Wall not required

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DSC01615Saturday August 3rd 2013, kick off 3pm at Garden Walk, Midland Alliance League.
Gornal Athletic (All Green/Yellow Trim) 0-4 Coleshill Town (All Red), 0-3 ht, att 94.
Admission £5, programme £1.50 (overpriced with very little to read).
Tea £1, Badge £2.50.

Gornal is a suburban area of Dudley in the West Midlands, Gornal is considered to be part of the ‘Black Country’.
It encompasses three historic villages, Upper Gornal, Lower Gornal, and Gornal Wood. Gornal was formerly part of Staffordshire, prior to the creation of the West Midlands in 1974.

Well known former BBC newsreader Sue Lawley was born in Dudley in 1946 and grew up in Lower Gornal.
Also the epicentre of the 2002 Dudley earthquake was located in Gornal Wood.
It measured 4.8 on the Richter scale and could be felt as far away as North Yorkshire.

One episode from Lower Gornal’s past occurred when Enoch & Eli (Aynock and Ayli in the local dialect – the two fictional characters to which local jokes are usually attributed) “put the pig on the wall to watch the band go by”. Local legend has it, that once, a military band marched through the suburb, and caused such great excitement amongst the residents, that not only did many people flock to see it, but one person even put his pig on the wall to afford the animal a better view!
This phrase has long been part of the local folklore, but its origins still remain obscure.
There was even a hotel in the Upper Gornal area of the town called the “Pig on the Wall”.

Gornal Athletic play at the quaintly named ‘Garden Walk’ in Lower Gornal. And like many grounds in the black country it has plenty of character. Slap bang in the middle of local housing, you enter just by the side of the clubhouse and walk straight out onto a large bank of terracing, with a magnificent view down to the pitch below.

One thing I always find about this part of the country is the solid working classness of the area and folks therein, and that the people are very down to earth with usually a dry sense of humour to match, pretentiousness and pomposity is not recommened if conversing with those from the black country, they will normally find you out pretty quick!
Asking how much the admission was, I had to ask again as the local “foive”, sounded more like four to my ear.
I’ts a terrible thing really, but I always think of Noddy Holder (of iconic 1970s band Slade, also an actor) when venturing into the black country and hearing the local dialect.

Anyway, it’s all change at Gornal, 3rd last season, and FA Vase quarter finalists, manager and many of those players have now decamped at nearby Tipton Town. Hence, a new squad of young looking players for this season.

I really liked the ground, with the large banking of terracing down one side giving a great view down to pitchlevel. However for the first half I stood opposite with camera in hand, the only spectator to do so! under the small shelter, running at least half length of pitch (with many unused seats, maybe in winter?).

Coleshill were the better stronger team throughout, and took the lead just four minutes in from a cracking 25 yard free kick from full back Leon Weller. After 27 Chris Gummery chased down a weak pack pass that the home keeper Cheshire made a meal of, by kicking it against Gummery, result, deflection into the back of the net, 0-2, and frankly it already looked game over.
Fitzharris added a third on 37 minutes.
Early in the second half Ravl Sangha missed an easy chance for Gornal which summed up their day! Excellent right winger Chris Lloyd added a 4th on 87 minutes, to the delight of quite a few travelling Coleshill fans.

Last season Gornal had finished 3rd and Coleshill 15th, on today’s performance I can see a reversal in positions for these two clubs in 13/14.. It had been a very open attacking game, and thoroughly enjoyable, a credit to both teams.

Having spotted my Palace baseball cap I got a tap on the shoulder at HT from #Grumpydwarf of > http://www.nonleaguematters.co.uk/forum, with his friend #Colpic, “Are you WestBerksPalace by any chance?, I saw you taking lots of photos during the 1st half”.
It was good to meet two fellow posters, and chat to them during the 2nd half and get some local footy news.
I scooped Mrs West Berks Palace from Dudley Zoo, and we stopped at the excellent ‘Bear at Home’ in North Moreton for food and a beer for me, a good day out without any traffic problems, so a great start of competitive football for the 13-14 season 🙂

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One thought on “Wall not required

    laurencereade said:
    August 15, 2013 at 8:49 am

    One of the great non-league grounds.

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