Sunday, 29 May 2011

Season 2010/11 review

3510 minutes. That is the exact (give or take injury time) amount of football I watched in my biggest ever season for myself, again. 39 games is far beyond what I imagined and expected my final total to be when starting this season way back in July 2010. There have been some absolutely cracking games and grounds I’ve seen in 2010/11 but on the other hand, there have been some utter guff I’ve had to watch too. This was also the first season I hadn’t been to any Hearts games since 2006/07 which meant I’ve had to view their results and performances from afar. I’ll give my two pence on our relatively decent season right at the bottom, but for now here are my stats for 2010/11 and some awards…


Games Attended: 39

Goals: 131 (3.36 per game)

Most Goals: 9 (Hartland vs Cafe Roma)

Least Goals: 0 (Edinburgh City vs Heriot-Watt University, Cockfosters vs Harpenden Town)

New Grounds: 38 (Croft Park – Blyth Spartans, Stainton Park – Radcliffe Borough, Edge Down Park – Witheridge, Horsden Park – Elmore, Huish Park – Yeovil Town, Simmons Park – Okehampton Argyle, Bristol Road – Portishead Town, Raleigh Grove – Sherborne Town, Wordsworth Drive – Taunton Town, Pavilion Playing Field – Hartland, Meadowbank Stadium – Edinburgh City, Foxhayes – Exeter Civil Service, Sandy Lane – Dawlish Town, Woodspring Stadium – Weston-Super-Mare, Homers Heath – Buckland Athletic, Topsham Road – University of Exeter, Tarka Tennis Centre – BOCA Seniors, Chalk Lane – Cockfosters, Priory Park – Bodmin Town, Endurance Park – Royal Marines, Stadium of Light – Sunderland, Plainmoor – Torquay United, Coombe Valley – Teignmouth, The Mill – Torpoint Athletic, Southern Road – Exmouth Town, Sector Lane – Axminster Town, The Chronicles – Alphington, Globe Arena – Morecambe, Donnacroft – Torridgeside, Lords Meadow – Crediton United, North Street – Wellington, Moor Road – Ipplepen Athletic, Happy Meadow – Bickleigh, Trefew Park – Camelford, Mill Marsh Park – Bovey Tracey, Speeds Meadow – Cullompton Rangers, Ginsters Marshfield Parc – Callington Town, Coach Road – Devon FA)

Best and Worst

Best Game: Teignmouth 2-3 St Blazey – An absolutely cracking cup tie as the higher level side just scraped past a dogged Teignmouth effort. Despite the crap weather, this was a top game and would have happily watched 30 more mins as that was the least Teignmouth deserved.

Worst Game: Radcliffe Borough 1-0 Bury – People slate pre-season friendlies calling them fabricated and training ground routines, but I like them. This game however did question my sanity. The night before my graduation ceremony at uni (no joke) I watched two woefully bad teams in the freezing cold and wet. And it cost me £5. Was lucky to see one goal. Cockfosters 0-0 Harpenden Town was a close 2nd.

Best Team: BOCA Seniors – Remember this is relative to the level they play! BOCA would easily cut in in the SWPL so hopefully they begin to look at stepping up a level as it will become tiring very quickly if they continue to float around in the North Devon Leagues.

Worst Team: Hartland – Fair play to this little village club for fielding 3 separate teams in 3 different leagues, but if your 1st team is guff, then maybe merge them and create a fairly decent 1st team? I saw Hartland lose 9-0 and it was really a deserved spanking. Cullompton Rangers come a close 2nd for being so bad when I saw them.

Best Player: Camelford’s Dan Gusterson was a class player as I saw him rip apart Foxhole Stars and could easily play at a higher level.

Best Ground (Professional): Sunderland’s Stadium of Light wins this award. Great venue and would be rocking on a full house.

Best Ground (Non-League): Bickleigh takes this. Wanted to wait and do Happy Meadow on a glorious day and their game vs Appledore was perfect for it. A must do ground at a friendly club.

Worst Ground: University of Exeter – A soulless place nearly in the middle of nowhere. Not all their fault due to dickhead NIBMY’s around but I won’t be going back.

Most Picturesque Ground: Okehampton in September was extremely picturesque although it does have mighty competition from Bickleigh and its vineyards.

Biggest Dump: Sunderland city centre is a hole. It really does deserve the stick it gets.

Best Programme: Okehampton Argyle’s effort for a Level 11 club is superb. Puts a vast majority of clubs higher up the pyramid to shame.

Worst Programme: Teignmouth charged me £1 for essentially a book of adverts. Poor form.

Best Bar: Buckland Athletic’s clubhouse is a top notch building. Although considering it was built from lottery grant money then it really should be good.

Best Food: Callington Town’s pasties were so good I had two!

Funniest Moment: NEIL! NEIL! NEIL! At Weston-Super-Mare vs Dorchester Town. It was probably one of those moments you had to be there for though.

Best Punch Up: BOCA Seniors vs Exmouth Town. Just a 90 minute long “It’s a Knockout” punch up special on a mudbath. Still to this day say that game should have been postponed for another day.

Hardest Place to Find: I didn’t get lost this season! :o Although due to Google Maps being old, I did turn up at Camelford’s old ground.

Friendliest Club: Awards here to Torpoint Athletic and Callington Town. Some excellent club officials on their committees that other clubs should be envious of.

Most Miserable Club: Radcliffe Borough. Not completely unfriendly but first impressions count and their’s stunk. I won’t be back.

Best Supporters: St Blazey. All singing, all dancing rather than just “sing when you’re winning.” Shame their club play at Level 10, but maybe will play on a higher stage one day. Maybe.

Worst Supporters: None I saw this season. So I’ll give it to general all round plastics.

Best Song: None again. Any recommendations?

Coldest Ground: I was absolutely perishing at Radcliffe Boro and Cockfosters. My visit to Cockfosters was a cold Tuesday December evening though.

Best Goal: Grant Leslie vs Exmouth Town. Left foot volley straight into top corner. Bang, 1-0.

Most Attractive Female Employee(s): The blond woman who served me at Teignmouth was a stunner. In the words of Mr Keys and Mr Grey, “I’d smash it”.

Special Merit Award: All nice people who are involved in grassroots football. None of this corruption shite which happens far higher up.

