Monday 27th December 2011 ko 7.45pm
United Counties League Division One
POTTON UNITED 1 (Dunville 68p)
WOOTTON BLUE CROSS 1 (Simons 24)
Tea and Coffee by donation
So, another 30 mile trip, this time via Stevenage and on to the A1(M) to Potton, a village 10 miles east of Bedford. This was to complete my triple for the day and the first thing I noticed was how the journey from Spartan League to United Counties League meant how much more rural everything felt.
The village’s name was spelled Pottun in 960 AD and Potone in the 1086 Domesday book. It is derived from the Old English for “Farmstead where pots are made.” I was far more aware of the sewage farm next door to the ground and that it was cold and windy!
I was immediately impressed by both the Hollow, and the people involved. The ground is smart, clean and the people there couldn’t seem to do enough to help. They actually came out with the team sheets for the hopping fraternity to copy out. I actually got the impression that although the playing side of the club is now at Step 6, everything else is at Step 5!
The intriguing bit about local rivals Wootton, from the other side of Bedford is their player-manager Calum Davenport. Variously of Coventry, Tottenham and West Ham, he joined WBC in September 2010 to “Gain match fitness.” He’d been stabbed in both legs in August 2009, at his mother’s home in Kempston, Bedfordshire. He lost 50% of his blood and underwent emergency surgery for injuries which at one point looked to be life-threatening. A man was jailed for 6 years for the attack. For a man who once commanded a transfer fee of £1.3 million is was strange to see a man playing at a low level and not look dominating.
It was a close fought contest with Blue Cross, wearing red (!), taking the lead through Jason Simons. Potton pressed throughout afterwards, and were rewarded when Davenport down Stevie Thomas, and Adam Dunville slammed the resulting penalty home with tremendous force. It was hard to begrudge a point for such a well-run, friendly club.