Friday 30th June 2017
Boldmere St Michaels 3 [Jack Skinner (31), Mark Danks (55, 64)]
Hednesford Town 2 [Danny Glover (34), Luke Rodgers (77)]
At: The Trevor Brown Memorial Ground, Church Road, Boldmere B73 5RY
Admission: £3; no programme
The last game of the 2016/17 season or the first one of 2017/18?
Yes, for both questions I think, as my season typically runs from 1st July to 30th June the following year. I’ve not been to a pre-season friendly in June before to have such a dilemma and on this date 23 years ago in Dallas I saw Argentina v Bulgaria at the Cotton Bowl.
Since my last visit in July 2015, the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground has undergone a major transformation. The sloping grass pitch has been replaced by a level 3G surface and the stand, now named in honour of Harry Peakman, extended.
Considering this was the first pre-season outing for both sides, Boldmere St Michaels and Hednesford served up an entertaining encounter. The home side, 12th last season in the Midland League Premier Division, took the lead just after the half-hour through Jack Skinner. Hednesford levelled things up three minutes later when Danny Glover got on the end of a Lewis Wright cross to head home the equaliser.
Former Stafford Rangers striker Mark Danks, who also played for Hednesford, turned the friendly in favour of Boldmere with second-half goals in the 55th and 64th minutes. Luke Rodgers pulled one back for the Pitmen in the 76 minute but it was merely a consolation goal for the Evo-Stik League Premier Division visitors.
While Chester Road and Wylde Green stations [on the Birmingham to Lichfield line via Sutton Coldfield] are both around 0.6 miles from the ground, I alighted at Erdington to visit a couple of Cask Marque pubs – Wetherspoon’s Charlie Hall on Barnabas Street followed by the Yenton on Sutton Road, in the vicinity of Chester Road station.
Good friend and Football Traveller subscriber Mike Greaves and a hopper from Mansfield provided excellent company, and Mike and I ‘put the world to rights on the near 30-minute wait at Chester Road station and on the train back to New Street’.
Boldmere in white, Hednesford in grey
Danny Glover heads home Hednesford’s first-half equaliser
Mark Danks scores his second goal to give Boldmere a 3-1 lead