Saturday 31st July
Pre Season Friendly
Farsley AFC 0 Guiseley 5
Attendance: 219 (Head count)
Tea Hut Purchase: Cheese sandwich from the Bar? £1.50
Weather: Cloudy and slightly chilly at times
Parking: Club car park, easy exit
Driving through West Yorkshire you come across some great names for fish and chip shops, or should I say 'fisheries', which is the traditional name for your average chippy around the area. Cow Head Fisheries, Fat Crag Fisheries, Stump Cross Chippy and Neds Pie Tub all flashed by as I made my winding way towards the Pudsey area of West Leeds. Tell you what, there are some fantastic looking Indian Restaurants as well, especially in the Bradford section of the journey. One that stuck out was 'Ackbars' a big plush place rumoured to be the best Indian in the North West, Mmmm, wouldn't mind a Chicken Dansak, Pilau Rice and a couple of Chapattis right now! By the time I eventually pulled up in the big Farsley car park I was bloody starving! My mind was full of food. I was in the mood to have my first big pig-out of the season and I couldn't wait to hit the tea hut (large style).
First I had to bag my match programme, I'd read about the new styled Farsley publication on the club website, the new offering was going to be sold both in the ground and simultaneously on-line. Strange not to find a programme seller inside the ground? I made my way to the club shop and asked the man if any were on sale. "Good job you enquired early" he said, "we've only printed 35"! So now I have a very rare item, a first edition Farsley AFC programme. My next task was finding that tea hut. I scanned the ground, I went behind the shop and then beside the stand and even walked all the way around the pitch, this couldn't be right, there didn't appear to be a tea hut? Surely Farsley had at least a small snack bar, even a burger van would be better than nothing. What was I going to do now? I couldn't last out till home time. I decided to go in the bar, I couldn't really drink as I was driving but surely they had some food? I was right, they did have some provisions but I have to say it was truly basic fayre, bread rolls! You could have beef, ham or cheese. Wow, spoilt for choice or what! I was feeling reckless so I chose cheese, the young barmaid grabbed my one pound fifty and thrust the cellophaned package in my hand. I was gutted. I trudged off to the seats behind the goals (mumbling) and tried to make the best of my prison-food dinner, not a great start. To be fair, one has to consider that Farsley are a born again club rising from the ashes of the defunct Farsley Celtic. Celtic had Conference North status, the new club will ply its trade in the Premier Division of the Northern Counties East League. To get everything ready for the fast approaching season they probably haven't had time to sort out a decent tea hut yet, lets hope they can get something in place before too long. The cheese roll would pacify me until I got home for my Braised Beef and Onion Muffins which my wife had promised me. I love soft flaking rich beef cooked to perfection in red wine on a big warm muffin, especially with some big fat chips on the side .
Enough of this food gubbins, I'm getting sidetracked from the action! Todays galactico opposition were the Conference Norths newest conscripts 'Guiseley', they only live down the road so this was a bit of a derby match. Guiseley did really well in the old UniBond League last season and apparently have a very decent squad for the coming campaign. They've got a classic white and navy blue kit and today they played some classy looking football as well. They passed the ball well, utilised space to the premium and clinically attacked the Farsley back line with rewarding results. Ex Stalybridge playmaker Warren Peyton was having a field day in midfield. To win 5-0 away from home is impressive, I know its only a friendly but it is still a big tick in the box for development and confidence. Farsley had done pretty well in their other respective pre season games. They struggled to keep pace with Guiseley in this type of mood. The Guiseley faithful made up more than half of todays modest crowd and they were greatly appreciative of the fine football. Farsley stuck to the task right to the last and did create a number of clear cut opportunities for themselves, alas, the finishing was a bit woeful, something I had noted whilst eating my cheese sandwich before kick off, it seemed that 9 out of every 10 warm up shots went over the stand (that is not an exaggeration either)! At least the home fans had their plastic pint pots of ale to cry in, the bar seemed to be doing a roaring trade.
The game was played on a nice looking pitch which seemed well trimmed but did give the odd bobble now and again. The ground itself is very tidy and well looked after. It sports a decent sized main stand and a covered, partially seated home end behind the nets, the other end is open with hard standing and the opposite touchline has good open terracing affording excellent views of the action. Its a homely place if a little low on quirky character, Throstle Nest is certainly a decent ground to watch your football. I sincerely hope Farsley can make a go of things this season, they should offer a stern test for their respective league opposition in the Northern Counties East (if they can improve the quality of their shooting). As for Guiseley, without doubt, they will make a fine addition to the Conference North. It will be very interesting to see how they perform early season.