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Tuesday 1st November 2011 ko 7.45pm

Wessex League Premier Division

ALRESFORD TOWN 3 (Saleh 11 32 Llewellyn 40)

FAREHAM TOWN 2 (Tattersall 32 Doswell 81)

Att 59 (h/c)

Entry £5

Programme £1

Tea £1

Cheese & Onion Roll £1.50

Now those of you know I need absolutely no excuse to go a watch a game, but for this one I had no lack of reasons. For one, it involved Fareham which means the presence of Mr Fareham himself, the one and only Splodge! Also present was Callum Smith who very quietly is building up a seriously impressive ground count. His love life is always worth a listen to also!

Until recently I had no idea where Alresford was! Its turns out there’s plenty to learn about the Georgian Town which for many centuries was a prosperous wool town. Old Alresford is mentioned in the Domesday Book but the present town of New Alresford did not come into existence much before 1200 at the time when the Great Weir was being built to create Old Alresford Pond as a reservoir for the Mills along the Itchen. The colour-washed Georgian houses to be seen today were built following a series of  fires in the 17th Century.

The town is now the home of the Watercress Line steam railway, so called because of its association with watercress farming, in what is now known as the UK’s capital of watercress. The town hosts the annual Watercress Festival in May attracting thousands of visitors each year

Its just about 7 miles off the Winchester end of the A34, and Arlebury Park is on the left as you enter town. It’s worth noting that last bit, as the normal “Aim for the floodlights” strategy doesn’t work here, there’s several sets both sides of the road!

The ground is an interesting compromise between ground grading rules, and the need to cater for cricket. The result is that the mandatory 50 seats are to be found on the pavillion balcony, and the far side is inaccessable, barriered off with netting to prevent access to the square. The same netting is to be found behind one goal to prevent access from a service road. Whilst it’ll win no architectural prizes, its fit for purpose, and this friendly club does the basics well.

Which is more than can be said for Fareham’s defence! If the points were decided on territory then the visitors would have won this won at a canter. Yes, Alresford took their goals well, and Llewellyn’s free kick was beautifully executed, but time after time Fareham looked vunerable, particularly at the back post, and while Sam Dodswell’s header made it interesting, the game was already over. The hopper in me loved the goals, the friend of Splodge felt sad for one of their loyalest fans.