Riverway (Saturday, December 22)

SATURDAY DECEMBER 22

Riverway 4 Ettingshall Park Farm 1

IT’S 3G to the rescue once again. One of the few games still on is at Riverway, Stafford, in the West Midlands  Regional League, Division Two.

Rumours suggest there will be no programme today but when I phone to check the game is definitely going ahead, I am told there will be one. What a Brucie Bonus!

I just squeak by the floods en route and arrive at the Rowley Park Sports Stadium as the rain ceases.

Many Hoppers turn up in dribs and drabs as their first, second, third, etc, choice games fall by the wayside. We all convene inside the cosy tearoom.

A young lady is serving. I enquire after today’s programme and she tells me she hasn’t had time to print any off.

I ask if she would be kind enough to post one on if I left her some money. There is soon a queue to do the same!

Without further ado, she nips off in her car and returns a while later with her laptop and printer. Meanwhile, the match kicks off on schedule at 2pm.

Spectators are not allowed into the cage containing the pitch, so we watch from the raised balcony outside the tearoom.

It’s not ideal being as we are watching across an athletics track but at least there is cover if needed.

Regular readers will know by now that I am a great fan of this new generation of artificial pitches.

This half of football isn’t the best but a 1-1 scoreline sets it up nicely for the second half. The young girl is still busy at her computer in the tearoom. She has missed the whole half!

By the end of the break, all Hoppers have been furnished with the 12-page programme (£1, though a few gave more).

What a gal!! The second half is much better and produces three more goals for the home side and would have been  more but for the visiting keeper.

It now remains to be seen if I can get home unscathed…

sad.hopper@ntlworld.com

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