How do you pick between Osset Albion and Osset Town? Both are small teams near Wakefield in Yorkshire. They both play at the same level of football. What? Osset Albion has a fantastic pub two minutes from the ground and Osset Town is next to a bus station. Ladies and Gentleman, we have ourselves a winner!
Osset Albion was of course my choice for Non League Day. An excellent opportunity to support a local Yorkshire team, tick another ground off the list and meet some friends for a beer. Oh and there may be some football too.
Recently moving to Sheffield has meant the transport situation isn’t as easy as last season. Luckily my good friend Matthew McKeith, editor of Right in the Gary Kellys still had my Dictaphone and arrangements were made to meet him at Wakefield train station and he’d take me down to Osset.
I did actually need the Dictaphone because on Friday while making arrangements for drinking some beer I got chatting to Osset Albion winger Doran Jordan and after declining a pre-match beer he did agree to a post-match interview.
Matthew and I arrived at “The Tap” a highly recommended pub, part of the local Osset Brewery and quickly found John Dobson sat alone at a table. “Where’s Dave?” “He’s making his own way?” Dave was of course David Hartrick from In Bed With Maradona and all round top man. The beers and the chat began to flow. I started with a Becks Vier but quickly got into the lovely Veltins that they had on tap.
After a quick check on twitter it seemed that fellow blogger Nick or @BeatTheFirstMan was also in the pub. What followed was some strange tweets about location and colour of t-shirts, all that was missing was the pink carnation or a rose between my teeth. The threesome became a foursome and there was plenty of geeky football talk to be had.
Dave still hadn’t arrived when he headed towards the ground, only fifteen minutes to kick-off as we sauntered down past the residential houses. Screaming round the corner came Dave in his white fiesta baby mobile (Loads of excuses, including prams etc were offered up by Dave, he lost us at pram).Now I’ve seen plenty of cricket grounds next to football stadiums but I’ve not seen many that have the cricket scoreboard integrated as part of a football stand, a great use of space management.
A decent £7 to get in, no one grudges that price for an FA Cup tie on Non League Day. We got ourselves in place just in time to see the teams come out. Osset Albion in their fetching Orange and Black kits and Witton Albion in their Sheffield United-esque red and white stripes. To this moment I still don’t actually know where Witton is…hold on…Ah ok so it’s between Manchester and Chester, that explains the half scouse half manc accent.
It was a balanced start from both sides, each team looking to put a foothold into this FA Cup tie. With a great attendance of 215 crammed into the WareHouse Systems Stadium (formerly Queen’s Terrace) there was a great atmosphere around the ground. Witton must have brought about 70/80 away fans and they made up most of the vocal support.
Slowly the away team took control and Osset’s chances were hindered when they lost top striker Richard Treacy to a hamstring injury. Their defence looked shaky and it was no surprise when the Osset’s offside trap was breached, Jon Hancock had only the keeper to beat when he unselfishly squared the ball to Liam Newman to find the empty net. Witton made it 2-0 before half time and the chances of a comeback looked slim.
Half time brings about that special moment when you get to try the local cuisine. Steak pie, chips and gravy was on the menu. “No Steak left, only pork!” Disappointment soon turned to delight as I tucked into the delicious pie, made from a local Osset farm apparently. It was superb, the gravy and chips just added to experience.
Out came the teams for the second half and from the Osset Albion players body language you could tell they had already lost. At 2-0 down the game is never over but the fight was gone. The Witton players sensed this and went for the kill. Four goals followed and Osset’s frustration grew, a few nasty tackles started to fly in and Osset were lucky to keep all 11 players on the pitch.
They may have avoided a few red cards but they did suffer a second injury. Early in the second half Doran Jordan went down near the corner flag, as we were far away from the action, doing a walk around the ground we didn’t see what happened. Doran had to be stretchered off the field.
As if to add insult to injury the referee added four minutes time while Osset were 6-0 down. No one would have minded if the game had ended on 90 minutes. Eventually the whistle went and we made our way round to the changing rooms. My interview with Doran was planned for after the match but it turned out he had fractured his cheekbone and had left to go to the hospital.
My first post-match interview postponed due to a bad injury. I hope I’m not a jinx!
Now showing what a top guy Doran is, when I contacted him later on in the evening and he was gracious enough to answer my questions. So to finish off this chapter of Yorkshire Football Weekends here is Osset Albion winger Doran Jordan.
Unlucky with the result today. Beaten by Witton Albion. What do you think went wrong?
– I don’t think we did much wrong, that sounds ridiculous because we lost so heavily, but alot of credit is due to the way Witton played today, we tried to make it hard for them but in the end I think their class shone through and I’m sure they will be up there this season.
You were in the reserves last year and you’ve broken through this season. How do you think the season has gone so far?
I broke through at the end of last season and was delighted to get my chance to prove myself at this level of football. It does take a while to adapt to the speed and standards of the game and I think we’ve got alot of players who are still adapting to it. All we can do is keep working hard and earn the right to get something against these teams and hope for that bit of luck aswel.
Today was Non League Day around the country. What does it mean to the players to see fans getting behind their local team?
– Its always good to see a good attendance at a game your playing in and when the crowds are growing like they are here at Ossett it shows we’re doing something right. The fans here are brilliant as they showed today, even when we were 6-0 down they were still getting behind us and it doesn’t go unnoticed from the players on the pitch.
The attendance today was 215 is that good for Albion?
It is good, yes. I think we normally average around 100 at Albion so to see more than double that was brilliant. A massive thank you to both sets of fans today, I thought they all did their teams proud.
What are your ambitions for this season, and in the future?
– For this season, I set out from the beginning to establish myself in the team and be a regular starter, I also set myself a goals target of 15 aswel and I’ve only got 1 so far so I need to get a move on!
I don’t look too far into the future and try to just take each game as it comes, I’m happy to be at Albion and it’s a privelege to pull the shirt on every week, Hopefully the future brightens up and we earn a respectable position in the league come the end of the season.