Southfields Recreational Ground [Match 2 of 4]
Following on from the 10:45am KO at West Clewes we crossed a couple of roundabouts to get us into the rivalling territory, which of course meant we'd made it the Southfields Recreational ready for the second game of NON LEAGUE DAY. This would also prove to be a new ground for my partner in crime, Partizan Bristle (aka Tom), so he was equally excited to cross-off his 61st ground. With a good 40 minutes to spare, I decided to take the plunge and make my way into the wilderness of Terry's Badges. I spent a good 10 minutes or so scouting through the hundreds of badges from various clubs, with both Tom and I deciding to sit nursing a pint each whilst I pondered which to buy. Narrowing it down to a couple of clubs close to my heart in the form of Scarborough F.C and St. Cuthbert Wanderers and a few others that were just hilarious- Rutland Dead Rabbits being a particular highlight. I eventually stood up to go and grab the Seadogs badge and at this point my eye was drawn to a delightful Macclesfield Town badge of yesteryear, so that was that.
|And we weren't the only nerds in town|
The Recreational Ground itself is a warn little ground but certainly doesn't lack character. The feature-piece on the outside is the main stand coloured in the classic red and white of the hosts. Inside the ground we found ourselves in a decent clubhouse with a spacious bar to the right and the usual extra space over yonder was where the stalls had been set out for today. There were a few pictures dotted around of successful times for the Miners, although they've had limited silverware since the 80's where they lifted the Western League Division One title as well as notching a couple of Somerset Senior Cup wins. Today's South Gloucestershire visitors were coming in off the back of a 3-1 win against Warminster Town and after a tasty sounding clash between them and Bristol Telephones was called off midweek they would be very keen to do a job in this 5th vs 3rd encounter. With Rastock managing a 3-0 win last weekend, I decided to back the hosts this time and predicted them to match their rivals over at Midsomer Norton- guessing at 3-1 to the Miners.
|The home side looked ready for this Autumnal test|
Armed with a pint of Heineken we took our seats in the rickety stand with many of the others on the GroundhopUK tour and along with the Radstock regulars there was again 200+ in attendance, which far surpassed their previous highest crowd of the season- 80. Surely enough the teams came out a few minutes ahead of schedule and we got this one kicked-off around 1:27pm, with the home side kicking from left-to-right. Having had a glance at the line-ups beforehand I was quite disappointed to see that the Miners hadn't got top scorer James Rustell in the squad today- the striker has banged 8 goals from 11 appearances in the league so far- and the opening to the game certainly seemed to lack a clinical assassin up top. The Abbotonians offered the best of the early action however the biggest response from the crowd in the main stand was laughter as my Partizan chum sat on a white wall to try and get an action shot of the game, only to be informed by a crowd member that the white paint covering said wall was as fresh as the Autumn breeze- oops.
|Painty Jeans 1-0 Shots on Goal|
Despite Town seeming to bring themselves back into the game the first real chance went to the O's as Trevarthen launched a half-volley high, wide and handsome- and true enough the eventual only goal of the game would be scored by an Oldland Abbotonians player. Unfortunately for the visiting side it was an own goal. The reds right-winger played a great ball into the box and after a bit of goal-mouth action the ball was herded towards the goal-line, meaning that Scott Gregory had to take the ultimate Centre Back's gamble and launch himself through the leaf-laced grass towards the ball. The right-footed kick was strong and rising, but ultimately found its way into the top corner of his side's net. Radstock 1-0 Oldland. It soon became apparent that this may be the best we'd see from this game and this 21st minute OG will only live as long in the memory as the events that took place just before half-time. In what was a PoF first, I was truly delighted to be offered the chance to draw out the winning raffle ticket for the HT draw. As I revealed ORANGE 243, the lass read it out and a chap just a few rows back sprang up to thank me before heading off to the Skittles board to collect his prize.
|Tommy Two Pints was having a wonderful time at a new ground|
The second-half didn't offer too much action either and with a lack of chances we decided to go for a wander around the other side of the ground, which was overlooked by a row of houses that I'd joked could be rented out as the box seats for Southfields Recreational. Tom found a fellow Bristol Rovers fan across a fence to shout to for the remainder of the game, whilst on the pitch the away side forced a couple of unsuccessful set-pieces. I know it is easy at this level to blame the Ref for a poor game and I'm not one to do so, but there was a lot of whistle-blowing throughout this encounter and the yellow made its way out of Mr. Lee's pocket.
|The final whistle closed in- still 1-0|
Connor Davies continued the form of the game by picking up a yellow late-on after coming into the match and making a fairly horrid tackle on a Radstock man, but ultimately it had no baring on the result. As the Ref blew the final whistle I'm afraid that this one will go down as the flop of the day, however it did mean for the hosts that they would leapfrog the O's with these three points. We swiftly popped off from this lovely ground and on to the minibus ready for our next trip 15 miles north to the outskirts of Bath for Odd Down versus Bitton- only two more games left for the day!