Tuesday 13th July
Pre Season Friendly
Chadderton 3 Leigh Genesis 3
Attendance: 64 (Head count)
Programme: Not tonight Doreen
Tea Hut Purchase: Large tea at 50p
Weather: Continual swirling rain, terrible
Parking: Street outside the ground, easy exit
The back streets of Chadderton are a Wayne Rooney miss-hit from Oldham Athletics Boundary Park. Tonight, the Andrew Street ground was a smudged wet canvas of gloomy damp raincoats. The rain clouds all joined hands and they brought the wind too, this was going to be hard and so it jolly well proved. 4 coins for the pleasure, the gate man smiled 'enter' and so the evening began. Chadderton play in the lower division of the North West Counties League, their all red kit slightly spoiled by the odd player in odd coloured socks, Frugal Glenn thought 4 quid on the gate deserved a proper kit (slightly harsh but an opinion paid for none the less).
The top of the bill presented Leigh Genesis, a respected Evo-Stik club currently going through a transitional 're-gluing' period. 5 minutes before kick off the ground staff put the posts up and the punters shuffled trance like to the sheltered little stand. If only the roof had withstood the years a little better, the rain was being blown in and chilly cold wetness was everywhere. The weather won the event in the first half, a hoof, a punt and a charge was the general pattern of play as the sides found little 'joined-up' momentum. Chadderton took the lead and on went the rain and on went the wind. Time for the glowing beacon of the Tea Hut. Nice to see a decent sized big cup of tea and they only took 50p, people called for pies but the pies had all gone, they'd left it too late, off they trudged in soaking misery.
It appeared Leigh had adopted the deranged Sven Goran Errikson strategy for multiple changing substitutes from half time onwards. There were more Leigh subs warming up than actual paying spectators! They couldn't have got this lot on a coach, perhaps they hired a train? During the second half there must have been a sub coming on every 5 minutes. Chadderton even got in on the act, they started putting players back on who had earlier been taken off, it was all very confusing and made the fragile proceedings a bit of a mockery. I understand the need for fitness, new tactics and giving trialists a shot but dont take 4 pounds off people for public park antics (please). I see Chadderton were advertising free admission for their next friendly against Winsford United, no disrespect to Leigh but they are not that big a draw, perhaps £2 may have been a fairer admission price this evening (hope I'm not appearing too tight).
At least we got some goals and after Chadderton went 3-1 up all credit to the multi-changing Leigh squad for a good fightback and levelling the very wet proceedings at 3-3. People had been leaving in one's and two's well before the death, those left at the final whistle all seemed relieved for the conclusion (for goodness sake where is my enthusiasm, this is only my second game of the season). I'm afraid it was that kind of an evening, no disrespect to the clubs, it was good to get back in the car.