|Sunday football is back. Starting off the new season at Commonedge Road checking in on faces old and new across the greatly improved pitches. Five teams were playing their first ever competitive game in the Blackpool & Fylde Sunday Alliance.|
In early May it's fair to say that the poor state of the Commonedge Road pitches were in the worst condition that I could ever remember. Credit to the council, they've spent some money and invested a lot of time in trying to get them back to some kind of normality. They're still some way from what they were but they're much improved from the end of last season.
Most pitches have new goal posts with angle brackets and the remaining ones will get theirs soon. Each pitch has been shortened width wise by about twelve feet in order that the touchlines can recover from the heavy traffic of impatient substitutes, fat linesmen and prowling managers.
The overnight and early morning rain had left the Commonedge fields in a wet condition with some surface water on the opening day. Seven fixtures were listed for the venue this morning including five new sides making their debut in the Alliance. Pre-season anticipation saw the players out early this morning and the returning mobile caterers were doing a brisk business. Overcast, warm, an occasional shower and a strengthening breeze the 2007/08 season was underway.
First up was the Division 1 fixture between Sundays FC and newly promoted Fylde Coast Gates FC (Blue). A very close game this one with Sundays coming out on top with a 2-1 win.
Sundays FC 2007/08
More like mid November than mid August
Gates' manager Brian Carr
Sunday's new signing from Bispham Juniors, Mark Cottam
Out on Pitch 5 we had new boys Waterloo Sports & Social FC taking on fancied Ansdell FC in 3A. It seems that the Waterloo have some very good junior players in their ranks and will be a force to be reckoned with. At one stage Ansdell were shell-shocked as they went 5-1 behind but saved some face in an opening day 5-3 defeat. Good effort Waterloo.
“Come 'ere you”. Ansdell playing in the blue today.
Ansdell FC keeper Ant Jones, a Police Officer and well used to scraping team-mates off the floor of The Walkabout in the early hours of sunday mornings. Doesn't take kindly to being referred to as 'The Flying Pig'.
Is it me or have they put those brackets up the wrong way round?
Ansdell's new signing Simon Bowden
Referee Mr. Derek Burleigh
Next door on Pitch 4 were new sides the Stable Bar FC (Yellow and green) and Trades & Social Club FC playing in 3B. The Trades started well in this one and took the lead but Stable soon equalised. In an entertaining game the Stable Bar FC took the points in a 5-4 victory.
The tough pre-season training regime has worked well. Stable (?) skipper Dave Pearse with a four goal haul this morning at 37 years of age.
Three points in the bag for the Stable Bar FC.
Across the dyke on Pitch 7 we had Bar 19 FC playing new club Layton Institute Juniors FC (Light blue) in 3B. Although Bar 19 took the lead two quick goals from the Juniors saw them take three valuable points on the first day of the season with a 2-1 win.
Layton Institute Juniors in the light blue
Looking good ! Earring, necklace, ring and new boots.
Bar 19 FC keeper.
Adjacent to the Bar 19 game out on Pitch 8 was the 3A match between Brun Grove FC (Orange) and new side The Ship, Fleetwood FC. The Brun were playing a rare home game on Commonedge as Stanley Park was unavailable. They seemed to enjoy having the mobile caterer close by as two of the team wolfed down a cheeseburger at 10:55. When the Ship took the lead it looked as though it would be the same old story for the Brun but in the end they took a creditable point in a 3-3 draw following a late equaliser.
More pretty jewellery
Fleetwood player receives a yellow card
Ship supporter Taylor Mitchell warmly wrapped up against the elements.
Brun Grove manager Dennis Beardall
Brun Grove have gone for experience this season, in the shape of one of the Alliances' oldest weekly performers – 50 years young Wai Hon Tsang.
Storm clouds gather.
Paul Drinnan (left) retired from playing a couple of years ago to take up reffing, but the lure of the Brun has dragged him back into active service – a very capable performance today at centre half containing players almost a third his age…
The liner gets a good soaking.
A good morning's work for Brun Grove FC
Division 2A favourites Little Fat Jacks FC were in action against Claremont Cons. 2-0 up at the break they looked to be cruising against a side that finished last season in very poor form. Claremont came out in the second half and against the breeze quickly pulled it back to 2-2. LFJ retook the lead with a free kick but late on Claremont showed their mettle with a late equaliser. 3-3 the final score.
This morning's stand-in referee.
Joy as Claremont equalise to make it 3-3.
A happy Claremont manager Greg Kennedy (Far right)
Finally, out on Pitch 1 we had the Bloomfield Vets (Blue) hosting Real Kingsfield FC in Division 1. It was another close one as the veterans stood firm to take all three points with a 2-1 win.
Kingsfield manager Roy Atkinson.
Vet's striker Neil Mitchell fails in his bid to lob it over the Kingsfield keeper.