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Tuesday 27th March 2012 ko 6.00pm (scheduled)

Stratford Alliance Division One

ALVESTON 4 (Layton 9p Fathers 31 Wilkes 67 Castle 70)


Att 33 (h/c)

Entry FREE

No programme

Many hoppers will know Alveston as a top flight Midland Combination outfit. Unfortunately at the end of last season they lost the use of their base at the Home Guard Club, in Tiddington, and have moved to the other side of Stratford-upon-Avon, to the small village of Bearley. The longest aqueduct in England, the Edstone Aqueduct, is just outside the village on the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal. The move cost the club its place in the Midland Combination, and were forced to take a 3 division demotion to the Stratford Alliance.

The Mill Field serves as both Sports field and Village hall, to the extent that the noise of the fixture was at times interrupted by the sounds of a few ladies doing their aerobics class! The bar area is first class with many watching a televised football match but the changing area will be a stumbling block to the club’s ambitions to a return to the Midland Combination. It’s strange, but there is only one changing room, the club have tried to provide separation by placing an upturned table tennis court in the middle, but that’s not good enough for promotion, so a new ground is being sought. With the club being top of the top flight the need is pressing!

The club’s administration is still of Midland Combination quality, even everyone else’s wasn’t. Referee Paul Batty ambled in at 6.00pm with Alveston ready to kick off, and immediately declared that he was switching kick off to 6.15. By then Cubbington had enough players to start, but kick off was then delayed to 6.30, by which time they had 11. Despite a number of the hoppers pointing out that playing 2 x 45 minutes would mean it would be dark before the final whistle, Mr Batty played a full first half, then was embarrassed as, yes, the game was finished 6 minutes early as it was dark….Some people you just can’t tell!

On the pitch, if either side had turned up with their shooting boots then we’d had seen a hat full of goals. Layton’s early penalty was the only thing to show for the massive superiority that Alveston were enjoying. Time after time Alveston smashed shots high or wide when it looked a good deal easier to score. Cubbington’s cause wasn’t helped with the loss of David Broomfield to a badly twisted knee on 20 minutes. They played on with 10 men until the 40th minute when a substitute had arrived and changed. As the visitors tired, so Alveston took advantage, and neither side should take issue with the shortened game. It made absolutely no difference to the destination of the points.

With the clocks having gone forward, and what groundhoppers refer to as “Silly Season” in force (evening kick-offs at unlit venues) I left grateful that I’d got a game, but I do think its unfair to expect amateur players to make a 6.00pm kick off. When the light allows a 6.30 start, well that’s a different story.