TUESDAY AUGUST 25
Hull United 4 Westella VIP 2
I DON’T know how I’ll be able to drag myself off the sofa for a match tonight; the stuffing has been knocked out of me by reports that One Direction are splitting up. How will I be able to live life after such earth-shattering ‘news’?
Plans to watch a Notts Senior League game are once again thwarted by mysterious postponements. Both Unity and Kirton Brickworks disappear from the fixture list, so I am left with a visit to Northern Counties East newcomers Hull United.
United are newly promoted from the Humberside League and have moved into the old home of Hall Road Rangers (who now play at the rugby ground: another one to do!).
I make my way to Dunswell, a village on the northern outskirts of Hull, and find the Breathe For Cameron Stadium tucked away behind an Italian restaurant. The chairman is just unloading the programmes from his car, so I snaffle a copy while the going’s good (£1).
I am invited in to take photos of the ground while several club officials are already in the stadium going about their business quietly and efficiently. This looks like a very well run club.
One enters the ground behind one goal (£5). All the facilities are situated on this side, too. There’s a snack bar selling burgers, crisps and chocolate bars and a couple of seated stands.
The toilets here are not in a good state, so I seek out those in the modern bar. To reach this, you leave the stand by a gap at the rear and follow the gravel car park all the way round the Italian restaurant. The toilets are spotless but the tables are disgustingly sticky. Yuk!
Back in the stadium, a decent crowd of 260 is filtering in. A very helpful guy reads out the teams for me while I write them down.
The players enter the pitch to the strains of Kasabian’s Club Foot, which I always find a rather strange rallying cry for a football team. Kick-off is delayed by five minutes when the referee demands that a small rabbit hole on the byline is filled in.
The game starts at a breathless pace but Hull are the only side who maintain that pace for the whole 90 minutes: they are relentless. Westella cannot live with their hosts and I am pretty sure they were relieved to be just three goals down by half-time!
Mention should be made of United’s PA announcer. Each goal and substitution is announced in a clear and precise manner, and can be heard all around the ground, too. Excellent work, my friend!
Hull take their foot off the gas slightly in the second half and allow a grateful Westella a lifeline courtesy of two set pieces by a never-say-die Chris Spinx: an emphatic penalty kick and a stunning free kick.
United are soon back into their stride and seal the points with a 4-2 victory. On this showing, I expect the Citizens to be up there come the end of the season.
Apart from tidying up Filthy Groundsharers (Grimsby Borough and Albion Sports), new movers (Hall Road) and the peripatetic Parramore (seemingly one ground per season!), I am now back up to date in the NCEL.
And if anyone can tell me what the VIP stands for in Westella, do please let me know!
Pre-Match info: 5, Welcome: 9, Facilities: 6.5, Food: 3, Charm: 4, Match: 8.5, Home Team Respect: 7.5, Fans: 6, Programme: 7, Overall Trip: 7.5, Officials: 7.5, Att: 260.