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Saturday 31st March 2012 ko 2.30pm

Perry Street & District League Premier Division

LYME REGIS AFC 2 (Simier 52 Gosling 90)

ILMINSTER TOWN RESERVES 1 (Gilman 41)

Att 44 (h/c)

Entry by donation

No programme

125 years of LRFC brochure £2

Tea-in-a-mug 50p

It was a full 18 months since I’d last visited the Dorset town of Lyme Regis, and with me finally getting round to visiting friends Mike and Christine, in footballing terms the number one priority was a visit to the Davey Fort.

Lyme Regis is known primarily for one thing, palaeontology as the coast, a World Heritage site, stretches over a distance of 153 kilometres from Exmouth, in the west, to Old Harry Rocks in the east.The coastal exposures along the coastline provide a continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations spanning approximately 185 million years of the Earth’s history. The localities along the Jurassic Coast include a large range of important fossil zones. The Blue Lias rock is host to a multitude of remains from the early Jurassic period.  Many of the remains are well preserved, with complete specimens of several important species. Many of the earliest discoveries of dinosaur and other prehistoric reptile remains were made in this area  notably those discovered by Mary Anning (1799–1847).

The Davey Fort sits on the hill as you enter the town from the north. There’s a clubhouse with an overhang behind the near goal, and a rail on one side. There simply isn’t room for much else as the ground is on a ledge cut out of the hill, and despite the obvious attempts to widen it, the pitch is too narrow to allow the club to progress upwards into the Dorset Premier League.

And that’s the tragedy of the piece. Here is a wonderful, charming club, who’ve won the league at a canter, and are clearly a big fish in a small pond, but the biggest problem lies in finding a large enough piece of flat land, in a hilly town that’s fashionably expensive! I chatted to club stalwart Graham “Percy” Vere (529 goals in 20 years), who told me that the club had found a suitable site further north, only to be turned down by the local authorities, as ONE PERSON had complained that he might have been able to have seen a floodlight! And people wonder why this country has an obesity problem!

With Lyme having the title all wrapped up, this game had the incentive of the club maintaining its 100% home record for the season. They made a confident start but the visitors, one of whose subsitutes had no idea in which league his first eleven play(Somerset County League), soon found their feet. Ilminster surprised everyone, including themselves, by scoring just before half time, when a beautifully flighted free kick from the left was turned in by Louis Gilman.

Regis didn’t seem unduly worried and soon after the restart a perfectly flighted cross from the right was expertly headed home by subsitute Julian Simien. Its was one way traffic by now and only a series of baffling off-sides given by the Ilminster club linesman kept the champions out. It was, of course only a matter of time, and in the final minute a perfect cross-cum-shot from the right by Joel Gosling nestled in the corner of the net. When you’re this good, you need no other opportunity.

A great achievement, but tinged with the regret that through no fault of their own, they’ll be having no other challenge next season but to try to repeat the feat.