Most people who know me will testify, i'm a groundhopper. Most people who know me may testify i'm slightly mad. Either way, I travel around various football grounds of this island and, sometimes, beyond to watch the beautiful game.
Most of my travels encompass the non-league game and, with my inane ramblings, I will attempt to show you where my travels take me and, also, try to show you that there is footballing life beyond the so-called "best league in Europe"
I hope you enjoy reading!
Tonight was a visit to Sheffield for a top versus (2nd) bottom in the Northern Counties East League Division One. As well as a chance of seeing some goals, there was a more pressing need for my presence this evening.
There is plenty of speculation that Handsworth may suffer at the hands of ground grading rules, especially as they are in the hunt for promotion to step 5. The problem is that the changing rooms are not within the ground and it is a fair distance to walk from the pitch to the existing facilities (I must add it was well worth the walk for the steak pie at half time).
Speaking to someone at the club, though they refused to confirm or deny, there may be the possibility of leaving this ground to share whilst the facilities are brought up to what is required. Better to be safe than sorry, so I thought I'd get it visited ASAP.
The ground is actually part of a sporting facility at Olivers Mount with a cricket pitch and five-a-side pitch (there was actually a coaching session taking place as I arrived) and, according to the club magazine given away with the programme, this was taken over by the club in 1998, the club having been formed twelve years earlier. The club was primarily a junior club but in 2003 a senior side was formed and the club have been climbing the pyramid since.
This season they find themselves in contention for the Division One title with Glasshoughton Welfare and they are currently THE form team in the league with 6 straight wins, whilst tonight's opponents, Grimsby Borough, are in wretched form with just one point from the last 18 available. This game was a home banker if ever there was one and so it proved.
Once Handsworth opened the scoring after 25 minutes, when Faffy Gwindi blasted home from 25 yards, there was only going to be one winner. The homesters doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Gwindi chased down a back pass and the goalkeepers attempted clearance was charged down by the Handsworth man and rolled into the net.
The second half was just minutes old when another pile driver from 25 yards hit the post and the rebound fell to Scott Bates who bundled the ball home. It was a case of how many Handsworth would score as they carved Borough open at will, creating numerous chances, hitting the woodwork at least twice. In the end they had to settle for just the 3 goals.
Looking at the fixture list for Handsworth, they play Glasshoughton Welfare away and home in successive Saturday's at the end of April. These games could provide a marvellous finale to the season.
The only cover at Olivers Mount is this seated main stand
Wednesday 14th March 2012 Northern Counties East League Division One Handsworth 3-0 Grimsby Borough Attendance: 127