Hearts in Europe for 2011/12. Had you told me that at the start of the season just gone, I would have laughed at you. Having predicted a 5th or 6th place finish for us, to finish 3rd (albeit fairly close to 4th in the end) means we’ve had a great season. I won’t even look at the negatives as they have been too many recently being a Hearts fan, and will only look at the positive stuff. We were easily the 3rd best team in the league throughout the season and have already starting to strengthen for next time out with the signings of John Sutton, Jamie Hamill and Danny Grainger. I hope they all have a cracking career with us. Big JJ has also got rid of some guff (see ya Jamie Mole ya cunt!) and I hope we are closer to 2nd than 4th next season.

On a personal note, it has been a cracking season just gone and with 2011/12 moving into the unknown, quite literally, I’m hoping to write up some cracking trips for you. Keep reading (if you do!) or following on Twitter and I look forward to continuing my experiences and sharing them with you. Have a top summer. (Team review up soon)

Friday, 20 May 2011

Road to Wembley 2010/11 (FINAL)

This was it. A competition that started on August 14th and finished on 14th May. 759 clubs were accepted to play in this years competition and it had now been narrowed down to the final two. Stoke City (in their first ever final) and Manchester City (their 9th final, their first since 1981). It was very much a clash of rags v riches as Stoke (who are fairly wealthy) came up against The Richest Club in the World. The manager’s who were going up against each other was also a clash of cultures with suave Italian Roberto Mancini with brash Welshman Tony Pulis.


I’ll be blunt straight away, this final was shite. It really was one of the worst finals I had seen with Man City not having to play all that well because Stoke City never turned up. Yaya Toure scored the only goal of the game on 74 minutes to secure a deserved win for Citeh and their first FA Cup since 1969. Stoke offered little and only Kenwyne Jones had a clear cut chance for Stoke but it was saved by Joe Hart.


This though was more about the journey from August all the way through to May as I kept up with the winners of Elmore vs Hamworthy United and worked the way through morris dancing, record breaking runs, baths, Clint Eastwood, some Welsh blokes and a derby before capping it off with Citeh’s win.


I really have enjoyed this feature this season so have decided to continue it in some way for 2011/12. But do you know what would actually be better than watching the final on TV? Being at Wembley for the final! The road begins now… (When the draws are released)

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)

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)

3RD QUALIFYING ROUND: Swindon Supermarine 4-0 Hungerford Town (Webb’s Wood Stadium, Att: 365)

4TH QUALIFYING ROUND: Swindon Supermarine 0-0 Bath City (Webb’s Wood Stadium, Att: 551)

4TH QUALIFYING ROUND Replay: Bath City 3-4 Swindon Supermarine (Twerton Park, Att: 665)

1ST ROUND: Swindon Supermarine 2-1 Eastwood Town (Webb’s Wood Stadium, Att: 1,159)

2ND ROUND: Colchester United 1-0 Swindon Supermarine (Colchester Community Stadium, Att: 3,047)

3RD Round: Swansea City 4-0 Colchester United (Liberty Stadium, Att: 7,005)

4TH Round: Swansea City 1-2 Leyton Orient (Liberty Stadium, Att: 6,281

5TH Round: Leyton Orient 1-1 Arsenal (Brisbane Road, Att: 9,136)

5TH Round Replay: Arsenal 5-0 Leyton Orient (Emirates Stadium, Att: 59,361)

QUARTER-FINAL: Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal (Old Trafford, Att: 74,693)

SEMI-FINAL: Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United (Wembley Stadium, Att: 86,549)

FINAL: Manchester City 1-0 Stoke (Wembley Stadium, Att: 88,643)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Liverton United vs Budleigh Salterton (12/05/11)

Match 121

Ground #: 88

Ground: Coach Road (Devon FA)

Competition: Devon FA Premier Cup Final 

Kick Off: 7pm

Cost: £4

Programme: With Admission

Attendance: 295

Liverton United 1

Broadway 10’ 

Budleigh Salterton 0


306 days. Or 43.714 weeks since I stepped onto the terraces of Blyth Spartans’ Croft Park. Now, some 38 games later after my biggest ever season it was time to wrap 2010/11 up. Now I like to pick my final game with something riding on it. In 2009 it was Carlisle United securing safety from League 1, in 2010 it was saying goodbye to Christie Park and Morecambe’s play-off dream and now for 2011 it was off to a cup final. As the majority of my games have been in Devon this season, it was fitting to round it off with Devon’s 2nd biggest county competition with the final of the Devon FA Premier Cup at Devon FA HQ, Coach Road in Newton Abbot.


Newton Abbot is actually quite a surprising hotbed of football. If you like your grass roots stuff. Along with Coach Road, there is Homers Heath (home to Buckland Athletic) and the Recreation Ground (home to Newton Abbot Spurs) along with some smaller (even for me) South Devon League grounds around the outskirts. I had only been to one other County FA ground (Lancashire) and was wondering what Coach Road would look like having not seen any pictures before hand. I have to say, its a great wee venue in a quiet part of Newton Abbot. The main feature is the massive stand which straddles one touchline which is actually raised above the pitch so offers some great views. I reckon the stand contains around 400 seats and would not look out of place at some grounds far higher up the pyramid. The rest of the ground is railed off with standing all the way round (no cover). There is a clubhouse/bar area in one of the corners, imaginatively named The Cornerhouse Bar while behind the goal nearest the entrance is a smart looking building that presumably the Devon FA Heads sit and hand out footballing justice across the County. (I wasn’t allowed in)


I had seen a few Devon Premier Cup ties this season and they had been a bit mix and match. From Exeter Civil Service, through University of Exeter to BOCA Seniors, this was a fairly competitive cup. Perhaps unsurprisingly the finalists were the two teams who finished highest up in the highest league possible to enter this competition, the Southwest Peninsula League Division 1 East. Liverton United who had finished top of that league and Budleigh Salterton who had finished 2nd. Both sides had not taken promotion for various reasons, which I won’t go into, again. Both sides had beaten decent opposition to get here with Liverton seeing off North Molton (4-0), Watts Blake & Bearne (3-2), Exeter Civil Service (3-2), Sidmouth Town (2-1) and winning their semi-final against Bickleigh 2-0 at Exmouth. Budleigh reached here with wins over Lee Moor (8-2), Axminster Town (5-1), Ottery St Mary (6-0), BOCA Seniors (3-1) and a 3-2 win over Galmpton United at Crediton United. In the league meetings this season, it was 1-1 at Budleigh and Liverton won 2-1 at their home game. So it was a tough game to call and I hoped it would be a fitting end to the season for me.


