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A Warm Welcome on a Cold Night in Bucks

If I speak in pictures

then your ears must be my canvas

and my tongue a brush that paints the words

I want you to imagine

Paul Cookson (1961 – )




Tuesday 24th February 2015 Molten Spartan South Midlands League

Division I kick-off:- 7.30pm

Amersham Town                             0

FC Broxbourne Borough               8

Dave Greene 1,

Adam Murad 2, 57,

Lee Brennan 7 (pen), 

Matt Thompson 22,

Joe Seabrook 69, 80,

Dan O’Connor 73,

Referee:- L Walshe                  Attendance:- 17

Admission £5             Programme:- included


I had several choices for this evening’s matches, but settled on Amersham Town of The Molten Spartan South Midlands League, without realising the plight they were in! They stand rooted to the foot of Division I in the company of Arlesey Town Reserves and some nine points from safety. They have taken but ONE point from the last thirty-nine available and some of their results have been spectacularly awful! A couple of games ago, they lost 1-9 at home to Edgware Town and they have suffered other heavy home reverses to Baldock Town (2-6), Buckingham Athletic (0-6) and Welwyn Garden City (0-5).

I rang Michael Gahagan (he, whose name, deservedly, adorns the main stand), to confirm that the match was on and set out for the 89 mile journey which sat-nav saw fit to take me via the M25 when I was dangerously short of fuel! I arrived via The Tesco Filling Station about an hour before kick-off, which was at the curiously old-fashioned time of 7.30pm. Apparently, they have a resident on the local estate who complains about the floodlights – even though they were there long before his house was built! The local council prohibits the use of the floodlights after 9.30pm but also restricts the club to having a maximum of twelve “social” events a year at the ground. Whenever that number is exceeded – or the floodlights stay on after 9.30pm – this local resident wings a protest note to the council, who despatch it to the club, who respond to the council, who in turn respond to the resident in a crazy pas de trois.


Amersham is a town of perhaps 15,000 souls, some ten miles from High Wycombe. Despite the enthusiasm of the board, and they do work very hard, the people of Amersham are peculiarly disinterested in their football team. In tonight’s attendance of 25, there were only seven paying spectators. The previous Saturday in a match against Chesham Reserves, when the Chesham 1st team match was called off, some 75 spectators turned up, but most were from Chesham!

It is a great pity because in the last half dozen years or so a great deal has been accomplished at the club. A slope which dropped the pitch by eleven feet from side to side, was virtually wiped out with the aid of a football grant in 2006/7. The slight slope that is left provides excellent drainage. The grant from the FA was ‘matched’ funding and as well as finding the money some of the work was done for free by a board member’s company. The club has a new set of changing rooms which are a huge improvement on the old wooden hut, but involved a great deal of work, particularly at the planning permission stage. The club do not own their ground, but they have a very long lease and are presently negotiating with the leaseholders about a pitch across the road where the lease runs out in a few years.


There was a real air of friendliness about the club. Team sheets were made available to copy and everyone seemed keen to add even the smallest insight into the club. Relegation to Division II is a real possibility, but the general feeling was fairly phlegmatic. Amersham would be a big fish in a small pond in Division II and it shouldn’t be too difficult to bounce straight back.


As for the game itself, if you are an Amersham Town supporter  …………….look away now!!! They were a goal down after twenty seconds and two goals adrift a minute later. Their opponents occupy a place in the top six of the Division and their organisation, pace and determination were far beyond their host’s capabilities. By half time, they had gleaned a four goal advantage. In the second half, Amersham were initially much more resolute. They pulled ten men behind the ball every time they were threatened and for a while it seemed to frustrate the visitors who could find no way through. A double substitution around the hour mark breathed new life and new ideas into the opposition who went on to double their first half total and grind out a humiliating defeat for the hosts.

It was a cold night but I had received a warm welcome in Buckinghamshire and as I ignored the blandishments of sat-nav to return home via the M25 and M1, I reflected that despite this particularly dreadful season, Amersham will bounce back from their travails and maybe, in time, advance to the Premier Division! I wish them the very best of luck!


This season:- Matches:- 151       New grounds:-  91

Total:-            Matches:- 3,121    New grounds:- 1,044

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