Racing Club cruise into next round
According to the Centenary Booklet (written by Jim Ballington) which chronicles the history of Graham Street Prims between 1904 and 2004, it appears that the club was formed from the Primitive Methodist Church in Graham Street. At one time the players attended St.Dunstans' School situated on Ormaston Road next to the old Midland Railway Carriage & Wagon works. Prims started off by playing in the Derby Sunday Schools' League and then joined the Derby & District Senior League where they remained until 1968. They then entered the Central Alliance League before gaining promotion to the Midlands Regional League in 1971. Ten years later the club successfully applied to join the Northern Counties (East) League but, due to the huge travelling costs involved, were forced to drop down into the CML in 1986. Five seasons later the troubled club disbanded because they did not have a ground up to the required standard demanded by the league. In 1995 following a telephone conversation between Prims' boss David Holmes and Stuart Woodings (manager of Derby Carriage & Wagon) the clubs agreed to join forces, still to be known as GSP. At the start of 2002-2003 the club advertised for a manager and appointed ex-Northern Ireland International Gerry McElhinney.
The ground, in Borrowash Road, is based at the Asterdale Sports and Social Club. It is literally right next door to their more illustrious neighbours Borrowash Victoria, members of the NCEL. A very lage social club containing various function rooms and bar facilities is found at the end of a short driveway and car park. A narrow path next to the modest club committee room leads past a couple of disused buildings up to the main gate and pay booth. To the right is a purpose built tea bar which serves a range of hot and cold food and drinks. Immediately in front and situated behind the goal is the main stand which has several rows of red and white plastic seats. All sides of the ground are enclosed by high wooden perimeter fencing; there is hard standing at both ends and along the far touchline. Spectators are not allowed to stand on the opposite side - this is an area where the cricket outfield overlaps the main football pitch and so on matchdays (at this time of year) is strictly out of bounds. In order to accomodate both sports, the section of perimeter fencing along this side can be easily opened and moved sideways on pupose built wheels!!
This first round Vase game was very slow to get started. As expected the visitors from the Midland Alliance League definitely had the upper hand but found it difficult with GSP pulling everyone back behind the ball. Racing Club continued to play some good football and in a spirited fifteen minute spell just after half-time managed to find the net three times. Prims battled hard but found the going tough as the visitors added a fourth before the final whistle. The game, switched to Sunday to avoid a clash with cricket, was played in beautiful warm sunny conditions on a well grassed pitch in front of almost 100 spectators, including a number of 'hoppers. Sadly only a handful of programmes had been printed and alas we missed out; to make up for our obvious disappointment the club secretary gave us a copy of the club's Centenary Booklet and took our details with the promise of a match programme to follow in the post. (Almost a week has passed and surprise, surprise it has still not arrived!!!)
The club are based in the Borrowash area of Derby. After leaving junction 24 of the M1 we followed the A52 towards the city before turning off at the Spondon junction. After daughter Steph and I stopped off en route to wolf down a couple of large McDonalds McChicken Sandwich Meals, we then drove back along the Nottingham Road (A6005) for about a mile before turning left down Borrowash Road. The club entrance is visible on the left with plenty of car parking next to the ground.
FGIF Rating: 3*