Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Sherborne Town vs Hungerford Town (25/09/10)

Match 91

Ground #: 58

Ground: Raleigh Grove

Competition: FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Kick Off: 3pm

Cost: £6

Programme: £1

Attendance: 138

Sherborne Town 1

Cunningham 86’ 

Hungerford Town 2

Wallace 48’, 67’


The magic of the FA Cup. When I pick an Extra Preliminary Round tie in August and follow it all the way to the Final the following May who knows what stories or tales I’ll come across. Amazingly, I already had a minor fairy tale as early as the 2nd Qualifying Round as Western League side Sherborne Town had reached this stage for the very first time in their 116 year history. Their game against Hungerford Town launched onto my radar thanks to me finally realizing that trains could be useful and indeed, it cost less to get a train from Umberleigh to Sherborne, rather than drive the 87 miles (and back again) to get to Raleigh Grove.


Sherborne is a market town in North-west Dorset, right on the border with Somerset. It is famous for its history with abbey, castles and manor house with most of the buildings in the town being medieval or Georgian. Amazingly too (according to Wikipedia), 40.8% of the town’s population is retired, which means (according to the 2001 census) that 3,814.8 pensioners live in the town. Hopefully the winters are mild here! Sherborne was also a founding member of the Douzelage – a twinning association across the European Union. Where regular events and festivals are held in each of the 23 towns across the EU. Probably much to the delight of the 3,814 pensioners. Shame two UKIP MEP’s reside in this area, but you get ignorant tossers everywhere.


Sherborne railway station is about a 15 minute walk away from Raleigh Grove and I made it with about an hour to spare thanks to the sporadic timings of First Great Western and South West Trains, thanks privatisation! (I’ll try and make no more political comments in this post!) Raleigh Grove is one of the more basic Western League grounds I have visited, but with it being on the outskirts of town and surrounded by woods, it retains a nice feel about the place and has a lot of greenery. It has one seated stand, which looks a newer build but as its quite small, does blend into the environment and would be quite welcome should it pee it down! Apart from a small covered standing area behind one corner flag, the rest of the ground is uncovered hard standing. Although the standing areas are raised from the pitch in parts so it does provide a good view. Sherborne had suffered from a dreadful start to the season by losing their 1st 3 league games in a row. However, their record FA Cup run had a positive effect on their league form and they went into this game with 4 straight wins. (Although two were in FA Competitions). Their opponents for this game were from the league above, Southern League South & West. Hungerford Town had just survived their first season at that level last season, partly hindered by a whopping 12 point deduction for fielding ineligible players. This season had seen an improvement though and they sat in 7th place coming into this game, with only 1 defeat all season, to Bishops Cleeve. Therefore, this would be a tough ask for Sherborne to get through.


And when the game kicked off, Hungerford had the earlier share of chances with some last ditch blocks being thrown at the ball within the 1st 10 minutes. In fact home goalie Marc Lock had to save well from a few of these early chances. However, Sherborne began to get a bit of the ball and got back into the game and started putting Hungerford on the back foot. With the simple idea of a long ball over the top, Sherborne started to gain the upper hand as they created chances through Andy Martin and Marc Caines. Though Hungerford were always that little bit on top and Lock had to tip a Dijak John shot onto the bar just before half-time as Sherborne lumped pressure on themselves with a poor back pass. At half-time it was 0-0 and although there was a slight advantage, you thought that this game could be going to a replay.


