Tuesday, 26 October 2010
A Game of Two Halves
This month has seen me covering two football matches for 'When Saturday Comes' and the assignments demonstrate that the saying "the haves and the have-nots" is an apt description of our national sport.
First off I travelled to the picturesque spa town of Matlock, which nestles in the Peak District in Derbyshire. The occasion was a qualifying round match for this season's English FA Cup between Matlock Town and visitors Eastwood Town from near Nottingham. The visitors won by three goals, but I was much more interested in the setting for the tie, the atmosphere generated by a small but passionate crowd and the ambiance of a Saturday afternoon in one of football's charming backwaters.
In contrast, two Saturdays later I was at a match between two sides who have both won European cup competitions but now find themselves languishing in the second tier of English football.
Notwithstanding, nearly 23,000 spectators turned up to see a spirited performance by hosts Nottingham Forest, who overcame visitors Ipswich Town by two goals to nil. To add further spice to this encounter, Ipswich are manageed by former Forest legend Roy Keane. He left disappointed and annoyed by his team's performance. I enjoyed visiting one of the country's finest stadiums which has a cracking location on the banks of the Trent and where all the staff and supporters couldn't have been more friendly and helpful as I worked around them.
Both reportages will feature in the next issue of 'When Saturday Comes', which will be out at the start of November.
To see an edited selection from the two matches, please click on the following links: