Two Games – One Day in Shropshire

On Saturday 9th November 2019, I attended two games in my home county of Shropshire. The first game that I attended was a morning kick off at my 104th ground tick. The second game that I attended was a revisit to a ground that I had not bee too for nearly two years. I will open this blog by talking about the game in the morning first, this will be followed by details regarding my second game of the day.

Ground 104:

Match: 16 (2019/2020 Season)

Venue: The Telford Langley School and Sports Centre.

Competition: Midland Junior Under 18 Premier Division.

Teams: AFC Telford United U-18’s v CS Colts U-17’s.

Final Score: 3-4 (H/T 1-2)

Referee: Jamie James

Attendance: 25 (Head Count)

Admission: No Charge

Mileage to Venue and Return: 31.4 Miles

Combined Driving Time: 58 Minutes

The Telford Langley School and Sports Centre is located in Dawley, Shropshire. I spent my first 27 years living in Dawley and could go on and on talking about the town, however the next part of my blog will just provide some brief information.

Dawley

The small town of Dawley is one of Shropshire’s older settlements having been mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The most up to date records show that the town has a population of 11,399 people.

It is known that there was once a Castle (exact location unknown) in Dawley but it was demolished in approximately 1648. For more than three centuries, Dawley was a mining town for both coal and ironstone. The Springwell Pit mining disaster in Dawley in the year 1872, claimed the lives of eight men and boys.

The nearby village of Horsehay was once the home of a bridge and latterly a crane fabrication business that sold and exported their goods all over the world. The bridge that spans the Victoria Falls in Southern Africa was said to have been constructed at the site in Horsehay.

Dawley has long been known for its own very unique dialect – unfortunately, this has died out over the years but I can hand on heart say that when my late Great Grandmother chose to use the ‘old Dawley’ dialect when conversing with people I could sometimes not understand a single word that I heard! One famous piece of ‘old Dawley’ dialect that my Great Grandmother used to use, goes as follows:

“ow bist owd un, cost thee yed a ball against a wall and yed it till thee bost it” 

Roughly speaking this translates as – Hello there my friend, can you head a ball against a wall and head until you break it!

Dawley was the birthplace of the first man to swim the length of the English channel, his name – Captain Matthew Webb, 19th January 1848 – 24th July 1883. Captain Webb learnt to craft his swimming skills as a youngster on the River Severn at nearby Coalbrookdale. His record breaking swim came in 1875 when the ‘Dawley Mon’ (more old dialect) swam from Dover to Calais in just under 22 hours. Obviously, upon this amazing feat of human endurance, Captain Matthew Webb became a very famous person, performing many stunts in public. Captain Webb died at the age of 35 whilst trying to swim the Whirlpool Rapids below Niagra Falls – this was something that many experts thought to be impossible to do and sadly for Webb, so it proved! In 1909, Webb’s older brother, Thomas unveiled a memorial to his brother in Dawley which read “nothing great is easy”

Another famous ‘owd Dawley mon’ was the former England International Goalkeeper – William Foulke. Foulke was born on 12th April 1874 in Dawley and during his career was well known for his large size which unfortunately earnt him the nickname of William “Fatty” Foulke. It has been reported that at his heaviest he weighed in at 24 stone! Foulke was most famous for playing over 300 games for Sheffield United, during his time with them he was a member of the team that won the 1898 English First Division and the FA Cup in both 1899 and 1902. His solitary international cap for England came against Wales in 1897.

Ok, that’s just a small insight into Dawley and a couple of the town’s most famous sons. I will now talk about the Telford Langley School and Sports Centre where the first game of my double took place on Saturday.

The Telford Langley School and Sports Centre

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The Telford Langley School and Sports Centre is situated on Duce Drive in Dawley, near to what I would describe as close to the bottom end of Dawley High Street. The school is described as being coeducational with acadamy status.

