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Cider Country!

Team Talk 2

How many shirts are you wearing,

Craig – hm?

It’s not that cold

You look like

NO, NOT ME, Marcus

You look like – well, never mind

Brian, brilliant header


Now let’s see if you can do it again

At their end

by Allan Ahlberg (1938 – )




Saturday 19th July 2014  Pre-season Friendly    k.o.:- 3.00pm

Bartestree                                                    4

Tom Harding  32, 53, 88. 90.

Quedgeley Wanderers                              1

Scott Roberts (pen) 84,

referee:- Les Coultas                             Attendance:- 19


It was a pretty filthy day and the traffic on the roads was abominable. There were roadworks on the M5 and the alternative route, helpfully suggested by sat-nav, took me right through Bromsgrove and when I eventually joined the M5, there were still three miles of nose to tail, before I could disembark onto the A440 and A4103 towards Hereford.

I had chosen this particular match because it sounded like something out of a Harry Potter fantasy world. I could imagine dragons flying above and breathing fire and wizards and witches bequeathing their terrible incantations!


The reality was somewhat more prosaic! Bartestree is a fairly small village about five miles outside of Hereford. On the road there, I espied a farm shop which was advertising home made cider and I promised myself that I would pop in on my return! As far as I could see, there were only three shops in the village; a hairdressers, a furniture shop and a convenience store where I picked up a sandwich and a couple of pork pies for lunch. Graeme would have been miffed at the lack of a fish ‘n’chip emporium, but he had been dragged off to enjoy a holiday in France and couldn’t make it.

It was, of course, raining when I got there about an hour and a half before kick-off. The pitch was being tended  by a motorised mower and a lovely couple who were, obviously, very keen supporters and, I suppose, ‘officials’ of the club, made me feel very welcome. Bartestree is a relatively recent club, founded in 1992, and was originally a club for juniors. Indeed, the junior section is flourishing very nicely as another member of the club told me. In their first season in The WMRL, in Division 2, they finished a creditable fourth and this season they are hoping to gain promotion. Indeed, their aim, eventually, is to gain promotion out of the WMRL!

Hanging on the noticeboard in the clubhouse, which also doubled as a cricket pavilion, was an old copy of The Traveller, in which Bartestree featured under “Burt’s Travels”. Apparently, they issue a programme during the season and charge entry. Today, there was neither, but I did buy a raffle ticket!

Today’s opponents were Quedgeley Wanderers, champions of The Stroud and District League two seasons ago and now plying their trade in The North Gloucestershire League Division 2, some three or four divisions below their hosts. For most of the first half, the game was fairly even. Tom Harding scored the only goal of the half some fifteen minutes from half-time. As the match wore on, Tom Harding increasingly became the difference between the two sides. He ended up with four goals, should have had at least three more and towards the end, as the Wanderers defence tired, it seemed that he would score each time he rampaged forward.


There was still rain about as I left the ground after a very enjoyable afternoon, I had met up with a fellow traveller who refused to be called a ‘hopper’! He spends each Saturday in the season searching out new grounds to visit and out of season, he spends each Saturday visiting a craft fair wherever one can be found! I drove into the farm shop on the way home to collect my cider and it was …………………………… closed!!!!

Matches this season :- 8.     New grounds this season:- 7

Matches this year:-121.          New grounds this season:-  81

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