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Wednesday 7th October 2015 ko 19.45

Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup 2nd Round

SHELLEY FC 0

SHAW LANE AQUAFORCE 4 (Priestley 43 66 83 Thornton 55)

Att 78

Entry & Programme £3

Coffee £1.20

It has to be said Storthes Hall in Kirkburton is an unusual place to watch a game. The manor house used to be mental hospital with a quite dreadful reputation, and lay derelict until bought and converted into student accommodation by the University of Huddersfield. It’s the kind of place where if you’re the kind of patron who likes to get to the ground 10 seconds before kickoff you shouldn’t try it here!

For a start there’s the barrier at the entrance to negotiate although that’s automatic. Shelley’s ground is well signposted, but it is right at the back of the complex, and the route is not well lit. But you see a set of floodlights and ever the groundhopping moth you aim for them, and find its a floodlit 3G pitch, so on the basis that the soul’s joy lies in doing, you keep going and eventually the trees thin out, and there was a young lad with a box of programmes.

It was well worth the effort, the club took the derelict ground on back in 2011 moving around 3 miles west and backed by chairman Stuart Leslie, part of the family that owns the Galpharm pharmaceutical group the transformation is quite remarkable. With a minimum of additional effort the club have a Northern Counties East League ground in waiting. In fact the only surprise was is the club is struggling on the field, they’re currently second-from-bottom of the West Yorkshire League Premier Division.

The Northern Counties East of course is the league Shaw Lane have been promoted from so my interest in the team sheet was more than just academic, my logic being that if the Barnsley-based outfit named anything like a full-strength team they’d put the amateur hosts to the sword. They did name a full-strength team, but Shelley fought with everything and Shaw Lane were profligate in front of goal for the first half.

Eventually it clicked, even if Adam Priestley’s first goal was from the rebound of his own missed penalty, and in the end the scoreline reflected Shaw Lane’s dominance. I’d expected the scoreline, but I hadn’t expected the quality of the ground, so it was with no little regret that I headed back to the car. After all, nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon…

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