FA Cup, preliminary round
Norton & Stockton Ancients four years ago. The attendance was the largest ever at Knaresborough for a competitive fixture.
Manse Lane is the nearest ground in the non-league pyramid to where I live. By my own admission I’ve been somewhat tardy in getting down there to catch up with the greatest period in the club’s 100 year plus history (although I did see them in the Northern Counties East League Cup final at Valley Parade in May.) I missed Knaresborough’s first ever match in the pyramid two years ago as well as the friendly against Leeds which marked the switch-on of the new floodlights.
Celtic took the lead from the penalty spot, reflecting an opening period of superiority. They were awarded a second spot kick when a Knaresborough player deliberately pushed the ball away from the goal as he tumbled following a collision. He was sent off and I thought there was no chance of the goalie – somewhat dodgy to that point – pulling off a save. Of course, he did. Reduced to 10 men galvanised Town and they were a match for Celtic for the remainder of the game but rarely threatened the visitor’s goal.
Washington hit six in at Pickering without reply. All change in this round: Washington lost 0-7 at home to Lancaster who are coached by Darren Peacock (ex-QPR).
Welsh grounds: There was a Welsh groundhop over the Bank Holiday weekend. The outstanding pic above shows Blaenau Ffestiniog’s ground and appears on the highly recommended Onion Bag blog. My footballing serendipity on holiday continued in North Wales last week. I happened by Menai Bridge Tigers v. Aberffraw (7-3) in the Gwynedd League. Tightly enclosed on two sides by woods, one side by flats and another by a library and changing rooms, the pitch had the vague feel of a ground to it. Have a look - and enjoy the seagulls ...