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

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Armthorpe Welfare

Saturday 28th August
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Armthorpe Welfare 2 Marske United 4
Attendance: 87 (Head count)
Admission: £5
Programme: £1 (Pamphlet of adverts)
Tea hut purchases: Hot Dog £1 and a 60p cup of tea
Weather: Breezy, mainly cloudy, odd sunny spell
Parking: Next to the Co-op across the main road, easy exit
Armthorpes Church Street ground is around 5 miles east of Doncaster town centre. There was a heavy (tense) police presence in the streets around Doncasters famous railway station, snatch squads nervously awaited the rampaging hordes of 'beered up' glory hunters from Marske-by-the-Sea, a small coastal settlement near Redcar. I later found out it wasn't the jovial Marske United fans who had rattled their cage, it was some other bunch of supporters following an obscure club called Hull City. I drove the Match Shed out past the sweeping Doncaster racecourse and soon arrived at the rather nice looking Armthorpe, those rampaging hordes of Marske people had just got off a big white coach, half of them went to get changed for the game, the other half predictably went straight in the pub. They weren't rampaging hordes really, just some normal blokes out to watch their team (it does look better in print though). The ground was more or less empty 20 minutes before kick off, I went in the Tea Hut which had its own bijou 70's style eating and relaxing area, all the tables have gingham plastic table covers which are complimented by orange chairs and other odds and ends. A television set in the corner was showing the rugby league challenge cup coverage from Wembley.I may have been the first customer of the day. I got a tea which was only 60p. I didn't want the advertised pie and peas as my wife was making me a big steak pie for my supper, I made a mental note to come back for a half time 'cup-tie' hot dog. Flicking through the match programme I was immediately disappointed to realise it was wall to wall adverts with minimal football related content, this is fine if you want to find places selling freshly made pies, marinated meats and 'gut-buster' all day breakfasts but as regards the match you just about find out Armthorpe play in the premier division of the Northern Counties East league whilst Marske United play in Division 2 of the Northern League. It was only a pound but it was very poor as a programme. Some official had even written the competition and the name of the opposition on the front cover in pen? That can't be right can it. Room for improvement I think.The ground itself is clean, open in profile and very tidy. The only real structure alongside the pitch is a small bright white stand between the halfway line and the 18 yard area, the Tea Hut and changing rooms reside behind it. The stand has a few rows of decked wooden seating flush to the concrete steps. 'Mind-your-head' signs warn of low flying beams. Most people seemed to stand up in here which made it difficult for anyone wishing to sit down (view wise). An ugly communications mast is directly adjacent to the pitch at one end of the stand whilst a large menacing Netto Supermarket lurks on the skyline above its roof. There is also the makings of a shelter behind one of the goals but it only has a single wooden bench in it and some hard standing. The rest of the ground has concrete paths around it matched with railings and walls. It looks a decent little ground for the level that Armthorpe play at. The boys arrived back from the pub just as the teams came out. A Marske United union jack was soon displayed over the railings, the road to Wembley beckoning.Armthorpe looked resplendent in their retro styled Bristol Rovers kit whilst the seasiders from Marske looked a bit more Brazil fashioned. To be honest it was a very scrappy opening 15 minutes and when Armthorpe went 1 up I was thinking the whole game may just be predictable-style hoof and track. How wrong! There is something about these Northern League sides, they just dont give up and it appears that very often they end up coming out on top. I'd heard that Marske had high hopes for this season after just failing to get promotion last term and they began to show why. They hustled and bustled the home side and started winning the second balls. A sharp looking forward named Rob Jones had come on for an injured colleague and he took the game by the scruff of the neck. He had a tremendous game and was involved in nearly all of the Marske threats. Needless to say the Armthorpe lead disappeared and they looked a bit punch drunk by half time, Marske had taken a 2-1 lead. When they made it 3-1 from an early second half corner it was looking a case of 'how-many-will-they-get'?To Armthorpes credit they rallied (they had to) and when they made it 3-2 it was 'game-on' again. This had turned into a really good cup tie. Marske held their nerve and even increased the lead with a sharp breakaway to provide the finishing scoreline of 4-2 and the boys from the pub went mad (a bit anyway), a great result for them and the Wembley dream is still alive. As for Armthorpe, they need to gel as a unit more, they have the makings of a decent side, particularly with Bruno Holden up front but they need to 'join up the writing' a bit more (a bit like me). Pleased to say this was an enjoyable match and a credit to the level. I did go back for that half time hot dog by the way.


The Onion Bag said...

krugg, sounds as tho u had a great day !

Mark Sanderson said...

I totally agree about the programme.

andy1886 said...

I was working in the bookies at the side of the ground on saturday . If I had known you would be at the game I would have popped in . Be nice to meet you after reading your words for the last couple of seasons .

Uwdi Krugg said...

Sorry about that Andy. A lot of my games are only sorted out at the last minute, Armthorpe was one of those.