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!|
|Time for a pint I reckon|
|Up the Drayton!|
|From Manchester United to Spalding United...|
|A minute of respect after a tragic incident|
|Not the start the home fans wanted|
|The ball was spending far too much time in the Reds final-third|
|On his Twitter page, Martyn describes himself as a Clooney lookalike- what a guy!|
|It's good to see that people are still using 1980's kitchen colour-schemes|
to decorate the restrooms
|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.