Saturday 27th February 2010

Parramore Sports 3 Louth Town 4
Abacus Lighting Central Midlands Football League
Buckingham Insurance Supreme Division
At: Woodburn Stadium, Sheffield
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Admission: £3; Programme: £1 (28 pages)
Attendance: 50 (headcount)
Weather; cloudy, drizzle
Duration: first-half: 46:53; second-half: 48:48

Both sides finished with ten men in a game of twelve bookings as Louth Town maintained their one-point lead at the top of the Supreme Division with a narrow 4-3 victory.

Hats off to Rob Hornby, the likeable and popular Central Midlands League Liaison Officer, for publicising this game. He wrote:

Please note that today’s match between Parramore Sports against League Leaders Louth Town has been moved from Don Valley Stadium to a temporary ground just up the road at Woodbourn Road. This will be Parramore's ONLY match to be played there. The ground has a nice bar. Kick-off is 3pm as the ground has floodlights. The Match is def ON. Parramore are issuing a programme as usual and will have their club badges on sale.

With that news, there was only one place to head and I always enjoy returning to Sheffield, my old university city (OK, polytechnic city). Like the Don Valley, Woodbourn Stadium is to the east of the city centre. I approached on the A57 from M1 junction 31 and continued north on the Ring Road (A6102) from Sheffield Parkway. After going underneath the tall red-painted railway bridge, it was left by Aries Lighting on to Stainforth Road all the way to the tram line. Left at the lights and left back over the tram lines at the next lights (Jessell Street), the ground entrance was on the left through the red gates.

Woodbourn Stadium doesn’t appear to see regular Saturday afternoon football – and the only football team that seems to use it are Sheffield Wednesday Ladies Reserves! The ground was an athletics stadium, complete with eight-lane running track and a ten-lane sprint track, and a 450-seater stand positioned next to the last 20 or so metres of the home straight. In an elevated position at the back of the stand was a bar and reception area. The ground boasted six tall floodlight pylons, three down each side.

Programmes and badges were available from a club official positioned at the back of the stand, though the former sold out.

Parramore Sports FC was established in 1936 as the works side of ironfounders F. Parramore & Sons. They played in local football until joining the Central Midlands League from the Sheffield County Senior League in 2008. They finished their first season in the Premier Division in fourth position and gained promotion to the Supreme Division behind Champions, and today’s opponents, Louth Town.

Parramore (34 points from 21 games) went into today’s game in ninth position in the 18-team division. In terms of goalscoring, they were ranked fourth with 55 goals helped by standout 10-0 and 6-1 victories. They have played three games since the enforce winter break ended –w inning two and losing one.

League leaders Louth (50 points from 21 games) had a slender one-point advantage and two games in hand on second-placed Sutton Town AFC. They were unbeaten in their last nine league games made up of eight wins and one goalless draw, a run stretching back to the end of October.

Before kick-off, again thanks to Rob, there was an opportunity to take the Parramore Sports team photo before the home side got the game underway attacking the south end of the ground, or right to left in relation to my seat in the seventh row of the stand.

I was soon joined by fellow blogger, the Leicester-based ‘Rambler77’, and I enjoyed his company throughout the match.

Louth soon took the lead in the 8th minute. Jamie Rowbotham stayed onside to latch onto a ball down the middle and lifted it past the advancing keeper Mark Clements into an unguarded net.

Things were soon level in the 16th minute. Andy Dawson took advantage of an error by defender Carl Martin and got in a shot which was parried by the diving Louth keeper Craig Wherry. But Gavin Davis was well positioned to fire home the rebound.

Sixteen points may well have separated the sides at kick-off but mid-table Parramore went ahead against the league leaders in five minutes later. Wherry picked up just a booking for bringing down Davis inside the area and Kieran Gallagher converted the resulting penalty even though the keeper guessed correctly.

Parramore skipper Andy Rogers was booked in the 27th minute for a foul challenge.

The referee had to make another key decision just after the half-hour mark. Dawson brought down Kurt Crossley just inside the Parramore area and Mr Langton pointed to the spot. Before the kick was taken, the yellow card was out again to caution both Dawson and teammate Lee Whitehead. Mark Woods kept his nerve to convert the penalty and level things up at 2-2.

