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

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Liskeard Athletic

Tuesday 28th September
South West Peninsula League Premier Division
Liskeard Athletic 1 Bodmin Town 3
Attendance: 60 (head count)
Admission: £5
Programme: £1
Tea hut purchases: Cornish Pasty £2, Tea 70p
Weather: Relentless sweeping rain, cleared up 2nd half
Parking: At the sports centre directly beside the ground There had been lesser scattered showers earlier in the day but the headlining act took centre stage in mid afternoon. Sweeping swirling sheets of relentless rain swept across Cornwall in a miserable damp depression that wasn't for shifting. As I made my way across to Liskeard I could see farm animals lining up 2 by 2 by the big boat next to the barn. Good job I'd got my brolly, this was a terrible night for football even if it was the big local derby attraction between Liskeard and Bodmin Town. The Match Shed gently ambled through the charismatic Liskeard town centre and took the road for Callington, a few hundred yards later the skyline lit up courtesy of the Lux Park floodlights and the adjoining sports centre pitches. I found the last space in the busy sports centre car park and left the cosy warmth of the Match Shed for the equivalent of taking a power-shower with all your clothes on, the weather was truly abysmal. In the dim light of the car park area it wasn't totally clear where the turnstile was for entry to the ground, the whole place is over shadowed by the large sports centre complex. I went into the sports centre and kindly asked the lady on the reception desk where the turnstile was for Liskeard Athletic, then came the unexpected brutal battle-axe treatment reply from a really sour faced woman with a big personality problem... "This isn't the football ground its next door, you can't come in here for the football ground, you're all wet as well, you'll have to go outside, the football ground is nothing to do with me, its over there outside, its not in here, this is the sports centre, not a football ground entrance, you need to get outside and have a look over there near that tunnel"! Thanks Doreen, so kind of you, thankyou for your help. I followed some local supporters that had turned up through the tunnel and sure enough there was the turnstile.Nobody was around the terraces, instead it appeared that everyone had crammed into the refreshment building just to the left of the entrance. A kindly Gent in blazer and tie told me to come inside and get out of the rain, I was informed there was hot tea and some warm pasties at the snack bar table, this was more like it! A couple of nice ladies (totally opposite to 'Attila in a Dress' at the sports centre) already had mugs of tea poured out and then apologised that they only had really large pasties available tonight (these were my kind of girls, they were immediately ticking all my boxes). For 2 quid I got a really good pasty, unfortunately about half of it was soon all over my steaming wet coat (got carried away I'm afraid). I quickly realised that everybody else in the tea hut had a pasty as well, what a site as blokes happily munched away in potato and beef-skirt nirvana oblivious to the world outside (fantastic stuff). As kick off approached I ventured outside again with the objective of taking some pictures, it was almost impossible, the rain was everywhere.I made it across to the far side of the ground to the small main stand, its only got three rows with painted blue wooden planks across the concrete blocks but the club have provided carpet mat samples for spectators to sit on, what a nice touch. I watched as people came into the stand, grabbed a carpet mat and then placed it where they wanted to sit, brilliant. A hardy band of local supporters huddled in the stand, die-hards for sure, only the true supporters come out in weather like this. Once the game started I realised a good few from Bodmin had made the trip down the road as well, a shame the rain had put such a damper on things, the pitch looked strong and firm but the top was obviously a bit too slick for quality crafted football, I think it played havoc with some of the line markings as well, I struggled to make out the touchline on the main stand side of the pitch. Liskeard took the lead after 10 minutes but the game was a bit all over the place, there was little co-ordination or pattern to either sides approach.Bodmin struck back 20 minutes into the first half and it was from that moment onwards that they gradually established some foot-holds on the match. As the weather dried up in the second half so did the Liskeard goal scoring opportunities, Bodmin had started to dominate. In this day and age of cost efficiency it is important that clubs save every penny, no surprise then that if a match ball goes out of the ground somebody needs to go and get it. Usually this noble service is provided by youngsters or club officials, an innovative approach at Liskeard is that a player 'subbed' then takes on the task. During the second half a misplaced ball lodged in the top of a tree just the other side of the grounds perimeter fence, 5 minutes later up pops the player who'd just been subbed. This players attempts (with the aid of a Bodmin supporter) to get this stray ball back had to be applauded, they tried severe tree shaking, tree climbing and even lobbing rocks at the upper branches of the tree to try and get this ball back, this ball-retrieval objective had taken away from the goings on of the match such was the drama. After 10 minutes hard graft the ball fell from the tree and all was calm again down the far corner.This was a good away win for Bodmin Town as they continue their quest for further honours, its not the end of the world for Liskeard Athletic either, Liskeard are currently going through important managerial changes and better times may just be around the corner, we'll have to wait and see? One thing for sure is that Liskeard come across as a friendly type of club with a nice little ground and apart from Doreen in the sports centre (and the rain) I really enjoyed my visit here. Did anyone else at the ground spot Enoch Tulley the tallest man in Cornwall propped up outside the fence adjacent to the main stand, at 8 foot 11 inches he's too tall to get through the turnstile. I'm going to have to sort out a break from all this pasty eating, my heads going!


jose said...

Hi Uwdi

Just to let you know Bodmin weren't champions last season, you were watching the runners up! Buckland Athletic were champions, just outside Newton Abbot, well worth a visit to their ground.

Uwdi Krugg said...

Thanks for that Jose, I've made the amendment. Next time I'm down the South West I'll make sure I'm pulled through a dung heap by tractor.

paul white non-league football said...

Liskeard Athletic - one of my favourites ...