As the players walked out to the Champions League theme (no joke) we had the bollocks before every final where the players shake hands with the guests of honour that nobody has ever heard of. When the game finally kicked off (bang on time at 7pm to be fair) Liverton started the better, playing some decent football and really getting stuck into Budleigh. They should have taken the lead on 6 minutes when from a Liverton corner, defender Dan Harrity headed into the ground and over from about 7 yards out. What was worrying for Budleigh is that he had a free header and their defending from corners would have to improve rapidly. It didn’t. On 10 minutes, Budleigh couldn’t clear a corner away and the ball fell to Robbie Bowker on the left who put in a great low cross for Dan Broadway who side footed home from close range to give the League Champions the lead. And although only 10 minutes had been played, they deserved it. Liverton’s calmness on the ball was the reason why they looked so comfortable against a Budleigh side running around like headless chickens and playing pointless long balls over the top. They did nearly surprise us all with an equalizer on 27 minutes when a long range effort forced an excellent save from Liverton goalie Josh Oak. That being said, Liverton should have gone into the HT break 2 up when a Budleigh defender was robbed on the right touchline which allowed the striker to burst into the box and set up Simon Lewcock who fired over the crossbar from around 5 yards out. What a shocking miss. Budleigh were lucky to be still in the game at HT.


2nd half started much like the first with Liverton dominating the play again as Budleigh had just not turned up for this final. Lewcock added to his growing portfolio of shocking misses when he fired high and wide over the bar from around 8 yards this time after his first shot was blocked. Budleigh for all of this half were quite poor as long balls were just aimlessly punted forward towards their big striker Danny Williams who needs to learn the offside trap ASAP. There was only one other real chance of the half (yes the 2nd half was that bad) when a drilled shot towards the Budleigh goal was flicked on by Lewcock which hit the bar and bounced over. For the final 10 minutes I actually watched Devon FA officials bring the trophy out onto a table and then sort the various medals and stuff out as it was more exciting than watching Budleigh pump balls into the box which were instantly cleared. It was a shame to end the season on a poor game, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.


Well done to Liverton United then who easily deserved to win this cup final and take the League and Cup double home and again pip Budleigh to the post. I won’t dwell too much on this game but it was really quite poor. (Not sure if its the worst game I saw this season, still to make my mind up on that) The ground itself though at Coach Road is really worth seeing and an excellent venue to watch football on a summers day. It’s now the summer holidays for me and my blog reports (on the football side) at least as I have to prepare (and a LOT of preparation to do too, and my life in general) for 2011/12. My various season reviews and previews will be published over June/July as well as my various excited tweets when the fixture lists start coming out. I do like to end my season with a moment that really finishes it off and as I walked towards my car at Coach Road I could hear the Liverton team partaking in a round of “CHAMPIONES OLE OLE OLE!” Good luck to them next season. Now where is that cold can of Irn Bru to relax with…

Photos from Liverton United vs Budleigh Salterton


Match Ratings:

- Match: 4/10 (poor)

- Value for money: 7.5/10 (pleased it was £4 actually)

- Ground: 7.5/10 (smashing little ground)

- Atmosphere: 5/10 (very polite clapping mainly)

- Food: 7.5/10 (decent enough)

- Programme: 7/10 (good Devon FA effort for free)

- Referee: Andrew Quin – 6/10 (refereed with a smile on his face)


Thursday, 12 May 2011

Callington Town vs Mousehole (07/05/11)

Match 120

Ground #: 87

Ground: Ginsters Marshfield Parc

Competition: Southwest Peninsula League Division 1 West (Level 11) 

Kick Off: 3pm 

Cost: £3

Programme: With Admission

Attendance: 62

Callington Town 7

Francis 6’, 20’, 63’, Lucas 17’, 68’, Lucassi 64’, Hake 90’ 

Mousehole 0 


The final game of my season had been set in stone some time ago. A cup final on May 12th. Therefore May 7th was my final Saturday of my biggest ever season and I wanted to find a game (preferably a league match) that had something riding on it. Luckily the Southwest Peninsula League Division 1 West title race (and therefore promotion race) had gone right down to the wire between Camelford and Callington Town. Having been to Camelford less than a month ago, it was only fair I paid a visit to the other challengers for their final home game of the season. Off to Cornwall!


Callington is a small town in southeast Cornwall inbetween Saltash and Launceston. The town has long been supposed to be the site of the ancient tribal capital of the Kingdom of Cornwall and Arthurian base, known in the sources as Celliwig. References to it are made repeatedly, particularly in the Welsh Triads and other manuscripts. However, it should be noted, that Callington is only the foremost among several contending possible locations. In the 18th century, Callington was one of the most important mining areas in Great Britain. Deposits of silver were found nearby in Silver Valley. Today, the area is marked by mining remains, but there are no active mines. However, granite is still quarried on Hingston Down. Today, food manufacturer Ginsters is the largest employer in the town and employs hundreds of locals as well as many immigrants who have arrived as a consequence of the recent accession to the EU of a number of Eastern European countries. Ginsters uses local produce in many of its products, buying potatoes and other vegetables from local farmers and suppliers.


I’ll be honest, I hadn’t actually looked forward to visiting Callington’s Marshfield Parc. This wasn’t down to the club, it was down to other hoppers reports on the place which painted a picture of the ground being basic and maybe not the best place to watch football, despite the clear quality on show this season. Once I arrived, I will admit I was quite wrong. Situated in the grounds of Callington College, Ginsters Marshfield Parc is a decent enough venue that also has some grand plans for it. It is railed off all the way round and has some covered standing on the home dugout side as well as a temp tea hut in a portakabin type building. On the other side is a raised hill that is currently a building site and upon enquiring, I was told Callington’s clubhouse would be built there which would allow for extra revenue to be made and for them to push on. With the building looking a good size and the raised hill offering an excellent view, this could be a great place to watch football after summer. Floodlights also are planned and they have an agreement with the college (who own the land presumably) to build them, once Cally get the £30k needed. This is a decent ground already and it could become one of the SW’s premier non-league venues (I’m not exaggerating) over time.