Whatever Hungerford boss Bobby Wilkinson said to his players it had the desired effect as they came out into the 2nd half well on top. On the 48th minute, Hungerford took the lead and disappointingly for Sherborne, it came in such an easy manner. When the ball was cleared for a throw, Matt Day launched a long one in and an unmarked Adam Wallace easily placed his header out of reach of Lock to make it 0-1. Sherborne looked distraught at conceding that goal. Hungerford though upped the anti, although I was questioning standing behind the Hungerford bench and the loudmouth manager and coach barking every second was a tad annoying. Not as annoying as their gobshite goalie Kieron Drake, but he had hushed himself up in the 2nd half. Lock had to save well again, this time from Richard Bland, but with Sherborne not being able to control the ball and play at all, it looked only a matter of time before the killer 2nd goal would arrive. It did on 67 minutes when a great run down the left wing from Dijak John was not halted as he swept into the Sherborne area and his low driven cross was smashed into the roof of the net by Adam Wallace for his and Hungerford’s 2nd of the game. The game then began to get very scrapped and fractious as Hungerford were content to keep this two goal lead and Sherborne saw no signs of getting back into it. However, they did create a half chance on the 80 minute mark and this was the cue for them to get back into it. This then led Hungerford to up their dirtyness even more and began to give away loads of unnecessary freekicks. One on 86 minutes was whipped in and Cunningham (or Aaron Mead according to Sherborne’s website?) planted a header into the far corner. Sherborne couldn’t create another golden chance and Hungerford marched onto the 3rd Qualifiying Round.


Sherborne will be disappointed, but I was very disappointed with Hungerford’s bully tactics and hopefully Swindon Supermarine (who they drew in the next round) give them a good raping. The match was best summed up in injury time in the 2nd half when a late tackle on a Hungerford player caused him to shout “I’m gonna get you” and other threats. Needless. 30 secs later that same player launched himself into an awful challenge and was not even booked. More Mr A Rodda (who I’ve seen a couple of times now) was dreadful again. As for the day, it was a good day out on the train and I will be going to a few more grounds which are slightly far by car on the train from now on! Good luck to Swindon Supermarine in the 3rd Qualifying Round! The Western League’s involvement in the FA Cup ended this season as Bristol Manor Farm lost to Basingstoke Town 1-0 in a replay.

Photos from Sherborne Town vs Hungerford Town


Match Ratings:

- Match: 6/10 (compelling)

- Value for money: 7/10 (quite good for this round)

- Ground: 6/10 (scenic)

- Atmosphere: 6.5/10 (both sides got behind their team)

- Food: 7/10 (great “Sherborne Whopper” A.K.A a bacon cheeseburger for £2.50)

- Programme: 8/10 (excellent effort – fantastic presentation wise)

- Referee: A.Rodda – 1/10 (again, dreadful)



ROAD TO WEMBLEY 2010/2010:

EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND: Elmore 1-5 Hamworthy Utd (Horsdon Park, Att: 247)

PRELIMINARY ROUND: Hamworthy Utd 2-2 Sherborne Town (County Ground, Att: 122)

PRELIMINARY ROUND Replay: Sherborne Town 3–0 Hamworthy Utd (Raleigh Grove, Att: 154)

1ST QUALIFYING ROUND: Wimborne Town 1-3 Sherborne Town (The Cuthbury, Att: 226)

2ND QUALIFYING ROUND: Sherborne Town 1-2 Hungerford Town (Raleigh Grove, Att: 138)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Portishead Town vs Hengrove Athletic (14/09/10)

Match 90

Ground #: 57

Ground: Bristol Road

Competition: Western League Division 1 (Level 10)

Kick Off: 7:30pm

Cost: £4

Programme: £1

Attendance: 40

Portishead Town 4

Benn 9’, Mapstone (pen) 37’, Marsden 51’,70’ 

Hengrove Athletic 2

Dunn 1’, Haynes 64’


Sometimes when you’re in an area you normally wouldn’t be, as a football connoisseur (nerd), you do always look out for potential fixtures where you can visit a ground that wouldn’t normally be on your radar. As my girlfriend was coming down to visit for summer and arriving at Bristol Airport, I had a cheeky look around for any nearby games (she loves me) and found Portishead Town were hosting unbeaten Hengrove Athletic and with their Bristol Road ground easily within reach of the airport and M4 – it was a midweek Western League game for us!


