Man in a Hat Does Guiseley - Again (includes Youth Match Report)
Having failed to cajole any of my drinking buddies into going to Guiseley to watch County’s Youth side, I’m sat there waiting for kick-off, when I suddenly realise that I’m the only County Supporter here.
No Hedgegrower......... no Watts.......... no Joe or Tim..........no Flasher. .....no Eric!
Better start to make some notes & take some pictures, in case Hedgegrower needs a report doing. It won’t be as detailed, or accurate, but it will be better than nothing. Won’t it?
Confused? Let’s go back to the beginning.
Do you recall my ill-fated trip to Guiseley 18th January regaled in my hilarious article “Man in a Hat Finds Guiseley Closed”, posted 19th January? You don’t. Well click here to re-read it. I won’t write anything whilst you’re gone, so don’t worry, you won’t miss anything.
Ready? Good. I’ll continue.
The plan was simple enough. Day trip to Guiseley to watch the Youth Team & to mop up the real ale pubs I didn’t manage to do back in January, specifically the Club Bar (was closed as the game was called off); Coopers (was closed for Refurb) & the Ings Hotel (was only made known to me afterwards).
Nice easy route as well. A swift pint in the Station (pub) in order to meet up with the Blue Army would be followed by a beer or 2 at the ground. Then to the Ings Hotel after the game, which is beyond the ground, before settling into Coopers ahead of getting the train home.
Buses & trains all ran to time. In fact, I was in the Station (pub) half an hour earlier than planned.
First pint of the day - a little number called Operation Bambi by Salamander. Regrettably, Bambi died in theatre & the hospital is now under investigation.
Never mind. There is an interesting menu at the Station, so I decide to spend my extra half-hour eating. I order the pulled pork flat bread. Sorry, I mean I try to order the pulled pork flat bread.
Apparently, you have to fill in a form to get food. Name, address, etc.
I just want the food, so I try again.
What’s going on here? Is there a war on or something? My bottom lip starts to go & the tears are welling up in my eyes, but still no good. The form is tapped by the barmaid & I’m sent back to my table. She even helpfully provides a pen.
I’ve lost my appetite & so set off for the game.
No Hedgegrower. No Watts. Oh, wait. You already know this. This is why I’m even having to try & write a report. Should be my day off really.
County were well beaten 6-1 (a score-line that didn’t flatter Guiseley) in this highly entertaining encounter which was kicked off 22 minutes late by a rather portly referee. Also, one of the liners was the oldest I’d ever seen.
Our lads were second best for most of the afternoon, with Luke Porrit (I think) & Callum Rodman (I think) who scored 4, starring for Guiseley.
The reasons for kick-off being delayed were clear as the referee emerged, as it probably took him that long to get from his dressing room to the pitch.
This was the best turn out I’d seen for a Youth game this season, with the home Club well represented by the various teams & community services associated with the Club. I’d say about 30, boosted by the teachers’ strike as well, plus me, a magnificent away following of 1! A one-man army.
County took the lead in the 11th minute, via a superb well-placed 20 yard effort from our lively no. 7. The referee was already blowing hard & most of us doubted he had 19 minutes in him, never mind 90.
Within 2 minutes it was 1-1, following an incisive move down the left, with Kingsley (no. 10) turning the ball in from close range for the equaliser.
County were well in the game at this stage & could have taken the lead on 20 minutes, when Ben Spibey almost broke the crossbar with a thunderous effort from distance.
However, things quickly started to unravel from that point on. The County keeper Adam Rigby (probably County’s man of the match) made a couple of great saves, before Guiseley eventually took the lead following yet more superb work down the left by their no. 11 (Luke Porrit I think) who set up an easy tap in for no. 9 (Callum Redmond?).
2-1 quickly became 3-1 on 31 minutes, with Redmond on target again.
On 34 minutes, County’s no. 2, who’d been given a torrid time by Porrit, was spared further punishment by being substituted, with no. 15 coming on to try & shore up the left flank.
I think our no. 11 was also substituted on 43 minutes, with no. 12 coming on. County’s no. 7 hit the bar on 45 minutes following some uncharacteristically poor defending from Guiseley.
Unbelievably, the referee was still standing & even proceeded to play about 6 minutes of time added on. This enabled Porrit to claim his hat-trick with another well crafted goal, completed with a simple tap in from close range.
There was just enough time for the Guiseley ‘keeper to pull off a good save from County’s no. 8.
Half Time - Guiseley 4 County 1
The refreshments hut was very busy during half-time, but I managed to indulge in a hot dog, which nicely complimented the soup & chocolate I’d blagged before the game.
The second half was soon underway, thankfully without Porrit, with the referee gamely pushing through his personal pain barrier. What a trooper!
County were far more physical than they had been in the first half, but Guiseley coped well enough & extended their lead to 5-1 on 62 minutes. Redmond again, to claim his 4th of the game.
By the time one of the Guiseley substitutes had made it 6-1 (68 minutes), their team were starting to lose interest. So were the crowd, with talk turning to the first team who were away at Stalybridge that evening. A win would take them into 6th, nicely placed for the push for a place in the play-offs.
There was even time for one gent in the crowd to ask the Guiseley no. 4 whether his car was still running ok. He paused briefly, with a rather bemused look on his face, to confirm that the car was fine, before carrying on with the game.
The referee was far more involved in the second half, i.e. the ball seemed to keep hitting him. Players on both sides just didn’t seem to be able to get the ball around him.
Whilst this puzzled most present, as a keen amateur cosmologist, I of course noted that this was merely down to the simple & well known universal law - gravity.
On 82 minutes, planet referee booked our no. 12. I think he called the referee something naughty, but I doubt he used the word gravity. Then the referee, by now needing regular breathers, booked our no. 6 (who was probably our best out-field player) for persistent foul play.
Full Time - Guiseley 6 County 1
6 ales, 2 real fires & a friendly barmaid helping out with the crossword.
The place is busy - for 4pm on a Wednesday. This is the life. The ale is also excellent & plentiful (6 hand pulls).
I found it very hard to leave, but there’s “work” to be done, so it’s off back into the cold. I’m such a little soldier. I leave my Stockport Express in the paper-rack on my way out. All puzzles have been completed.
Coopers was formally an old co-operative store & the restoration / conversion has been nicely done, with many of the original features having been retained. 8 hand pulls serve a wide range of interesting ales, many from local microbreweries.
My plan is rescheduled, following information provided by the helpful bar staff as to the times of later trains. I order some food. No need to fill in a form - how unusual.
Suffice to say that the ale & food are all fantastic. I manage to mess up several of the puzzles in the complementary copy of the Times. I doubt the outcome would have been any different had I consumed less ale.
There are plenty of people waiting on the platform when I arrive (7.15pm). But why? There is a well lit waiting room, complete with food & drinks machines. It’s freezing cold.
The waiting room is locked! Lights on. Food machine. Drinks machine. Seats. Locked.
We are all outside in the cold. Young, old, babies, disabled. All locked out.
Genius! What a great way to encourage people to use public transport.
Anyway, the train comes & I make it home without incident.
I discover that Guiseley beat Stalybridge. I’m secretly hoping they don’t get promoted, as Guiseley is a great day out. Just the Ings Hotel & Coopers alone make the trip well worth while.
So that’s it until North Ferriby, which will be my final report of the season.
By the way, if you’d like to follow my travels, or perhaps even plan your own, please use the excellent CAMRA website www.whatpub.com
Man in a Hat.
Man in a Hat.