Cheshire Football League - First Division
I started writing my blog two months ago now, and one thing that has been a real surprise throughout is the amount of positive feedback and encouraging comments that have come my way.
None more so than after I'd written about Billinge winning 10-1 at Egerton on Bank Holiday Monday. The clubs Twitter account was very complimentary, as was the Manager Geoff Parr who left a message via the comments section.
It's always nice to read the comments, but it was also nice to know that people are actually enjoying browsing the blog. I guess as well some clubs don't get a vast amount of interest from outside, so if I can promote a club then I'm more than happy to do so.
Consequently, I've now got a few new 'favourite' clubs as a result, and one of them is Billinge. On Monday I talked about the fact they needed to win the last three games to pip Warrington Town Reserves to the league title, clearly the first hurdle was overcome without any dramas, but the second one today against third placed AFC Macclesfield was to be an altogether different proposition. Third spot was between the lads from Macc and the team from just over the East Lancs Road, Pilkington, with the added spice that it might mean a promotion berth this season depending on what transpires at the end of the campaign.
|Billinge Soccer Centre Looms Large|
I could have stopped for more, it was a cracking boozer, but driving and a lack of time meant a return to the football ground. It's a bit of a weird one as the ground is located at the back of a small industrial / retail estate, but it looks like it was previously a farm. The Billinge Soccer Centre sits to the very rear of the Barrows Farm ground (ah, so it was perhaps a farm after all?), and this is a large warehouse type building that houses indoor football courts.
I asked if Geoff was around for a quick chat, turns out it was his Father who was working behind the tea bar who I asked the question to. He disappeared and then back he came, with Geoff, and we had a brief discussion about the game. Geoff was quietly assured about the match, they have a superb team spirit at Billinge and they're also playing with confidence, but AFC Macclesfield are no Egerton. He pinpointed a couple of visiting players who they had to be wary of, but at the same time he had a pretty good idea how they would set up. Clearly Geoff is a man a does his research, but at the same time, this was going to be a tough game.
|Rural Barrows Farm|
It was a very different game to last Monday, the visitors were clearly well organised, but I did feel that Billinge had the quality, certainly in attack. It was a tight first period but the hosts got the breakthrough to make it 1-0, and then a glorious chance went begging when a clear header on goal should have at least found the target. They paid the price, a long range Macc effort found the net just before half time, the league title bid would rest on the next 45 minutes.
|The Warrington Gaggle In The Distance|
I had to decline Geoff's offer to have a pint in the Soccer Centre after the game, but I will be watching the results closely next weekend. I'm confident they will do what's required, not just because they are a very good side, but mainly because they have the right mindset as both a football team and as a club. That comes from the top, with men like Geoff Parr running the show, you wouldn't expect anything less would you?
|The Home Of The Champions?|