Louth quickly got forward and Andy Reason saw a smart shot turned round by Clements. Before the resulting corner could be taken, the referee was alerted by one of his assistants and, as a result, Parramore defender Sean lee became booking number five.

Before the half-time whistle, Clements produced another diving save, this time to turn round a long-range drive by Crossley and, in stoppage time, Rowbotham saw yellow for a foul.

Back into the warmth of the bar area at the interval to see the half-time scored, the room was being prepared for Lady Jaguar’s 50th birthday party including a DJ setting up his disco.

A nice move down the right led to Louth regaining just over two minutes after the restart. Crossley squared a pass to Woods inside the area who slotted a first-time shot into the bottom right corner past the diving Clements.

But as they had done so before, Parramore bounced back to make the score 3-3 in the 64th minute. Lewis Fothergill was brought down inside the area and Gallagher converted his second penalty of an increasing amazing game. Oh, Louth’s Phil Winter ended up in the book before the penalty was taken. That makes it goal number six and booking number seven!

Next to be booked was Louth’s Jason Callaby, not long before the DJ started to test his sound system.

In this tale of ‘seven goals and twelve bookings’, dissent got Louth’s Ben Davison into trouble and he became the eighth name in Mr Langton’s notebook.

Rogers, already booked, fouled Rowbotham just outside the Parramore area and must have feared a second yellow when called over by the referee. A final warning was issued and from the resulting free-kick, in the 81st minute, came what proved to be the winning goal. Woods hit the ball past the four-man wall and in via the hand of Clements and the left-hand post – a hat-trick for Woods!

The scoring may have ended by the drama hadn’t.

In the 87th minute over on the far side in the Parramore half, Davison went in hard and picked up a second yellow card and subsequent red on. Crossley was also booked for something he said and, before play resumed, Louth manager Paul Walden was sent from the dugout for his reaction.

Finally, in the second minute stoppage time, Parramore’s Dawson picked up a second yellow and he took trooped off the field.

Before heading home, there was time to check the bookings with another traveller, a West Brom fan who was delighted his side had beaten Derby 3-1.

I hope Lady Jaguar enjoyed her party!

Parramore Sports (blue/blue/blue): 1. Mark Clements, 2. Sean Lee, 3. Ben Brown, 4. Andy Rogers (capt), 5. Lee Whitehead, 6. Shaun Rice, 7. Lewis Fothergill, 8. Gavin Wills, 9. Gavin Davis, 10. Kieran Gallagher, 11. Andy Dawson. Subs: 12. Stacey Shariff (for Rice, 84), 14. Rob Shelley (not used), 15. Steph Rankine (not used).

Louth Town (white/black/black): 1. Craig Wherry, 2. Jason Callaby, 3. Andy Appleby, 4. Carl Martin, 5. Ben Davison, 6. Andy Reason, 7. Phil Winter, 8. Sam Smith, 9. Jamie Rowbotham, 10. Mark Woods, 11. Kurt Crossley. Subs: 12. Craig Dalton (for Winter, 77), 14. Stuart Leare (not used), 15. Mark Fairburn (not used).

Referee: Craig Langton.
Assistants: Graham Taylor and Peter Craggs.

1-0 Jamie Rowbotham (8)
1-1 Gavin Davis (17)
2-1 Kieran Gallagher (21 pen)
2-2 Mark Woods (35 pen)
2-3 Mark Woods (48)
3-3 Kieran Gallagher (64 pen)
3-4 Mark Woods (81)

Parramore: Andy Rogers (YC, 27), Andy Dawson (YC, 34), Lee Whitehead (YC, 35), Sean Lee (YC, 38), Andy Dawson (YC/RC, 90+2)
Louth: Craig Wherry (YC, 20), Jamie Rowbotham (YC, 45+2), Phil Winter (YC, 63), Jason Callaby (YC, 74), Ben Davison (YC, 79), Kurt Crossley (YC, 87), Ben Davison (YC/RC, 87)