Alvis Sports Club, on Green Lane, plays host to many sports and is quite a large complex that was once part of the Alvis Car and Engine Company, which produced all sorts of cars, engines and military vehicles up until the late 60s.
There is a reasonable sized car park and plenty of extra spots available along the long access road that leads from Green Lane into the sports complex. The football ground is a short walk from the car park, past the clubhouse, and is accessed through a single gate. There are two covered stands on the opposite side of the pitch, one a standing area and one seating, either side of the dugouts which, incidentally, are reminiscent of Eastern European bus shelters.
The covered standing area holds a small secret. It has a very limited seating arrangement within it. Actually, it is what appears to be a piece of bar seating that has been relocated to the stand, very reminiscent of the clubhouse side of Fairford Town's Cinder Lane ground. (see photo). It's little quirks like this that make non-league grounds so appealing.
I spent the majority of the match engaged in conversations with the man from Stockport, who had worked on the railways, travelled a fair bit and visited a vast number of non-league grounds in all parts of the country.
Coming into the game, Chelmsley had played four games and, despite a 6-1 thrashing at Atherstone, were in a position to go top of the league with a win. Alvis had played a game extra and had one just once, a 3-1 victory at Nuneaton Griff in early August. Even more worryingly for the home side, they had not managed a goal in their last three games, two 4-0 and the other 3-0.
With all this in mind, I was fully expecting to Chelmsley take the game by the scruff of the neck, especially with the incentive of going top of the league. However, it was Alvis who started on the front foot. They looked sharper in the tackle and quicker to any loose balls. With a better final ball and some more composed finishing they could, in fact, have been at least a couple of goals to the good after 30 minutes.
Michael Turner, the Chelmesley keeper, was called upon to make one very good save but, in the main, he was not stretched, with the exception of an Aaron Cooke free-kick, from the edge of the box, which whistled past his right-hand post and out for a goal-kick.
With half-time rapidly approaching Alvis were made to pay for their wastefulness. When the ball dropped to Kaine Williams on the edge of the home box he first turned to his left and then dragged a low shot back across Jack Tregath and into his bottom left-hand corner. 0-1.
HT Coventry Alvis 0 Chelmsley Town 1. The home side caught by the classic sucker-punch after looking much the better team for most of the half.
One or two confrontations, in midfield especially, threatened to boil over once or twice prompting a few yellow cards to be shown.
Chelmsley, to be fair, always looked reasonably comfortable and happy to retain their one goal lead. When they did break out their main outlet was Jemuel Mills who, it has to be said, ran himself into the ground for his team.
Late in the game lightning struck twice. With the home side pressing up in search of an equaliser the ball was launched clear down the Chelmsley left flank. Alvis had only left one player back on the halfway line and he had to track to his right in an attempt to beat the lone Town striker to the ball. The keeper also raced out of his box. In the ensuing mix-up the ball broke to the Chelmsley striker who looked up to spot the run of Louis Inverary, breaking through the middle. The ball was rolled into the substitutes path and he had the simple task of finishing into an unguarded net. 0-2.
FT Coventry Alvis 0 Chelmsley Town 2. Alvis were made to pay a high price for not scoring when they were on top. Town, to their credit, kept plugging away despite clearly not being at their best.
I do hope that the Stockport Hopper made it home without too many delays on the notorious M6. Me, I'll be looking out for a chance to visit United's new home so that I can finally finish off my CV.
Coventry Alvis: Jack Tregath, Mitchell Boe, Corey Blackwood, Adam Day, Najib Abukar, Ben Steane(c), Jagit Aujla, Ryan Pace, Dennis Oppong, Kieron Martin, Aaron Cooke. Subs: Jojo Mukwita, Reece Snape, Jacob Winit, Zuhayb Abdi, Luke McKiernan
Chelmsley Town: Michael Turner, Sam Sadler, Harry Sweeney, Ross Casey(c), Matthew Kent, Nicholas Ellis, Adam Keeley, Robert Ellis, Jemuel Mills, Kaine Williams, Jamie Barrett. Subs: Chris Guerney, Louis Inverary, James Taylor, Shawn Francis, James Ward
Ground No. 133
Programme: £1 (sold out before I arrived)