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Sunday 27th November 2016 ko 10.30

Long Eaton Sunday League Premier Division

ATTENBOROUGH CAV’S 4 (Brady 22 Beaton 41 Ford 66 73)

LONG EATON T.N.I. 2 (17, 86p)

Att 15 at Beeston Fields Recreation Ground

Entry FREE

I completely understand why some groundhoppers won’t watch Sunday League football, it is a slightly different animal to the normal Saturday league action. The pace of life is more relaxed, you’re unlikely to see a stand or even a rail, and the variance of players’ talent is often huge across a team. But once you accept that there’s so much to enjoy.

Every so often I like to desconstruct football back to the absolute basics. You can watch a Premier League game at somewhere like West Ham or Arsenal but if you’re not careful you can lose track of what’s essential. Do you really need seats, a stand, a programme or a bloke waving a flag if Arsenal score? Of course you don’t, the fundamental truth is the game is still 22 players kicking a football no matter what the surroundings.

And this game in suburban Nottingham was a case in point. I loved the defender given the Hobson’s choice of a torn shirt or one with the “3” on upside-down, or the goalkeeper warming up with his vaping machine. Perhaps stripping down the fripperies makes you enjoy the details more?

Cav’s are top of the table and despite an early scare won and won well. Long Eaton (the suffix stands for The New Inn) fought well but were well beaten in the end.  Hangovers were blasted away on a cold Sunday morning, dogs were walked, and leaves rustled as stray shots disturbed autumnal colours. All too soon it was all over, the nets were rather grudgingly removed and within ten minutes the park was deserted. I smiled and made for the car park.