Thursday 19th July 2012
Pre Season Friendly
PRESTWICH HEYS 3 ST HELENS TOWN 2
Attendance: 26 (Head Count)
Tea Hut Stuff: Not this evening
Weather: Rain, rain and more rain
Parking: Club car park
Johnny Vegas, Thomas Beecham, Pilkingtons Glass, Paul Wellens, Keiron Cunningham, The North West Museum of Transport... and not forgetting all those teenage girls with orange skin.... you lot took one hell of a beating! The Manchester League lads had beaten the respected North West Counties Premier League side. They were dancing in the rainswept streets of Prestwich till dawn. Well ok, they weren't really and it was only a friendly. Still, for the 26 mad souls who braved the terrible weather to watch this encounter, it was still a bit of a turn up for the books. It sloshed it down at electricity pylon surrounded Grimshaw Park, the place was buzzing. As one can expect at this respected yet humble level there is not a lot of structures to note at the ground, the changing rooms are in what seems to be a converted container just inside the entrance and alongside that there is a small clubhouse where you can get refreshments. A few stacks of plastic chairs are piled up for those sunny periods we once had the pleasure of witnessing. Other than that its rail and hard standing around the perimeter of the pitch. Earlier in the day back at the Krugg Cave, I'd been taken in (again) by one of those bogus BBC Weather clowns. The smooth talking tosser had predicted a fine dry evening across the North and Midlands with just a weakening shower in the South East. The Match Shed got within 10 miles of Prestwich before the heavens opened and down came relentless steady rain, lots of it! The first half copped the worst of it but it still hung around all evening. I hate those smug home counties weather forecasters, they're a complete waste of the tv licence fee, lets be honest they're only interested in bloody London. At least Prestwich played in one of the most vibrantly orange coloured tops I'd ever seen, there would be no problem spotting these lads in any conditions, even thick fog, last time I came here they were in red and white stripes, bit of a change to sharp orange?
I'd sheltered in the Match Shed until the last minute and took up a position near the halfway line, I tried to shrink inside the cover of my umbrella, a first inkling of wetness had seeped into my left sock, it was grim at Grimshaw Park tonight. The first half took away some of the pain but it wasn't pretty football, Prestwich were being pushed back and St Helens had the bulk of possession without creating anything too serious. Plenty of effort was evident and one or two full-on challenges went in, both teams kept composure and Prestwich actually took the lead not long before the break. The St Helens half time team talk took place in the pouring rain just in front of the dug out, they didn't look happy bunnies, Boss Hog was laying down the law telling the boys they were trying to force the ball. I expected St Helens to move through the gears in the second period and blow the home side away. Shows how much I know about the game? Prestwich played some excellent passing football and went 3-0 up! There were a few sour faces in the rivals dug out. St Helens would either drift into oblivion or make a fight of it, they chose to have a go, they made even more changes and with a lad called Osman leading the way they set about the challenge. For a wet Thursday night friendly the second half of this match provided some excellent entertainment. Osman looked like a man with a mission, he was all over the place, his example rubbed off on his colleagues and St Helens started knocking it about and driving forward. Prestwich gave as good as they got and still played their part but it was obvious that they had started to tire.
The visitors got 2 goals back but Prestwich just about held on, a 3-2 win for the Manchester League side was a tremendous result for them and they look a genuine good side. As for St Helens Town, its never nice to lose, however, it was only a friendly and there were enough positives from that second half response to give them encouragement that things could be looking a lot better by the start of the league campaign. Must say, I was glad I made the effort to come and watch this game, despite getting wet.