As the 2018-19 football season gets into full swing, we go behind the scenes of the #BuildbaseFATrophy and #BuildbaseFAVase clubs with non-league football champion and talkSPORT and Sky TV presenter Tony Incenzo.
Selston 3 Belper United 3
Where: The Parish Ground, Mansfield Road, Selston, Nottingham NG16 6EE
Kick-off: 7.45pm Wednesday 17th October 2018
East Midlands Counties Football League
Overview: Selston have been hitting great form at the top of the East Midlands Counties League (EMCL) this season so I decided to make the 230-mile round trip to see them play. There were major delays due to roadworks on the M1 south of Northampton and south of Nottingham on my way to the game and both these stretches of motorway were closed on the way home with diversions in place. So it was quite a challenging journey to say the least! Selston is a village with a population of 12,500 just a couple of miles from the Mansfield junction on the M1. The EMCL covers Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and sits at Step 6 of the national Non-League Pyramid. So, clubs would need to win promotion six times to reach the Football League.
History: Selston were founded in 1968 and played in local leagues to begin with. They dropped out of senior football for a while before re-forming a men’s team in 2006. They have progressed rapidly since then with promotion from the Central Midland League to the EMCL for the 2017/18 season.
Ground description: Next to the parish hall, it is a two-sided ground due to cricket. For football spectators, there is a neat seated grandstand with covered terracing alongside it. The cosy clubhouse is unique because it has “SFC” inscribed on the roof’s brickwork. Floodlights were installed by Abacus Lighting at the Parish Ground in November 2017 thanks to a £36,431 grant through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund – the sister organisation of the Football Foundation. For safety purposes, two of the floodlight masts can be completely removed at ground level for the duration of the cricket season in order to avoid fielders colliding with the masts.
Programme details: Sixteen pages, price £1. A colourful cover with an action photo. Inside are manager notes, details of the opposition, Selston FC history, a player Q&A interview, fixtures, results, stats and match reports.
The match: I saw Belper United lose heavily 6-0 at Newark Flowserve last month so I was confidently expecting an easy win for title-chasing Selston. However, it turned out to be a very exciting ding-dong 3-3 draw. Sam Vickers gave Belper United the lead, before Selston fought back with goals by Carl Moore & Kenan Layton. Ben Rushby equalised for 2-2, Ben Moore made it 3-2 to Selston but James Rushby had the final say with a dramatic third goal for Belper on 83 minutes.
The people: When I arrived at the ground at 5pm, the groundsman was in action giving the pitch a final trim with the lawn mower. The club’s hardworking band of volunteers afforded everyone a friendly welcome and their Twitter account was kept bang up to date during the match.
Tony Incenzo is a reporter for talkSPORT Radio and Sky TV. You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo
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