August 15, 2018 at 1:53 pm #16318
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Ground Hoppers Report from Paul of Surrey :
Millbrook 2-2 Plymouth Argyle Res
Adm £5, prog 50p
Newly-promoted Millbrook’s big night, marking the debut of their new floodlights. Not sure if this counts as a local derby with Argyle based only about three miles away as the crow flies, but the journey between the two isn’t so straightforward and of course they’re even in different counties. Visitors from the east could either head into Plymouth and take the frequent car ferry (£1.50, pay on board) to Torpoint and drive the last six miles or so, or stay on the Devon Expressway and do the last 20 miles via the Tamar bridge. Millbrook’s not the liveliest town you’ll ever visit but buses seem to pass through regularly, which presumably link up with the city.
Jenkins Park has just undergone phase one of ground improvements following the clubs promotion to step 6, the most noticeable enhancement being the lights, the new entrance and a length of hardstanding on the stand side. More hardstanding to come soon so I suppose officially the ground is one-sided for now, even though it’s a traditional four-sided layout. Centrepiece, though, is the original stand painted black and white with a mix of bench and proper seating which will soon be replaced with new and additional seats, taking its capacity up to 100. The clubhouse and well-stocked snack bar is by the entrance, behind the goal, by the car park.
Backing onto boatyards, overlooked on one side by houses, hills rising high in the middle-distance and with the occasional squawk of a seagull, it’s a pleasant enough place to watch your football. For a panoramic, albeit long distance view of the ground, looking down over the whole town and with views stretching back over the Tamar and its bays and over to the famous bridges and beyond, head a mile out of town to a little lay-by where the main B3247 meets the top of Maker Lane. Breathtaking – especially if you’re daft enough to walk it!
Two immediately recognisable names on the Argyle teamsheet tonight – Lionel Ainsworth, lower league and SPFL journeyman, and Peter Grant, who, from his accent and appearance, I correctly guessed was the son of the Celtic legend of the same name. Joe Riley, a new signing from Shrewsbury, also played.
The quality and touch of Grant and Ainsworth stood out and, as expected, Argyle enjoyed long spells of possession once the game settled down after an end to end opening 15 minutes. But, to their great credit, Millbrook stuck to the task in hand and, for that alone, deserved their point. 1-1 at half time after a far post header gave the home side an equaliser just as Argyle were starting to turn the screw then, after almost total domination by the visitors in the second half but with only a second goal to show for it, a rare Millbrook foray forward saw their 8 battle his way through the defence and calmly finish past the keeper. They almost sneaked it at the end with a spectacular dipping half volley that just went wide but, overall, they were rightly satisfied with a draw.
Thanks to the club’s efficiency in getting the lights up, the kick off time was shifted from 6.30 to 7.30 within the last week. That, plus two closures on the A303 (by Warminster and by the A34), meant a very late return home from my 1,500th ground!
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