Sunday, February 25, 2007

Stalybridge Celtic v Redditch United - Updated

[Apologies for the delay - visitors and stuff - and we all went out to Bolton Abbey (Wharfedale) today for a thoroughly long walk]

Mossley were away at Fleetwood - and we had visitors coming round in the evening - so the choice was Bower Fold today - ironically the Mossley game was called off very very late - just as the "Booze Bus" was leaving the M55 at Blackpool !!

Visitors always means - sort out house - so a morning trip to B&Q was followed by fitting a nw light fitting in the front room (God - some of our wiring is .....!). Then on the 1357 down to Stalybridge, a quick pint of Phoenix "Double Gold" in the Buffet Bar, and then it was "gannin' along the Mottram Road" etc.

Bridge started well with loan signing Matty Barlow showing well - a good surging run in only the second minute led to a chance for Sykes which went wide. Not to worry though - a couple of minutes later a "Route 1" clearance found its way through to Barlow who put the ball away neatly to give the home side a 1-0 lead. After a quarter of an hour the lead was doubled when Ellington picked up the ball in the box, controlled, shielded, twisted, turned - and scored.

This seemed to be the "wake up call" for Redditch, and about 10 minutes later Walker nipped in front of a rather hesitant Ashley Tims to dink the ball over his head and halve the deficit - and on the half-hour Richard Ball picked up the ball on the left, cut in and curled one past Tims - and into the far corner (have to point out that a very good advantage was played by the ref in the build-up to this goal when a Redditch player was upended !). We had the obligatory "handbags" just before half-time, but the teams went in at 2-2.

He's even smaller standing up !! Redditch keeper Richard Anstiss.

Celtic came out the the blocks the better in the second half and a cross from Barlow should have been buried by Hume - but he headed over. Again, not to worry as a couple of minutes later a Stalybridge corner was cleared out to Olsen who hit it straight back in - it took the slightest of deflections (I was still walking round - so followed the shot all the way !) - but was a goal from the moment it left his foot. Stalybridge then seemed to "clam up a bit" after that, and allow Redditch to start pushing on (someone behind me in the crowd shouted "We can't defend for half-an-hour" - he was right !). Hume did get the ball in the net again (see the "aerial ballet" !), but the ref disallowed it - and Hume got a sore elbow for his troubles.

Pic of the day - Ashley Walker admires the "ballet" of Anstiss and Hume.

Redditch were attacking from deep, picking the ball up on halfway - or further back - and going on some surging runs as the Stalybridge defence went deeper and deeper. Once such effort from the wonderfully named Exodus Geohagon completely flattened Scott Maxfield. The other chances for Redditch came courtesy of a couple of ENORMOUS long-throws from Exodus - his trademark apparently.

Redditch "Man of the Match" - the mighty Exodus !

A late second half effort from Mark Hume ...

The second half ended as the first - only this time the hadbags flew a bit harder and Redditch's Richard Softley belied his name and was lucky to receive only a yellow. A couple of late late corners from Redditch - Tims had to be sharp to fist one of them away - but the whistle finally went and it was three points to Stalybridge - their first home win since sometoime in November!

A beer in the "Hare and Hounds" ("Bombardier") was followed by a stroll back down to the Buffet Bar for a couple before jumping on the 1841 train back to Mossley - and a quick "celebrity spot". There with with wife and kids was Mike Sweeney - a well-know DJ from the days of Manchester's Piccadilly Radio, still plays live with his band The Thunderbirds - and a thouroughly nice chap when I asked him if he minded if I took a pic....

Token man on train back to Mossley - no, wait - it's SWEENEY !!

Home - quick change before visitors arrive - and a jolly nosh-up of salmon and coq-au-vin washed down with a couple of lemonade shandies (!!)

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