THE weather last week was rain, rain and more rain!
We had a home fixture on Saturday against Leek CSOB and we were desperate to get the game on after two Saturdays of being rained off.
It was becoming boringly monotonous; speak to a local referee of the required level on Friday night and arrange to meet at the ground at around 10am on Saturday morning.
The ref would step gingerly on the pitch in his best brogues and immediately decide what we already knew, that the pitch was unplayable. The local ref would then inform the match ref of the state of play and the postponement would be rubber-stamped.
Last weekend I had arranged a 10am face-to-face with one of my referees. They are now on speed dial on my phone.
I opened my curtains on Saturday morning and, surprise surprise, it was raining.
I couldn’t believe when I got to the ground, the pitch was wet but it was playable. Darren Handley, en route to reffing the FC Halifax v Cambridge Utd Conference match agreed with my assessment. Game on!
The Colls committee got to work and the ground was soon ready for action.
We didn’t expect a big crowd, CSOB don’t usually fetch many. But my phone was suddenly red hot handling enquiries about the game.
The NWCFL fixture list had been decimated by the incessant rain and people wanted their non-league fix.
A crowd double our Saturday average turned up to watch the teams come out to the 1976 Thin Lizzy Classic ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’.
The teams enter the arena to a different tune every game and this number was chosen by club stalwart Wild Billy Fearick. It’s a nice touch and brings the spectators closer to the players.
There were lots of supporters/officials of other NWCFL clubs in attendance including at last half a dozen from our neighbours LR.
Their game was a casualty and they must have been intrigued by the fact their ex-keeper and manager Phil Priestley was making his Colls debut.
They were more nosey rather than noisy neighbours, but in true LR style they did barrack Phil unmercifully every time he was in the vicinity of the ball.
Colls got a 4-0 victory which was a major tonic after three consecutive league defeats in “Dark” December.
Special mention goes to Mitch Leece who bagged a couple of goals and took the opposition man-of-the-match award.
There was an impeccably observed minute’s silence in tribute to Mitch’s dad, Andy, who died suddenly at the beginning of the year and Mitch showed true endeavour and skill in the game.
It was nice to get a football game on. Saturdays are rubbish without a match.
All the pies went before half time and the demand for programmes outweighed supply.
Hopefully some of the new visitors will return.
The only downside to the day for the majority of the Colls committee was the regular score updates from Reading.
You can’t have everything!