On the pitch, it was looking decent for Cally too going into this game. Currently in 3rd (although with a game in hand over 2nd place Godolphin Atlantic) they were 4 points behind leaders Camelford who they had to play for their final game of the season. That game had been rearranged which was the result of massive controversy. Callington had been 4-0 up at Camelford before the referee abandoned the game after around 80 minutes. However, the referee thought only around 60 mins had been played so ordered a replay. After some digging, it had been discovered the referee for that game was actually related to a Camelford player. I’ll say no more. Callington had also failed to take advantage of Camelford’s shock defeat to Truro City Reserves with only a 1-1 draw with Perranporth. Which meant Callington HAD to win and hope Camelford lost at home to 4th place Vospers Oak Villa to take the title (and promotion) down to a winner take all final game. It would also be my final league match of the season which was some nice symmetry as my first league game of the season was way back in September when I saw Callington at Okehampton Argyle. (Cally won 3-2)


Trying to stop them was the small Cornish side of Mousehole who hail from the deep deep SW of the country. A tiny little club, who’s manager was actually the club lino for this game, it is a credit that they can survive in this league with the small facilities, small number of players and volunteers for the committee. They were going into this game down in 14th with 21 points and could be caught by Okehampton Argyle should they win their final game at home to Dobwalls and Mousehole lost here. Pre-game I was welcomed by the friendliest club I have been with all season as the gateman was very friendly and the man on the tea bar was extremely chatty and served a brilliant pasty. Only £1.50 and was the nicest pasty and possibly ground grub I’ve had all season. So nice I actually bought 2! The friendly atmosphere continued just before kick-off with Callington’s Fans Player of the Year announced as captain Dan Jefferis.


Callington kicked off playing some absolutely great football, well above the Level 11 station they were currently playing at. Mousehole on the other hand were struggling to contain them and an opening goal looked only a matter of time. On 6 minutes that goal came when Cally won a corner. Up stepped Kevin Francis who curled a low corner straight in. He may have meant that as when I saw Cally at Okehampton, they also scored straight from a corner. Mousehole held an inquest into how the ball had went in at the near post despite players on the post, but nearly stunned the home side with an equalizer 4 minutes later when Tom Patrick was put through 1 on 1 but dragged his shot wide. That was costly, as a few minutes later Callington all but killed the game off with a 2nd. Tom Moody ran at the Mousehole defence and skipped past a few piss poor challenges and curled a shot that was actually well saved by M’hole goalie Tim Coates. He couldn’t hold the shot however and Mike Lucas had a tap in. Could it get worse for the away side? Yes it could! 3 minutes later a brilliant deep cross was launched into the box and Francis powered a header past the goalie and that really was game over. Callington just kept going and should have had their 4th right on half-time. A cross that came in was hopelessly dealt with by Mousehole’s Mark Treuail when he kneed the cross onto his own bar and then airkicked the rebound and was extremely lucky that Ryan Lucassi couldn’t finish. It was 3-0 at HT and it could have been much more.


2nd half kicked off with news that Camelford were romping home against Vospers Oak Villa and were 6-1 up at one point. Callington, just kept going although Mousehole actually showed some fight in this half with some long range efforts that could have troubled home goalie Tom Beman if they had been on target. After that it really was one way traffic as the home side had around 35 minutes of near domination. I spend most of the 2nd half in the company of Callington’s Secretary, Nick Smith, who was extremely nice and was chatting to me about the club and the infamous Camelford game. In the end, Callington only scored 4 goals in this half, but if it wasn’t for M’hole goalie Coates, it really could have been double figures. Best summed up by away defender James Tonkin who overhearing Nick Smith stating that he wanted to see 10-0, responded by saying, “it should be 15-0.” Excellent. #4 was scored by Francis who curled a free kick straight in after help from Treuail who sliced his clearance behind him. It was 5-0 on 64 minutes when M’hole again went to sleep at a corner and then when the ball was worked in, Lucassi had a free header but the defender could not stop the ball going over the line. 5 became 6 just four minutes later when Lucas scored with his cock after M’hole cleared the ball straight to it again from ballsing up a corner. And it was wrapped up in injury time when Martyn Hake finished well under the keeper to make it the magnificent seven for Callington.


In the end Camelford won 6-4 against Vospers Oak Villa which meant they took the title and Godolphin also won their final game to make sure Callington had to win at Camelford to secure 2nd place and some much needed extra prize money. They also have the Cornwall Charity Cup Final against, Camelford of all people! I really hope they do as well as it was the friendliest club (along with Torpoint) I had come across this season. They played some excellent football and if they keep the main of this team together, they should walk SWPL Division 1 West next season. They could be about to put Callington on the map again, and not just for Ginsters!

Photos from Callington Town vs Mousehole


Match Ratings:

- Match: 7/10 (good attacking football)

- Value for money: 8/10 (normal price at this level)

- Ground: 7/10 (decent enough and could grow)

- Atmosphere: 6/10 (home side got behind their side)

- Food: 9/10 (top top pasty)

- Programme: 7/10 (was free, and fairly decent)

- Referee: Lee Roberts – 7/10 (was very good)


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Cullompton Rangers vs Falmouth Town (02/05/10)

Match 119

Ground #: 86

Ground: Speeds Meadow 

Competition: Southwest Peninsula League Premier (Level 10) 

Kick Off: 3pm 

Cost: £4

Programme: £1

Attendance: 74

Cullompton Rangers 0

Falmouth Town 5

Hollands 8’,85’, Green 18’, Duff 25’,72’ 


While the league was dribbing (I’ve just made that up) towards the end of the season, for May Day Holiday I was keen to get out and see another game/ground but looking at the fixture lists there didn’t seem that much on. One game however was being played at SWPL Premier side Cullompton as they welcomed Cornish side Falmouth who were going for 4th place in the league and therefore some prize money at the end of the season. With that up for grabs and the fact I hadn’t been to Cullompton yet, it was time for another car journey to East Devon for this end of season fare.


Cullompton is a town in Mid Devon, lying on the River Culm and next to the M5 motorway around 12 miles from Exeter. Cullompton has a long history of manufacturing, first with wool and cloth manufacture, then later leather working and light industry. The street plan of the town still reflects the medieval layout of the town. Most shops lie along Fore Street with courts behind them linked by alleyways. The length of the high street reflects the prosperity of the town from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century when it was a centre of the cloth trade. There are two grade I listed buildings in Cullompton: the fifteenth century parish church (St Andrew's) and the Walronds at 6 Fore Street. There are also seven grade II* listed buildings and ninety grade II listed buildings.The centre of the town is a conservation area - the only one in the Mid Devon area.


