Where's The Tea Hut reflects upon local football South West style with a few trips further afield. Keep the faith & stay safe.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Ashton United

Saturday 7th November 2009
UniBond Premier League
Ashton United 0 Stocksbridge Park Steels 1
Attendance: 152
Admission: £8
Programme: £1.50 (Poor effort)
Tea hut purchase: Tea 70p
Weather: Cold, grey and lengthy prolonged rain showers
Parking: Roadside, 5 minutes from the ground, easy getaway
The North West had put up with rain for most of the previous 6 days, those smug incompetent weather forecasters had predicted a dry afternoon, they lied again, it rained. (I'm only interested in London) Weather Forecasters are as popular with me as Fraudulent Criminal MP's and Capitalist Bankers. The excellent looking pitch at the Hurst Cross stadium played remarkably well in the atrociously wet conditions, such a pity that neither of the two sides could produce any decent football to match their lofty league positions. Ashton were top, Stocksbridge third yet you would never have guessed from this drab squalid encounter, it was absolutely awful. The slate grey sky got darker and wetter as the afternoon progressed, the kick and hope football got looser and dafter to match it. It was 15 minutes before either side had a shot, if you can call a 'bobbler' rolling towards the corner flag a shot? If 2 passes got joined up it was a highlight, this was turgid pap at its peak. At least some entertainment was put on by the travelling band of Steels supporters, their endless repertoire of blunt Northern ditties echoed across the sodden terraces as their centre half sent another ball zooming out of the ground. How nice to hear the traditional White Rose classic: Yorkshire Yorkshire Yorkshire belting out (time and time again), when its placed alongside that other family-favourite: Lancashire, wink, w*nk, wonk you can perhaps get an idea what a rewarding experience this sub-zero jolly was turning out to be. Fine football and fine company, a pleasure indeed, all that was missing was a selection from the cheeseboard. If the tea hut had done a line in ear-plugs rather than cheap packet chips and cardboard pies, they'd have made a killing! I decided to sit in the main stand in the second half as yet more icy rain fell upon the 'die-hards' propping up the stanchions on the terraces of doom. It was only a small stand but it certainly boasted a large number of pillars and side wall obstructions. These blended in perfectly with the large protruding white dug-outs that complimented the poor visual planning for the odd passing spectator. Whoever designed the 'potential' benefits of getting a decent view from this side of the ground must have had a wicked sense of humour or they were simply rubbish at realising that people would only see a restricted part of the pitch! The rain, the cold and the rank-bad football on offer was not helping my mood, perhaps a tad of this emotion has sneaked into this visit report, my apology if this is the case but this was a truly pathetic days entertainment and one I will gladly forget. Not a very good advert for the UniBond Premier League, at least Stocksbridge got a goal, which in turn proved pretty easy to protect, their spirit in seeing the game out suggests they could have better days and perhaps be in some contention later in the season. As for Ashton, I unfortunately have to report that on this showing, they wont be top of the league for long. They seemed clueless in producing any momentum when they had the ball and to rely on desperate second half 40 yard pokes at goal suggests a lack of tactical astuteness? Perhaps I caught them on an off day, perhaps they will prove me wrong? I was thankful for the final whistle.


Paul Kirkwood said...

Sounds like a wonderfully grim northern afternoon! Favourite line: "At least some entertainment was put on by the travelling band of Steels supporters, their endless repertoire of blunt Northern ditties echoed across the sodden terraces ..."

Good pics too.

Uwdi Krugg said...

Yes it was very grim Paul. The rain made it hard work. Sadly, neither side looked anything special on the day. To be in such prominent league positions they must surely be better than this? Lets just say they cancelled each other out. If you want a decent view of the match I'd advise watching from the covered terrace on the opposite side of the ground from the main stand.

Axe Victim said...

I found this blog because we both list Stray as a favorite band. I'm glad I came here. Cool site.

Uwdi Krugg said...

Cheers Axe

Anonymous said...

Any ideas on where you're going this Sat?

Uwdi Krugg said...

Not really, the weather can be so poor at the moment I'll wait until the day probably. The weather forecasters haven't a clue?

robin_ashton said...

Agree with much of the comments, pitch was far better than the football played on it by either side and the weather was awful.

Interested in your comments that the programme was poor value as I assist in a small way with the contents; in what way could we improve the content without paying for expensive colour printing?
Cheers, hope you get a better day/game on your next visit!

Uwdi Krugg said...

Too many programmes seem to copy and paste generic UniBond league info and stats from other sources of interest. Also one or two put a few too many history based items into the mix. A publication needs to be vibrant and up to date with interesting club supporter based episodes about current issues and pressing debates, always good to think about hitting a wide ranging reader profile (old and young alike). Easier said than done I know.

I reckon my comments about the Ashton programme are a little uncalled for, I was cold, wet and fed up at the time after a very poor match, I shouldn't extend a grumble to something people have put a lot of effort into, my apologies.

robin_ashton said...

There's no need to apologise, everyone's entitled to an opinion and as long as criticism is constructive there's value in that. If you think you were miserable after that game, imagine how we Ashton fans felt!

Admittedly our Prog Ed does cut and paste a lot of UniBond stats... but 1. We are in the UniBond and 2. a lot of our older speccies are not internet savvy and the programme is serving a purpose in this fashion.

Anyone picking up any programme at Ashton this season is likely to get an article from the manager, one from the secretary, one from a past chairman, often there's something from the current chairman, a piece on a past player who has also played in the football league (1888-present) and a topical piece relating to recent events called 'A Bird's Eye View'. Quantity of editorial without doubt, quality... this is where decent feedback can help us improve.

Enjoy your Xmas and wherever 2010 takes you... and a quick tip - get all your high-altitude Pennine grounds in by August or September next season!