Tuesday 15th August 2017 6.45pm
Cheshire League Division Two
Ford Motors 7 Orford 1 HT: 3-1 att: 30(hc) Entrance FREE with FREE programme.
from Jaguar Sports & Social Club
Non-league and in particular the Cheshire League continue to impress me. I’d only even heard of the club earlier in the day when they advertised the fact they were issuing a programme on Twitter. This is step nine! This is a step only talked about in whispers in toilets with the taps running. Some heavily bearded seasoned groundhoppers have been known to shun steps as low as these. But here lies Ford Motors in the third tier of the Cheshire League, with full clubhouse, railed pitch, stand and match programme. What an expedition this was.
Another nice feature of the tie was the fact you can swap the first and last four characters of it and it still reads the same. Ford Or ford? Turns out it was Ford.
The fiesta of football kicked off at 6.45 in Widnes at the Jaguar Sports and Social Club, erstwhile Ford Sports & Social Club, lying in amongst a galaxy of Cheshire League and North West Counties League venues.
The programmes hadn’t arrived when we got there – they were in transit apparently, but when they arrived they were freely given out, for no charge, as was the entrance. A large clubhouse sits behind the goal as you come in, I had a pinto’ McCaffreys in a plastic pint and took it pitchside. A large stand sits down one side with two long rows of seating, wooden benches on steel supports – a fusion of wood and metal.
Trees line the sides of the ground, semi-detached houses for the backdrop at the far end and a perimeter bar surrounds the whole. It’s a quality set-up for a county league club. Ford Motors did indeed play and were founder members of the North West Counties League, where they stayed six seasons in the eighties. They started out in the very month I was born in 1972.
The quality of football was astounding for the level; as one fan said to his wife “Cor, Tina!” Both sides went for it with gusto but Ford opened with a rebound from a parried shot. Orford, despite the scoreline, played well themselves and were level not long after. Ford’s second was a close range shot in which the keeper’s gloves could only escort the ball into the net. Number three was a long ranger, an individual bit of skill on the edge of the box followed by a thunderbird into the net. 3-1 at half time.
I have to stress that Orford were by no means canon fodder and were a credit to step nine themselves, but did end up on the end of a beating. Number four was a close-range volley that went through the keeper and trickled into the net. A one-on-one and header bouncing down and looping into the top of the net made it six. Seven was on the final whistle and a 20 yard probe into the top corner.
An entertaining, full-blooded and high quality game. Great venue and to top it off a programme. A great time or GT was had by all in the late summer evening, as the constellation Taurus appeared on the horizon. Ford Motors look good enough to escape division two this year. That will be their focus.