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Sunday, October 04, 2015

Coton ripped apart

Coton Green 1 Nuneaton Griff 8

3rd October 2015

 Due to other commitments and the close season, it has been 7 months since I was last at a Vase match, great to be back.
When the draw was made at the beginning of July, I went through the fixtures and decided upon Barrow Town v Quorn. I have walked past Barrow’s ground on my way to Rothley Imperials and made a mental note that I must return. So that was that and I forgot about it for the best part of three months.
Then last Sunday, I bought a Non-league paper, glanced through the fixtures again and spotted Coton Green. It’s rare these days to see a team that I haven’t heard of, intrigued, I looked up where they are. Now I hate Tamworth, I was chased down the street there about 30 years ago whilst following Wealdstone and haven’t been back since. For reasons that I can’t really explain, I changed my mind and decided upon Coton Green as my venue.
At Euston station, the place was packed with rugby fans slowly making their way towards Twickenham, when my train platform was announced, it was like a rolling maul as people all herded towards the platform, quite amusing to see the look of fear in three people’s eyes as their slow walk up a ramp was suddenly interrupted by a couple of hundred people all walking towards them at the same time. On reaching the train, the doors hadn’t been ulocked and when they finally were, it was like a scrum as people charged on attempting to secure a favourable seat.
The journey to Tamworth went without incident, Tamworth station itself is most unusual. I saw two platforms as I left my train and yet my connection left from platform four. I eventually found it up some stairs where the platform is directly above where I had just been at a 45 degree angle.
Two young girls were standing on the platform just along from me, dressed to the nines. One of them started playing music on her phone and started performing slightly odd movements on the platform.
To her friend she said “Chelsea, we need to find a party, I have to get these moves out”
I’m not sure that 2000 volts would have got those particular moves out!
Wilnecote was only a three minute journey from Tamworth. Having initially set off the wrong way down the road (I must remember to check out Google maps - Streetview before my journey), I put myself right and almost immediately found a chippy.
Eating pie and chips whi;st walking is not easy but there was nowhere to sit for 5 minutes. I did receive some insult from a group of youths driving by that I didn’t quite make out, good to know that Tamworth hasn’t changed too much.
I had arrived in good time, so spent half an hour in the Corals in Fazeley. Big shout out to the guy in the shop, he came and asked if I was okay and needed any assistance, he later came and offered me a cup of tea, what a nice bloke and a credit to Corals. I got a place in the 13:50 at Redcar and left the shop 10p down. A fair price for 30 minutes entertainment.
The ground is just 5 minutes from there. Walking down the approach road, there was no traffic at all that slightly unnerved me, but I soon heard that unmistakable noise of players warming up.
The first thing to hit me was that there are no floodlights. Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted that Coton Green got to play in the Vase,  but aren’t clubs in FA competitons supposed to have floodlights? Please tweet me @YT40 if you have any information on this.
A basic ground which is railed off and a tiny amount of cover in a sort of shed on the far side. A reasonable clubhouse with a very friendly lady behind the bar, there seemed to be enough pasta with cheese to feed the whole of the crowd.
There was a lovely feel to the place, kids were happily playing football with endless energy and were also the mascots for the game.
This was Coton Green’s first FA Vase game ever, it was nice to be present to witness this little bit of the club’s history.
Sadly, the game was no classic and Coton Green were simply outclassed. They did keep a clean sheet for the first quarter of the match and were only two down at half time.
Unfortunately, in the last quarter, they let in four with a catalogue of defensive howlers although they did manage to get a consolation themselves.
I hope the result doesn’t put Coton Green off entering again, I was lucky with a dry day and it is a nice spot to visit.


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