(GROUND NUMBER 278)
DATE OF FIRST VISIT: 11th APRIL 2011
LEIGH SPORTS VILLAGE STADIUM, LEIGH
BLACKBURN ROVERS RESERVES 4
NEWCASTLE UNITED RESERVES 4 (Phil Airey(2)(1pen), Ryan McDonald, James Perch)
FA PREMIER RESERVE LEAGUE
ATTENDANCE: 416 (at least 150 Toon fans)
"WOT'S THE SCORE---LIKE!?"
The 'batmobile' left Tyneside at 'one thorty bells' with meesel and 'The Caped Crusader' on board and wor forst 'port o' caall' was 'The Farmhoose' boozer at 'Middleton St George' near Darlo to pick 'Alex of St George' up. After a 'swift gargel' in 'The Farm' to lubricate wor tonsils!, (Er!-not! 'The Caped Crusader'---he waz drivin'!) it was off to the 'A64' slip road on the 'A1' to pick 'Dave from York' up to complete the 'fab foursome'?
Thankfully this game wasn't behind closed doors like the resorve game at Great Barr six days orlier against West Brom, so we didn't have to mek 'prior arrangements' to get into this one (see ground 277 )
On wor way ower the 'M62' Alex spotted seven tower blocks in a town on the right hand side of the motorway and asked where it was. "Rochdale!" aa replied as we sped past at 90 mph.
Dave then butted in!----"I once had a weeks holiday in Rochdale when I was 17!", he said, as a deathly hush desended ower the car.
"ROCHDALE!"---we aaall said in unison after a short interlude!—and then he explained?
"A mate of mine back then (many many many moons ago!) had an auntie who lived in Rochdale and as he was gannin' to visit hor for a week, he asked me to gan to keep him company and so I did!"
|"Wish you were here!?"|
Nuw divvint get me wrang!---a'v never ever been to Rochdale in mee 'natch' and I'm sure it's a very nice place? , (or NOT as the case may be!) and aa must have past it a thoosand times travellin' back and forth across the M62 through work and futbaall--- BUT!--- to ADMIT! gannin' there for a WEEKS HOLIDAY???
(A message to 'Dave from York'!---you should never had told me this!---now 5,352 people (last coont on the page views) in 84 countries across the globe from Rochdale to Reykjavik and Rawalpindi to Rio, naa aboot this, through 'The Geordie Times' and I naa a 'very good' psychiatrist if you need one, who does a 'great line' in straight jackets!)
ANYWAY!---enough of that!---we sped on to Leigh and after getting' lost a couple of times (aa was the navigator!) we eventually foond the groond by followin' the signs to 'Leigh Sports Village' (would you believe!?)
After parkin' up we made for the ticket office where we purchased wor 'prized bits of paper'? and made for 'The Legends Bar' which was built into the back of the main stand and it opened at '5 bells' which was good timin' by us as we arrived just as they were aboot to open the doors!
Dave (now known az 'The Rochdale Cowboy'!) asked for fower pints of Tetley's Bitter as there was a notice pinned to the waall which said that there was a 'four pints for three' offer. The barman said that the notice shud have been taken doon as this was a 'happy hour' price but promised us that we would get that deal as long as we stopped there. He then took the notice off the wall so nebody else could get the same 'deal'!
The fact was that it was virtually desorted outside until an hour before the desegnated kick off @ '7 bells' when, forst, 'Glennn from Ashington' torned up and then his 'sidekick' 'Byzy' appeared a few minutes later and the forst thing they did was complain aboot the price of their pints (ower three quid!)
Wors on the other hand worked oot at just ower TWO quid a pint with the discount!
As it torned oot nebody else came into the bar, which is sommik that a'v never seen before and in total we had 18 pints between us! If we hadn't been there the bar takins would have been ZERO!
It was nearly kick off time so we left and heeded for the tornstiles a few yards away---no queues—nothin'!
Opened in 2009 by hor majesty 'The Queen' ne less!, 'The Sports Village Stadium' which is home to 'Leigh Centurions Rugby League Club' is quite smart with red covered seats on three sides and a covered standin' terrace behind the left end goal from us with an electronic scoreboard tucked into the far corner of the groond.
My estimate of the crowd was around the 350 mark, with at least 150 Toon fans present as the game kicked off, and they were dotted around the main stand which was the anly stand open.
Blackburn is some 17 miles distant from Leigh with Wigan and Bolton and Manchester much closer, so a low crowd was always gannih be the case as this isn't their 'territory'
The Toon took the lead in the 20th minute when Ryan Donaldson was shoved ower in the penalty area and Phil Airey convorted the resultin' spot kick (1-0 to us)
The lead anly lasted anly 5 mins though, when Rochina chipped Tim Krul in the Toon goal (1-1)
The home side went forther aheed when Diouf rounded Krul to sidefoot into the empty net (2-1 to them)
8 mins into the 2nd half Blackburn increased their lead with a dubious 'was it ower the line'? goal from Rochina (3-1 to them) and at this point the tannoy announcer telt us that ---'Rochina was the goal scorer and that NEWCASTLE! were nuw 3-1 up!', much to the merriment of the crowd.
(Aa wonder if this is anythin' to de with the fact that Leigh's stadium manager is called 'a' Mr TOON!)◄(honest!---it's true!)
To forther confuse matters the scoreboard operator gave the score as 2-2! on the electronic scoreboard! ("HELP!----a'v had too much to drink!") This was corrected to '3-1' to Rovers 5 minutes later to ironic cheers from the crowd!
"KINDERGARDENHOPPERS RULE OK!"
|"THE FRIENDS OF NEWCASTLE UNITED!"|
Ryan Donaldson then pulled one back for us in the 70th minute with a mazy run from his own half before pokin' the baall past Kean in the Blackburn goal (3-2 to them)
The equaliser came in the 77th minute when Phil Airey got his 2nd as he turned the baall in from a centre by Tavernier (3-3)
This goal was greeted with high pitched shrills from a group of nursery kids who for some reason had just appeared in the corner of the stand and they started singin' in ear splittin' tones, "NEW-CAS-EL" ---"NEW-CAS-EL!" (aahh the little darlin's!)
Divvint ask me why they were supportin' 'The Toon' as I divvint naa the reason and aa havvent got a clue why??? (perhaps they were the members of the NUFC Kindergardenhoppers Branch!?)
An amazin' last few minutes saw The Toon gan into the lead when James Perch heeded home from a few yards oot to surely win the game! (4-3 to us!)
But NO!---the home side were not to be denied when Potts 'potted' the baall with a 20 yard curler to end this pulsatin' eight goal thriller in Leigh (4-4 final score!)
Just to summerize ---the score sequence went as follows (deep breath!) Newcastle score forst: 1-0 1-1 1-2 3-1!? 2-2!? 1-3 2-3 3-3 4-3 4-4! ("Er!---aa think that's reet!??")
With 'the batmobile's' 'rocket boosters' on full power we heeded back ower the 'M62' and sped past 'Dave from York's' ("er!-sorry!"-'The Rochdale Cowboy's'!) favourite holiday resort? once again and were back yem 'before we knew it', with another groond chalked off the neva endin' list!
©Fink™ (the mad-sad gr☺undh☺pper!)
Footnote: for 'Geordie Glossary of Terms' 'click' on right hand side bar ►