A journey on the upper deck of the No. 33 bus from Leeds city centre and I got off with a bunch of local fans opposite The Full Monty sandwich shop- naked bacon and skinless sausage sandwiches, and a couple of minutes walk to Nethermoor Park, home of Guiseley AFC for the visit of Altrincham FC from across The Pennines.www.guiseleyafc.co.uk
The Lions are 2nd in the Blue Square Bet league Northern Division, just behind Hyde FC and looking for promotion from the 6th tier of the English league pyramid. Alty, the Robins, lost at home 3-1 to Hyde last Saturday and arrived with about 75 enthusiastic fans. www.altrinchamfc.co.uk
It was a marvelous match. Entertaining from beginning to end with enthusiasm, skill, excitement, teamwork and an appreciative crowd. In fact, a far cry from the rubbish seen this season down at nearby Elland Road where Leeds United are falling apart, and were to lose 0-2 this afternoon. The Lions have a neat ground next to the main road and 200 yds from Guiseley train station, and 10 minutes drive from LBA-Leeds Bradford Airport. It is also the home to Guiseley Juniors FC, a breeder of champions, and share the busy club house bar with Guiseley Cricket Club whose ground next door.
The bar was packed before, at half time and after the match, while across the pitch there was a winding long line for the great tasting PUKKA pies, with or without gravy, mushy peas and more. WHAT A PLACE !
The two teams had tied 2-2 at Moss Lane earlier in the season and once again the Robins suprised the locals by taking the lead and then adding to it in the first half. Nicky Clee opened the scoring in the 13th minute and just before the half time whistle Damian Reeves made it 2-0 with his 42nd goal of the season. As the second half kicked off Alty players scored two more goals-unfortunately they were own goals in the 50th and 52nd minute from Simon Ainge and James Walshaw.2-2.
The visitors almost took all three points as they battled back, but disaster struck three minutes into added time when ex Robin, Chris Senior found himself alone in front of former team mate Stuart Coburn's goal and scored the winner for the Lions, who are now only 2 points behind leaders Hyde F.C.
In the last 12 months I have been to about 100 matches from Munich to Manchester, Rio to Warsaw, London to Glasgow, Milan to Oslo... BUT this was as good as it gets... and both clubs are part time professional, but full time entertainers.