Cullompton Rangers’ ground, Speeds Meadow is situated to the south of the town and the whole area is a sporting place with Cullompton Cricket Club also on site next door. There is 3 football pitches, the main one I’ll come back to in a mo but the 2ndary pitch is to the right of the main one in the picture above while the 3rd is hidden by the trees behind the far goal. The main pitch where Cully play their main games such as in the SWPL is also fairly decent. Railed off most of the way round (apart from the gap in the pic above) and with a decent amount of hard standing. There is a small stand opposite the clubhouse which provides covered seating and a tiny area to stand in although the views aren’t great if you stand unless you’re right at the side. The clubhouse is fairly spacious with a tea room in the back selling some decent stuff. That being said, it’s location is right next to the M5 and the South-West Main Line inbetween Exeter St Davids and Tiverton Parkway rail stations. This means the constant sound of traffic whizzing by and then a train speeding past every now and then means it feels a bit soulless here. It’s not their fault, but it does add to the poor vibe around the place especially as the atmosphere is traffic heading north.


It does look like a general struggle out there at the moment for Cully. On the pitch they were right down there and going into this game in 16th, but clear from relegation for another season on 36 points. After playing some time in regional football they were founder members of the Devon County League in 1992 and even finished 2nd twice in 1998 and 1999 under former Exeter City player Ray Pratt. Since those days however, Cullompton have finished in the lower reaches of the league but did amazingly finish 7th in 2006/07 to qualify for the newly created Southwest Peninsula League Premier where they have struggled ever since. They came 2nd bottom last season but were not relegated as Clyst Rovers pulled out the league mid-season. It does seem to be hard times for Cully at the moment, the programme noted, “next season will be a real challenge for everyone as the cost of staying at our present level is becoming more and more expensive and we must search for new revenue streams…” While that sounds bad enough they are also considering pulling their 3rd team out of the D&E League (in Div 5, currently in 11th (out of 15) with 1 game to play) and folding them. Not the best of times for Cullompton Rangers then.


They welcomed a team with a fine history and until Truro City became pumped with money, they were arguably Cornwall’s finest club. Falmouth Town actually played Western League football between 1974-1983 and actually won the Western League 4 seasons in a row between 1974-78. As well as reaching the FA Cup 1st Round on 3 occasions, the past was really great for Falmouth. Since dropping back to more of a regional level they have won the odd title (last coming with the South Western League in 1999/2000 and although 2008/09 was a tough season, coming 14th in the SWPL Premier, last season’s finish of 3rd and coming into this game in 5th, with a small chance of nicking 4th of Torpoint showed they were still a decent club. With a ground of 3,572 capacity of Bickland Park, a Top 5 finish should be the least they were aiming for.


Watching Cullompton this season would pretty much guarantee you goals. They hadn’t been involved in a 0-0 so far all season. (This was their final game) And had been on the receiving end of some absolute hammerings such as an 11-2 defeat away at Penzance and a 10-1 defeat away at Plymouth Parkway. Falmouth had won the first game in Cornwall 6-1 and had to win their 2 games in hand over Torpoint to take the fight for 4th place to the final day. It was no surprise then when Falmouth started like a house on fire and should have lead after 4 minutes when Adam Pryor was put through but fired wide with an awful finish. Cully nearly went up the other end and ripped up the form book when a cross came in and was undealt with until a Cully striker at the back post headed the ball into the ground and it agonisingly bounced over the bar. That miss was costly though as Falmouth went up and scored on 8 minutes. A cross from Karl Turner and while Cully goalie Joe Moore was in no man’s land chasing shadows, Sam Reid headed the ball back towards goal and Mark Holland tapped into an open net. It was all Falmouth now and 10 minutes later it was 2-0 after some head tennis in the area saw the ball land with Dan Green who controlled and swivelled to fire the ball past Moore. Cully were really getting an absolute roasting and on 25 minutes it was 0-3 when a free kick put into the box by Karl Turner saw Craig Duff react first and beat Moore to the ball to fire a header in. Falmouth then just let the game settle down and plod along to HT at 3-0 up and it was one of the most one sided games I’d seen.


The 2nd half saw the match played under a wee bit of rain so while I took cover under the small stand at Speeds Meadow while Cully actually started the half fairly well (although they couldn’t be much worse from the 1st half) as they tried to get back into the match. While these were mainly long range efforts that barely troubled Falmouth goalie Jason Chapman, at least Cully were trying to give it a go even though they could be probably playing now and still haven’t scored. In the end when Falmouth needed to up the tempo and put Cully under pressure, they did and added two late goals to give the scoreline some gloss. Firstly on 72 minutes Duff was fed to the edge of the area by Hollands and his low shot beat Moore to make it 4. The home fans around me where confused why Moore hadn’t even dived to save the shot which wasn’t that far from him. Moore didn’t have the best of games and its easy to see why he’s conceded so many goals this season. #5 was added on 85 minutes after some excellent work from Duff(man) to waive past a few poor defenders to set up Hollands to slip it under Moore and round the scoring off. Falmouth did add a 6th in injury time when a striker slid in from a cross from the right, but was given offside. It didn’t look it.


A comprehensive win for Falmouth then as they kept the pressure on 4th place and went into their next midweek game against Plymouth Parkway knowing that had to win that game too. As for Cully, a nice enough club. Everyone I spoke to was very friendly and it was good to visit the nearest SWPL Premier side to me I hadn’t been to before the end of the season. However, I do worry for them. Poor crowds and some finance needed may mean they plummet next season and finish bottom of the league. Level 11 is probably best for them where they can regroup and hopefully don’t drop further into the D&E League and into footballing nothingness forever more. I hope for them, that they can survive at this level.

Photos from Cullompton Rangers vs Falmouth Town


Match Ratings:

- Match: 5/10 (quite one-sided)

- Value for money: 7/10 (normal price at this level)

- Ground: 4.5/10 (bit soulless)

- Atmosphere: 3/10 (cars don’t add to atmosphere)

- Food: 7/10 (good pasty, good price)

- Programme: 5.5/10 (too many stats from 09/10 season)

- Referee: Adrian Bond – 6/10 (decent enough, but had not a lot to do)

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Friday, 6 May 2011

How do you solve a problem like Budleigh Salterton?

When the final whistle blew at the University of Exeter’s Topsham Road ground on 30th April, Budleigh Salterton had secured 2nd place in the Southwest Peninsula League Division 1 East for 2010/11 and therefore obtained promotion that they had applied for some months previously. However, a statement released later that day announced something different:

“We have today received written notification from Budleigh Salterton AFC requesting that their previously submitted application for promotion to the Premier Division be withdrawn.

