Stoney Middleton 4
An astonishing day in the Hope Valley that will live long in the memory for a variety of reasons
The journey over to Edale was a nightmare in every respect. We endured substancial delays at every moment. Getting held up behind a Bride in a vintage car just west of Barnsley , then temporary roadworks hold up at Silkstone , Penistone and Millhouse Green. Then getting stuck behind a horse box , then large lorry on the Woodhead Pass. Missed the turning for Glossop , Then enduring delays behind a learner driver through Glossop. Then at Hayfield near Kinder Scout getting caught up with Mountain Rescue , blue lights flashing every where.
Upon finally arriving in Edale we could not find the football pitch and in the end ran out of petrol. Thankfully a kind resident of the village went home to grab a can of petrol they had saved for such emergencies. The nearest garage was five miles away in Hope. God bless those lovely people !
Edale FC play in the Village playing fields adjacent to a play park. Players change in the portacabin.The ground has no furniture of sorts but has spectacular views to Kinder Scout which more than make up for the lack of facilities. The pitch was long and bumpy all over. The touchlines were hardly white and were more like deep grooves.
The match itself was non stop entertainment including some fantastic goals including a 25 yard screamer in to the top corner, an up-and-under from level with the corner flag. A 20 yard free kick curler into the top corner , a clever chip over the goalie , and plenty more.
Stoney Middleton actually went 2-1 up midway through the first half and looked in control and had plenty of chances to go further ahead. But Edale equalised before half time. HT 2-2.
After a four minute break off they went again and suddenly Edale went beserk scoring 4 goals in no time to make it 6-2. Stoney grabbed one back to make it 6-3 , but then Edale scored 2 more quick goals to make it 8-3 and there were still 15 minutes left to play.
Then a Stoney player was at least ten yards offside …. yes I did say ten yards ! and the ref played on for them to score and make it 8-4.
Moment later the ref blew the final whistle to end a most breathtaking afternoons entertainment. For the many near misses , excellent saves this game could of ended 11-8 very easily. The Stoney Middleton players were still shaking their heads as they returned to the changing rooms whilst the Edale players were taking the nets down. Then quite bizarrely within minutes the whole place was empty as if nothing had happened …
The journey back to base was thankfully a straight forward one and we could even see the early leavers at Hillsborough. But not before stopping off in Hope Village for some home made Bakewell Tart.
The more I visit the Hope Valley League the more I enjoy it and the more I want to visit. You are assured of goals , players who try their best for the love of the game and some stunning scenery so whats not to like ?