Portishead is a coastal town in Northern Somerset which is extremely close to Bristol and has its history in being a fishing port. Today the dock and fishing services has declined but this has seen Portishead’s quayside turn into a trendy marina and residential place for those trendy Bristol commuters. Portishead was also the home to the BT telephone centre used for non-direct calls to maritime vessels which became known as “Portishead Radio”. The ‘trip-hop’ group Portishead also take their name from the place – describing it as their “dreary home-town”. And it was when we arrived – absolutely pissing down!


Sadly the journey there wasn’t all that smooth as EasyJet decided to delay her flight for an hour and so we just made it to their Bristol Road ground at 7:22 with a 7:30 kick off. The home side had made an average start to their Division 1 campaign, trying to improve on 12th place last season. They went into this game in 11th position (out of 19) with only 2 wins from their first 7 games and an early FA Cup exit to Sherborne Town – who are now ironically ‘my team’ in the cup for my Road to Wembley. Hengrove on the other hand were having a great early season and went into this game in 3rd place and unbeaten with 5 wins from 6. Merthyr Town were the unsurprising pace setters with many Southern League players on their books, but Hengrove and surprisingly Oldland Abbotonians were also keeping up with them for now. Bristol Road is a basic ground but does what it needs to do for Portishead and is in the middle of a few pitches on a sporting complex. It also has a massive carpark which is just as well as the massive attendance of 40 people may have meant that the carpark was full! The ground is railed off around most of the pitch and has a portakabin type building for the tea hut and changing rooms. A large covered standing block is there as soon as you get in and Portishead have now added a covered stand on the far side – although nobody sat in it even though one official was trying his best to get people in there! Quite a tidy ground and maybe with the new stand, one ready for Level 9? (Western Premier)


I had only ever seen one Western League Division 1 game previously and that was at Minehead last year, which was an awful awful game. Therefore I wasn’t expecting much and was just happy I could chat to my girlfriend at the game in case it was another dour-fest. Those fears lasted all of a minute as with Hengrove’s first attack they won a free kick outside of the area and James Dunn stepped up and curled it straight around the wall and past Seb Gribble in the Portishead net. Excellent start! Both sides had a couple of half chances as the play swung from back to forth but the homesters had an equalizer on 9 minutes when a great ball was floated in and Danny Benn looped a header over the Hengrove goalie and it was 1-1. The game then did quiet down slightly although 10 minutes after Portishead’s equalizer, Hengrove should have retook the lead when a breakthrough was missed by the linesman for being slightly offside but Gribble saved well. The final piece of action in the 1st half was a piece of superb ‘master of disaster’ defending. You might remember Nigel de Jong’s “tackle” in the World Cup final? Well imagine that, but the Hengrove defender jumped and caught the Portishead player in the neck! It was also the first time ever I have seen where nobody argued that it wasn’t a penalty. Mark Mapstone dispatched the penalty and Portishead were 2-1 up at half-time.


The second half was a great 45 minutes of attacking football as no team could defend so attack attack attack is all they had. The midfields were also getting bypassed far too easily which was best summed up by Portishead’s 3rd goal of the night. From a Hengrove corner (picture above, albeit slightly blurry), Portishead countered and Keiran Marsden found himself all alone to take the ball and finish well under the goalie. Hengrove were not going to let their unbeaten record disappear easily however though and were only 1 goal behind on 64 minutes when a ball in from the left was not cleared properly and found Bradley Heynes about 3 yards out who made it 3-2. The game was wrapped up though by Portishead on 70 minutes when they by-passed the Hengrove midfield with easy again and a ball from the right hand side went straight through the box and found Keiran Marsden again all alone who dispatched the ball with ease. Where was the marking? Towards the end, the game did get a little niggly with a few late challenges but the home side ran out 4-2 winners.


