Coronation Park – Eastwood Town

13 Feb

Eastwood Town – 0

Colwyn Bay – 1

Football Conference North – 14th January 2011

Karma can be a wonderful thing.

With Eastwood languishing at the bottom of the Football Conference North, it was a ground I thought I’d never visit. The reason? The ground is somewhere between Sheffield and Nottingham (as I said, somewhere in the wasteland between Derbyshire and Yorkshire, which is henceforth known as Nottinghamshire), and public transport at that time of night that the game was scheduled to finish – 10pm on Valentines Day –  is as best unbelievably dodgy.

However, due to both teams’ exits from the FA Trophy, the game was changed to an FA Trophy Saturday, which meant I could attend, result. There was a bonus as well. Esteemed football blogger Beat The First Man was attending and spending quality time with yours truly. Double result.

At least, that was the plan. Games on that cold January Morning all around were falling like civilians falling to the wrath of the zombie apocalypse. In Eastwood though the game was firing shotgun rounds into the face of mother nature to get the game on. Despite warnings of late pitch inspections; I speculatively headed off to deepest, darkest Nottinghamshire.

Frosty Reception at Eastwood (mwha)

On the train to Sheffield I met a fascinating gentleman. He was quite clearly an overachiever. Despite appalling bad hair he was a vet and an author (not just an author, an author who got his book in Waterstones). Furthermore, by being pretty good at cycling and fortunate enough to be born in Jersey he is aiming to be a cyclist for Jersey in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. If you watch that, and this blog is still going, and you hear of a cyclist called “Greg” in the 2014 Commonwealth Games for Jersey, just remember: you heard it here first of yours truly.

The train to Sheffield was delightfully tinpot and non-league, with Chorley fans rerouted to their game at Frickley through Sheffield, but at Sheffield, I made the trip to Langley Mill, to confidently walk to Eastwood Town football club.

At least that was the plan, a mile and a bit walk to Coronation Park according to Google Maps neglected one important point – it was uphill. Luckily, my knight in shining armour “The First Man” was there with his “bone rattling car” to whisk me up the hill, down the wrong road, whisk us back on ourselves, and whisk me to the ground.

Colwyn Bay started the stronger side.

Coronation Park lies in Eastwood and smacks as a team that has progressed quickly. It has seats haphazardly placed throughout the ground, and stands in positions that you wonder what the benefit of them is. However you also get fantastic sunsets over the stands which is a rarity at this level.

The game kicked off and – with the absolute respect to both teams involved, I can’t remember much of it. A lot of the games were high long balls, with a smattering of creativity by the Seagulls and moments of attacking flair by the Badgers. The game (we hope) burst into life with the sending off of Eastwood’s Jervaise Christie, for a blatant push on Matty Hughes (who did foul him previously, I must admit). The result was Christie was given his marching orders, and Matty Hughes was given a yellow card.

Things to do during a dull match - stand next to this sign.

After that you’d think that with a team so far adrift at the bottom of the league like Eastwood Colwyn Bay would’ve pushed onto win, but unfortunately the game was so poor that this didn’t happen. John McKenna shot wide from a guilt edged chance from a corner, and the only other moment was Matty Hughes escaped a red from a foul. Nothing else happened. It was 0-0 and not only a bore draw, not only snore draw, but a gore draw – the gore being the sounds of me bludgeoning my head against a breeze block to alleviate the boredom.

After the break Colwyn Bay began to assert themselves, and pressed for a winner. Lee Davey wished he was 7 foot tall and could stretch to a cross that whizzed across the box, and Gareth Evans should’ve made more of a chance when deep in the Eastwood box. Eastwood though did threaten, and struggled but should’ve made more of the chances they had. Instead Chris Sanna didn’t make a save all game, and the game was won when new player Shelton Payne was clinically fouled in the box. Stonewall penalty that Fraser McLachlan converted to give Colwyn Bay the lead. Despite substitutes being thrown on for both sides, Colwyn Bay held on to the 1-0 victory, with the final whistle coming as a surprise for some members of the Bay faithful.

John McKenna was a standout performer for me.

A less than convincing performance – it was more a game that Eastwood lost than Colwyn Bay won. After a couple of pints and a chat with the Eastwood faithful, I headed to probably the scariest train station in the world – Langley Mill at night, courtesy of The First Man. I survived, and on the train home, whilst remembering that Eastwood almost put us out of the playoffs a few years ago, I remembered what an old gent said to me.

Karma can be a wonderful thing.

About Rhys Wynne

Rhys Wynne is the editor & creator of You're Supposed To Be At Home. For his sins, he is a Colwyn Bay & Liverpool fan, and a serial blog creator. You can follow Rhys on twitter here.

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