Handsworth FC 0-2 Grantham Town 22.8.20
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
Journey - 9 First of all we must say we've watched Handsworth a few times before but this is the first time we've watched them at their proper 'home' of Oliver's Mount. Think of it as Handsworth doing the opposite of West Ham and you'll get the idea! Journey was always going to score well when we didn't have to go as far as Worksop to watch this one! Travelling by car we headed out of the city via the parkway until we reached the junction for the Handsworth Asda, come off at that junction, take a left and follow the road until you get to Oliver's Mount which is off the main road. The amount of car parking is brilliant and accommodates for many spectators. When we arrived it was great to say that Handsworth were finally home!
Welcome - 10
A perfect score for this! We were greeted by a chap with what I call the 'temperature gun' at the steps of the car park. He was a friendly bloke who was more than happy to explain the Covid procedures to us and direct us where the toilets and the pitch were. From here we were also able to log in our attendance through a QR code which made the track and trace procedures seamless, something that is really helpful in order to avoid queues of fans trying to get into the ground. Especially since this was the first game back since lockdown in which fans were allowed to attend.
Ground 7 -
Great for the Amber's to be playing back in Handsworth and the set up is coming along nicely. As you enter from the car park, the pitch is towards your right and the clubhouse/toilets/cafe are to your left. These facilities (other than the toilets) were not available for use during this game which is understandable as the club will need a little time to work out Covid procedures for these areas. (Note: These facilities are now open, I found this out from Handsworth's always informative social media.)
The pitch itself is artificial which is great as it means that during the inevitable winter postponements Handsworth will not suffer the backlog of fixtures that other clubs may have to deal with. The pitch is surrounded by a green fence and as we know (After our trip to Worsbrough) you do score extra points for having an optimum rail height to lean against and we can confirm the height is spot on! (It's the little things that mean the most you know!)
There is one main stand and another that is now out of use (See pictures) I'm a big fan of this particular stand and am all for it staying as I always think these little stands add a bit of character to the place. Behind one goal there is currently work underway and this looks to be the construction of changing rooms which will mean the players won't have to walk past the car park every half time and full time in the future.
The overriding feel I got from this ground was that is really is a place that will be serving it community, the amount of varying size goals that surround the pitch and clever positioning of gates means that these can be wheeled on and off as needed and therefore this new surface will serve football teams of all ages. Top stuff!
Clubhouse - N/A
Beer - N/A Neither of the above can be awarded a score as the facilities were not open at this time. It does give us a good reason to head back though!
Match Quality - 8
With the new pitch installed it always makes for a proper game of football rather than hoofball over a bobbly pitch. Both teams tried to make the most of space and it was a very even battle for the most part. A slight mistake led to the first Grantham goal but throughout the whole 90 minutes it was never clearly apparent that these teams played in different divisions. Number 10 for Handsworth definitely stood out to me for the amount of aerial duels he won, despite being far from the tallest player on the pitch, was exceptional. During the second drinks break the Grantham team switched shirts and for the moment I thought they'd put a second set of lads out to play the final twenty minutes. This wasn't the case so I didn't get understand this change unless they were showing off a brand new shiny kit?
After the game we also noticed that the game was live tweeted by the Handsworth twitter account and over the summer we have noticed Handsworth making a real effort with their social media and Ambers TV presence and to that we say well done guys! We look forward to seeing what content your bringing out in the future!
Admission - 10
MORE FREE FOOTBALL! A perfect score of 10 on this criteria because it was free! Like I've said before I don't think there would be any objection if Handsworth chose to charge fans for attending friendly games especially since it had been so long since fans were allowed but their generosity towards the fans should be applauded. On entry there was a donation bucket and we were more than happy to make a donation and let the volunteers know that their efforts are very much appreciated. I''m hopeful that Handsworth made themselves a little bit of coin considering there was a solid attendance and we really enjoyed it here. We will definitely be coming back during the season when everything at Oliver's Mount is fully up and running and are more than happy to provide a bonus matchday experience review when that is the case!
See you soon Handsworth and UP THE AMBERS!