Wednesday 20th July 2016
Pre Season Friendly
MILLBROOK 0 PLYMOUTH PARKWAY 7
Attendance: 46 (head count)
Admission: Free in
Programme: Didn't do one
Tea Hut Stuff: Tea 60p
Weather: Dry with odd sunny intervals, mild
Parking: Club car park
The Match Shed made a pleasant steady journey over to the quaint little town of Millbrook. A nice quiet settlement which resides on the B3247 road towards the Cremyll foot ferry and Mount Edgcumbe Park. This is a much undervalued part of Cornwall with lovely countryside and scenic stretches of coastline. Hidden gems such as Portwrinkle, Cawsand and Kingsand rest proudly in nearby accompaniment.
Upon reaching Millbrook you need to leave the B3247 just after the extremely narrow street section and take the sign for the centre a few hundred yards down on the left. This winds you around to an open lake with a few benches. Head straight on and keep right by the park to eventually arrive at Jenkins Park the home of Millbrook football club.
Tonight's attractive looking friendly was against the ambitious Plymouth Parkway outfit who make no bones about wanting to progress up the football pyramid. Their first publicised objective is securing promotion to the Western League. The momentum of late has been complimented by the arrival of Paul Sturrock as an advisor to manager Kevin Hendy. Last seasons SWP Premier League form witnessed a fourth placed finish just 2 points shy of Tavistock in third spot but 14 points behind eventual champions Bodmin Town.
As for Millbrook, they play in the SWP Division One West. Last term was a bit of a hard slog for them as they finally ended up in 13th position with just the six wins from 32 games. They will be hoping for much better form this season and there is certainly everything to play for.
I slung the Match Shed in the club car park and took full advantage of free admission to the ground. First impressions of Jenkins Park appeared favourable, there was a sizeable clubhouse behind the goals and a decent looking stand by the halfway line, the pitch looked neat and tidy and all appeared well. After another ten minutes or so the first impressions faded a bit as I realised the stand was out of bounds due to a big hole in the roof, the pitch was hard and dry with a tricky covering of grass and the clubhouse was upside down due to refurbishment and decorating. Never mind, this is step seven remember, it is easy to be critical but hard to find a magic wand at this level. Have to say the place still showed signs of what must have been a very neat ground at one time, hopefully the club can move forwards and build things up again. It looked liked they'd already started by what was going on in the clubhouse.
There were not many in attendance tonight, these pre season friendlies are training exercises at the end of the day, I got 46 or so from my head count, its never helped when people can't keep still for two minutes?
As expected with the majority of non league games we got off to a hundred mph start as enthusiasm and loud bursts of encouragement heralded the first ten minutes of frantic anarchy. Someone from the visiting ranks kept repeatedly yelling "F*CKING WANT IT" at the top of his booming loud voice. It echoed out from the ground with resounding decibels drifting ever onwards towards nearby residents bijou back garden barbecues and those polite aperitifs with Jeremy and Samantha. Made me smile.
The proceedings calmed down to a bit of a first half stalemate, then, just on the half hour mark Millbrook began a 15 minute master class in completely incompetent defending, they literally announced 'open-house' and gave the whole game away. Parkway marched in and did the whole village, half time arrived and they were 4-0 up, end of.
I ambled off to the clubhouse at half time on the off chance of a hot drink and was surprised to find Terry's snack table just inside the entrance. He had it layed out adjacent to the piled up furniture and remnant fall out of the redecorating project. Terry in person was doing tea, coffee and a few snacks such as sweets and crisps. Nice to see a snack bar up and running no matter what carnage surrounds you, well done Terry. I opted for a 60p tea in a paper cup and went back out to enjoy some of the views.
Second half was pretty much controlled by the visitors who looked a bit rusty on the finishing side but much more impressive on the approach play. That's a great looking kit they play in as well, all yellow with the blue trim and socks, very smart indeed. They bagged three more goals to end it 7-0 and I reckon both sides will have a few primary objectives for the next in-house training session. Decent evenings football for what was a friendly and I enjoyed my trip to Millbrook.