. Still, there was to be no more action on the goal-front for now and the only efforts had been half-chances from Hanley at this point. On the 65th minute, one of the Hanley centre-backs showed off his best Daniel Agger impression with a 40-yard hit which unspectacularly went into the trees. A few moments afterwards though we were to see a shot on target for Hanley. With a corner to come, some rough and tumble action in the box resulted in the Ref taking a stand against the Colls defender and a penalty was awarded. With a solid run up and a firm finish, Dan Cope got the consolation goal and raised just a couple of cheers from within an already defeated Colin Stair Stand.

At last, a goal for the home fans to celebrate
One Hanley fan seemed somewhat deluded by this goal, and when the pressure continued he felt the need to repeatedly shout out "THEY'VE GONE!" in an attempt to get the crowd going. It didn't work, and instead all that happened was that a sole Colls fan sat in front of him departed the ground, saying "I'm not listening to this shit" as he did so. Hilarious.

Time for one more trip to the bar
The last 10-minutes mainly consisted of more pressure and pursuit of a second goal, with the odd break from Atherton. One of these breaks did end up in the net, but it was offside. Angelo Errko, the Hanley left-winger, was having a stunning second-half and caused many a problem to his opposition- with a couple of runs almost leading to a goal. He couldn't do it all on his own though and as the ref blew the final whistle his efforts had gone to waste. The game ended with a comprehensive victory for Atherton Collieries after a storming first-half in which Hanley Town could not recover despite a solid second 45. I departed the ground swiftly as I headed off to take a look at Northwood Stadium, former home of folded club Norton United, whilst I was in the area. I would however like to wish Hanley Town all the best for the rest of the season, after they provided me with an afternoon with the weather and atmosphere I'd expected, but not the result this time around. Up the Ducks!