As todays results have decided, we now know that Budleigh Salterton have completed the season in 2nd place. Under rule this means that the club finishing in 19th position in the Premier Division is no longer due to be relegated.  Rules do not allow for a side finishing in 3rd place being promoted instead of Budleigh Salterton AFC.

How this affects the constitution of Division One and the boundary lines in the two East & West Divisions can only be fully considered by the board once all other promotion & relegation issues have been taken into account and this will be on the boards agenda for their next meeting on Monday 9th May.

A further statement will be issued after that meeting.

P A Hiscox (Company Secretary)”

This then blew a massive discussion open about Budleigh Salterton as a team, the other teams they affected and the state of football and ambition in the Southwest as a whole. This blog post (tries) to get into this and offers my two cents on the whole situation. I would love it if you added your comments below.


Budleigh Salterton have now applied and then withdrew from promotion now twice in the past 4 seasons which has probably angered SWPL onlookers as they have previous in this regard. One other sticking point to other fans that have given Budleigh stick is they have affected other clubs. Firstly, Stoke Gabriel FC who finished 3rd this season in SWPL Div 1 East have been denied promotion due to finishing just behind Budleigh and will be stuck in Div 1 for another season. They have also (at this moment) stopped Okehampton Argyle from transferring from Div 1 West to East by staying in this division. This anger from fans has been clearly seen on the SWPL Forum here with people calling for a punishment ranging from no prize money received all the way up to points deduction and slightly OTT throwing them out the league.


Before you throw Budleigh to the wolves and start e-mail the SWPL demanding justice, you do have to consider Budleigh’s reasons for withdrawing their promotion bid. Their treasurer responded with:

“We at Budleigh Salterton try to act in a responsible way in relation to all things. This includes the financial well being of the club which is of course not ‘just’ a football club. The situation we faced was that to play in the higher league would require additional financial support. We were also aware that the existing sponsor was at the end of his three season contract and unlikely to be able to renew.

We have been making an earnest endeavour to obtain fresh sponsorship for several months. We had a date by which application for promotion had to be lodged. Should we give up on sponsorship search on that date, or lodge the application and continue the search? We chose the latter because an untenable situation would have been that we did not apply and later found the financial backing we sought.”

So the reason they are giving is financial factors as well as the increased costs in travelling (e.g – they will have a trip to Penzance if they take promotion to the SWPL Premier – a 248 mile round trip. Although, this would only be made once a season in the league) and the possible lack of a main sponsor which could severely hinder them and put them into financial difficulty for 2011/12. One point on that statement though (if you look at the SWPL Forum thread) is Budleigh officials seem to be giving different statements which probably shows a slight guilt on their part for creating this mess.


Finally, before I give my two cents about what I would have done, we have to remember that the SWPL Secretary has stated that the league has accepted Budleigh’s withdrawal completely and no sanction has been placed on Budleigh (and it is probable that after the May 9th board meeting, still no sanction will have been placed). What the problem is here is not just a SWPL problem though, its arguably a regional southwest problem with a lack of teams moving up AND down the pyramid and so leagues start to stale and the football suffers. With SWPL Premier Champions Buckland Athletic not taking promotion to the Western Premier, the Western Premier Champions not taking promotion to the Southern League (slightly different as their ground failed grading) as well as Champions of the North Devon League, South Devon League, Plymouth & West Devon Combination League… I could go on. It may seem like I’m picking on the Southwest leagues here, but that’s only because I know the situation well. Only 3 teams this season can come out with any positive attitude to their future (Truro City, Bideford AFC and Camelford/Callington Town) after setting new ground in the leagues they were in. How do you solve a problem like Budleigh Salterton? I would have given them a final warning on doing this again and promoted Stoke Gabriel up anyway. (It has happened from Level 11 to 10 before by not picking a Top 2 finishing side) One bigger question is how do you solve a problem in Southwest football? Financial help is a must from the FA and other bodies and more encouragement to stop the football going stale. As they will probably be only one winner if that happens and that is rugby union. Something we really don’t want to see.

P.S – Please comment! I’d love to hear different opinions on this, even if you completely disagree with mine. And lets be honest, you probably do.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bovey Tracey AFC vs Witheridge AFC (30/04/11)

Match 118
Ground #: 85
Ground: Mill Marsh Park

Competition: Southwest Peninsula League Premier (Level 10)

Kick Off: 2:30pm

Cost: £4
Programme: £1

Attendance: 58

Bovey Tracey AFC 3

Barker 28’, Gerring 42’,57’

Witheridge AFC 1

Ebdy 42’

Sadly, there were no local games around (bar Torquay and even that was an evening KO) on the 29th April for the Royal Wedding. So a day of work and avoidance was the order of the day. The following 24 hours though still saw the news masturbate furiously over the ceremony and so I was out of here and off to a game. At first it was to be a debut dip into the Devon & Exeter League with a visit to nearby Hatherleigh Town. However, I saw that the nearest SWPL team that I had yet to visit, Bovey Tracey were at home and as they were still fighting relegation, this looked to be an interesting game. Off I went then!


Bovey Tracey is a small town in Devon on the edge of Dartmoor, its proximity to which gives rise to the "slogan" used on the town's boundary signs, "The Gateway to the Moor”. Bovey Tracey was an established Saxon community and takes its name from the River Bovey. The town gained its second name from the de Tracey family who were "lords of the manor" after the Norman Conquest. One member of the family, William de Tracey, was implicated in the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. It is thought that de Tracey rebuilt the parish church of St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas of Canterbury as penance for the murder. The church still stands today and has an unbroken list of vicars from 1258. Bovey Tracey is noted in the cycling community as the start point of the Dartmoor Devil bicycle ride, an annual event held in late October taking in over 2000 m of climbing and over 100 km around and across Dartmoor. Other sights to see in the quaint town include the House of Marbles and the Devon Guild of Craftsmen headquarters.


The town’s football side play right next to the A382 on the north side of the town at Mill Marsh Park. (Also named as the Western Counties Roofing Ground for sponsorship reasons) The ground has been home to Bovey Tracey since 1979 (although they did have to sell some of the land in 1984 to assist in the “Bovey Bypass” construction) and is slowly being brought up to a decent ground. Two metallic stands now straddle the near touchline and both structures are barely two weeks old (at time of writing for this game) as their first use was for the SWPL Hop match against Buckland Athletic on the 23rd April. Views from both stands are fairly good and with floodlights being put in over summer, Mill Marsh Park will easily achieve SWPL Premier ground grading to stay in the league. There is also a spacious refreshment room on site selling normal hot food and drinks as well as alcohol which went down very well with the decent contingent that had travelled from Witheridge. As this was the first game after my meat free lent I absolutely nailed a decent cheeseburger for £2.50 on the patio section before the game.