The current school’s forerunner was opened in 1956 on Pool Hill, Dawley, in those days it was known as the Dawley Modern School. In 1965, and  at the time of the introduction of comprehensive secondary education the school was renamed as – Phoenix School. Yours truly attended Phoenix School from 1992 to 1997. The schoold became accredited with and acadamy status in June 2013 and was renamed the Phoenix Acadamy. In September 2013 the school moved from it’s original home in Manor Road, Dawley to it’s current site on Duce Drive.

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The main entrance to the Telford Langley School and Sports Centre.

Upon my first visit to this site, I noted that there were quite a lot of football pitches. Indeed, on the day, there were several games taking place. The one that I went to watch was to take place on the all weather surface pitch. As you will see from the following photograph, the pitch is surrounded by caging. Some might say that this does not constitute a football ground but as other groundhoppers have told me before – “if there is a game of football taking place, then it’s a football ground” – that is good enough for this groundhopper to call it a ground but each to their own I suppose.

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As you can see, the caging is the only barrier between the playing surface and any would be spectators. With that in mind, the referee (my brother-in-law) asked if all spectators could watch the game from the banked area where this photograph I took of the ground was taken from. I didn’t mind this one bit as it provided an excellent view of the action taking place below and also a great view in general!

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Not bad a view at all – I’m sure that it would have been much better if it was not for the horrible weather we had on the morning of the game.

Before I provide a brief summary of the game (I don’t mind admitting that I did intend to take notes during the game but it was freezing cold and I found that I couldn’t grip my pen properly, therefore I did not take notes as I usually do) I will talk a little with regards to the away team – CS Colts. I am pretty sure that most fans of non-league football are familar with AFC Telford United but may not know too much about CS Colts, this is true of myself.

CS Colts FC

From the brief amount of information that I have been able to obtain, it appears that CS Colts Football Club caters for football teams at a variety of age groups. The club is based at the Land Rover Sports Club, Birmingham.

Team Line Up’s

The following line ups have been obtained from the FA Full Time website.

AFC Telford Utd U-18’s: Aaron Eccleston, Samuel Edwards, Dylan Glendinning,       Daniel Gormley, Kaleem Hodgkinson, Emem Jones, Michael O’Toole, Joseph Oladunni, Thomas Phillips, Ethan Pickford, Liam Trewartha. Subs: Elliot Christlow, George Scott, Samuel O’Brien.

Telford Goalscorers

Gormley x 1: Pickford x 2.

CS Colts U-17’s: David Bongangi, Franciszek Czech, Lewis Fraser, D’Ante Fuller-Spence, Flex Johnson, Langa Masawi, Daniel Meredith, Randy Osei, Weston Palanga, Lamar Reid, Keyon Taylor. Subs: Micah Simon.

CS Colts Goalscorers

Fuller-Spence x 3: Osei x 1.

Short Match Report

In my opinion, CS Colts were the better team throughout the ninety minutes and deserved their victory. It looked as if they were going to win this game very comfortably – leading 2-1 at half time and going 4-1 up early into the second half. Credit must go to Telford as they never let their heads drop, clawed their way back into the game and created some decent late chances to draw level. However, those chances were not converted and it was the away side who claimed the win.

Match Action Photographs

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First Half

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Second Half

Conclusion of Game Number 1

Although the weather was absolutely appaling for the majority of the game, I enjoyed the match and was very pleased to get another ground ticked off.

Game 2

Ground: Revisit

Match: 17 (2019/2020 Season)

Venue: Allscott Sports and Social Club

Competition: West Midlands Regional League Premier Division

Teams: Allscott Heath v Wellington Amateurs

Final Score: 5-4 (H/T 2-2)

Referee: Thomas Johnson

Attendance: 80 (Estimate)

Admission: £3

Programme: Free with Admission

Mileage to Venue and Return: 38.4 Miles

Combined Driving Time: 1 Hour 4 Minutes

Mileage from Venue 1 to Venue 2: 9.3 Miles

Driving Time from Venue 1 to Venue 2: 15 Minutes

As you can see, it was just a short 15 minute drive taking me to my second match of the day. This is a ground that I had been too before but at the time of my first visit I wasn’t blogging about my travels. Therefore this second visit provides me with the perfect opportunity to write a blog on the Allscott Sports and Social Club ground, Allscott Heath FC and the afternoon as a whole.

