Belper Town 0 Parkgate 2

Wednesday 13th July 2011
Belper Town 0 Parkgate 2
Teversal Pre-Season Tournament Semi-Final
At: Carnarvon Street
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £2; Tournament Programme: £1 (16 pages); Teamsheet: free
Weather: mild, dry, sunny spells
Attendance: 91
Duration: first half: 45:22; second-half: 45:46

The inaugural Teversal Pre-Season Tournament sponsored by Sabre Sports and Premier Trophies is reaching a climax and tonight Teversal FC hosted the second semi final, tempting me to swap a live viewing of The Apprentice for a first visit to Carnarvon Street. And in somewhat of an unexpected result, it was Step 5 Parkgate doing the ‘firing’ to send Step 4 Belper out of the competition and earn themselves a place in Saturday’s final against Staveley MW.

Also at the game were Malc and Kev (the ‘dynamic duo’ of On the Road blog fame) as well as the man behind the 66POW blog and they provided enjoyable company. While I didn’t get to speak to him, Facebook friend Keith was also there taking photos for the Teversal website. And the lady who fetched me a teamsheet and Teversal official Kev Newton helped me to feel most welcome.

Last week saw the four quarter finals played:
Mon 4th July: Teversal 5 Kirkby Town 0
Tuesday 5th July: Handsworth 1 Staveley MW 4
Wednesday 6th July: Belper Town 2 v Maltby Main 0
Thursday 7th July: Parkgate 2 Pinxton 1

This week, hosts Teversal contested the first semi final on Monday, 11th July, with NCEL Premier Division newboys running out 4-2 winners. With all teams guaranteed two games, the four quarter finals losers were paired together in consolation games and last night Kirkby Town faced Handsworth, with the latter winning 3-0 on penalties after a 3-3 draw. Tomorrow, Maltby Main face Pinxton in the other consolation game.

The ground was straightforward to find with the aid of map and I guess easy as well to find without a map. Travelling away from Sutton Town Centre and Stanton Hill on the B6014, Carnarvon Street was easily spotted on the right between a bus stop and red post box with the ground at the end of the road. Next to the car park was a nice feature – the Teversal Coal Garden – which included ‘memorabilia’ from several local former collieries.

Available at the paybox entrance to the ground were tournament programmes and club badges, and later teamsheets were available for all who wanted one. The pitch (orientated south-east–north-west) ran lengthways from the entrance and, down the left-hand side was a seated stand. Behind the far goal were two separate areas of cover, which both once saw use in the car park of a well-known supermarket chain. Close to the entrance to the right around the south-east corner were the changing rooms, Tevi bar and well as the tea bar which did a roaring trade in chips and teas, etc.

To be honest, I’m not a prolific watcher of pre-season friendlies and the vast majority I’ve seen over the past ten years have involved Stafford Rangers. I do like league games and major cup competitions. But addition to this competition having a competitive edge with a trophy for the winners and runners up, I liked Rule 8: ‘Each team will be allowed to name 5 substitutes of which all 5 may be used, but no rolling substitutions will be allowed’.

On to the action and Parkgate (wearing red and white shirts with red shorts and socks) got the game underway attacking the ‘entrance’ end in the first half.

The opening goal came in the 13th minute. Parkgate full back Daniel Cardwell poorly delivered a left-wing corner which was cleared. A well-struck volley from Luke Fletcher was cleared off the line by defender Aaron Blake only to hit the back of teammate Matt Blake and rebound into the back of the Belper net.

Belper (in their familiar colours of yellow shirts with black shorts and socks) had a chance to level things up in the 34th minute. The nearest assistant referee harshly judged that Gareth Clayton handled Rob Ludlam’s shot and referee Stuart Richardson pointed the spot. However, Parkgate keeper James Jenkinson produced a vital save to keep Adam Walker’s resulting penalty.

Parkgate took full advantage of the let-off to double their lead in the 41st minute with a superb move. Keir Hannity unselfishly squared the ball to Daniel Cardwell inside the area who hit a low shot into the opposite bottom left corner of the net.

I have a terrible record for winning football raffles and tonight was no exception, though the fact that my ticket bearing ‘270’ was just 12 away from the winning ticket provides some optimism for the forthcoming season.

For the second half, Belper made no fewer than four changes but rarely troubled the Parkgate defence. Neither keeper was seriously tested though Parkgate’s Nathan Forbes-Swindells went close with a couple of free-kicks.

While Parkgate can look forward to Saturday’s final against Staveley, I certainly took home positive memories of my first trip to Carnarvon Road – I keep wanting to type Caernarfon for some reason – and promise to return for a Teversal league game sometime during 2011/12.

0-1 Matt Blake (13 og)
0-2 Daniel Cardwell (41)