Sunday, 17 August 2014

Pickering Town 0 Washington 6

FA Cup extra-preliminary round
Attendance: 173

What’s up with the Cup? My first choice tie was switched from Rochdale Town to the home of the side drawn away, Runcorn Linnets, nullifying the interest for me then my second choice at Pickering was moved from Saturday to Sunday. I thought these sorts of shenanigans only happened in the proper rounds!

Actually, the 24-hour delay to today’s match was unavoidable since the cricket club who share Pickering Town’s three-sided ground and pavilion (above) had a game booked for the Saturday. The scorer’s tower is one of a pleasing jumble of buildings behind one of the goals, the others being a redundant turnstile block, two lock-ups and an old stone house. All are overlooked by a church tower. A new main stand (below) has been added opposite the cricket square since my previous visit for the big second qualifying round tie against Accrington Stanley in 2001.

You could almost tell you were and the level of football by sound alone. The murmur of conversation was typical step 5/6; the talk was all about the latest score from the Yorkshire county cricket match taking place nearby at Scarborough; and the occasional distant toots belonged to the North York Moors Railway which starts in Pickering. “No skateboards or roller skates allowed inside the ground” read a sign at the turnstile which I entered after a dog clad in his blue Pickering coat. All in all Mill Lane presented a much more cosy scene than Salford City 10 days ago despite the unseasonal cool, blustery conditions. It was nice to be home.

I was surprised the match wasn’t more even. Despite being a step lower in the pyramid, Northern League Washington went two up early on and after there was only ever going to be one winner. Fickle as ever, my son and I went from supporting the Yorkshire team to hoping for a hatful against without return.

Things were looking good mid-way through the second half when a Washington player spotted an increasingly dodgy Pikes keeper off his line and successfully lobbed him and the visitors further extended their lead as a Pickering defender sliced a cross into his own net. Washington missed a sitter to make is seven and only then took their foot of the gas. A cricket score was averted and the Pikes’ interest in the cup came to a somewhat ignominious and premature conclusion.

35 years of hurt: Washington last won an FA Cup tie when they beat Garforth in 1995 but the defeated club progressed to the next round. The last time Washington reached a second round was in 1979.

Star turn: The Pikes’ assistant manager is ex-Leeds United reserve and North Yorkshire journeyman Tony Hackworth who I last spotted playing for Whitby.

Further reading: Well researched article here from BBC online about some of the quirks of the extra-preliminary round.

Father Christmas puts in an early appearance in the Cup


Anonymous said...

Ha ha - looks like we were at the same game again without knowing!
I had a quick chat with 'Father Christmas' and it appears he is a Scarborough fan - so good news for them this year. The home keeper was Tom Woodhead, who kept goal for Frickley for most of the past couple of seasons. Not a game he'll want to remember, though I didn't think he had much chance with most of the goals, it was all a bit too easy for Washington.

RussWWFC said...

Nice report, and one of my favourite grounds, I visited in 2013