Monday, 4 December 2017


New Bohemians  1  Manor Hotel  5

Sheffield County Senior League – Division Two

I can’t remember exactly what year it was, but I was on my usual route between our offices in Dronfield and Gleadless when I spotted a sign attached to the side of the Boundary Social Club in Jordanthorpe.

New Bohemians FC had taken residence at the venue, and were using one of the two pitches on the site, but who were they?

A bit of research later and I’d found the answer, they were a new club in the Sheffield County Senior League. I did plan to pop over and watch at some point, but it never happened. Since then the ground and the club at the Boundary has gone to ruin, it’s overgrown and it’s been vandalised. I can’t see anything other than demolition happening any time soon.

The club had long gone though to pastures new before this set in though, this time to the Sheffield University Sports Ground on Bawtry Road, I planned to pop over and watch at some point, but that too never happened.

At the start of this season they were off again, this time to the Forge Valley School which sits on the border between Malin Bridge and Stannington, on the North West side of Sheffield. I planned to pop over and watch at some point, and now, that time had come! Sorry it’s taken so long Bohs!

So what was New Bohemians FC all about? I knew of two clubs called Bohemians, one of which I’d seen on a few occasions, located in Dublin and playing in the League of Ireland. They are one of the oldest and most famous clubs in Eire, playing at the iconic Dalymount Park in the Phibsborough area of the Fair City.

Schools Weren't Like This In My Day
The other club is Bohemians 1905 of Prague, something of a cult club with a left wing identity, and somewhat bizarrely they have a picture of a kangaroo on their badge. Turns out they went on tour to Australia and were donated two live marsupials, which ended up in Prague Zoo. The Chairman of the club is Antonin Panenka, that fella who invented the penalty kick that can make you look a genius or a complete dick, depending on the outcome!

It turns out that New Bohemians were formed by Richard Cobb in 2006, who returned to his native Sheffield after spending a number of years living in Prague. While in Prague, Richard began to support Bohemians 1905, so upon his return the club he created included the colours, the name and indeed the kangaroo! Not only that, the New Bohemians have been known to tour Prague from time to time when it’s possible to put such a trip together.

And They're Off.....
Nowadays the club sports various teams playing on Saturday’s and Sunday’s plus it also has a ladies team wearing the famous kangaroo on the shirt. I know all this because they are very good at updating their Twitter account, and it was via that medium that I received notification the game against Manor Hotel was indeed on, with both the venue and the kick off time duly confirmed.

Liquid refreshment was taken at the nearby Anvil pub which is a mere five minutes walk from the school. It took some getting to with Sheffield Wednesday being at home to Hull City, but after dealing with the traffic along Penistone Road and Bradfield Road, it was pretty straightforward getting round the Malin Bridge ring road and up the hill!

Forge Valley School is a modern establishment s these new fangled academies often are. Sat at the top of Wood Lane, and behind the school down an embankment, are the sports pitches that are used by Bohemians. The pitch was roped on one side, and after the recent rain and obvious usage by the school it was heavy and already looked quite cut up before the game even started.

From Behind The Security Fences
The weather was good on the day though, and with Bohemians needing a win against the mid-table outfit and league newcomers from Maltby to go top of the Second Division, they started the game confidently

It soon went wrong though, very wrong. They were 3-0 down before a goal just prior to the break from Bradley Clarke reduced the deficit. The visitors then scored twice more in the second period, with the dangerous Tom Shore getting four of their goals and Ryan Smyth getting the other.

Stannington Skyline
On the day, Manor Hotel were much the better team and you could argue that they adapted to the pitch far better than Bohemians did. Although to be fair, Bohemians defensive organisation left a lot to be desired and with the away side growing in confidence and not being without a physical presence, the outcome quickly became inevitable.

Not a good day at the office for the boys in green and white, this was one Bohemian Rhapsody that was not going to get to number one, but I’m sure they’ll bounce back, isn’t that what kangaroo’s do? 


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