Monday, 8 February 2010

Brix not Bricks

BRIXWORTH ALL SAINTS 3-2 MEDBOURNE
Saturday 6th February 2010
Northants Combination Premier Division
St. David's Recreation Ground

After a week off without football due to car problems caused by the engine maintenance pilot light coming on, I am back on the M1 heading south to a game in the Northants Combination with thankfully no problems. My destination this week is the village of Brixworth which is located between Market Harborough (8 miles to the north) and Northampton (5 miles to the south). In 2001 the population was given as 5,162. The village is home to one of the oldest and finest Saxon churches in the country which was founded c680 ad.

The journey from my home in Leicester takes around 45 minutes and is a simple one, taking me down the M1 to junction 19, across the A14 and then onto the A508. The club play on St David’s Recreation Ground in the village, of which the car park is accessed down a narrow drive off the southern side of Foxhill Crescent. The pitch though is adjacent to St David’s Close and the northern side of the afore mentioned Foxhill Crescent. The club share the facilities with the cricket club with a single story building hosting the changing rooms and club house. There are no facilities at pitch side and it is a roped off affair with no dugouts or hard standing.

Today’s match sees them up against Leicestershire side Medbourne, the top scorers in the division and a club that I visited before Christmas for a league game v Whitefield Norpol. The Northants Combination is a league that I have seldom ventured in over the years, and apart from the previously mentioned game my only other match was in 2007 for Rushden Rangers last ever match before their merger with United Counties League Higham Town.

The game was an interesting one that was competitive and committed throughout. It was the visitors who created the first chance when the home keeper pulled off a good save after only a couple of minutes. Brixworth got the opening goal on 33 minutes from the penalty spot, but the awarding on the penalty was hotly disputed by the Medbourne players and officials. I was at the other end of the pitch and did not have a good view of it, but a couple of people connected with the home side it was “dodgy”. Medbourne equalised five minutes into the second half with the best goal of the game. Brixworth re-took the lead on 66 minutes when a cross from the right hand side of the penalty area crept past the keeper and found its way into the net for a very soft goal. The old saying that a team is at its most vulnerable when they have scored could not have been more apt, as Medbourne equalised for a second time just a minute later when a shot was parried by the keeper only for the ball to be headed home from six yards out. Both sides had chances to take the lead and win the game but it was the home side that struck the killer blow with the winner coming seven minutes from time.

Attendance: between 20 and 30
Admission / programme: none
Driving time / distance (Google maps): 45 minutes / 32.7 miles
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