Rothwell Corinthians FC
Ground Number: 656
Monday 26th December 2016
Rothwell Corinthians 1-1 Desborough Town
United Counties Premier
ROTHWELL CORINTHIANS - BRIEF HISTORY
ROTHWELL CORINTHIANS were formed in 1934, starting out as a junior church side. They played in the Kettering Amateur League and East Midland Alliance before a period of sustained success saw them make the step up to the United Counties League in 1995. An excellent first season saw them finish 4th but it wasn't until 2007/08 that they gained promotion to the Premier Division after finishing in 3rd place behind Daventry Town and Peterborough Northern Star. They struggled at their new level and after finishing bottom of the table for three successive seasons, they were relegated back to Division 1 at the end of the 2010/11 season. It took them time to re-adjust with another 3 disappointing finishes but 2014/15 saw them as runners up to Northampton Spencer, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. Last season saw a club record finish of 14th, and they've continued to improve, sitting 11th at the start of today's game.
After seeing my first ever game on Christmas Eve at Stokenchurch, I skipped the chance of a revisit to Newport Pagnell on Christmas Day for a charity game. Instead I spent Christmas at home as per usual, having a few drinks, though not as many as most years. Everyone will claim their Mum's cooking is the best, and I'm no different as the old girl cooked an absolutely cracking Christmas dinner! In the evening, we played a few games when my brother came round and all in all it was as good a day as you could have without football. It meant that I woke feeling nice and fresh on the day of the game, ready to go for the first leg of a double that had only been decided a few days prior. After waking at 7, I watched last night Coronation Street before having a wash and getting dressed I left at 9.15. I wasn't due to meet Chris until 10.30, but the roads were empty and instead of the usual adding time on, I actually chipped some off. The same could be said for our journey over to Northamptonshire, so much so that we popped over for a look at Desborough Town's ground. Though it was all locked up, it looked a corker and is one that I am keen to go back to for a game.
We still got to Rothwell by 11, and after finding parking extremely limited at the ground we drove round the corner to a side street to park up. We walked back to the ground, paying a fiver to get in. I have to say I was impressed by the ground, it had plenty of things to take photos of, and it was all in all nice to look at. I was also impressed with the programme that was included with entry, there were plenty of stats and a fair bit to read in a well-presented package. As it was chilly, we went and sat in the bar and had a Bovril whilst we flicked through the programme. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Wycombe pennant in the clubhouse. I was even more pleased when a man spotted me in my Wycombe coat and said he too was a Wycombe fan who left in Rothwell. I'd not seen him at our games before, but it turned out he was a season ticket holder of 40 years. Around 15 minutes before kick-off, Chris & I made our way out and stood in the stand on the warmer side of the ground.
The game started at a laborious pace but visitors Desborough Town looked the most likely to score. There was no shortage of effort in the game and when Mapeo Mendez let his frustrations boil over and boot the ball at the stand imn protest at the referee's decision, he was given a booking for his trouble. The next incident of note was a home player dislocating his shoulder and the linesman asking the crowd was there a qualified doctor in the crowd. No one could be found, but thankfully the shoulder was 'popped back in' and the game continued. The game only came to life in a frantic last 10 minutes. Desborough looked like they'd gained a winner on 83 minutes when the ball was headed home from a corner. This lead to the hosts throwing everything forward and in his desperation to preserve the lead a visiting player produced a flying save to palm the ball away. Sadly for him, he was not the keeper and got his marching orders. The resulting penalty was put away very confidently by Djedje Gomes to level things up on 87 minutes and both sides had a go at trying to find a winner after this. It was just a shame that the same intensity was not shown in the first 80 minutes of the game.
SERGEANTS LAWN is a strange name for a ground and gives the impression that it is being played in a policeman's back garden. As well as the quirky name, the ground has plenty of nice touches, starting right at the entrance where an attractive sign and fixture board welcome you to the ground. A small path leads you round to the entrance. The ground is three-sided as one end is too small to have spectators in it. The remaining three sides are mainly open, with small stands on each side providing enough cover for around 400 supporters. Both are unique looking and a pleasant change to the boring metal stands you see at so many grounds nowadays.
There are fairly limited facilities at the ground, with a small bar which also does hot and cold drinks and food limited to sausage rolls. The real bonus here is the array of football related stuff on the walls, from clubs all over the country and further afield. Should you require more choice, the pleasant town of Rothwell is walkable and there is a decent choice there. When I stayed in the town last year, the Rowell Charter Inn was excellent, with 2 real ciders and several real ales available.