Weston-super-Mare 0-1 Metropolitan Police (Southern League Premier, South Division) The Optima Stadium
|Behave yourself lads, the police are in town
Last weekend's trip to Essex to see Basildon United beat White Ensign in the FA Cup took me to what traditionally had been more geographically familiar territory for this match's visitors who played in the Isthmian Leagues up until 2017/18. The 2018/19 restructure saw them shuffle over to the Southern League which means they face many trips across the M4 nowadays, being one of the league's most Easterly outfits. Compared to the 500-mile round trip to Truro City, this mere three hour each way trek across to Weston-super-Mare would be considered light work for the lads. Having travelled almost three hours myself from Stafford in the delightfully caravan-heavy Bank Holiday traffic, I was grateful at least to be spending three days in Severn Beach with Pint of Football's other half, Tom, to make it feel a bit less of a mission. Arriving in the Somerset seaside hub by around 2pm, I met up with local loony Andy Baxter so we could observe our first trip to The Optima together.
|Always a pleasure to remind an Everton fan what proper football looks like
|Alas, we're here for some Southern League action this time
The Optima Stadium is a decent ground and although it's not the best step three non-league ground in the country it's definitely a good effort. Rumours are that the club aims to rebuild and shoot for the EFL in the future, but as a first-time viewer I'd be pretty happy to call this my local. For the game in question, things kicked off as expected with the hosts on top- although the visitors very much had the best chances of the first-half. Baxter and I were slightly distracted by the fact that a local "character" came over and spent as much time as he could spare telling us all sorts of weird and wonderful stories of the club. I won't go into too much detail in the blog, but highlights from the Scotsman included tales of being a Berwick Rangers fan years ago, apparently getting sacked by the Seagulls twice whilst serving as a steward for the club. Safe to say that we soon moved away from the storytelling senior in order to try out the bar whilst the action on the pitch continued to unfold. With a pint in one hand and a portion of chips and curry sauce in the other, it was time to get stuck into the game.
|No goals to report yet, though
|Photo of the main stand, located behind the goal and housing plenty of home fans