While off the pitch things look good, on the pitch, it has been a tad of a struggle for Bovey’s first team this season as they had still not secured their Premier status for 2011/12. Going into this game down in 17th, they were 4 points clear of 19th place Elburton Villa with both of them having two more games to play in the league. 18th place Dartmouth who were also in relegation trouble heading into this game were on 30 points with Bovey, but had a game in hand on their two rivals. If Bovey won this game, they were safe no matter what, and with Dartmouth having a tough away game at Falmouth Town and Elburton Villa hosting inconsistent Penzance, this looked like it would be an interesting day in the relegation battle to see who would be joining already doomed Wadebridge Town in SWPL Division 1 next season. In between Bovey and a vital 3 points was Witheridge AFC who I had seen twice already this season (home vs Tiverton and away @ Royal Marines) and on those two occasions they had been managed by different people. Coming into this game then it was no surprise that Witheridge had another manager! This time Mike Taylor had taken over the reins. After finishing 10th last season, 2010/11 had offered so much but they were down in 15th and had just escaped from the relegation fun. With Steve Ebdy grabbing 18 goals this season (Witheridge have scored 61 after 35 games) that’s probably the reason why they avoided the relegation battle. But with attendances slightly down at Edge Down Park (the 10/11 average is actually higher because they played one more game and had a hop game which drew a crowd of 423) these look to be testing times for the side from North Devon.

With Withy having not much to play for it was interesting to see how they would start this game as the home side had so much to play for. As it happened, they should have scored within the opening 10 seconds when straight from kick off, a long punt forward put Jordan Charran through but he fired well wide. Bovey came back into it though and while most of the football was being played in Withy’s half, the away team were dealt a blow when one of their players was forced off when he landed badly challenging for a header with a Bovey striker. The fact he was taken off and his top being used as a sling to carry his arm, suggests its a broken arm or dislocated shoulder so best wishes to him and hope he has a speedy recovery! One thing I didn’t understand though is Withy took so long to get a sub on and could have paid the price being one man shorter needlessly for around 8 minutes. Ironically, Bovey took the lead when Withy were back to full strength on 28 minutes after a fantastic diagonal ball from right to left set Nick Barker on his way and he took one touch to take the ball away from the defender and his 2nd was to crash the ball into the bottom corner and gave John Wannell no chance. Charran then had another chance straight again from the Withy kick off but he missed the target again. Barker forced an excellent save from Wannell before we had the most bizarre moment I had ever seen at a football match on 42 minutes. Withy were awarded a drop ball just inside the Bovey half and so to get on with the game, Steve Ebdy punted the ball towards goal quickly so Bovey keeper Tom Buckler could get on with the game. However, Buckler had gone for a wander and was nowhere near his goal so could only watch Ebdy’s punt bounce in. Ebdy look horrified to have “scored” and referee Mike Edworthy said he had to give it. Bovey then demanded to score unchallenged to regain the lead they shouldn’t have lost and Withy let them so Ben Gerring took charge and jogged up the other end of the pitch from kick off to score. Had Gerring missed or Wannell accidentally saved, we could have had a very interesting moment but Bovey had “re-gained” the lead. At HT, the Withy players were unhappy with Mike E as one of their players had been taken out off the ball and lay in a heap on the floor but the ref just played on. It was 2-1 though, a strange 45 minutes of football.

2nd half saw Withy make a go of it in an attempt to carve out a proper equalizer and when the ball broke in the box, that equalizer looked on, but was fired wide. Instead just 5 minutes later, Bovey made the game safe. A daft free-kick was given away on the left hand side and was floated into the box where Gerring was completely unmarked and easily headed in. Quite shambolic defending and was surprised how bad Witheridge had become since I saw them last. It should have been 4 just two minutes later when a quickly taken free kick caught Withy out but the chance was fired over. The rest of the half was a bit of a non-event as Bovey were happy to sit back on their two goal lead and let Withy attack, which bar Ebdy, they seemed incapable of doing. As it happened, Bovey easily saw the game out with a 3-1 win and with that left just two teams in the relegation battle it seemed…

… that was until it was announced that elsewhere, while Budleigh Salterton had won at the University of Exeter to secure 2nd place in the SWPL Div 1 East and therefore won promotion, they were not going to take it and withdraw their offer. That means (as I write this on May 3rd) only one team will go down from the Premier (Wadebridge) into Div 1 West and only 1 team will come up from that division (Camelford or Callington Town). It means at the moment that Dartmouth and Elburton Villa are safe and opinion has been split about Budleigh’s decision with some calling for points docked or fines and trying to get 3rd place Stoke Gabriel (who had also applied for promotion) into 2nd so they could play Premier football next season. That’s for another post though! (coming soon) While at Bovey, I enjoyed this ground, another scenic setting with some decent infrastructure in place to see the club go from strength to strength. With floodlights due to be in place for the start of next season they can now enter FA Competitions and so trying to qualify for a 2012/13 Vase place should be there aim for next time out. As for Withy, I’m slightly concerned. Maybe its just end of season laziness where they had nothing to play for, but they were poor in this game and if Ebdy was to leave for a better side in the summer, Withy would look nailed on for relegation. We’ll see.

Photos from Bovey Tracey vs Witheridge

Match Ratings:

- Match: 6/10 (faded badly in 2nd half)

- Value for money: 7/10 (good value)

- Ground: 6.5/10 (could look very impressive in the future)

- Atmosphere: 5/10 (dribs and drabs)

- Food: 7/10 (good burger and had lots on offer at good prices)

- Programme: 5/10 (bought better for £1, but bought worse)

 - Referee: Mike Edworthy – 5.5/10 (slightly inconsistent with decisions)


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Camelford vs Foxhole Stars (23/04/11)

Match 117

Ground #: 84

Ground: Trefew Park 

Competition: Southwest Peninsula Division 1 West (Level 11) 

Kick Off: 3pm

Cost: £3

Programme: £1

Attendance: 333

Camelford 4

Gusterson 34’,77’,88’, Andrew 70’

Foxhole Stars 0


My final part of “3 in 3” would be at another close ground that was on my “hit list” as well as a team seemingly on the up. With many leagues at this late stage of the season, a lot of games were now “dead rubbers” with neither side having anything really to play for. Luckily, Camelford were going for the SWPL Division 1 West title still and had applied for promotion to the Premier so this game had a lot riding on it. They couldn’t win the league with this game, but they could take a big step forward to it by winning.


