You are here: Home > Uncategorized > Back down to Earth!

Back down to Earth!

Happy is England! I could be content
To see no other verdure than its own;
To feel no other breezes than are blown
Through its tall woods with high romances blent;
Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment
For skies Italian,and an inward groan
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne.
 – John Keats



Tuesday 26th February 2013 Chromasports & Trophies United Counties League k.o.:- 7.45pm
Division 1

Oadby Town                  2                           Rushden & Higham United                  1

Jon Stevenson 38                                               Craig Harrower 25
Elliott Wright 40
referee:- Gary Lord                                             attendance:- 77


It was five years since I had last visited Oadby Town, who were then proud members of The Midland Football Alliance. Since then, they have fallen on hard times, mainly, according to the locals, because of bad management. Indeed, today, they don’t even own their own ground and play two divisions lower in The United Counties League Division 1.

After relegation from The East Midlands Counties League at the end of last season, they chose The United Counties League because they thought that it would provide the quickest and shortest route back up the pyramid. However, their admission coincided with the phoenix rise of AFC Rushden & Diamonds and the emergence of heavily backed Sileby Rangers, not to mention a strong showing from Eynesbury Rovers!


They do have several games in hand over the teams above them and AFC Rushden & Diamonds did them a big favour this evening, by winning away at leaders Sileby Rangers by a goal to nil. Then they nearly shot themselves in the foot when they allowed their opponents to make the first strike!



By half-time, however, they had recovered and taken the lead, but for all their huffing and puffing, they were unconvincing and unable to increase their advantage in the second half. I seriously doubt they will be in the promotion mix come the end of the season! There wasn’t much of a crowd either. None of my previous three visits had seen a crowd of less than 200!

Wednesday 27th February 2013  Blue Square Bet North  k.o.:- 7.45pm

Corby Town                         2                    Bishops Stortford                                 2

Avelino Vieira 5 (pen)                                   Jordan Roberts 73

Ryan Semple 28                                              Steve Cawley 74

Avelino Vieira s/o 63

referee:- Michael Blackledge (Peterborough)     attendance:- 263


On a very cold evening, this was a game full of incident and controversy. Corby Town are in the middle of a disastrous run, having lost the last five matches in a row. They have not been helped by a long injury list, but there have been some serious defensive lapses along the way! Tonight, the referee put himself in the limelight. First of all, in the fifth minute, he awarded The Steelmen a pretty soft penalty which Avelino Vieira gobbled up for his first goal since The Ark. Corby doubled their lead before half time and were good value for it. Just on the hour mark, Vieira was savagely brought down under the nose of the linesman, but the referee waved play on and the linesman might as well not have been there! Sadly, Vieira took matters into his own hands a minute later and returned the compliment to the marking defender. This time, the referee took notice and deservedly sent him off. The spectators in the stand couldn’t be blamed for their anger. If the original incident had been correctly dealt with, it would have been the away team reduced to ten men and not the home team.


The fine new stand at Corby Town’s Steel Park

Bishops Stortford duly took advantage of the reduction in manpower and clawed back the two goal deficit. Corby Town played out a nervy last quarter of an hour. With less than five minutes to go and the score 2-2, The Bishops were denied a blatant penalty when the referee waved away their protests after Steven Galinski, the home centre-half clearly brought down the Bishop’s substitute Njie. From what was a winning position at half time, The Steelmen had found themselves clinging on at the end for their first point in eighteen. I hope there was a referee’s assessor there!


Thursday 28th February 2013  Molten Spartan South Midlands League  k.o.:- 7.30pm

Challenge Cup – 3rd Round

Oxhey Jets                           3                         Hanwell Town                               2

Luke Beardsworth 32                                          Kyle Watson 45, 61

Steve Brown 54, Eoin Casey 83

referee:- Daniel Cohen                                       attendance:- 52



I elected to take the train this evening! There are several football grounds accessible on the London Midland line from London Euston to Birmingham – Tring, Leighton Town, Long Buckby, Berkhamstead spring to mind – and this evening, I took the train to Watford and then London Overground for three stops down to Carpenders Park and a ten minute walk to Boundary Park on Altham Way in South Oxhey, the home of Oxhey Jets of The Molten Spartan South Midlands League.

I had arranged to meet Phil at the game and just as I was about to turn into Altham Way, he accosted me in his leather-seated Jaguar X-type and whisked me into the ground car park! Phil has played at many of the non-league grounds that I have visited but tonight, it seemed that half the players on the home side were former pupils of his, and even at half time he was conversing with the bar staff whose children were attending his school! His daughter’s boyfriend, Terry, wasn’t playing for Hanwell Town tonight, because he was cup-tied. Maybe that was the reason they lost – but very narrowly. Incredibly, the home side took the lead after half an hour of total dominance by the visitors. A deserved equaliser came on the stroke of half-time.

In the second half, The Jets again took the lead and again were pegged back on the hour mark by a vibrant Hanwell Town, but, seven minutes from time, the home side took the lead for the third time and this time, there was no comeback. Phil gave me a lift back to the station for my return trip to Northampton!

Saturday 2nd March 2013     FA of Wales Cup        k.o.:- 2.30pm


Flint Town United                    0                         Barry Town                    2

                                                                                             Ryan Evans 27

                                                                                            Ryan Jenkins 53

referee:- Huw Jones (Llanrhaeadr)                          attendance:- 435



This was the programme for the match!

Pity they didn’t print a few more!

Chris and Graeme and I endured a traffic ridden journey from Derbyshire to North Wales for this Welsh Cup Quarter-final tie. When we arrived at the ground on the banks of The Dee, there was but a scant ten minutes before kick-off. There were no programmes! Amazingly, for a match as relatively high profile as this one, they had printed fewer than forty programmes. Chris was so incensed that he even suggested trying to find an alternative match! During the game, however, he met up with Tim, who promised to have three further programmes printed off, one for each of us!


The main stand at Flint Town United


The view of the other side of the ground from the main stand!

The ground – Cae-y-Castell – was about as close to the bank of The River Dee as you could get without falling into it! It was purpose built and comparatively recent and within a stone’s throw of the ruins of Flint Castle. A very helpful announcer allowed us to borrow his team sheet so that we could record the names of the players and substitutes. There was a stand for about two hundred which afforded a good view and a smaller stand in one corner of the ground, largely deserted, which held about fifty.


Barry Town was Chris’ team, man and boy – well, one of them, anyway – and they were without doubt the better of two pretty mediocre sides. They had a travelling band of supporters who had made the long journey up from South Wales to the North Wales coast and who were vociferous throughout the match! They scored a goal in each half and dominated large portions of the contest running out worthy winners and making rare progress to the semi-finals of this competition.


Chris and Graeme slept well on the uneventful journey back to Derbyshire and all three of us added yet another new ground to our ever growing lists!


Flint Castle – adjacent to Flint Town’s aptly named Cae-y-Castell ground



Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS