Tuesday 13th August 2019
South West Peninsula League West
NEWQUAY 1 ST BLAZEY 0
Admission: £5, £3 concessions
Tea Hut Stuff: Tea in a proper cup £1
Parking: Found a space 10 minutes walk away, tourists everywhere
Weather: Light cloud, dry, slight chill second half
Location, location, location
Newquay is certainly a major location down here, it's like no other resort in Cornwall. Some punters don't like it but plenty of tourists seem to love the place. Hypnotised holiday makers are systematically drawn to the vibrant, dare I suggest robust partytime culture and waste little time seeping themselves in the fast food mountains and the vast quantities of ale on offer.
If you're not under Doctors Orders this place is a decent chippy to try.
Besides the wonderful sea and sand you can eventually find some really nice attractions in the town itself, such as the charismatic harbour hidden away below the busy big name pubs The Fort and Sailors (the latter establishment are the shirt sponsors for Newquay AFC).
The mix of families with kids, pensioners on coach tours and hard line party animals makes for an interesting hours walkabout before making your way to the normality of the football ground. Sadly not many of the tourists took up the temptation to venture towards tonights hotly anticipated SWPL clash. Think I counted more of them watching a bowls match than boosting the football gate.
Nice admissions block at the Mount Wise ground. No extra 2 quid 'buy a ticket in advance' bar coded automated entry nonsense at this level of our game, thank goodness too. A nice chap took my spare change getting-in money whilst his colleague politely sold me a raffle ticket. Pleased to pick up a programme as well.
Mount Wise: Home of Newquay Football Club
Been here before back in October 2010 for their Throgmorton Cup Tie with Penryn (there is a visit report in my archives column). I was a holidaymaker myself back then. I was always impressed with the Main Stand, it had red and white seating those days which matched the club colours, now for a reason I am unsure about it has yellow and blue as the theme? Perhaps it's for sponsor requests, who knows, anyway I hope they get it back to red and white someday soon. Great little stand though.
Across the pitch resides a smaller stand with additional seating to rest your legs come half time. Plenty of folk seemed to enjoy taking up a position here.
Then there is the clubhouse behind the goals with the famous big lettering spelling out 'Newquay AFC'. Looks great. Inside the clubhouse they had Salford City (remember them?) v Leeds United. The same room put on a fans question and answer session when they recently hosted Chester City pre season.
Down by the corner flag in between the clubhouse and the aforementioned smaller stand we have a welcoming tea hut. They do proper cups of tea for a pound (with the teabag left in so you can sup it how you like it).
I'll get onto match details shortly but both benches must be knackered by the amount of jumping up and down screaming all evening. Some world class arm waving was on offer. The Liner who had to endure the enraged Blazey bench throughout the game must have a head like a thirty bob cabbage with all that racket.
Quite a few visiting fans in the ground, a good few of them gathered together at the clubhouse end for the first half Blazey were attacking. Not that there was an awful lot to get excited about. Love those flags they do, excellent effort at this level.
Onto the game
Spectator anticipation for what looked (on paper) an enticing fixture reached fever pitch as the teams marched out. Ok, it didn't really but it sounds good doesn't it.
The kick off was a last sanctuary before the unknown depths of hoofing, yelling and humping the ball anywhere took it's toll.
Non league can often get frenetic but this game reached uncharted waters. I've seen many a game where the first quarter hour is strangled by 100% player commitment which unintentionally ends up with a by-product of fragmented football. This match didn't quieten down into a more attractive form of football, it actually went the other way. The passion and will to win couldn't be faulted but what we got in return was absolute disjointed dross. No wonder it was a tight scoreline, that's because there were hardly any chances. The only one I remember was the superbly executed lob that Newquay scored, even that was hotly disputed by the St Blazey bench for offside.
There have been mutterings that the visitors kicked Newquay off the park. Personally I do not feel this was the case. Yes, Newquay lost 3 players injured before half time and had another limping around for half the second half as a passenger but I don't think Blazey intentionally went out to play dirty. I reckon it was that much of a full-on encounter over the 90 minutes that there was a likelihood any player could pick up a knock, unfortunately for Newquay all the results of tough tackles impacted upon their team alone (not that anyone wants to see any player getting injured).
As we reached the last 20 minutes of the match the visitors lost the plot. Perhaps it was frustration they got nowhere near to breaking down the Newquay defence or just a lack of composure, who knows. Blazey endured 2 sin bins for dissent, one of which was the goalkeeper and had another 2 players sent off red carded. They finished this unbelievably dire game with 8 men!
Hard to judge from tonight's show how good or bad these two sides actually are and how they will perform as the season develops. Newquay probably had the edge over the 90 minutes, especially with the injuries doubtless affecting strategy so much. I simply think they cancelled each other out. Be interesting to see where they are in the league table in a months time.
Don't think I'll be at the return fixture when Newquay go to St Blazey away.