Camelford is a town in North Cornwall and around 10 miles north of Bodmin. Due to its name, it has been linked to the legendary Camelot, and even Camlann, but historians have been quick to refute these suggestions. The origin of the name is probably from the original name of the river (Allen) in combination with cam = crooked and the English 'ford', though this is not accepted by all. In July 1988, the water supply to the town and the surrounding area was contaminated when 20 tons of aluminium sulphate was poured into the wrong tank at the nearby Lowermoor Water Treatment Works on Bodmin Moor. An independent inquiry into the incident (the worst of its kind in British history) was started in 2002, and a draft report issued in January 2005, but questions still remain as to the long-term effects on the health of local residents.


Another prime reason for picking this game was the larger than normal amount of traffic that could possibly direct me to the ground as Google Maps was really not much help at all. With the outlines of a football pitch found on satellite view and the directions to there noted, I made my way to Camelford with ease and turned up at the ground… to find it was someone’s house. Luckily a man washing his car outside so asked for directions and was given near perfect ones to turn up at Trefew Park – the modern looking home of Camelford FC. I had actually arrived at Tregoodwell, the home of their old ground which according to the programme, they had left in 2006 for their new modern home at Trefew Park. Despite being on the edge of nowhere Trefew is a lovely little ground and again the home club were well organised and ready for the masses of hoppers. Two metal stands overlooked the pitch on one side, one for seating and one for standing. Behind one goal (see above pic) was a small grass bank where you could sit and enjoy a good view of the action. The pitch was railed off all the way round with more than enough hard standing for Trefew Park to be a welcome addition to the SWPL Premier. All that would be needed is for floodlights to be put in which they already have the planning permission for approved.


Since their founding in 1893 (as one of Cornwall’s oldest clubs) they have spent most of their time playing in the lower ends of the pyramid down in the SW in the East Cornwall Premier and South Western League. Now one of the best (if not the best) sides in the SWPL Div 1 West, they were going for promotion this time out. Manager Reg Hambly is in his 20th year in charge of the club and Camelford will be trying to get into the Premier under his leadership. Going into this game, they were top of the league on goal difference as close challengers Godolphin Atlantic had lost the Newquay derby 2-1 to their local rivals. They also had major games in hand due to an appalling winter when they hardly played. With this in mind and fellow promotion appliers Callington Town hot on their heels, they had to keep winning otherwise they would really begin to feel the pressure. On 19th April, Camelford had actually played their opponents for this game, Foxhole Stars and whooped them 7-1. Foxhole, hailing from the little town to the west of St Austell were down in 12th for this game and had played 5 games more than Camelford. With not really much to play for except entertaining a big crowd, most punters would have put money on Camelford winning this despite the games coming thick and fast at them in these past weeks.


The big crowd wondered how long it would be before Camelford got going and the answer was 4 minutes when Mark Gusterson was put through and despite having a man over in a great position, he decided to shoot and fired wide as his team-made had a go for being selfish. The Cams kept going though and soon Foxhole goalie Ryan Holland was called into action for the first time to make a great save from a Kevin Murt effort. Foxhole were beginning to frustrate the home side as they had zero threat going forward but were putting up a stubborn fight in defence. Who can blame them after losing 7-1 to this side barely a week before. Holland got more plaudits on 31 minutes when he brilliantly tipped a Gusterson effort onto the post before he got a wee bit lucky as Gyles Reynolds airkicked the rebound and it was cleared. It was all one way traffic now basically and the goal did come on 34 minutes. A brilliant long diagonal ball from David Andrew found Paul Menhinick scamping down the left. His cross was met by Gusterson who had beaten Holland to the ball to power his header in and give Cams a deserved lead which they kept at HT.


Ryan Holland was still on form in the 2nd half as he made two saves from 1 on 1 chances within a minute to keep his side in the game. This gave the away side encouragement as they actually started to leave their own half and cause some problems. This did put them liable to the counter attack however and when a cross found Reynolds all alone in the box, it looked all the world for goal #2, but he amazingly shot wide under no pressure at all. The 2nd goal was going to be the all important one and it came on 70 minutes. David Andrew was running onto the ball just inside his own area when he tried his luck from about 50 yards out. I had just sat down right behind that goal and thought the ball would just clear the bar, however it dipped right at the last second and dropped in out of Holland’s reach for a sensational 2nd goal. A massive cheer and applause from the crowd even though, lets be honest, it was a fluke. Camelford could sense blood now and smashed a post 4 minutes later after good build up play on the edge of the area. Gusterson got his 2nd of the game though on 77 minutes when another through ball cut the Foxhole defence apart and he easily finished past Holland. I did wonder if Foxhole heads would drop now but they responded well and forced home goalie Josh Colwill to make two excellent saves to keep Camelford comfortable. Right on the full time whistle Gusterson scored his hat-trick. Another through ball weighted perfectly, allowed the Gus machine to let the ball go across him and shape up to place the ball past Holland again. 4-0 the final score and Camelford’s league charge continued.


Camelford are a lovely little club on the up, albeit with their ground in the middle of nowhere! An entertaining game that showed why at the end of this season Camelford should be top of this league. With players like Gusterson and Andrew, who could easily play higher, should Camelford start 2011/12 in the SWPL Premier they (I feel) quite easily cope at that level and would be a welcome addition. As this was a hop game, there was that strange “Hop Atmosphere” but I did actually chat to a few people at this game including a Hibs fan who had made the journey down from Dundee for the extended weekend. If you can find the place, then its another SWPL team worth visiting, especially in these next couple of weeks as they try and take the title!

Photos from Camelford vs Foxhole Stars


Match Ratings:

- Match: 6.5/10 (some good afternoon entertainment)

- Value for money: 8/10 (normal at this level and great value)

- Ground: 6/10 (decent enough new ground)

- Atmosphere: 5/10 (a “Hop Atmosphere”)

- Food: N/A – hoppers say the pasties were excellent, but I couldn’t taste them :(

- Programme: 3/10 (certainly not worth £1)

- Referee: George Pattison – 7/10 (can’t remember him, so did fine)

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