Saturday, 12 October 2013

Guisborough Town 1 Workington 4

FA Cup, third qualifying round
Attendance: 524

Many teenage girls would’ve checked Twitter on their mobiles on the evening of Oct 2 but very few, like my daughter, awaited score updates from the Cup replay between Guisborough and Jarrow Roofing. She was doing me a favour, of course. I have to admit I really wanted The Roofing to win just for an excuse to visit such a fantastically named club (OK, then, let’s have it in full: Jarrow Roofing Boldon Community Association) but it was not to be. 

Still, Guisborough – which I visited previously in 2007 – is closer to home and, being in my adoptive home county, I was happy to support them today. Remarkably, this was their eighth match in the competition this season having entered in the extra-preliminary round and required replays in each of the subsequent rounds. Entrants in the third round proper can win the competition with less effort. Workington are three divisions higher but bottom of the Conference North.

For the arboreally inclined the grandly named King George V Stadium is a treat. It feels like you’re in a forest with tall trees on three sides of the ground. The fourth side consists of the obligatory shipping container, four pollarded trees that look like giant Matchmakers and the back of a swimming pool (below). My nephew and occasional Cup companion Toby must have been the only person in the ground to have compared the ground to Bala Town which he visited while a student in Wales. “Is this the club shop?” he enquired. “Or is it the toilet?” Actually, it was the dressing room.

The KGV is probably best saved for a crisp autumn day when the leaves are golden. We were two or three weeks early for that and, besides, the weather could not have been more dank and gloomy.What a contrast to the previous round. The programme editor started his notes with: “Tonight we extend a warm welcome to…” It could, indeed, have been evening.

Guisborough came storming out of the blocks and dominated the first quarter having five good chances and deservedly taking the lead from one of them. They struck the bar on 38 mins then immediately the visitors equalised. I’d felt that Guisborough should’ve made more hay while the sun shone (figuratively speaking) and so it proved.

“How are Marske getting on?” a spectator asked us at half-time. I was confused, thinking he was asking about the mascot for the Great North Air Ambulance which was lumbering towards us. He was referring to rivals Marske United who were playing a third qualifying round tie just five miles away on the coast. The PA had earlier announced that Marske were 0-1 down to a lone jeer/cheer (it was hard to tell which).

I’d deferred my photography to the second half in the hope that the conditions would improve. They deteriorated and sea fret-like drizzle descended, causing one of the two FATV camcorder men (above) on the touchline to shield his lens with his jacket. No fancy gantries here. Things weren’t getting any better for The Priorymen either (great nickname, incidentally, coined from the town’s famous – and highly recommended – ruins).
Workington took the lead on 55 mins and, when they got the third soon after, it was all over bar the shouting. There was a lot of that towards the end from their fans, the self-styled “Carlisle ’aters” and “Barrow ’aters” (they are their nearest rivals, 50 miles away), enjoying their side’s first away victory of the season. Earlier they’d chanted “USA, USA!” to encourage their American goalie, Alex Wimmer, much like Reading fans used to support Shaka Hislop.

For the neutral a far better contest was by now reaching its climax at the seaside. Marske got the winner in injury time. What a pity that the draw sends them to Southport. Ho, hum.

Fashion notes: Workington’s away strip is a fetching combination of lime green, black and red. Talking of hideous strips have a look at this lot from last week’s Guardian online.

Programme notes: Today’s match was in the FA Cup and Guisborough’s left back has sticky-out ears. Insert joke here. Gavin Skelton of Workington played in the Scottish Cup Final for Gretna in 2006 and in the subsequent UEFA Cup qualifier against Derry City.

Seventies albatrosses around their necks: Much as Nottingham Forest will forever be known in the media as “former European champions Nottingham Forest” so Workington will always have the “ex-League club” prefix. They hosted a pre-Munich Man United in front of 21,000 and twice reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup in the sixties. Here’s an extract of an evocative amateur film about their final home league match in 1977.

Football in the back garden: This backdrop takes some beating. It’s Buckingham Palace which last week provided the venue for an amateur match staged as part of the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

1 comment:

Uwdi Krugg said...

Wonderful report unlike that awful Workington kit (yuk).