A good, unexpected ‘tick’ then in North Somerset as I (although I don’t know about her) fully enjoyed this game and was well worth the £4 entry fee to see. A nice little ground, although probably one not to visit on winter nights given its close proximity to the Bristol Channel! The Western League is probably my favourite one and its good to be seeing more grounds in it that are well out of range normally. Ironically, these two sides met the following Saturday (18th) in the FA Vase where Hengrove won 2-0 at home to gain a little bit of revenge.

Photos from Portishead vs Hengrove Athletic


Match Ratings:

- Match: 7.5/10 (great stuff)

- Value for money: 7/10 (the norm for this division)

- Ground: 5/10 (does its job)

- Atmosphere: 6/10 (good noise from Portishead fans)

- Food: 2/10 (again no hot food, but the seller was very nice)

- Programme: 4/10 (not really worth £1)

- Referee: M.Lawrence – 7/10 (dealt with things well)



Monday, 13 September 2010

Road to Wembley 2010/11 (1st Qualifying Round)

Although I was planning to go to a game on Saturday (11th September), it was unlikely I’d get to the next FA Cup game on “my” road to Wembley as Sherborne’s reward for dispatching Hamworthy Utd was another trip to Dorset to take on Southern League Div 1 S&W side Wimborne Town. (In the end, I went nowhere)

Wimborne_Folk_Festival_2 (The ‘quaint’ town of Wimborne)

After Sherborne’s surprisingly comfortable victory over Hamworthy, they picked up their 1st league point of the season with a 2-2 draw against Ilfracombe Town before coming into this Cup game. Wimborne on the other hand, had finally won their first game in the league on the previous Saturday with a 2-1 home win over Cinderford Town. This put them into 15th position in the Southern League Div 1 S&W (out of 21 after Bromsgrove Rovers were kicked out for not having a ground). All the signs were that Wimborne should progress to the 2nd Qualifying Round, but that wasn’t the case…

Wimborne 10-11

Sherborne who play one league lower in the Pyramid took the lead on 33 minutes when Rico Wilson controlled a great cross and fired the ball into the net. They doubled their lead on 36 minutes when Steve Burton fired home via a deflection and we had a mini cup shock on our hands! Wimborne weren’t going to led this one go however and pulled one back on 51 minutes Paul Roast roasted (sorry) a shot into the roof of the net. Yet on 75 minutes Sherborne were starting to look forward to the 2nd Qualifying Round draw when Tony Cunningham found the net with goal # 3.


With the draw for the 2nd Qualifying Round made today, Sherborne have a good home tie against another Southern League Division 1 S&W team in Hungerford Town. This is played on September 25th and hopefully I’ll be there! (Although Sherborne is 85 miles away from me, so it maybe a trip aborted due to high petrol costs for a game slightly closer to home. Hopefully though Sherborne get a good amount of people through the gate and as the only definite Western League side still in the FA Cup this season (Bristol Manor Farm await a replay against Almondsbury Town tomorrow), hopefully they’ll do the league proud.

ROAD TO WEMBLEY 2010/2010:

EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND: Elmore 1-5 Hamworthy Utd (Horsdon Park, Att: 247)

PRELIMINARY ROUND: Hamworthy Utd 2-2 Sherborne Town (County Ground, Att: 122)

PRELIMINARY ROUND Replay: Sherborne Town 3–0 Hamworthy Utd (Raleigh Grove, Att: 154)

1ST QUALIFYING ROUND: Wimborne Town 1-3 Sherborne Town (The Cuthbury, Att: 226)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Okehampton Argyle vs Callington Town (04/09/10)

Match 89

Ground #: 56

Ground: Simmons Park

Competition: Southwest Peninsula Division 1 West (Level 11)

Kick Off: 3pm

Cost: £2.50

Programme: With Admission

Attendance: 48

Okehampton Argyle 2

Nomah-Koneh 42’, Waters 90’ 

Callington Town 3

Clarke 27’,75’, Burgoyne 45’


After a long (for my standards) trek to Yeovil in mid-week for Non-League Day I had to stay around the local area and so decided against a re-visit and to head to the nearest National League System (Steps 1-7) that I hadn’t previously been to. So it was a short 20 odd mile drive to the small Devon town of Okehampton to see if the town’s local team could pick up their first points of the season.


Okehampton is a small town in West Devon that is situated on the Northern edge of Dartmoor. After growing during medieval times as a result of the wool trade and other W.Country supplies, Okehampton grew to a decent size and even has a castle dating from Norman times (although now its a ruin under control of English Heritage). Okehampton today is a popular tourist spot due to its proximity to Dartmoor and used by the Army who train on the National Park. Fans of steam trains would also love Okehampton due to the new service on Summer weekends which links Crediton to Okehampton. The town’s football team, Okey Argyle were founded in 1926 in the hope of having just one football team in the town. Floating around the Devon & Exeter League for much of their history with little trophyware of note (except the Devon & Exeter Senior 1 Championship in 2005/06) they became founder members of the Southwest Peninsula League Div 1 East in 2007/08. After finishes of 11th, 14th and 16th, this season they make the move across to Division 1 West to balance the two leagues out.


This is despite Okehampton being located near North Devon, they along with Holsworthy find themselves very East in a West division. Their visitors for this game were Cornish side Callington Town (pronounced Kal-ing-ton) who were hoping to improve on an average 10th place this time out. They had started ok to the season, with 1 win (a 5-0 win over Holsworthy) before 2 defeats (1-2 against Vospers Oak Villa and 3-4 against Porthleven). They were 8th out of 16 going into this game, a whole 8 places above rock bottom Oakhampton who were finding life in the “Wild West” tough with 1-5 and 3-6 defeats to Penryn and Newquay respectively. The ground at Simmons Park is a very scenic one, with the tall trees and nice greenery behind one section and a few rugby pitches behind the other. A very nice clubhouse is also situated behind one goal and behind the dugouts is a covered standing area. I noticed that this ground is part of the famous “SWP Hop” over Easter 2011, so if anyone reading this is looking for information about Simmons Park, let me say, you’re in for a treat!


The game kicked off with both sides going for it which is always entertaining to see and we had chances within the first 5 minutes as Callington brought a good save from Okey goalie Harry Geering. The home side went straight up the other end and should have won a penalty when tricky Ghanaian (the only Ghanaian to my knowledge to be playing at Level 11?) Frankie Nomah-Koneh flicked the ball over a defender but it was cleared off the defender’s arm. Referee wasn’t interested. After that scare though it was Callington who began to turn the screw as they were dominating the game and creating more chances to find the breakthrough. That breakthrough came on 27 minutes in bizarre fashion, when an Okey defender almost scored an own goal by heading a cross just wide, Chris Clarke stepped up and whipped a corner straight in. If he’s meant that, what a finish. Callington really began to take advantage of Okey’s inability to defend corners with more being pelted in and Callington could have scored two more times with free headers. Okehampton did ride the storm however and began to press for an equalizer when they had another hand-ball claim denied despite everyone in the ground seeing it. 1 minute later though Okehampton did have an equalizer, when some good work from Ben Waters put through Nomah-Koneh and he finished well under Tom Beman in the Cally net. Okehampton still contrived to go into the break behind as a long lofted ball caught out the whole Okey defence and while Callington’s #9 rounded the keeper, he couldn’t finish off the chance and so cut back to Phil Burgoyne who smashed the ball into the roof of the net. 1-2 at half-time.


