East Midlands Counties League
Greenwood Meadows 1
Holbrook Sports 0
Two games during my five-day trip to Nottingham wasn’t bad going and I was impressed by the amount of teams in the area away from the standard Forest or County.
Even though there was plenty of teams/grounds, there wasn’t an abundance of Wednesday night fixtures and I was being ultra picky on the basis that my transport wasn’t as easy as usual.
However, three miles down the road in the East Midlands Counties league (tier ten) Greenwood Meadows were entertaining Holbrook Sports at their Lenton Lane ground.
Lenton Lane seems to be a little hot bed of football south of Nottingham city centre with Greenwood Meadows being joined by fellow league side Dunkirk and also Pelican Colts who all have grounds within yards of each other.
Of I went, with little expectations for game 32 of the season.
Lenton Lane is not a classic, I wouldn’t go as far to say that it is one to forget but it wasn’t the most appealing on the eye. Watching a lot of tier nine and ten football in the Wessex setup in and around Hampshire, I think I have been spoiled in terms of the quality of grounds in the league.
Having arrived at Lenton Lane, a country road just off the A52, it didn’t scream come and visit, a poorly lit entrance wasn’t particularly inviting and once inside the ground £5 lighter it wasn’t much different.
On entry there was a cabin directly to the left housing the changing rooms and clubhouse, which was pretty run down. To the right was a walkway to the pitch and I was met to a big patch of grass behind the goal used for the warm ups. My second observation was the barrier surrounding the pitch wasn’t the usual clean looking metal bar, it was it was broken, wonky wooden fencing too low to lean on.
Either side of the dugouts, there were two identical covered seating areas that had one long bench side lining the back of the stand in one and a couple of rows of generic plastic seating in the other.
I chose to stand in between the dugouts, offering extra entertainment to the dull match that was to later unfold.
Captain Aaron Mitchell’s late strike gave lowly Greenwood Meadows a vital win over fellow bottom half outfit Holbrook Sports.
The visitors had plenty of chances to win the game but it was the home captain who smashed in from close range with about 15 minutes to go to give his side the three points.
The game was marred with awful shooting with Ryan Stark and James Price missing early efforts for the home side as Labrada Domini fired hopelessly high of the goal.
Sports striker Isaac Minott was the main threat for the visitors but his shot went straight at ‘keeper Liam Mitchell from Domini’s cross. Minott then missed a hat full of chances that could have sent his side well on the way to three points. Having picked up the ball wide on the right, the number nine did well to get in the box but was selfish firing a shot wide from a silly angle with teammates queuing up to shoot in the box.
Minott then showed great skill to leave two defenders in his wake and again he chose to shoot from a wide angle instead of pulling it back across the box.
Phil Summerfield then missed probably the best chance of the half as Sports had the upper hand when he spangled a shot wide at the back post from Domini’s low drive across the box.
Greenwood were lucky not to be at least 1-0 down before the break when Liam Mitchell made a mess of coming to collect the ball and it fell to Minott who eventually passed to Domini to shoot but Mitchell did well to get back into position to parry the ball away.
The home side settled into the game after the restart in a match filled with late tackles and plenty of foul play. With little happening in front of goal from either side, the referee had a lot to think about with plenty of rough challenges in the middle of the park.
Dane Rawson had Meadows’ best chance of the game when he spun in the box with the ball and after doing the hard part he blasted his effort over the bar from six yards as the game had 0-0 written all over it.
Greenwood were enjoying more of the ball and had the better of the chances in what was a scrappy game that had done little to deserve a goal. The introduction of Austin Wallace instilled some pace into the Greenwood attack and it was from his good work down the wing that won Greenwood a vital late corner.
James Price swung in a good set piece and a green shirt managed to block his teammates shot on goal before it fell to the skipper Aaron Mitchell who took the ball on the bounce to fire in a dramatic winner.
Holbrook, who had done very little in the second half, threw men forward in the final moments as Greenwood parked the bus. Sports winger Summerfield fired a weak header straight at the ‘keeper before Ashley Hayes blazed one over the bar from the edge of the box.
The final chance of the game fell to Minott who again chose to shoot from wide instead of picking out a team mate as Greenwood had all men behind the ball to grind out the win.
2016/17 Games: 33
2016/17 Grounds: 36
Total Grounds Visited: 172