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Wednesday 5th October 2011 ko 7.45pm

Wessex League Premier Division

FAWLEY AFC 3 (Blaxall 11 52 Mockeridge 52)

HAYLING UNITED 1 (Burney 74p)

Att 47 (h/c)

Entry £5

Programme FREE (“Because its not very good tonight”)

Coffee £1

The Waterside Sports and Social Club is easy enough to find, but it isn’t easy to actually get to the football ground (you have to go via the reception), the ground is barely up to Step 5 regulations, with much of it being a mish mash of scaffolding poles and portacabins, the programme frankly was poor, and there was no hot food on sale on a rainy blustery night. Yes, you’ve worked it out, I loved the place.

Because its not the just the physical architecture that makes a ground, the people are just as important. And its here that Fawley wins out by a mile.

A friendly club with nothing much beats a miserable lot with facilties every time, and whilst Waterside will win no design awards, the stand kept us dry and gave us a decent view of a decent game.

Fawley started life as the works team for Esso, and the fuel refinery still provides quite a backdrop, somewhat reminiscent of Port Talbot. These days the club has nothing to do with the oil company, but has still worked its way up to the highest level of its existance, and for this game the attendance was augmented by 3 other hoppers, including Andy Norbury from Crewe and Shaun Ellis from Reading.

Also present was Splodge, keeping a low profile, as the away team are playing Fareham on Saturday.

But what will I remember Hayling for? That kit! Day-glo yellow! I don’t think it needs much more comment than that, other than it made photography difficult!

The potential advantage of being able to see your team mates from the next county didn’t seem to help them, particularly after Blaxall’s cross-cum-shot whistled past Patilla in the Hayling goal after 11 minutes. It wasn’t so much that Hayling had no answers, John Page the Fawley keeper had a fine game, it was just that Fawley had more and better ideas. A goalkeeping howler allowed Mockeridge to loft the ball into an empty net, and Blaxall collected his second moments later. Lenny Burney’s penalty really was scant consolation for a game long since lost.

Still a good game, with good company and at a really friendly club. Do pay them a visit.