However, I occasionally put up more photos and cut down on the words - usually at an end of season match where something big was at stake. The previous example of this was Sholing's Wembley victory in the FA Vase last year. Sometimes, pictures say more than words, and I think Saturday at Love Lane was another of these occasions.
So, without too much excess waffle between the pictures, I present for you:
Petersfield Town's Promotion Match! Less Words! More Pictures!
|The Petersfield Town Ultras celebrate a goal which was harshly disallowed a second or two later.|
Petersfield Town FC (0) 1 v 0 (0) Lymington Town FC
Saturday 11th April 2015
Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division
Attendance: 150-200 (I forgot to count, but it wouldn't surprise me if the official attendance was even higher)
Colours: Red and black stripes / black / red and black stripes v Yellow / blue / blue
National Grid reference: SU7523
|Love Lane looking as stunning as ever in the Spring sunshine.|
1. The Ultras. There was a piece in the Telegraph recently about the spread of ultra culture at non-league clubs. Sholing have them; Fareham Town have them. Groups of friends who come along, stand together and make a noise - something you used to be able to do at Football League grounds until we were all told to sit down, shut up and watch the big shiny rotating advertising boards. And woebetide you if you try to stand up or bring any food or drink in to the stadium or take any photos whilst the match is on. IMAGE RIGHTS! OUT YOU GO!
|New seats and standing area all ready for the FA's ground inspectors.|
|Lymington's Stuart Williamson makes a flying save.|
2. The stadium's setting. It's a pretty place, with all the mature trees surrounding the ground, and the South Downs as a backdrop. On a sunny Spring day, there are few football grounds that could be more pleasant. I was even able to photograph a red kite for the first time at a match (I saw one the previous week circling above Romsey Town's ground, but I didn't have my camera handy).
|Half-time, and the Ultras have left their vuvuzela behind and gone off in search of a nice cup of tea.|
|Over the other side of the pitch, Ronaldo shimmies down the wing.|
|Petersfield Town score the promotion-winning goal and it's time to celebrate!|
|I'm sure that ball landed up there somewhere...poke, poke...|
|Lymington's players look on as Petersfield lift the league trophy.|
|A thumbs up from manager Ian Saunders.|
3. They have pin badges for sale! It's sad, I know, but I like to collect a pin badge from every club I visit. I have them all attached to a velvet-covered pin board, and they look great! I like clubs that have their merchandise displayed in a club shop, or obviously for sale behind the bar or in the tea hut - put up a cardboard sign and let us know if you have things for sale! Failing that, let us know what you have for sale in the programme, and where exactly in the ground we can buy it! When I remember, I ask behind the bar at most clubs I visit for a pin badge - they either pull out an ice cream tub full of them, or tell me that so-and-so has some on him but he's not here today, or I get a blank look as if I've asked for the moon on a stick. Other times I forget to ask and they've potentially lost out on my £3, as I'll send my cash off to Terry's Badges instead to fill the hole in my collection.
|Post-trophy-lifting, an empty bottle of fizz gets left behind on the pitch.|
I know I'm probably not supposed to have favourites, as I cover all the teams in Hampshire on here, but hey, I do like Petersfield Town. Well done to them. I hope all their fans turn out in force for them next season as they did at the weekend. It will be tough, as they will be playing so many clubs that they have no historic rivalry with and that most of The Rams' supporters will not have heard of (and who have no travelling support to swell the Love Lane coffers). The league above will force them to raise their prices, and they will be trebling or quadrupling the number of miles they travel for away matches...it won't be easy, is what I'm saying. But they deserve their chance at the relative big time.
Go for it, Rams!