Alfreton (a.k.a. near Mansfield) AwayI fully confess that my knowledge about Alfreton was pretty limited, as in zilch. However, I was able to learn that many moons ago part of its claim to fame came via TV. Few of us remember, but on Saturday afternoons wrestling was broadcast from within its domain. One Kent Walton was the presenter of such worthies as Big Daddy and Jackie Pallo. It slowly dawned on me (most things do these days) that perhaps our modern-day players may have been influenced by viewing some of its footage, the selfsame rolling in agony, arms raised in supplication that such a crime had been visited on their person. The sudden attack of the vapours, the pratfalls whenever the breeze of contact is nearby, is very much in evidence in all standards of the once beautiful game. As you may gather, I’m no fan of this deceit, but I digress.
21 January 2012
21 January 2012
We arrived in plenty of time and good spirits in equal measure. A few of us decamped at the welcoming Plough Inn, the portals we left without the aid of Godspeed. The ground’s name is somewhat ambitious: The Impact Arena. I was quite prepared to be underwhelmed, and I was. We were housed on what might pass as a sun terrace but, it being January and us being buffeted by an inhospitable wind, it left much to be desired.
As far as the match was concerned, most of the time mediocrity ruled. Not unexpectedly, the Harriers fans waited with less-than-baited breath for us to put our opponents in their place and rattle in goals at a fair rate of knots. The problem was no one had told the home side. They certainly gave no quarter even though at times their edict appeared to be “if it moves kick it” and if by chance it happened to be the ball, so much the better. Being of such a robust nature, it not perhaps surprising that they found themselves a man short late in the first-half battle. What was a surprise (or maybe not) was our inability to make the most of our numerical advantage. Too many unforced errors littered our efforts. Not for the first time, Wright’s performance drew comments, it was something of a sow’s ear in content with very little silk woven in. But, to be honest, he was not on his own. We did have the almost unique sight of an Alfreton player receiving a yellow card for diving and, not a so unique one, of Storer getting the same. I imagine we may have to do without his services for a while; it’s just getting a little tedious. Deja vu (again) reared its head when a more attacking formation was belatedly introduced, firstly with Guinan (a.k.a. Geenan) then Malbon. In my advanced years there’s not much which makes me sit up and take notice, so to speak, but Malbon certainly caught my attention. Prior to his goal his movement, his looking for that half chance, marked him as a predator of goals prepared use his impressive stature to that end. The final nail of Matt’s strike was the result of a sublime setup by the underrated Guinan.
One little snippet of news was that when Hendrie was substituted he responded to abuse that was hurled at him by some of the home crowd in a less than gentlemanly manner. Say what you like about the guy, although his skill factor may have lessened, his desire to win certainly has not. I look forward to the time when he and the likes of Malbon can link up.
You have to give Alfreton credit for battling against the odds and sympathise with them in spite of their commitment coming up short.
We certainly enhanced our growing reputation of not knowing when we are beat. It all adds spice to our Tuesday tussle with York.