Friday 30th March 2012 ko 7.30pm
Mid-Someset League Dimmock Green Cup Final
MEADOW RANGERS 0
FROME TOWN SPORTS 1 (Lock 29)
Played at Shepton Mallet FC
Entry & Programme £2
The idea of this one was simple, in that it was on the way down to see my friends Mike and Christine in Dorset. I hardly need an excuse to watch a game, but at a new ground on the way? It would be rude not to!
The Somerset town of Shepton Mallet, is possibly best known as where Babycham is produced! The western suburbs are dominated by the Charlton railway viaduct and the former Anglo-Bavarian brewery building. The oldest working prison in the UK is to be found here. I knew none of this when I arrived, all I knew was that as a child cycling back from school, I’d stop at the local John Menzies to buy the latest 7″ single. On the back of the sleeve were the band’s tour dates, Wembley Arena, the Birmingham NEC and so on. One of the dates was always Shepton Mallet Showgrounds, but these days it never features on the tour schedules, I wonder why?
The town’s Western League team plays at Wells Road, West Mallet, but tonight the ground was being used for a local league’s cup final. The Mid-Somerset League feeds into the Somerset League, and then up into the Western League. The fixture pitched Midsomer Norton based Meadow Rangers top of the Premier Divison against Frome Town Sports, top of Division One. Frome’s connections with the town’s Southern League club were interesting. With Frome having no reserve team, this side wear Frome Town kit, and are very much under the senior team’s wing. The rules of the league state that a player cannot play more than 5 senior games in a season, so there can’t be much exchange of talent between the two sides.
What wasn’t clear from the moment they kicked off, was which side was in the top flight. I felt Frome at least tried to play football, but were being kicked all of the park by their opponents who were the wrong side of physical at best. In a frantic first half there were 2 punch-ups and another as the teams trooped off for half time. Meadow’s Jake Riddle’s stamp on Frome keeper Ryan Matthews damaged the young glovesman’s arm sufficiently for him to be able to take no further part, even in the presentation ceremony.
At that point at least we’d seen a goal, Adam Lock finishing well from 10 yards, but he was forced to take Matthews place in goal. It speaks volumes that he had virtually nothing to do, as Meadow kicked, elbowed and punched with Frome’s Ian Kennedy on the receiving end of most, rather than force home the obvious advantage. Unbelievably, referee Matt Drew took until 84 minutes to show anyone a card, and ridiculously the recipient was Kennedy himself, for an innocuous foul!
So, an uninspiring game, the correct side won, but the ground was the real star. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.