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Saturday 31st December 2011 ko 12.00pm

Hellenic League Division One West


TYTHERINGTON ROCKS 3 (Chapman 25 Perry 42 Criddle 79)

Att 78

Entry & Programme £3

Tea 60p

Steak Pie £1.50

It has to be said that New College are a difficult side to get a grip on as to what they’re about. Formed in 1994 as a side playing friendlies on Wednesday afternoons (a day typical for student football), they graduated to academy status two years later with a tie up with Swindon Town. That lasted 2 years before the club linked up with Forest Green Rovers, but these days there appears to be no official link-up, but coaching is directed by Paul Bodin, youth team manager at the County Ground. There were a few Swindon Town bench coats in evidence.

Also convoluted is to where home games are played. The designated ground is Swindon Supermarine RUFC, on the Hunts Copse facility in South Marston, adjacent to Southern League outfit Swindon Supermarine. And that’s the rub, as some New College home games are played at SSFC. Its worth checking if that’s important to you!

Its New College’s second stint in the Hellenic League, their first in 2002-3 ended due to ground issues. Assuming they can maintain use of the rugby ground, their stint this time should be longer. You enter the ground via the clubhouse, and its was noted that real ale was on sale, quite a few hoppers needed no further invitation! The ground, whilst open, seems to be more or less enclosed, with sets of shipping containers at the edges of the pitch. On the far side, scaffolding has been used to create a cantilevered roof on the containers. It looks odd, but it works well. There are also some randomly placed seats, seamingly from the County ground, presumably to keep ground graders happy. With everyone stood up in in front of them, not a single one was used. Importantly for step 6 football there are floodlights, which were utilised on a cold murky and drizzly afternoon.

Other than the great and the good (one of those terms I’m using advisedly) of the groundhopping fraternity, another notable visitor was Hellenic General Secretary, and Head Honcho of the League, Brian King, in his guise of Referees’ assessor.

He had a relatively easy game, because referee Lennon Davis had a good game, because the players let him have one! Tytherington were good value for their away win, in fact I can only remember College mustering one reasonable chance. Alex Chapman opened the scoring with a decent finish at the back post. The second came direct from a corner, Tony Perry lashing home. The third was mere icing on the cake as centre half Andy Criddle fired home from 6 yards. He celebrated wildly and was immediately substituted!

There was just enough time for College’s Ben Wells to be withdrawn, with all substitutions already made. The bench claimed he was injured but he ran from the field in no obvious discomfort!

So that finishes my football watching for 2011, so I’d like to wish my reader a happy and successful 2012.