Borrowash play their home games at the Anderson Electrical Arena in Spondon just to the East of Derby. The ground is part of a large space that includes the Spondon Sports Association, Spondon Bowls Club, Anchor Bowmen Archery club and, of course Graham Street Prims FC. The two football grounds are so close that games between the sides are referred to as El Carparkio because they share parking space. One note for anyone coming to this ground for the first time. the entrance off Borrowash Road, as far as I can tell, is not signposted at all and, to all intents and purpose, it appears that you are driving into a disused pub car park. When you do find your way in, drive through the first car park and you will see the ground in front of you. There is also some parking available right alongside the ground, so you may be lucky enough to get a spot there.
Borrowash have spent the majority of the past 40 years at Step 6 level, although they have switched leagues on a few occasions (Northern Counties, Central Midlands, East Midlands, United Counties). Recent history has seen them struggling towards the bottom of the league culminating in last season where they were rock bottom of United Counties Division One. The consequence is that they find themselves in the Nottinghamshire Senior League for the first time in their history this season.
Wollaton, by contrast, were founder members of the Notts Senior league in 2004, having come up through various local league sin the Midlands and Nottingham. They won back to back titles in 2005 and 2006, before winning for the third time in 2015. In both this season and the 2004-05 season Wollaton did the double of League Title and Senior Cup.
Both teams have started this campaign well. Wollaton went into the game in fourth spot having won three and lost one of their four games. Their only defeat coming at the hands of league leaders Sandiacre Town. Victoria are currently 9th but have a 100% record after playing just two league games. Interestingly Victoria have not played an away game yet and Wollaton have yet to play at home.
It was Wollaton, in their pale blue shirts, who made the better start, looking lively from the first minute. Only 2 minutes had been played when a move through the middle saw their big centre-forward, David Udoh, bring the ball down and send Tommy Street in on goal from the left hand side. Home keeper Tom Smith, however, was quick off his line to narrow the angle and block well. Three minutes later Udoh, who was proving to be a handful for the Vics defence, muscled his way onto a ball down the left before playing in a perfect cross onto the head of Gus Bonnington some 8 yards out. Unfortunately for Wollaton his header was straight at Smith who saved comfortably.
These two close shaves sparked some response from the home side and seven minutes in they created a chance of their own. It started with Smith in goal. His long punt down field was latched onto by the pacy Paul Johnson who had the legs on his defender. Wollaton's keeper, Glenn Guyatt, spread himself well to get enough on the ball to prevent Johnson's shot hitting the target and the ball was cleared to safety.
Just before the quarter hour mark we had a brief stoppage in play when a Vics defensive clearance caught out referee Kieran Shaw, hitting him smack on the back of his head. However, he was soon ok to continue.
After Wollaton's good start, Vics had now managed to stem the flow to a certain extent and the game was far more even than the first few minutes. On 25 minutes Street, who had been getting increasingly frustrated with the way things were going, tripped a Vics player in centre midfield and got himself a yellow. However, his frustrations were nearly quashed a few minutes later when a left wing corner was narrowly headed over by Josh Broad.
Of course, when one team has been creating all of the chances it's always the other team who go ahead. Sure enough, Vics were awarded a free kick some 40 yards out which was delivered into the box by Lewin. As players ran towards the ball Guyatt came for it and elected to punch clear. He made firm contact but directed the ball straight at the onrushing Vics defender Alex Birch. The ball looped high into the air and, with players and goalkeeper all making an effort to get back, just dropping in under the bar, the spin taking it into the net and then back out again. An extraordinary goal but they all count. 1-0.
Undeterred, Wollaton continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides without really testing Smith again. On 40 minutes Udoh chased down a long through ball, just winning a foot race with a covering defender and the keeper. He got a tow to the ball, sending it past Smith but probably too far ahead to reach. The striker then ended in a heap in the area amidst penalty shouts from the visitors. Nothing given and, from my position I would say the correct call from the referee. There didn't appear to be any contact and, to be fair, there was not too much in the way of complaint from the striker.
HT Borrowash Victoria 1 Wollaton 0. A strange half in many ways. The visitors have had much more of the ball and the home keeper has been much busier than the Wollaton stopper. However, after what can only be described as a freak goal, the hosts lead at the break.
Wollaton continued to press forward but were thwarted by a series of offside flags which served to increase the levels of frustration for players and coaches alike. Street, already on a yellow and flagged offside several times, was walking a tightrope with the referee. Just past the hour mark it looked as if the visitors had finally got reward for their efforts when they had the ball in the home net after Street headed in a Smith free-kick, only for the assistant's flag to be raised again.
Just to add salt to the wounds, four minutes after the disallowed goal Borrowash went up the other end and sealed the game. No luck involved this time though. Paul Johnson, who's pace and close control had been a threat all night, burst through the Wollaton defence before calmly slotting the ball past the keeper. 2-0
Johnson came close to getting another five minutes later when Wollaton tried to play out from the back and the nippy striker dispossessed the goalkeeper inside the penalty area. Luckily for the visitors a combination of the scrambling goalkeeper and a covering defender pushed the striker wide enough for him to screw his shot the wrong side of the post.
FT Borrowash Victoria 2 Wollaton 0. Vics maintain their 100% start to the season and climb to fourth in the table, replacing Wollaton in that position, who themselves drop to sixth. On Saturday Borrowash face their first away trip of the season as they make the journey to seventh placed FC Sez. Meanwhile, Wollaton have their first home game as they welcome Woodthorpe Park Rangers. Wollaton lost both games against Rangers last season and will be looking to put that right.
Grassroot TV (@Grassroot_TV) were also at the game and captured some great drone footage. You can either view the Highlights or the Full Game by clicking on the links.
Borrowash Victoria: Smith, Clarke, Lewin(c), Davies, Birch, Anthony, Muir, Patterson, Johnson, Dolby, Benjamin. Subs: Wood, Roome, Riley, Barker
Wollaton: Guyatt, Draycott, Crofts, Phillips, Doyle, Sanders, Bonnington, Smith(c), Udoh, Broad, Street. Subs: Keane, Pearson, Connor, Lacey
Special thanks to Rob Hornby, The NSL Registrar and Discipline Officer, for providing the team sheets to me. Extremely helpful and very much appreciated.
Ground Number: 325
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