From one of the world’s great sporting arenas to another. Today found me at Cecil Street, the home of Rothwell Town F.C., on the first day of what is, of course, one of the most significant days in the sporting calendar – the Extra Preliminary Round of the F.A. Cup. The luck of the draw meant that the Bones (so called after the ossuary in the crypt of the Church of the Holy Trinity) took on their near neighbours Desborough.
Both these clubs have experienced difficult times recently. Rothwell almost went out of business earlier in the year, and now find themselves wholly amateur and in the same division as Harborough Town. Desborough’s club house was burned down a couple of years ago, and they have just had the copper cabling in their floodlights stolen.
Cecil Street does suffer slightly in comparsion with Lord’s. The state of the lavatories –
would have been the cause of raised eyebrows in a field latrine at the Battle of the Somme. One of the turnstiles –
is abandoned and overgrown with weeds.
But only a churl could complain, for the price of admission – £4.50 – about a lack of incident. We saw a virtuoso display of handshaking
two sendings off, followed, in the first case, by a fracas
a tumultuous thunderstorm
a last minute penalty, tipped over the bar by the ‘keeper
and eight goals in all – the final score 5-3 to Desborough.
What more could you want? And congratulations to Blackpool, who were, I believe, briefly top of the league in some other competition today.