Monday, 21 January 2019

QK Southampton v Infinity

The welcome sign at QK.
Star Date 2019, and HAH is still going, eight years on. And where was I this week? At the nearest ground to my home that I've not previously featured, QK Southampton. QK were formed in the Queen's Keep building in central Southampton in 1972 by my ex-union rep at my workplace, and he's been there ever since. They used to play at the old Civil Service ground in Shirley, but moved to their current ground in Lordshill when the Civil Service buildings shut down around twenty years ago (Boo! No more cheap beer for the hard-working civil servants of Southampton and their special guests!).

QK's ground was quite isolated until recently. There are a few old houses nearby in the area known as Hillyfields, but over the last couple of years, two to three hundred new houses have been built over the road on a new estate. Nearly finished now - you can see the concrete silos and unfinished roofs behind the changing rooms. As part of the deal to build on the fields where the local travellers and their horses used to dwell, Bloor Homes were to help QK upgrade their ground.

It's looking a lot smarter now than it did a few years ago. The highly-graffitied equipment container has been painted; another container has been placed next to it for the ref's changing room; the teams' changing rooms and cafe are also made out of containers in a U-shape on the halfway line; then there is a small new toilet block, painted bottle green like the ref's changing room.

A new entrance with a car park is currently being built. Unfortunately, a dump truck was left there overnight recently, and had disappeared by the next morning. Like a lot of clubs, QK suffer from the fact that some local people have no respect for others' property and will try to ruin all their hard work.

Talking of ruining hard work, the club erected a homemade stand during 2017, but the council didn't like it, so they had to take it down again. The concrete base is still there, so they might try again if planning permission is granted.

The competition on Saturday was the Southampton Divisional FA Intermediate Cup, which is open to clubs in the area which compete at Hampshire League level, plus the two senior divisions of the Southampton Saturday League. QK are struggling in the Hampshire Premier this season, although their form had been reasonable going in to the match against one of the Hampshire League's "Big Three", Infinity, who were clear favourites to win.

And so it proved. QK's young team conceded from a corner after just two minutes, as Mitch Fear rose highest at the back post to nod past Mike Adams in QK's goal. The experienced players of Infinity (most of whom have played at higher levels) controlled the game from that moment on, scoring three more before half-time. Danny Phillips ran QK's defence ragged, setting up two for Jamie White (ex-Salisbury and Blackfield & Langley), with Wayne Boud scoring the other from a tight angle.

At the break, Infinity looked like they could score an infinite number of goals, but QK improved as the game went on. They couldn't quite manage to get a consolation, but they'll be pleased to have kept a clean sheet for the second 45. 4-0 to Infinity, who progressed to the quarter-finals.

You can see the changing rooms and cafe on the right.
QK Southampton FC (0) 0 v 4 (4) Infinity FC
Saturday 19th January 2019
Southampton Divisional FA Intermediate Cup Second Round
Attendance: c30
Admission: None, but I bought a 50/50 ticket for £1 (failed to win, as usual)
Programme: No
Colours: Yellow / black / yellow v Dark blue & red / dark blue / dark blue
National Grid reference: SU3715

The view from the cafe entrance.
There's a match report from Infinity's perspective on their website here. I'm hoping to be back with another report in two weeks. In the meantime, there will be another 40 or so photos from Saturday's game on the HAH Facebook page.

The homemade stand in 2017 before it was forcibly taken down.
Mitch Fear (number 5) opens the scoring after two minutes.
QK's management team and subs look on as their full-back wins this tackle.
Goal by Infinity's number 21, Jamie White.
Concrete silos across the road on the new estate.
The new toilet block.
QK improved in the second half on this gloomy January day in Lordshill.
Millbrook Towers (in the background) is also visible from nearby Bush Hill and Team Solent.
Infinity's subs following the game from inside their dugout.

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