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Saturday 24th December 2011 ko 11am

Sussex County League Divsion Three


BARNHAM 1 (Hancock 27)

Att 182 (ground record)

Entry FREE

Programme/Tea/Mince Pie £2

Bacon Roll £1.50

After 6 days out it was good to be back on the road, albeit rather slowly! If this game proved anything, its that when there’s nothing much else on, and there’s a programme groundhoppers will turn up in large numbers. Roffey hadn’t seen anything like it, and other than on organised hops I haven’t seen a crowd with a higher percentage of neutrals.

Roffey is a small village just outside of Horsham and is best known for its Parish Church, designed by Arthur Blomfield the architect for The Royal College of Music. The Chennells Brook ground is within Horsham itself, in Bartholomew Way, at the back of a new housing development.

This is Roffey’s first season in the County League and on current form (6 points all season) it may well be their last.

The club worked hard at their day, despite being completely unaware of the sheer task asked of them. With a normal attendance of 15 to 20 they produced 60 programmes. When they sold out within minutes, the secretary went home and printed off another 60. They too sold out rapidly, and eventually 4 print runs satisfied the masses. Even notorious hopper Barry the Tw@t had nothing to complain about.

The game failed to ignite, other than for the goal. The Barnham players had clearly understood the league table and believed that if they just waited the goals would soon arrive. One did, in bizarre circumstances. Harper’s shot hit the crossbar and rebounded out. Keeper Mitchell-Harris assumed the ball had already gone in and remonstrated with his defence, only to watch horrified a second later as Hancock had the easiest of tap-ins to open the scoring. Things like this happen when you’re bottom! Mind you, with opposition called Barnham and a player called Hancock perhaps comedy is invitable!

The second half drifted along pleasantly enough without any great incident. You hoped Roffey would find a moment of inspiration from somewhere, but it never looked likely and didn’t happen. I expect to see Roffey back in the Mid-Sussex League, next season, but hopefully today will have given the club a good financial boost.