Allscott 

The small village of Allscott in Shropshire is situated 3 miles northwest of Wellington with the River Tern flowing close by to the village. Allscott is within the parish of Wrockwardine and the borough of Telford and Wrekin. The name, Allscott is originated from Alderscote which in turn translates as – Aldreds Cottage.

Being a Salopian myself, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that the village is most famous for being the former home of a Sugar Beet factory. The factory which was owned by British Sugar arrived in the village in 1927. The factory closed several years ago and in 2015 the site saw an application approved to build 470 new homes.

The Football Ground at Allscott Sports and Social Club

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I first attended the Allscott Sports and Social Club ground just over two years ago. I was impressed with how neat and tidy the ground looked then and I am pleased to say that it looks even better now. One of the changes since my previous visit is shown in the above photograph. As you can see, this is a very welcoming entrance which is complete with turnstiles. This is also where I picked up my matchday programme during my most recent visit.

After entering the ground you will see a fair sized clubhouse which houses a very well stocked snack bar. This building is also where you will find the toilets at the ground.

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Inside the clubhouse

There is hard standing available at the ground with a small covered sheltered with two blue benches near to the club houses. To the right of this area are the home and away dressing rooms.

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This photograph shows the outside of the club house, the covered area and the dressing rooms. This is the main focal point of the ground and is where most of the people stood to watch the match on the day of my visit.

Opposite the above photograph are more football pitches and also the village cricket pitch.

All in all this is a very neat and well maintained ground and I guess one of the better grounds that one will find at this level in the pyramid. The following photographs are some that I took before the game started.

Allscott Heath Football Club

Unfortunately I could not seem to find too much information with regards to the football club but what information I did find is as follows.

The club was formerly known as Allscott FC but recently changed its name to it’s current identity of Allscott Heath Football Club. As well as the first team the club has a string of junior teams that compete in the Midland Junior Premier League.

The Match

Team Line Up’s

Both team line up’s have been obtained from the FA Full Time website

Allscott Heath: Ryan Asson, Leon Blake, Leigh Brindley, Kieron Buckley, Joe Bullock, Jack Davies, Stuart Ellis, Louis Jones, Reis Mahey, Armando Wood, Tom Fallon:         Substitutes: Hugh Burrows, Thomas Horton, Lewis Mackenzie, Max Marshall,    Brandon Tanomjit.

Wellington Amateurs: Matthew Elsmore, Owen Humphries, George Lees,Dale Meredith Marc Perry, Ethan Rochelle, Jamie Russell, Alex Scott, Jaton Vernon, Jeff Watkins,     Justin Worthington: Substitutes: Liam Jones, Ross Jones, Jack Martin-Hinchcliffe

Goal Log: 0-1 (12) 1-1 (37) 2-1 (43) 2-2 (45) 2-3 (64) 3-3 (70) 4-3 (74) 4-4 (82) 5-4 (88)

Match Report

As with the first game of the day, I am not afraid to admit that I was far too cold to be holding a pen and taking notes, therefore the match report is a lot shorter than I usually produce.

This was an absolutely enthralling local derby at the top of the WMRL Division One. Both teams had periods of the game when they were on top and as you can see from the times of the goals in the above goal log, the match swayed this way and that. In my opnion a draw would have been the fairest result on the day but it was the home team that grabbed all three points with their winning goal coming two minutes from time. The scorer of the final goal of the game was, Tom Fallon who not only secured all three points for his side but in doing so also grabbed an hat-trick.

This game was an excellent advert for football at this level of the pyramid and I very glad that I decided to go along to watch it.

Match Photographs

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Conclusion

As I have already mentioned this was an absolutely brilliant game and one that I am glad that I attended despite the terrible weather on the day. I really like this ground and would not hesitate to make a further revisit at some point in the near future.

In closing, my thanks again to Heather and Neil Pharo at Driver Hire Shrewsbury for sponsoring me with regards to my travels to Shropshire football grounds and my writings about them. Please visit their website at: driverhireshrewsbury

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