The open-ness of the game continued as both sides still went gun ho as neither could reasonably defend. Callington should have made it 3 when a shot cannoned off the underside of the bar after good work down the wing. Yet down the other end, it could have quickly been 2-2 as a Okey shot deflected just over the bar with the keeper beaten. Callington then started to dominate as they looked for that killer 3rd goal. The game however started to boil over as the referee’s decisions became more and more confusing. On 75 minutes, Callington finally did get that 3rd goal and you couldn’t say they didn’t deserve it. When a long throw in was launched in Phil Burgoyne held the ball up well with his big figure and Chris Clarke ran in and placed the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Less than 10 minutes later and the match finally boiled over when Ben Waters and a Callington player had a little kerfuffle and suddenly Waters was on the floor and the Callington player aimed a headbutt at him. When the whole ground was expecting a red the ref only gave a yellow to my utter bemusement. Okehampton did pull one back on 90 minutes when Nomah-Koneh finally decided not to try and do everything by himself and looked up after he robbed a defender and found Ben Waters unmarked to tap in. However Okey didn’t create any other chances in injury time and Callington took the 3 points back to Cornwall.


A decent day out in West Devon and a very cheap one too as I finally got to Simmons Park. Although Okehampton are currently now on 0 points from 3 games, they have enough up front to hopefully not finish bottom – although they will probably be down the lower reaches of the table. Callington is a fairly easy ground to get to (I passed it going to Saltash over Christmas!) and so it could be a visit there in the not too distant future if I’m still down here towards the end of 2010. One final remark about “Non-League Day”, it seems to have been a bit of a success which is superb, however it was unlikely to spark much interest down this way, as the nearest FL side, Exeter City, were at home on this day and Okehampton is a bastard to get to via public transport so any casual fans would probably not have looked here. Still, me and 47 other people got to see a great game!

Photos from Okehampton Argyle vs Callington Town


Match Ratings:

- Match: 7/10 (good non-league entertainment)

- Value for money: 8.5/10 (excellent value for Lv 11)

- Ground: 7/10 (early contender for “Most Picturesque Ground”)

- Atmosphere: 4/10 (not much here)

- Food: 2/10 (no hot food!? very very friendly staff though)

- Programme: 8.5/10 (exceptional effort for this level)

- Referee: Russell Hale – 3/10 (very strange performance)


Friday, 3 September 2010

Yeovil Town vs Exeter City (31/08/10)

Match 88

Ground #: 55

Ground: Huish Park

Competition: Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Section 1st Round

Kick Off: 7:45pm

Cost: £5 (16-21 ticket)

Programme: £1.50

Attendance: 2,954

Yeovil Town 1

Welsh 76’, S.Williams s/off 45’

Exeter City 3

Cureton 10’,78’, Harley 90’


After a while without football (2 weeks!!) I was itching to get to a game and luckily the draw of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy pulled out a game that was meaningful for many reasons. Yeovil Town were drawn against Exeter so it was a chance to get to a FL Ground at a reasonable price, as with all JPT ties, admission was reduced. Also, it paired both of Adam Stansfield’s last clubs as I have previously commented when I went to Elmore, that he sadly lost his life against cancer earlier last month and it gave both sets of supporters the chance to remember him together.


Google Maps stated that it would take just under 2 hours to get from mine to Huish Park, however clearly they hadn’t factored in how I drive and I arrived in 1 hour and a half. This meant that I had time to buy my ticket, look around the ground and get pictures outside before they opened the gates. Luckily, Huish Park has a massive amount of car parking space and it only costs £2 to park there, unlike some rip off clubs *cough* Wigan *cough*. One thing I did notice straight away around the ground was the Huish Park Memorial Garden where a plaque had been erected in memory of Stansfield to go along side Yeovil fans.


Yeovil is one of the major towns in the small South-West county of Somerset and can be dated back all the way to the Bronze Age or at least Roman times since it is aligned with the old Roman road that sweeps South to Dorchester. Yeovil was also a major player during the Industrial Revolution, but unlike most Northern towns, its major export was strangely gloves. It also connected the wild West to the rest of the country via its large amount of railways going through the town before the awful Beeching Axe cut them down in the 1960’s. Today, Yeovil isn’t that exciting (sorry people of Yeovil) but local landmarks include, “Jack the Treacle Eater”, a folly (I didn’t know what it was either!) and the Yeovil Railway Centre. Yeovil has also appeared in The Idler’s “Crap Town” series. Says it all.


