Warstones Wanderers A Stafford Town A

Tuesday 30th October 2012
Warstones Wanderers A Stafford Town A
(abandoned after 29 minutes due to floodlight failure)
JW Hunt Cup First Round
At: Long Lane, Essington
Kick:-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: none
Weather: mild, dry
Attendance: 14 (headcount)
Duration (45): first-half: 29:27

Just 29 minutes of action was possible as the referee abandoned this JW Hunt Cup tie when the floodlights failed for a second time. Stafford Town were leading 1-0 at the time thanks to an 18th minute volley from Paul McMahon.

Both sides took good form into the game. After a terrible start to their West Midlands (Regional) League Division One campaign in which they lost all of their first five league games, Warstones Wanderers (11th with 15 points from 10 games) had won their last five games scoring 17 goals and conceding just four. Stafford Town (7th with 24 points from 15 games) had lost just one of their last eight league games in the Athium Midland Combination Premier Division.

This was my third visit to Long Lane, Essington, which has a 100-seater stand. Previously I'd seen Wyrley Rangers defeat tonight’s visitors Stafford Town on May Day Bank Holiday in 2005 and the 1-1 draw between Burntwood and Phoenix United in April last year.

Tonight, Warstones (in green and white stripes) got the game underway attacking from left to right in relation to my position stood next to the stand in the company of the Stafford Town Secretary. Town created an early chance when Steve Bennett flicked on a throw from the left by Spencer Gunnell. The ball fell to Paul McMahon, a few yards out, who fired straight at Warstones goalkeeper Andrew Aston.

Then, after 5 minutes and 10 seconds, the lights went out.

Play resumed some twenty minutes later and during the break I got chatting with ‘Mugsy’ who was trying to remember where he’d last seen me.

Warstones created a couple of decent chances. Aston McGinnis drove over the bar from 30 yards out and Stefan Bernard beat several defender on a mazy run into the area but shot weakly at Richard Stone.

Paul McMahon put Town ahead in the 18th minute. Bennett pulled the ball back from the right bye-line and McMahon volleyed home like a striker not afraid to shoot.

Simeon Townend had a great chance to equalise seven minutes later, firing over the bar from 15 yards out.

Once again, Long Lane was plunged into darkness in the 30th minute and three loud blasts of the referee’s whistle signalled a premature end to the tie.

The sides will try again next Tuesday, 6th November, at Stafford Town’s Evans Park ground, kick-off 7-45 pm.

I can only recall having one previous game abandoned due to floodlight failure – a Premier League game between Wimbledon and Arsenal at Selhurst Park on Monday 22nd December 1997.

Warstones Wanderers (green and white stripes / green / green): 1. Andrew Aston, 2. Aston McGinnis, 3. Lee Brown, 4. Curtis Simpson, 5. Ben Whittal (capt), 6. Ravi Sohal, 7. Stefan Bernard, 8. Ade Beckford, 9. Patrick Rafferty, 10. Simeon Townsend, 11. John Charters. Subs: 12. Ashley Justin (not used), 14. Scott Williamson (not used), 15. Mitchell Kerry (not used).

Stafford Town (red/red/red): 1. Richard Stone, 2. Steve Bennett, 3. Darryl Evans, 4. Chris Morris, 5. James Price, 6. Mat Dockerty (capt), 7. Ryan Fox, 8. Jamie Cartwright, 9. Paul McMahon, 10. Darryll Johns, 11. Spencer Gunnell. Subs: 12. Wayne Bailey (not used), 14. Jason Cunningham (not used), 15. Craig Smith (not used), 16. Ishmale Reid (not used).

Referee: Thomas Harty.

0-1 Paul McMahon (18)

Cards: none