|The welcome sign at Peel Park, home of Clanfield FC.|
It's a short one this week. Just a ground description and a perfunctory match report. I hope you don't mind too much.
|No seats at Clanfield. Unless you bring your own bicycle saddles.|
Clanfield FC (1) 3 v 2 (0) QK Southampton FC
Puma Engineering Hampshire Premier Football League Senior Division
Saturday 8th October 2016
Attendance: Varied throughout the match as dads and lads came and went - generally around 15-20
Colours: Blue and black stripes / black / black v Yellow / black / yellow
National Grid reference: SU7016
|QK Southampton on the ball.|
Clanfield is a village at the furthest point of the Portsmouth / Havant conurbation, protruding finger-like in to the South Downs National Park, which gives it a very rural feel. On three sides of the ground, there are hills visible - the reds, yellows and oranges of autumn just beginning to mix with the different shades of agricultural green and brown to make the backdrop to this game a veritable riot of colour.
To the east, Chalton Windmill looks down on proceedings with a slightly saddened air. A windmill without sails is like a daddy long legs without any legs - it's just wrong. The club feature the windmill on their badge, but with sails, making it look much more chipper.
|A close shave for QK.|
There is a small car park provided for users of the recreation ground, which was almost full even with less than twenty people watching the game. Next to the car park is a pavilion which houses the changing rooms and a small room with a tea hatch (half-time tea and a Mars Bar at only £1 was my only expense of the day). There are tables in this room, one of which had a bowl of Frazzles placed upon it at the end of the match for hospitality purposes. I was so tempted to take one on my way out, but I kept my discipline and left them all alone.
|The local kids watch the match from their elevated half-pipes.|
The top end and the left-hand side are roped off, with the far end open. Beyond the rope on the left is another pitch, with a playground beyond that. No dogs are allowed on the recreation ground, so no photos of contented pooches this week.
|Chalton Windmill up on Windmill Down. It's lost its sails.|
|The arty pic.|
Then it started raining. And raining. I retired to the pavilion, where I stood beneath the overhanging eaves. Other, more hardy souls, put their umbrellas up and carried on watching in the downpour.
Kicking downhill in the teeming rain, Clanfield had their chances, but with ten minutes to go, it looked like QK were going to hang on to record a surprise victory. However, it wasn't to be, Mike Newman equalising for the home side. A win for Clanfield would put them top if leaders Hayling United faltered, so they kept looking for another goal.
I'd been joined under the eaves by some of the skatepark kids, one of whom asked his friend what was the best atmosphere he'd ever experienced at a Clanfield match. He replied that it was the game against United Services, to which the first boy agreed. It was as he spoke that the home side won the game, Lucas Lothian smashing in the 92nd minute heartbreaker for QK.
With no time left for QK to make a comeback, it was time to celebrate for the villagers. Later on, they found out that Hayling had only drawn, so Lothian's last minute strike had indeed put Clanfield on top of the league.
|Time to tidy away the corner flags. Until next week.|
There will be another 40 or so photos on the HAH Facebook page shortly.
Enjoy your next match, wherever that may be.