Groundhopper: Maine Road 1 West Didsbury and Chorlton 0 (31/3/17) (Malcolm Stephenson

Maine Road 1 West Didsbury and Chorlton 0 (31/3/17)

(match abandoned on 55 minutes).



I was going to Blackpool to see a friend and taking in two games in one weekend was an opportunity not to be missed. Maine road were playing on the Friday night with a 7.45 kick off. I told the wife I was away for the weekend and thankfully she never put on the sour puss face or moaned at any point. After 23 years together now and I think she understands where she comes in relation to the football. I am so pleased she does not read this article as i would guess she would introduce me to ‘Madame Rolling pin’ across me nut! 

Maine Road play in part of Manchester called Chorlton-cum-Hardy. I booked a travel lodge in Sale which was just around the corner a couple of miles away. The receptionist asked if I was down for the match but she was probably thinking of the Man Utd v West Brom game on the Saturday. Not many idiots like me from Newcastle are around to come and see the likes of Maine Road in the North West Counties league on a Friday night.

Maine Road were formed in 1955 by a branch of the Manchester City supporters club and were originally called City Supporters Rusholme. The club changed their name to Maine Road in the late 1960,s and played their games in local Manchester leagues. It was not utntil 1987 that the club moved up to the North West Counties league. Obviously there is that major Manchester City connection with the team called Maine Road after the former City Stadium and the club strip Sky Blue.

The club moved into their current Brantingham Road ground in 1980. It has floodlights and two covered stands on either side of the pitch. The one on the far side also has some seating incorporated and is a larger stand than the nearside one.

As you go into the ground you pass the social club and changing rooms. There is also an old and derelict 5 a-side pitch behind the goal which must have been last used 30 years ago. There were trees growing in the corner which must have been nearly thirty foot high.

The programme was a real gem. It was thick and full of articles and real value for money. A nice touch was the former players of Manchester Utd sponsoring a couple of players.

The game tonight was against West Didsbury and Chorlton who are close neighbours and local rivals. It was a good crowd tonight in attendance at the match and a really surprisingly large contingent from West Didsbury. They were in good voice and it seemed quite a mouthful getting the clubs name out. Try singing “Were West Didsbury and Chorlton” for size!

The first half was a good flowing game with the visitors, in my opinion, slightly in the driving seat. However it was Maine Road who broke the deadlock just before half time to open the scoring.

I went into the social club at half time and was surprised to see several former church pews as part of the seating arrangements. That was a first for me at a football ground.

The teams came out and the second half kicked off. On 55 minutes Maine road had a break and a forward worked his way into the penalty area. He was a brought down but fell awkwardly and you could see he was in immediately in tremendous pain. He was quickly attended to by the Physios from both teams but nothing seemed to be happening. The tanny announced if an ambulance was not there in the next 15 minutes the game would be abandoned. No ambulance came and that’s what happened. Game abandoned. The poor player was just lying there and his arm or him could not be moved. Eventually the ambulance game and he was taken to hospital while an oxygen mask was applied at the same time. As I was leaving the ground another player was limping out with a swollen foot and he too would probably be off work as well next week. I always feel for players at this level when it is also their livelihoods to think of as well as an injury effecting their playing career.

Apparently the arm/elbow was put back in place next day and the player sounded ok. It is times like this when a person’s welfare is more important than any football match.

To me a visit is a visit to a ground and I will not be going back to see a full 90 minutes of a game. Pure purists might argue different and that I have visited a ground but they can think what they like. It’s another ground on my list as far as I am concerned.

Admission- £6


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