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Another Sortie

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth

From “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost (1874-1963)




Saturday 15th November 2014   West Midland (Regional) League   k.o.:- 3.00pm
Premier Division

Wellington                                         1

Andy Price 12,

Gornal Athletic                                0

Ross Love s/o 72

Referee:- Darren Amor                      Attendance:- 32


It wasn’t the best of days, the scudding grey clouds hung overhead like a shroud, but the rain kept its distance. It was a couple of hours from Graeme’s house, along the M69, up the M6, across the M42 and down the M5 to Worcester. From there, the A4103 took us to the A49 north of Hereford, about one hundred miles in total, and into the small village of Wellington. The medieval church dominated the village on one side of the road and the floodlights of the football ground raised their heads like Triffids on the other side, pointing us unerringly in the right direction!


There was a car park, but it wasn’t immediately obvious how to reach the ground. A bowling green with a 3G surface had first to be negotiated and then along a path we came to the gate-keeper who took our money and provided us with programmes.

This was my first match in over a week after a pretty severe chest infection which laid me low! I wasn’t entirely back to full fitness, but I did feel very much the better for the opportunity to get out of the house and off to a football match!


Inside the ground, the tea hut was sadly depleted today. Apparently, the ‘pieman’ was on holiday and so only crisps and chocolate were available to go with the tea and coffee. However, the welcome was wonderful. We were invited into the tea hut and were able to copy down the teams from the league team sheets. It seems that the club secretary was doubling up in the tea bar!


The ground is in the middle of a public park, but it is neat and well maintained. They had floodlights installed about twenty years ago with a grant from The Football Foundation. However, such was the expertise available within the tiny village, and on the extensive board of the club, that they were able to erect the lights themselves – and, towards the end of the second half, very effective they were, too! The playing surface was excellent and there were two small stands, one in the corner behind the near goal (where we sat) and the other almost diametrically opposite down the far side of the pitch with a  floodlight pylon growing right up the centre like a giant nettle!


Wellington have not enjoyed the best of seasons and there is no doubt that they are punching considerably above their weight. There was talk of an FA Vase disaster against Bolehall Swifts, recently, when the visitors had a player sent off and still overcame the home side, Wellington by 3-2.

They lie in fourteenth place in The west Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division and today’s visitors, Gornal Athletic were in third placed with twenty-five points the difference between the teams!

It was a good match, despite there being only one goal in it. The home team scored early on and could have had a couple more goals either side of half-time. The visitors had a player dismissed in the 72nd minute for dangerous foul play, but even so, as the game wore on, they began to press the home defence and it was a nervous last five minutes for the hosts!

All was well in the end, the FA Vase disasters were forgotten and the home side had achieved a merited success against one of the league’s high flyers!

Sadly, on the way home, after a thoroughly enjoyable day’s football, my car was zapped by a speed camera as I sped along the A4103 back towards Worcester and The M5. I was trying to work out just how many speeding tickets I have had. It must be more than forty! I suppose it is an occupational hazard for the dedicated football traveller!

Matches this season:- 92           New grounds this season:- 63

Total matches:- 3,062                Total new grounds:-  1,017




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