Sounds like the SoL faithful had a fun day out at Accrington Stanley last week. Sloppy pitch, pouring rain, mistakes and howlers, and a wide open end to enjoy it in. At least in the Northern League you can usually retreat to the bar if it gets too bad. Maybe we should start to sell Meadow Park on its comfort factor, not something you would have thought likely. Accrington are an interesting club, who have certainly had their ups and downs over the years. The first Accrington FC were one of the original founder members of the Football League but soon folded. The current club are the third Accrington and the second Accrington Stanley and have progressed from the Lancashire Combination since 1968 to League One nowadays, so a resilient bunch you have to say. Makes you wonder where RCA will be in fifty years time. It’s the closeness of this here cemetery that always bothers me.
Anyway what about the real football? Stockton last Saturday was another disappointment on the plastic, and particularly ferocious plastic in this case. Not quite as bad as Luton and QPR in the bad old days, but not much better. It doesn’t seem to me to be very like the pitch up at Consett which always seems to be a reasonably close approximation to the real thing. Why is this? Surely the specification for artificial surfaces should be the same depending on the planned usage and the level of games to be played on it? Is it just different manufacturers doing different things as they see fit? The Consett carpet certainly seems thicker and more forgiving than the Stockton one; mind it also has lots of those little bits of black crumb in it, and they get a bad press nowadays so maybe it’s a choice between a bad playing surface and long term ill health for players. Luckily I’m not a doctor, yet. It maybe the future, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. It’s a shame to be critical of the pitch because Stockton have got some real good players and they seem like a very well run and progressive club. Maybe it’s not you it’s me as they say in the movies.
Anyway Wednesday night was a chance for some quick revenge in the League Cup. Quite important for us I reckon these cup ties this season, given the lack of league fixtures following the demise of a few clubs. But the Stockton hoodoo struck again! We get a few people back and then lose all of our front line strikers, Larks away, Sparky injured and Nath kept in at school, you couldn’t make it up. Not a great game, summed up by the only goal which went in off Macca’s standing leg. Dimi hardly had a save to make, we huffed and puffed but it wasn’t to be, so what may well turn out to be the last year of the Brooks Mileson League Cup is gone, just the two trophies left to chase now.