Real relegation showdown game..both teams were on 27 points before kick off, but Arnold had a far superior goal difference. So Hallam had to win, Arnold just needed a draw.
No programmes on sale at the turnstile, apparently they were selling them in the club. Of course once you've entered the ground you can't get into the club!! I knew Brian Dennett would be in there, so I called him to see if he would pick me up a copy - but none were available.
Nice to see former Long Eaton player and work collegue Adam Holmes - he was at Eagle Valley to watch his brother Richie play for Arnold. Spent the game in the company of former Eastwood physio Fred T. Kirk -we were joined second half by a couple of strange individuals.. one was an Eagles fan of 50 years, but he never stopped moaning about how bad this was, and how poor that player is and what a bad pass that was ....you know the type... thinks he knows everything, but in reality knows sod all.......one classic comment -- "Tony Law never scores" - you guessed - he scored both the Arno goals that kept them in the Premier Division of the NCEL.
Hallam powered forward from the kick off, and had a couple of decent chances as the Arnold defensive nerves took hold! It was the home team that opened the scoring on 12 though, a Luke Smith corner from the left deflected by Richie Holmes to the far post where it hit TONY LAW on the head and nestled in the back of the net.
Hallam were level five minutes later when MATT SYKES launched a screamer from 30 yards that was past Arnold keeper Lance Walker before he could react. Terrific strike - some people around us thought Walker could have done better, but I have my doubts - it looked a goal as soon as the no.11 hit it. H-T 1-1
Cold night at Eagle Valley again, and the snap shed was doing a great trade in beverages and chip cobs....
The winning goal came on the hour mark, and was a bit of a scrambled effort, but they all count as they say. A corner from the right was allowed to bobble about in the area, and TONY LAW somehow managed to prod the ball home to restore the Eagles lead. Walker was forced into making some great saves, tipping one effort over the bar and then diving full length to tip the ball round the post. F-T 2-1
Walker tips over
Short report, no pics worth mentioning.....just have to say that I am pleased Arnold survived - after Hucknall's demise on Easter Monday, the last thing Nottinghamshire football needed is another relegated team...