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

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Gainsborough Trinity

Saturday 31st October 2009
Blue Square Conference North
Gainsborough Trinity 1 Gloucester City 0
Attendance: 378
Admission: £10 Standing, £11 Seats
Programme: £2 (Dreadful cover)
Tea hut purchase: Tea 70p
Weather: A fair, dry afternoon with a bit of sun and light cloud
Parking: Roadside about 5 minutes around the corner, easy exit
As the smoke from the coal fires drifted across The Northolme Stadium I was busy reading the matchday programme. Wisby the Butcher was offering Hog Roasts and Curds, there was a Pensioners Special between 12 and 3pm every Tuesday at the Sands Bistro and a jolly good Simon and Garfunkel tribute act was coming to the town on November 6th. Gainsborough seemed a homely quite little place nestling between Doncaster and Lincoln, it was a town slowly realising its identity, there had even been a few new shops opening recently. However, its population of 22,000 seemed 'almost' oblivious to the football revolution being orchestrated by the new chairman Peter Swann. A range of decent quality players had been introduced alongside a much respected big name Manager in Brian Little. Could the locals see the dream? Would they throw their lot in with these success hungry entrepreneurs? One got the feeling that the population didn't go too much for sudden-change, possibly a fact reflected in todays crowd of 378 (of which quite a few had made the three and a half hour trek from Gloucester). Trinity have never won much and have apparently spoiled their image with the older supporters by failing to produce anything like an entertaining style of football. That is what Peter Swann and Brian Little want to change. It looks like it might be a long hard slog by what I witnessed today. Both of these sides resided near the foot of the table, actual results had been pretty much 'pants' but there had been talk on the grapevine that some of the performances (from both clubs) had been promising? Both Trinity and City certainly needed something from the game and it was pleasantly evident from kick-off that they both fancied the win. For 15 minutes there was a lot of huffing and puffing, probing and shuffling but sadly little reward. Unfortunately this initial period set the tone for the rest of the game. It was all a bit scrappy, disjointed and fragmented. A few chances came and went but not many, it was easy to see why the crowds hadn't been flocking in and why Peter Swann and Brian Little may have a tough job to sell the new prototype of entertaining afternoons and lofty league positions. As for Gloucester, they looked a bit inhibited at times, they seemed to give too much respect to the home side and this often witnessed them snatching at first options rather than setting the stall out and providing some quality, edge and depth. All credit to their hardy bunch of loyal supporters who had made a mega long cross-country trip for little entertaining reward. At least there was a well stocked Tea Hut on the ground for them. I saw a good many of the City fans tucking into the Pukka Pie, Chips and Pea's special all for £3 cash. As I was under strict orders to stick to my tinned-salmon sandwiches I could only watch in covetous envy. As the sun dropped the more of the coal fires seemed to start up, there was a distinct old fashioned aroma of smoky winter days from years ago swirling around the ground, I think I was the only person to notice it, perhaps its just whats normal in Gainsborough? The second half saw little change from the first, both sides fluffed a couple of nailed on chances until Trinity's Mark Hudson found himself in lots of space on the edge of the box, he took the ball forward, snatched at it but still just about got it on target, it hit the inside of the post and eventually bobbled over the line, 1-0 to Trinity! I had a feeling Gloucester would not have the know-how and creativity to mount a serious fightback and that was the case, they had a lot more possession of the ball but they simply failed to generate serious goal scoring opportunities. Ultimately, this was a game that had first goal wins written all over it. As I walked past the Tea Hut with only a few minutes left they still had a few Pukka Pies left in the warming tray, boy was I tempted but I held my nerve and carried on walking, I was having an Indian Takeaway when I got home and I didn't want to spoil my hunger, you've got to be really starving to finish off two trays of Chicken Dansak and a Karahi.

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