Yeovil Town FC have rocketed up the leagues in recent time to add to their reputation of giant killers in the FA Cup. This was achieved after they defeated Sunderland way back in 1948/49 to reach the 5th Round of the FA Cup. (Although they lost the match 8-0 to Manchester Utd) After floating about around the top tiers of non-league football, they hit the big time in 2002 with an FA Trophy win over Stevanage Borough at Villa Park. Man of the match that day was, Adam Stansfield. They won promotion to the Football League in 2003 under Gary Johnson and have been present ever since. They even managed promotion to League 1 in 2005 and have stayed at Level 3 since, impressive for a club of their size. One final point on Yeovil, they just missed out on promotion to the Championship in 2007 after losing to Blackpool in the Play-Off final. Blackpool are now in the Premiership, Yeovil could be there too….


Their ground of Huish Park is a very tidy and smart looking ground that suits Yeovil brilliantly. After I asked the ticket woman where the best view was, I ended up in the AgustaWestland Community Stand which is the larger seated stand that runs down one side of the pitch. I was slightly put off with this being the official family stand, but luckily annoying kids running around were few and far between. The stand nearest to me behind one goal is the Blackthorn Stand which the “hardcore” Yeovil support stand, behind the other goal is an uncovered standing area, the Corpse Road Terrace, which the away fans were put into after Exeter filled their section first in the other seated stand, the Cowlin Stand. As Exeter is just down the road, the Grecians brought a fair amount of fans to this game after making a slow start to their League 1 campaign with an effort to try and avoid the relegation nailbiter that they suffered last season.


Just before KO, a minute’s applause was observed for Adam Stansfield as both sets of supporters got fully behind it. When the game kicked off, Yeovil made the better start when they finally got hold of possession and forced the first save of the match from Exeter goalie Paul Jones when Dean Bowditch curled a shot that was well saved. Yeovil also passed off a couple of other chances before Exeter took the lead on 10 minutes when a long punt from Ryan Harley sent Jamie Cureton away against Adam Virgo and when Virgo just fell on his arse, Cureton dispatched the ball past Gloves goalie John Sullivan to make it 0-1. Both sides kept going with chances being created at both ends as Bowditch and Exeter’s Richard Logan both missed chances. The best chance fell to Yeovil right on half-time when a Virgo cross caused panic in the Exeter penalty area and Paul Huntingdon smashed a shot off the bar and away to safety. There was also a moment of madness from Yeovil striker Sam Williams on half-time when a ball was to be cleared, he aimed a headbutt at an Exeter defender which the referee saw. Oh dear. Cheerio and a 3 match ban.


Yeovil started the 2nd half still on top and not looking at all like they were a man down. They were dominating so much that Exeter boss Paul Tisdale even re-jigged his formation to resort back to a 4 man defensive. With the match at a high tempo, Yeovil began to create even more and finally got back into the match on 75 minutes. When a cross was headed out of the Exeter box, it only fell to Yeovil’s Andy Welsh who controlled the ball with his chest (or hand) and fired a first time shot past Jones into the bottom corner. Huish Park was delighted with that, although two minutes later you could only hear the away fans when Thomson raced away down the right wing and put in a cross that Exeter players were queuing up to put away and it was Cureton at the front of this queue to make it 1-2. Exeter added some undeserved gloss to the scoreline right on full-time when they won a free kick on the edge of the area and Ryan Harley curled a shot delightfully over the wall to leave Sullivan stranded and the give the cue for Yeovil fans to depart en masse.


So it was Exeter City who marched onto the next round of the Football League Trophy (A.K.A – Johnstone’s Paint Trophy) by beating Yeovil for the very first time. Yeovil shouldn’t be too downbeat as they put on a decent performance but will need to be more clinical in league games otherwise a relegation battle awaits. Exeter on that performance may also need a little extra to avoid being sucked in. Huish Park is a great venue though and there was a great atmosphere for this game as Yeovil seemed to not only have brought a drummer, but a whole band too!

