|On the road with Division 2A side FC Eden as they travelled all the way to Barnoldswick in East Lancashire looking to cause a shock by reaching the last eight of this season's Lancashire Sunday trophy. Their opponents were the Red Lion FC and we supposedly had a noon kick off.|
Over the last few years I've spent a lot of time working in and around East Lancashire. It's a land of contrasts. On one hand there're lots of scenic places and on the other there are lots of run down and archetypal industrial towns. We had a late switch of venue for this game. It was initially scheduled to have been played in Barrowford (Nelson & Colne) with a 10:30 kick off but at the eleventh hour it was moved to Barnoldswick for a noon kick off.
In reality you really couldn't get a Lancashire Sunday Trophy tie much further away from the coast as it isn't too far from the Yorkshire border. The locals call this place Bar'lick and many claim their town is in neither situated in Lancashire or Yorkshire but instead prefer to say that they're still in the county of West Craven. (You get the picture).
Last season FC Eden were Division 3A champions after winning the title by eight points. This is only their second season in the league and going into December they're still very handily placed in Division 2A three points behind leaders Great Eccleston in second and with a game in hand. They've won six, drawn one and lost one. I saw some of that solitary defeat which came against Waterloo Sports & Social in a 4-1 loss at Commonedge in a midweek fixture at Commonedge back in August. In the Gledhill Cup they beat AFC Marton in Round 1 but lost to Premier Division side Poulton in Round 2.
The team received a first round bye before thumping Preston side Fulwood Park Rangers 7-0 away in Round 2. In Round 3 they beat Academy Sports 3-0 in another away tie and in Round 4 it took a dramatic 12-11 penalty shoot out victory against Healywood United after the match had finished 2-2 at the end of normal time.
This morning they were certainly the underdogs against one of the better teams in Lancashire. Last season Red Lion FC reached the last eight of this competition where they were beaten 1-0 by eventual winners Success to the Plough FC. In the 2006/07 season they again reached the last eight but were again beaten 1-0 this time by the Elton Vale Sports Club. 2005/06 saw yet another quarter final defeat to Hesketh FC and in 2004/05 they lost on penalties to Heywood FC in Round 5. Quite an impressive pedigree I'm sure you'll agree. Could this be the season that they manage to at least reach the semi finals?
Red Lion FC play in the Pendle Charity League which has three Divisions and a decent website so check it out. Red Lion FC are currently top of the Premier Division after winning all six of their opening matches. Last season they won the Premier Division title, the Charity Shield and the Peter Shaw Trophy in a great treble.
The fog that lasted for the whole of yesterday was slow to clear but by kick off time we still had the heavy frost and with temperatures just about hovering above zero the referee was left with no option but to call the game off.
FC Eden and I had to go to the expense and lost time of a 100 mile round trip for nothing in the end. On reflection, perhaps it should have been called off much earlier to save us all the trip but that's Sunday football. They'll try again at the same venue next week so let's hope for some better weather.
The goal mouth is frozen solid still at 11:45am making play impossible.
The home of Barnoldswick Town FC – a good venue for today's game.
Pretty – but not the ideal conditions for football.