Sunday, 19 August 2018

Street v Fleet Town

Newly promoted to the EvoStik Southern League, Street Football Club.
I could have waited until December 29th and the match at Fleet. It's going to be Fleet v Street, and the closest you'll ever get to a fixture which sounds like a Monopoly property. But I decided on the back-to-front fixture, which was a rare match-up between two teams which rhyme. As I'm easy to please, I settled on Saturday's game instead.

It was a special occasion for the club from Somerset, as after 50 years in the Western League, they won it by 15 clear points last season (including a run of 26 successive victories) for their first-ever Western League championship and automatic promotion to the Southern League Division One South (the same league as Winchester City, AFC Totton, Moneyfields and Blackfield & Langley). They're delighted to be there, unlike opponents Fleet Town, who were moved at very late notice by the FA from the Isthmian League Central (I think!), which was far more geographically appropriate for them, due to Shaw Lane's resignation from the Northern Premier League and Wimborne Town's subsequent belated promotion (it's complicated...).

Street look as though they'll be carrying on with their Western League form, as they won this fixture with ease. From the very first minute, when Craig Herrod broke through and forced the first of many superb saves from Brendan Norris, until the very last minute, when Phil Ormrod (excellent name despite the lack of an E) missed from close range when it looked easier to score, Street overwhelmed the club from north-east Hampshire.

Goals from Herrod, Ben Amghar and Steve Murray sealed the win in front of an impressive crowd of 193 at The Tannery. They proved that they're not to be taken lightly. AFC Totton beware, as the boys in green will be down at Testwood on 1st September!

As for Fleet Town, it appears that they have an almost completely new side from the one which finished 2017/18, so they'll need time to gel. Saturday will be a game from which they must learn about one another and move on.

Young fans watch on as Fleet have their pre-match huddle.
Street FC (2) 3 v 0 (0) Fleet Town FC
Saturday 18th August 2018
EvoStik Southern League Division One South
Attendance: 193
Admission: £8
Programme: £1.50 (very good)
Colours: All green with white trim v All yellow
National Grid reference: ST4735 ST4835

The older of the two seated stands at Street FC.
Match reports from each of the clubs' websites can be found here and here.

Approximately 40 more of my photos can be found on Facebook here. Apologies to those of you who aren't on Facebook.

As an addendum, this was the fourth time I've watched Fleet Town play, and they've yet to score a goal. Curiously, I've seen neighbours Fleet Spurs three times, and they've lost each time. Seven defeats in seven games for the two Fleet teams. I'm obviously an unlucky charm!

My Fleet Town stats from the Groundhopper app. Not good.
Close shave for the home side. Street's second seated stand is in the background with a small standing shelter to the right.
Tussling as the home subs look on.
Action in front of Street's shallow covered terrace.
Penalty? The ref said "No!"
Steve Murray celebrates Street's third goal by the corner flag.
I'll let you caption this one!
A bad day in the dugout for Fleet Town. Another 37 games to put things right...

Monday, 13 August 2018

Sandhurst Town v Lymington Town

At the bottom of the track lies Bottom Meadow, home of Sandhurst Town FC.
Good morning/afternoon/evening and welcome back to Hopping Around Hampshire for another season!

I considered stopping the blog this summer because I believe I've said everything that needs saying over the past seven years. I'll be repeating myself if I carry on with the writing, and there's nothing worse than going around and around in wordy circles.

Plus, I have two children at university (with all the travelling back and forth across the country that that involves on several Saturdays between September and next April).

And what's more, I have a season ticket at Havant & Waterlooville for 2018/19!

So, I'm quite busy and maybe not as motivated as I once was. So the plan is to turn HAH in to more of a photographic story-telling vehicle, cutting down on the words. On the blog, I shall publish photos of where I've been, primarily for the groundhoppers who might be interested in what the grounds look like, whereas on the accompanying Facebook page, there will be more action shots - I know the players and other people involved in the local game are more interested in these.

As ever, there will always be at least one club from Hampshire involved.

So below, here's the photo story of the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie between Combined Counties League Division One side Sandhurst Town and Wessex Premier Lymington Town - the home underdogs pulling off a very creditable 1-1 draw. The replay will be at New Milton Town's home on Wednesday (Lymington share with the local cricket club). The winners will be at home to Frimley Green on August 25th.

The accompanying Facebook page can be found here:


I'll add another forty or so photos on there during the course of this evening, concentrating mostly on Lymington's players in action.

I believe there will be more photos published on Football in Bracknell (I took a lot of the Sandhurst players as well as Lymington's), but they aren't there as I write. Check on there if you're a Sandhurst Town follower for more pictures of your players.

No-nonsense ref carries match ball with one hand.
Sandhurst Town FC (1) 1 v 1 (0) Lymington Town FC
Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 11th August 2018
Attendance: About 50
Admission: £5
Programme: None seen
Colours: Red and black stripes / black / black v All yellow (no sponsors for either club!)
National Grid reference: SU8460 SU8461

Sandhurst's Ultras watching from the stand.
Tactical adjustments.
The clubhouse and changing room block at Sandhurst Town.
Lymington's ball!
Lymington's ball?
Golden FA Cup football.
Saints fans in Berkshire!