Photos from Yeovil Town vs Exeter City


Match Ratings:

- Match: 7/10 (was interesting throughout)

- Value for money: 7/10 (its why I came!)

- Ground: 7/10 (very tidy and a good feel)

- Atmosphere: 7.5/10 (band drummed it up)

- Food: 5/10 (was ok, shame about the FL prices though)

- Programme: 8/10 (an excellent effort)

- Referee: Brendan Malone – 4/10 (not his best game)



Thursday, 2 September 2010

Road to Wembley 2010/11 (Preliminary Round)

As promised, after watching Elmore vs Hamworthy at the beginning of the FA Cup for 2010/2011, I’ll attempt to follow the Cup through to the Final on 14th May 2011. The Preliminary Round was played this weekend (28-29th August) and Hamworthy’s reward for dispatching of Western 1st Division side Elmore was a game against Western Premier side Sherborne Town at home.

As both sides play at Level 9, this would have been a tough game to call and Sherborne had not been in the best form as their website (thank goodness for a decent non-league website!!) explained:

“Sherborne Town manager Mickey Spencer has targeted more competition for places in his bid to achieve a winning formula.

The Raleigh Grove club travel to Hamworthy United today in the FA Cup Preliminary Round looking to improve on a record that has seen one win from four matches.

That sole victory came against in the Extra-Preliminary round against Portishead Town, but was followed last Saturday with a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Welton Rovers.” (from


Sadly Hamworthy’s site isn’t as good as Sherborne’s so I’ll just have to go straight to the match report!

As so often is the case in the FA Cup, the form book was torn up as Sherborne Town, who had lost all 3 of their Western League games so far, took the lead around 15 minutes in when Marc Caines converted a Danny Thompson cross. However Sherborne’s task was made harder on 30 minutes when debutant Rico Wilson was dismissed and Hamworthy made the man advantage count forcing an own goal before half-time from a Max Crow cross. Sherborne though re-took the lead on 55 minutes when Caines got his 2nd and it looked like Sherborne would be going through until a last minute handball earned Hamworthy a penalty and when Max Crow dispatched it, a replay at Sherborne’s Raleigh Grove….


…. the Replay saw a bit of a no contest really as the Western League side brushed their Wessex League opponents away with a clinical 3-0 victory. Phil Ormrod opened the scoring on 20 minutes with a lobbed finish over the Hammers goalie. The 2nd half saw Sherborne cruise through after an Andy Martin penalty and a Danny Thomson goal saw them into a 3-0 lead. Hamworthy did have two goals disallowed, one for a foul and the other for offside but when a Hammers defender was sent off for a professional foul it was game over. Sherborne now go on to face Southern League Division 1 South & West side Wimborne Town away in the 1st Qualifying Round who play 1 level higher after they took care of Bideford AFC.

Ham.indd (match programme from Replay @ Sherborne)

ROAD TO WEMBLEY 2010/2011:

EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND: Elmore 1-5 Hamworthy Utd (Horsdon Park, Att: 247)

PRELIMINARY ROUND: Hamworthy Utd 2-2 Sherborne Town (County Ground, Att: 122)

PRELIMINARY ROUND Replay: Sherborne Town 3–0 Hamworthy Utd (Raleigh Grove, Att: 154)

Non League Day – Saturday 4th September

This is just a quick post to try and get even more people going to see a non-league game this Saturday, as its the first (of hopefully many) National Non-League Day!

With all the home nations playing tomorrow evening, that leaves a Saturday free (unless you’re a supporter of a League 1 or 2 club, and lets be honest, its a rip-off down in those leagues too) and the hundreds of non-league clubs across the country are providing special offers. Check it out on the link below:


There is also a facebook event/group too and that is linked below. So get out there this Saturday, find your nearest game on Non League Day’s website and enjoy the fun and banter of non-league. I’ll hopefully be at Okehampton Argyle! Enjoy the day!