Blisworth play at Courtenhall Road on the North-East perimeter of the village. Parking is available either in the car park adjacent to the clubhouse or off-road behind the Courtenhall Road goal. The clubhouse block is slightly elevated from the pitch and also incorporates the players & officials areas. Just behind the clubhouse there is an artificial surface 5-a-side pitch. There is cover for spectators on this side of the ground too, along with a small patio area and some wooden chair/tables, all of which have a vantage point over the playing surface. The dugouts are just below the grass bank on this side of the pitch too. The far side is backed by a tall green fence which separates the ground from the local allotments. Spectators seemed to be restricted to the area around the clubhouse today. I'm not sure if this is a permanent restriction or not. The playing surface doesn't appear to have any noticeable slope in any direction and looked to be in good condition for the time of year.
This wasn't the first Northants Combination game I had been to. In mid-December I witnessed a thoroughly entertaining game between leaders Roade and Moulton (Roade Works). However, I certainly would not profess to be an authority in the league but that is one of the things that makes non-league blogging so interesting, researching new teams and leagues. I did know that Blisworth, or James King Blisworth, were one of the most successful teams in recent years but I did not know just how much they had dominated the Premier Division for the last 6 or 7 years. Blisworth were promoted to the Premier League at the end of the 2011-12 season and immediately settled in with a 6th place finish. The next two seasons saw a steady improvement with 5th spot and then the runners-up place in 2014-14. Since that time they have won the league on every occasion that it has managed to be completed (the last two season's have been null and void), a total of four straight championships. Corby Pegasus proved to be a little more difficult to research. However, I can say that they were a Premier League team prior to Blisworth's promotion in 2012. They then finished bottom in 2014 before returning to the Premier as Division 1 runners-up at the end of the 2015-16 season. Since then they have been consistent but unspectacular, finishing 11th, 9th and 9th. The head-to-head record between the teams indicates that Blisworth really seem to have the Indian sign over Corby. In the past eleven meetings, Blisworth have won nine and there have been two draws. The aggregate score is even more punishing, with Blisworth holding sway by 54 to 13. However, on the plus side for Corby, one of those draws came earlier this season when the sides fought out a 1-1 result in September.
Current form shows that Blisworth have won their last 8 league games, including a 2-1 win at leaders Roade. Pegasus have also been on a good run though, winning 4 of their last 5. The only blemish being a 3-0 defeat to Roade.
Straight from the kick off it was quite clear that Blisworth were in the mood to put this game to bed as early as possible. They set about their opponents with a vigour that 8 straight league wins gives a team, winning the ball back from the Pegasus kick off and immediately launching a series of attacks. Nathan Bobwicz was the first to really test the Corby keeper, turning well and firing in a low effort that the Pegasus stopper blocked with his legs. Four minutes later a lovely ball into the penalty area was met by the head of Westbury but, again, the Corby keeper was positioned well to save comfortably. Pegasus had a stroke of luck on 14 minutes when a delightful through ball split their defence, leaving Duffy with a clear run on goal. However, his first touch let him down allowing the keeper to collect the ball before he could get a shot off. There was no doubt though, it was only a matter of time before the home side took the lead and the breakthrough duly turned up just a minute later, on 15 minutes. Once again it was Nathan Bobwicz, this time striking a blistering shot from the left hand angle of the box. The effort had way too much on it for the visiting goalkeeper, beating him all ends up at the near post. 1-0.
Blisworth were well in control of the game and continued to make chances but, for the time being Corby managed to stem the flow and hold tight. That was until the 39th minute when Blisworth won a corner on the right. The ball was drilled into the box where a Blisworth player went full length in an attempt to get a head on the ball. He failed in his attempt. However, a Corby defender behind him, also diving to clear the ball, managed to spectacularly divert the cross high into his own net. 3-0, OG.
The action was not quite over before half-time when the same Blisworth striker managed to get his head on the next corner but was unlucky to see his downward effort bounce just wide.
HT Blisworth 3 Corby Pegasus 0. One way traffic for pretty much all of the 45 minutes. Blisworth totally in control of the game at the break.
The game was now well and truly done and dusted. It didn't exactly go flat at this point but it did lose some intensity. Blisworth still went in search of more goals but Corby, to their credit, kept plugging away and probably had the ball in the Blisworth more in the final 25 minutes than in the rest of the game combined. It was still quite a quiet day for Jack Bradshaw in the home goal but at least Corby made him get his gloves dirty in the second period.
The only real incident of note after the fifth goal came in the very last minute of the game when a nasty looking foul on a Corby player led to plenty of raised voices between players on both sides. To be fair to both sides, it stayed at raised voices and didn't progress to anything worse. However, Corby's number 9 must have said a little too much to the referee because he was shown a second yellow before the Corby player was helped off the pitch with what looked like a pretty bad injury. The reduction of Corby to ten players had no affect on the game as the referee blew to end proceedings immediately after the free-kick was taken.
FT Blisworth 5 Corby Pegasus 0. The home side dominated the game from minute 1 to minute 90. Credit to Corby for digging in but even they must admit to being out-played on the day. Blisworth looked like a very good side to me. They can certainly play some entertaining football and are also very happy to mix it with their opponents if necessary.
Blisworth remain in second spot, still seven points adrift of Roade but with two games in hand. Harpole's 0-0 draw Woodford United seems them push Pegasus down a place to ninth. Next week bot sides are in Premier Division Cup action. Blisworth have a home tie against Rothwell FC Aztec whilst Corby are in the road again, this time at Harpole.
Blisworth: Bradshaw, Reina, Dowling, Gartland, Herbert, Morgan, Westbury, Griffin(c), Wilkes, Bobowicz, Duffy. Subs: Grimley, York, Belfon
Ground Number: 303