ground itself. Maybe it's because I have only been to the ground in the evening that it seems to be almost hidden. I presume that, during daylight hours, the way in is much more obvious.
Anyway, that being said, once inside you are greeted with a tidy and quite compact ground. The entrance is right next to one of the corner flags. Straight on, as you enter, behind the goal is the clubhouse and players facilities. On the far side of the ground there is a small(ish) covered seating area with the team name emblazoned on the roof. On the near side touchline there is another small covered seating area, a covered standing area and the team dugouts. Behind the far goal there is a row of large trees
forming a backdrop to the pitch, which slopes down towards the near-side (turnstile side) of the ground.
This game was always going to be a challenge for Rothwell. Newly promoted, Corinthians have made a reasonable start to life back in the Premier League with 3 wins from their first 9 games. Leicester, after finishing second to Rushden & Diamonds last season, have started where they left off. Bringing a 12 league game undefeated record to the Lawn and averaging over 3 goals per game, they are a team full of confidence.
This confidence was apparent from the kick-off. Nirvana started like a whirlwind, passing and moving, always having options open for the man on the ball. To be fair, Rothwell did extremely well to stay with them in the first 20 minutes.
However, 20 minutes in and the score was still 0-0. Rothwell, after some defensive mistakes, were starting to make some inroads themselves but not really causing the Nirvana keeper to work too hard.
It was just past the 35th minute when Leicester finally got the breakthrough not through their quick passing style but through a hotly disputed penalty. The ball certainly hit the hand of the Rothwell defender but, from my viewpoint, it was very difficult to tell if it was in the area or not. The referee, however, did not hesitate in pointing the spot.
Captain Matt Melbourne ignored the home protestations, stepped up and, even though the keeper got a touch, put his side 1-0 up.
Five minutes later the dangerous Pearson Mwanyongo for once used his right foot driving in a cross which was scrambled over the line by Melbourne.
2-0 was a little harsh on the home side, who had worked hard to get themselves into the game.They did, however, get the opportunity to pull a goal back with the last kick of the half. another right wing cross was handled by a Nirvana defender and the referee pointed to the spot. Captain Jordan Henson confidently placed his spot-kick to the keeper's right and in off the foot of the post.
A number of players and staff from both sides (I believe) had some words with the officials as they left for half-time. There had been a few contentious decisions given against both teams, but especially against the home side in my opinion. There were one or two feuds happening on the field which the officials either weren't seeing or maybe just didn't deem them worthy of note. Whatever the case they needed to get a hold of it in the second half before it boiled over.
When the second half started it was again Leicester who flew out of the traps. This time, however, it was only for the first few minutes before Rothwell started to get to grips with them. Rothwell were clearly buoyed by their late goal back and pushed hard to try to take the game to their opponents.
It was certainly a different game in the second half. Corinthians started to make a few chances of their own but,again, never really had visiting keeper Aaron Harris sweating.
Halfway through the second half Nirvana struck the decisive third goal. A very quick break down their left, completely outstripping the home defence, and a low cross left Jordan Nelson with the relatively simple task of knocking the ball past the keeper for 3-1.
To their credit Rothwell didn't give up on the game but, despite having more of the ball in the last 20 minutes, Leicester always looked in control of the game.
Visiting manager, former West Brom player Brian Quailey, certainly didn't let performance levels drop. With his side unbeaten and 3-1 up away from home, he was still not satisfied with the display and handed out a few choice words when he saw something he didn't like. Left-Back Shaquille-O'Neil Brooks got more than his fair share of words from his manager leading to some 'banter' from the home crowd.
There was still time for some 'handbags' after the final whistle, but nothing too bad to be fair. Probably some left over grievances from a few earlier, tasty challenges that the officials chose to let go.
Rothwell shouldn't feel too down about this defeat. This is a very good Nirvana side. A team that, in my opinion, will win this division with some ease this season. They have a very good blend of pace, technique and work ethic. Combine this with a fairly solid defence and a good bit of grit in the centre-midfield area and you have the makings of a championship winning side. If someone takes Pearson Mwanyongo aside and teaches him to use his right foot as well as his left, he could be a devastating weapon for Leicester. At times he frustrates his teammates by doing too much or not playing the correct final ball but, belive me, he has the ability to terrify defences.
The only concern for Leicester would be keeping their high intensity game going throughout the winter months when the grounds get heavier. We shall see.
Rothwell, meanwhile, have another tough home game with Yaxley at the weekend. Life back in the Premier doesn't get easier but I think they will be ok this season. They have a good work ethic and it appeared that they have a good team spirit. They certainly looked like a team that will win their fair share of matches this season.
Rothwell Corinthians - @rothwellcfc
Leicester Nirvana - @leicnirvanafc