Posted by sean on December 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm in Bath City with 1 Comment

Kettering Town 1-1 Bath City
Conference National
Saturday 17th December 2011 – 15:00 

Picture the scene. You are a happily married man. You have a beautiful wife, three children, a nice semi-detached house and two pet gerbils. Life is good. That is until a new couple move in next door; Mr. Rushden and Miss. Diamond. Mr. Rushden recently won a lot of money on a lottery scratch card, which allowed him and Miss. Diamond to buy the house next to you. Your new neighbours make the life of you and your family a nightmare, having all-night parties, driving scooters along the street and allowing their pet bull terriers to foul in your garden. You hate them.

Then one day you see a removal van outside their house. Your neighbours from hell are leaving, having blown all their lottery money on yachts, plasma TVs and mopeds. You reach for the champagne to celebrate with your wife. While drunk on bubbly, the phone rings. It’s your boss. He’s put his company into liquidation and made you redundant with immediate effect. Unable to maintain your mortgage, you are forced to move out of your family home and seek council-accommodation. The council find you a new place to live, but in a cruel twist of fate, offer you a house next door to yours – the former home of Mr. Rushden and his chav partner, Miss. Diamond.

You, your beautiful wife, three children and two pet gerbils move into the home of your former enemy. A photo of the couple on-board their yacht is hung from the wall. Dog hairs cover the furniture and the smell of stale cigarette smoke from Miss. Diamond’s 60-a-day habit lingers in the air. You have a house, but you’re in someone else’s home.

That long story was basically written to illustrate how Kettering Town (the family man) left their Rockingham Road home, only to move into Nene Park, the home of their former rivals, Rushden and Diamonds, who went bust at the end of the season. Make sense? Probably not. Did I mention Kettering Town are financially screwed themselves?

You can put your name all over it…

… it’ll still be your rival’s ground

Bath City played at Nene Park last season – when it was home of Rushden and Diamonds. I missed that particular fixture – probably a good thing considering City got stuffed 5-1. I was however keen to visit the stadium (No. 84 in my football grounds list).

Miss. Diamond made a surprise appearance at her former home

We arrived at a very deserted and lonely ground. With the ground based in Irthlingborough, some 10 miles away from Kettering, even the home fans have to take a coach to their games.

Grammar police: “KTFC are shit”

Watch out for local pick pockets Fagin and the Artful Dodger… The Grammar Police have already been called to address the “YOUR” on the CCTV sign

The club house was like a fancy night club. I was disappointed at the absence of pianos and dodgy TV stations like I found at Longwell Green Sports last week. There was also various strange (and in my opinion, rubbish) pieces of modern art hung from the wall. I preferred Longwell Green’s signed and framed Shepton Mallet matchday programme.

Photos of Miss. Diamond were still left on the wall

The choice of drinks was crap. Kronenberg, Fosters, John Smiths and Strongbow. No cider to speak of whatsoever. Stronbow does not count. If I was a furniture delivery man and had taken a sofa to the top of a block of flats, I wouldn’t be dreaming of a pint of Strongbow. A bottle of Sheppy’s Farmhouse Cider would be on my mind, but most likely a defibrillator.

Crap drinks. I think I’ll go for a J20…

…. oh go on then. A pint of rat’s piss please

Earlier in the week, Kettering striker and football journeyman, Leon McKenzie announced that Saturday would be his final game of his football career. He was hanging up his boots and picking up the mic to become a music artist (yes, you’ve read it right). If you’re interested in listening to McKenzie’s music talent, get your ears around this. Personally, I preferred Kaid Mohamed’s rapping last season.

Due to Kettering’s well-documented financial difficulties, including a player exodus, it was unclear as to what kind of team they would actually be put out. Some bookmakers jumped on the bandwagon, offering odds of up to 6/1 for a Kettering victory. Needless to say, lots of Kettering and even Bath City fans put their life savings, mortgage and even grandmother on a home victory. If Bath City were to win or draw, Ray Winstone would have a very happy Christmas indeed.

Dale Roberts. Rushden & Diamonds goalkeeper who tragically died last year. RIP.

Despite all the rumours of the team to face Bath City including the chairman’s 8-year old nephew, the tea lady and Michael Ricketts, Kettering did manage to put together a team of some credibility. They started well, while Bath City slipped around on the Nene Park pitch, like Bambi on ice. After swapping their football boots for ice skates, City began to play football, dominating the game, yet wasting chance after chance. Very frustrating.

It was freezing at Kettering, sorry Irthlingborough. I was cold last week at Longwell Green Sports. But the low temperatures of Northamptonshire made Longwell Green feel like Benidorm. At half time I went for a coffee. £1.60. An entire pound more than they charge at Twerton Park. I was expecting something good for that price. Sadly I was let down and ripped off…

No Halloween mug this time

Early into the second half, Bath City scored. Scott Murray, who had still been moaning all week on Twitter, lobbed the goalkeeper who had walked about a mile off his line. Yay! We were winning! Let’s go nuts etc etc….

Bath City are bottom of the league and are there for a reason. Therefore, despite playing possibly the worst team I have seen all season, I refrained from breaking into a rendition of Jingle Bells (“Oh what fun it is to see City win away”).

Colder than it looks

I was nervous. The fans around me shared my anxiety. It appeared the players did too, as they sat back and stopped playing the attractive and attacking football they had entertained us all with earlier on in the game. I would love for once to kill a team off. Kettering were there for the taking. Why didn’t we do it?

Then the inevitable happened. In the 84th minute, Kettering scored. Ollie Jones shooting past City goalkeeper, Jason Matthews. The ecstatic bloke on the tannoy announced that it was Jones’ first ever goal for the club. Of course it was. Typical. Kettering could have won the game minutes later, forcing an excellent save from Matthews.

A draw kept City bottom of the league and saw bookmaker Ray Winstone take home someone’s granny.

Frustrated, disappointed and upset I left Nene Park and headed for the coach. The draw felt like defeat. Kettering celebrated like they had won the World Cup. This season is rubbish. Happy Christmas.

It could have been worse. I could have paid £19 to watch it.

One Response to Ground Squatting

  1. Rich

    December 18, 2011 - 9:02 pm

    Useless coincidence of the weekend: I was in Irthlingborough yesterday, not for the footy though.

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