It was when we were at Brigg Town vs Parkgate a few weeks ago when Katie Wallace mentioned that they were planning on doing at least two games in the north west this Saturday. I was fairly sure Easington were playing the Friday night (last night) although it hadn’t been fully confirmed yet, so Katie and Lee left the option open for me to join them if Easington’s game was the Friday night. Thankfully, it was, so I joined them and Shaun Smith on a trip down and across to Cheshire. The plan was always going to be to do Cheadle Heath Nomads and Cheadle Town on the North West Counties League groundhop, but Lee was looking for another fixture before Heath Nomads and came across this one in the Manchester League. So, it was this game at 2, Heath Nomads at 4:20 and then Cheadle Town at 7:30. I was picked up from Peterlee just after 9 and we made our way down in plenty of time before going to Wetherspoons in Poynton. It was then to this game in the Manchester League. That’s a league I knew literally nothing about before today! I remember looking originally and seeing that Stockport Georgians were playing Heywood St James today. It was only last night when I checked again and found that it was Hindsford.
The ground is a fairly basic one but it’s not bad for step 7. It’s railed off (although you can see through the railing) and there is a small stand in the corner near where the changing rooms are. There’s a small clubhouse behind the other goal, and two smart and spacious dugouts but one of them was closed off with Hindsford having to use a brick dugout on the other side of the pitch.
To the game and well, it was an entertaining one! Within 40 seconds, a difficult Hindsford effort clipped the crossbar on its way over, before a great challenge in the middle of the park gave the hosts a chance only for a shot to go wide.
In the 10th minute, Stockport took the lead. A free-kick was quickly played down the wing to where a low cross was flicked home by Sam Noar (I think).
A good save denied Hindsford of an equaliser on the quarter of an hour mark, before Stockport went up the other end and doubled their lead. A high ball into the penalty areawas flicked on to Sam John (I think. Maybe John and Noar are the wrong way around) who fired home.
It was a feisty game throughout, with no one shying out of strong challenged and it probably wasn’t the easiest game the referee has ever had.
Both sides had half chances on the half hour mark, before a Stockport penalty saw them add a third in the 34th minute. It was awarded because of a handball, and Mike Taylor took responsibility to send the ‘keeper the wrong way to make it three-nil.
Just before the half time break, Noar picked up a nasty injury when he collided with the Hindsford goalkeeper after charging down on goal.
Following the break, the strong challenges continued, and the referee dished out numerous bookings.
In the 54th minute, good football from Stockport Georgians opened up Hindsforth and created a chance on the edge of the penalty area, but the eventual shot was too high.
The feisty challenges eventually paid their price in the 55th minute as Hindsford’s Jack Valentine was sent off for a challenge, and he took a bit of time to leave the pitch.
Hindsford’s challenge was even more difficult down to 10 men, but they did have a couple of half chances when a couple of good headers just failed to find the target.
In the 69th minute, the drama continued. Hindsford’s number 20, who had come on as a sub and had already been booked, went in strongly with a couple of further challenges. Thankfully, they were fair challenges, but the manager opted to sub him off to reduce the risk of another red card. He wasn’t happy about being subbed off and kicked all of the equipment in the dugout onto the pitch and this prompted a fight between player and manager in the dugout.
Thirteen minutes from time, the Georgians sealed the points with a fourth. A fine through ball played Taylor in and he kept his cool to slot home.
Inside the final 10 minutes, Hindsford pulled a goal back as Jo-Jo McBride rounded the ‘keeper before slotting home.
The goal proved only a consolation though, as Stockport Georgians comfortably took the points.
Full-time: Stockport Georgians 4-1 Hindsford
Next up for me is Sunderland Ladies vs Sheffield FC Women in about 45 minutes time!
Referee: Ben Moorcroft-Moran