Saturday 15th October
Northern Counties East League Premier Division
LIVERSEDGE 0 STAVELEY MINERS WELFARE 3
Programme: No thanks (lost faith in them)
Tea Hut Stuff: Steak Pie £1.20, Tea £1
Weather: Mainly sunny with light broken cloud, mild
Parking: Club car park
I had a stinking cold and felt decidedly under the weather. Last nights good-idea to drown the flu bug in an abundance of supermarket continental lager had gone horribly wrong. I had a head like a thirty bob cabbage. I went over the border where the barbed wire dips between 2 remote hillocks. The Yorkshire border guards were completely unaware as I jumped over the fence from Lancashire. I hid amongst flocks of sheep and pigeon huts before making my way some twenty odd miles through Calderdale to Quaker Lane in deepest Liversedge. I entered an old tiny shop for directions to the ground, the owner had never heard of 'The Sedge', he was dressed in a mint sauce splattered t-shirt which had a weird mans head on it with distressed hair, underneath it was splashed with the statement 'Ken Dodd is a Twat'.
I was about to leave (with a packet of past the sell by date Anadins) when his wife Owd Nora entered from The Snug and wisely told me to follow the big pot holes all the way to the car-park, "they're playin those fancy dans from Staveley today aint they" she croaked. I just nodded, not wanting to annoy her with my obvious Lancashire twang. I could only imagine what evil thing Ken Dodd had done to these homely people to make Owd Nora's husband wear that t-shirt, as he turned around to return to his cupboard under the stairs, I witnessed the full horror of the back of that very same (mint-sauced) t-shirt, there in brazen blue and yellow 10 inch capital letters was the chilling statement 'LEEDS, LEEDS, LEEDS'. Oh dear.
I was woken from my nightmare by a Yorkshire bloke tapping on the Match Shed window, "have you got your radio on"? I'd been asleep for over half an hour in the Liversedge club car park (the flu bug had knocked me out). "Er no, why, whats the matter" I replied, "I wanted to know if Man U had won at Anfield" he smiled. Thank god it had only been a dream, Owd Nora and her Ken Dodd hating husband had just been a figment of my imagination.
I'd been to the Clayborn Ground, home of Liversedge FC before, a night match last season against Armthorpe Wefare. Its a nice tidy place with decent views afforded by the fact that 3 sides of the pitch are complemented by raised banking. With the sun shining over the well kept pitch it was a great location to spend a Saturday afternoon. After the Ken Dodd nightmare I needed some sustenance so I went straight up the steps to the Tea Hut (it resides like a palace of pleasure adjacent to the clubhouse at the brow of a grassy mound overlooking the pitch).
I took a Steak Pie which had light pastry and tasty gravy but it disappeared in 3 or 4 bites (bit of gristle in there as well). I got the impression this may have been one of those Tesco type pies, you know, the 4 for a quid offers, it was ok as a bit of hot food though and at £1.20 it was far cheaper than some of the rip-off tea huts I've seen extortionate pies at lately. I washed it down with a tea (unfortunately a pound a bag job). I reckon cups of tea at non league grounds should be regulated with a ceiling of 60p.
Staveley turned out in that very bright orange away kit for todays encounter whilst Sedge went for a slightly classier Napoli orientated light blue number. I must say some dandy passing football was on offer as Staveley tore into Sedge straight from the kick off, it was just like that Dutch total-football stuff, poor old Sedge looked 'totally' baffled? A few grimacing looks started appearing on the faces of the local flat-cappers, Sedge couldn't get into gear against this finely tuned bunch of visitors, time and time again they were second to the ball and when they did get some possession the Sedge midfield quickly gave it away again.
It was a no-brainer that Staveley would score, it took 12 minutes, Ryan Damms made it 0-1 and there could be zero complaints. Staveley then missed a penalty and it produced a spark of hope for Sedge. They took the lifeline and began battling the orange tide. It wasn't pretty on the eye but they started breaking up the Staveley attacks and they just about kept it to a 1 goal disadvantage come half time.
Staveley appeared to be coasting a bit in the second half, Sedge did all they could to thwart them but it came as no surprise when Joe Thornton got the second goal in the 70th minute before Ryan Damms added a well deserved third. I must say this Staveley team look a bloody good side, no wonder a good few supporters had travelled along to cheer them on. As for Liversedge, its a case of must try harder but saying that they won't be coming up against the likes of Holland every week.