NASH AMBLERS 3 (Taylor 2, Brereton) N.W. ENGLAND (W.F.A.) 3 (Hind, Cowton, McNally)
First 15 mins. video <view>
Remainder of first half <watch>
Second half starts <click>
Wednesday 12th. June…A splendid occasion at the Nash this morning as we entertained the best of the regions ‘walking footballers’ in the form of the W.F.A.’s select Over 60 representatives from as far away as Carlisle. Some of whom were former semi-professional players, and by their very nature, all were confident enough in their own ability to strive for representative honours.
Looking good all in royal Curzon Blue versus the visitors, sporting numbered yellow bibs courtesy of Denton Walking Football Group.
The Ambler’s squad consisted of two fifty somethings by mutual agreement, and one Mark Bradshaw on the cusp of fifty himself to bolster a group consisting of two septuagenarians and several in their mid to late sixties. Our squads and teams always vary according to the occasion. Average age of our team today was 62 years. the Amblers more than held their own in the early exchanges but eventually went behind midway through the first half. The game was fast. The running offences piled up, particularly for the N.W. team with one player in particular struggling to play a walking game.
If this game had been played to our internal rules we’d have had two penalty kicks in the first few minutes! And at Heywood’s G.M.W.F.L for instance players would have seen blue.
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Understandably in a game such as this the Referee Garry Pearce was keen to invoke a rather more lenient regime. Ultra-mobile Pearce was kept on his toes throughout by the pace of the game and the intensity of it all.
Amblers came close, none closer than Mark Bradshaw who smashed a ground hugging rocket shot goalward, well saved by the keeper Ken Hitchell. Just before half time the Amblers were unfortunate to go two behind after a defensive lapse saw ‘keeper David Partington exposed.
All nine of the Amblers squad saw action with game management from John Smith and Bradshaw.
In the second half the Blues pulled a goal back through Woz Taylor who put in such a committed performance today.
Passing skills were displayed by both sides and it became clear that none of the Amblers looked out of place on this pitch amongst men with international aspirations, however, it was noticeable that our younger legs were crucial in keeping us in the game. For the N.W. Gareth Parry in particular caught the eye.
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N.W. went further ahead with a fine goal but still the Amblers would not lie down. Another Taylor effort reduced the arrears. The same man was injured soon afterwards as the contact count rose, just a little. The game was played in a good spirit but obviously both teams were keen to win this one. As time ticked away and the Amblers defence coped comfortably with all that the visitors could throw at them Trevor Brereton hit a well deserved equaliser to level things up.
Any other result would have been a travesty to be fair.
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Mark Davis the N.W. England manager conceded that we had given his team a stern test, and that was the object of the exercise. For a team of players representing the ‘WALKING FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION’ potentially at international level they need to pay some attention to all of the running on and off the ball. I’m sure he will address this issue. Not all were guilty, of course.
Both sets of players enjoyed a post match buffet and beverage, where the affable nature of the day continued.
Thanks to all the individuals who contributed food. Myself for the abundant, though average sausage rolls, John Smith for sandwiches and more, Dave & Elaine Partington and their superior ‘Mellors’ Muffins and last but not least Gordon and Janet Nixon for the superb home made Cheese and Onion pie which flew out of those trays.
Our guests and ourselves were appreciative….
Special thanks to Garry Pearce for donating his £20 match fee to the Amblers funds – how lucky we are to have Garry as a cornerstone of our group and he reaffirmed his commitment to the Nash and Denton Walking Football Groups as he left the ground.
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Thanks to Mark Bradshaw and the club for hosting and I’m even giving myself a pat on the back for having the idea in the first place, and seeing it through once again.
Video links will emerge over the course of the next few days. And we’ll get the perspective of one of the Ambler’s players, Trevor Brereton too. <here>
- note: names below not in photo order…
AMBLERS: PARTINGTON / TIPPING /FOSTER/NIXON/FIELDING C/ BRADSHAW/ SMITH J/ BRERETON/TAYLOR
N.W. ENGLAND: HITCHELL / PARRY /REDSHAW /SANDER /CAPPER /COWTON /MCNALLY/ HIND/ WALKER.
The squad of nine for the friendly match with the W.F.A.’s North West England Over 60’s squad on June 12th. was selected this morning, following a discussion between yours truly Alan Richards, Mark Bradshaw and John Smith.
We had twelve names from which to choose a group which will offer a test for good opponents. Chosen from teams around the region, they have been honing their collective skills in a series of training sessions. As far as I am aware though this will present them with their first challenge against established opposition in a match of such long duration.
Selection wasn’t an easy process. We also had to take account of the average age of our squad. W.F.A. man Mark Davis had shown some flexibility with regard to the ages of our players. He agreed to our request for Mark Bradshaw to play just a couple of months short of his 50th. birthday.
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I’m pleased to say that with some careful selection our average age on the day will be 62 years and three months. We had a list twelve ‘volunteers’ for the game and reducing this list to the required number has inevitably led to some disappointment. Such an over subscribed game means that’s unavoidable.
If you’re in the squad for the game and can no longer make the time and date PLEASE let us know immediately.
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David Partington Goalkeeper – Colin Fielding – Gordon Nixon – Stephen Foster
Danny Tipping – Woz Taylor – Trevor Brereton – Mark Bradshaw – John Smith
The game will be thirty minutes each way, kicking off at 11-00am on the 12th. June
Garry Pearce will Referee. Amblers will play in Blue. The match will be filmed.
There is a charge of £5 per player. Either Mark or John – perhaps both, will decide on the starting line up and will control substitutions.
England Over 60’s trialists will provide stiff – but ‘friendly’ – opposition for the Amblers to test our unbeaten record which stretches back about two and a half years in friendly matches.
More details soon.