Thursday, 10 September 2015

Fareham Town v Moneyfields

Fareham Town Football Club: Prest A Faire, or "Ready To Act"!
There's this website called what3words. It's one of these clever start-ups run by brainy people with big ideas. The simple concept behind the website is that there are a lot of places on Earth that are not addressed, and are therefore effectively invisible. It's okay for us in the West - we know we live at 43 East Bloggs Street with an appropriate postcode or zipcode or whatever - we can be found easily enough by the postie.

But what if you lived in a shanty town and an ambulance needed to reach you? We have latitude, longitude, degrees, minutes and seconds, so you can be georeferenced that way, but who on Earth knows their precise geographical co-ordinates? Not me, that's for sure.

In the UK, we could use our Ordnance Survey National Grid reference - this works very well, but again, have you memorised the grid reference for your home? Well, quite! And this only works for the UK - live in a shack in Dar-es-Salaam and you're back to square one.

Fareham's flag fluttering in the wind by the tea hut.
Fareham Town FC (0) 0 v 0 (0) Moneyfields FC
Sydenhams Wessex League Premier Division
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Attendance: 95
Admission: £6
Programme: £1
Colours: Red and black stripes / black / red v Yellow / navy blue / navy blue
National Grid reference: SU5705

Another flag, but this one is attached to the corner pole.
So, what what3words have done is georeference everywhere on the planet with a unique three word code. Every 10m x 10m square on Earth can be memorised by the occupants of that space and can be found by the local postie or emergency services. Any temporary tent put up by a refugee can be found quickly if a baby falls sick, as long as there is a smartphone at hand with the what3words app installed.

Obviously, if three words are generated at random, there will be weird and wonderful addresses out there. Go and have a look and see if you live at "grumbling.cheese.monkey". Somebody will.

(Zoom in to your area of interest, move the map around until the pointer is over, for example, your house, and check the three words at the bottom of the screen - that's your what3words 10 metre global grid reference).

No idea how they make any money.

Fareham Town's large stand, built in 1975, squeezed in between two newer dugouts.
Looking at the what3words website and hovering over Fareham Town's Cams Alders football ground, I find that I ordered my pre-match cuppa and Twix at the tea hut, which I found at "". Wandering towards the big old red-seated stand with large, hot paper cup in hand (bargain at a quid), I found a seat at "imagined.massaging.alley" (the mind boggles...).

A few minutes later, full of tea and chocolate, it was down the ironwork steps to the covered standing area (set well back from the pitch due to there being a disused running track between the two - the track now being covered in green carpet due to a bizarre FA rule forbidding gravel in a football ground). I checked the team board at "scorch.bramble.zones" and noted that several relatively well-known players on each side were missing due to holidays.

Whilst I was checking the teams, the players were receiving their last-minute instructions in the changing room block at "pumpkin.crisp.scorpions". Anyway, you get the idea...

Apparently, there are places in Africa where this notion has really taken off and the residents have spray-painted their what3words reference on the walls of their shacks. This hasn't yet happened in Fareham.

Fareham's announcer waiting to read out the raffle results at half-time.
It was the evening of Wayne Rooney's record-breaking fiftieth goal for England. It was the day that Queen Elizabeth II drew level at the top of the royal reign charts with Queen Vicky. It was my first 0-0 draw for nearly two years.

Ah well.

They call it the "dreaded" nil-nil, but does it really matter? I was out in the fresh air, meeting new people, chewing the fat and leaving all my worries at home for a few hours. I don't really go for the football. It's more of a social event.

I met Paul "Splodge" Proctor, Fareham Town's secretary. He groundhops when he's not watching his club play, so he was able to tell me about a few worthwhile grounds in North Wales that I could visit when I go and see my son at university in that area.

Also there were fellow ground enthusiasts Messrs Stadium Trotter and Non-League South (who tweets useful information about football in this area for his followers when he's not running United Services Portsmouth's website). It was a veritable blogger's and tweeter's convention, with rumours that Mr Hopper & Son was also in the house (we never met on Tuesday evening, although I'm sure we shall do at some point).

Moneyfields' Aaron Cook wins this aerial battle in midfield.
I'd been taking notes during the game for this match report, as had Paul for the Fareham website and programme. We looked at the length of each other's notes during the second half and shook our heads sadly at the lack of worthy action on the pitch.

I'd had it all worked out pre-match. I was going to describe the goals with what3words grid references..."so-and-so picked up the ball at "handy.advising.beakers" and rolled it through to XXX, who was one-on-one with the keeper at "burglars.disputes.seagull". Without hesitating, he lobbed the stranded custodian, the ball bounced once, twice, and trickled over the line at "assorted.cabbies.sobbed" before Defender X could stick out a despairing leg to stop it...etc"

It would have been like the BBC radio commentaries of the first half of the twentieth century when a plummy voice in the background would give out grid references (which you would follow in your copy of the Radio Times whilst sat next to the family wireless listening in...A2...B4...D3...grizzled.egg.sputum...).

Absolutely no-one would have had a clue what I was talking about, but I'm used to that.

Pretty sunset behind the poplars.
Back to the real match, and there wasn't a great deal for the Fareham Ultras to shout about. They had their flags out as usual - Belgium's was well to the fore - apparently, the flag of Greenland makes a regular appearance, but wasn't there on Tuesday. I'd brought my Albanian flag with me (red and black, just like Fareham's kit...), but felt a bit self-conscious about joining in and putting it up behind the goal with the others. Perhaps I'll do it next time I go and watch the Creeksiders.

If Moneys had any ultras, they would have been more pleased with what they'd seen. The team from Copnor in Portsmouth had the majority of the chances either side of half-time and probably should have converted at least one of them, but it wasn't to be. The closest they came was a disallowed headed goal for Tom McInnes from a marginal offside decision.

Fareham came close to snatching the three points near the end. Firstly, Simon Woods blasted in a powerful cross-shot which was deflected in to the side netting, and then, with the last kick of the game, Zac Gill let rip with a powerful shot from twenty yards which skimmed the outside of the post with Moneys' keeper well beaten.

No goals, but a pleasant evening spent with some interesting people, which is never a bad thing.

Blogger takes pic of blogger taking a pic: that's Sheridan the Stadium Trotter over there...
Before I go, Splodge would like a mystery solved on behalf of Fareham Town Football Club. We need somebody who understands Polish for this one...

Apparently, the Creeksiders' left-back, Mattheusz Zaremski, claims that he played for Poland at under-17 and under-18 level. However, nobody at the club can verify this claim, as none of them can read Polish. You can find his name with a web search, but the articles that he's mentioned in are impossible to understand without a working knowledge of his native tongue. So, did he, or didn't he? Over to you...

Splodge's more detailed match report can be read here.

Next time out, I'm hoping for an interesting FA Cup match to report on. Failing that, I shall go elsewhere on September 26th. I promise I won't use any what3words grid references next time. Or ever again.

No comments:

Post a Comment