Saturday 17th July
Pre Season Friendly
Yorkshire Amateur 3 Barnoldswick Town 4
Attendance: 31 (Head count)
Tea Hut purchases: Tea £1, Cone of Chips £1
Weather: Dry and fair with sunny spells
Parking: Street outside the ground, easy exit
I have always found the city of Leeds a bit of a mare to drive around. After leaving the normality of the M62 and going down that nice road past Elland Road you're thrown into the urban chaos off a couple of dual carriageways and then it all goes a bit 'washing-machine'? I eventually found the scenic little home of Yorkshire Amateur FC after 3 wrong turns and 2 sets of 'passer-by' directions, the post code given for the ground is simply not the place, something which may have had something to do with half the Barnoldswick side turning up at 5 minutes to 3pm? There were a few other hoppers attending this game and it was good to have a chat to pass the 20 minute delayed kick-off. This was my first visit to a Northern Counties East ground and much impressed I was by the charismatic setting amidst the lovely trees and greenery.I'd already bagged a humble programme and was further pleased to see a little kitchen type tea hut in operation, great stuff. Two chaps in regulation aprons had already got a traditional greasy smell emitting through the hatch with economy burgers and cones of chips the apparent signature dishes of choice. I got a large tea in a plastic cup which was a bit steep at a quid-a-bag and later sampled the chips at half time (I bottled out on the burger, they looked a bit anaemic in the big dry buns), they did have a great selection of relish on offer though. A fine looking pitch and sunny skies for the most part provided just the footing for a good quality friendly. The home side are hoping to make a challenge for the top division this season with a new management team at the helm in Paul Lines and Steve Milner (ex Ossett Town & Guiseley). Visitors Barnoldswick have just achieved premier league status in the hotly contested North West Counties League.There was plenty of commitment and effort on display but it was extra special to see some decent passing and a selection of exceptional goals (plus a couple of penalties). I dont think I'll see a better finish than that executed for Barnoldswicks third goal all season, a well placed 10/10 long range net buster! Even the officials seemed to have really good games today?It was a shame there were not more spectators than the thirty odd I counted, something which is similar for actual league games I believe (strange really as the ground is in a big catchment area not far from the centre of Leeds), but those in attendance certainly got value for money today.I'll keep an eye out for Yorkshire Amateur it will be interesting to see how they progress, as for Barnoldswick Town, they looked a classy outfit today with some very decent players, their baptism in the NWCL top flight will be very hard but I have a sneaky feeling they might just upset a few of the established big guns in the division, should be well worth watching. The final whistle went just after 5pm, a good afternoons sport slightly marred by me steering the 'match-cruiser' the wrong way across one of those horrendous Leeds one way traffic light junctions, I managed to just beat the tight bend and the high curb sending locals and shoppers into a sharp retreat, I was saddened to see that one woman lost control of her baps as they spilled out onto the street (oh dear). At least nobody got hurt. Perhaps I should get the train the next time I visit Leeds?