Saturday 5th May 2012 ko 2.30pm
North Berkshire League Division One
FARINGDON TOWN 2 (Harrington 40 Sutton 77)
CROWMARSH GIFFORD 2 (Allum 55 Currell 84)
Att 38 (h/c)
I like Tucker Park,with its rural views and good facilities. There’s a large clubhouse and the bonus of a covered 3-step terrace. Best of all there’s a view of the West-Oxfordshire town’s most famous feature-the Folly.
It was designed by Gerald Wellesley, Marquess of Douro, for Lord Berners and built in 1935. It is 140 feet high and affords panoramic views of the Vale of White Horse. During the Second World War the Home Guard used it as an observation post. In 1982 Robert Heber-Percy restored it and gave it to the town in trust. It’s actually on the site of an ancient ditched defensive ring. This was fortified by supporters of Matilda sometime during the Anarchy (1135–1141) – her campaign to claim the throne from King Stephen but was soon razed to the ground on Stephen’s orders . Oliver Cromwell fortified it in his unsuccessful campaign to defeat the Royalist garrison at Faringdon House.
This fixture was the stand-out in today’s NBFL programme. Two long-time front-runners for the championship it had boiled down to Crowmarsh needing just a point to take the championship, just 7 years after forming from the nucleus of a boys’ club.
It was clear from the outset that Faringdon would not roll over easily. Whilst Crowmarsh were clearly in the ascendancy, Faringdon looked dangerous on the break. Faringdon’s Louis Bouwer’s last-ditch sliding tackle kept Crowmarsh out, before a Faringdon corner got caught in the wind, hitting the bar with keeper Chris Sutton beaten. Faringdon took the lead on 40 minutes, when Matt Pill’s right-wing cross was met by Derren Harrington. His low drive took a wicked defection, wrong footing Sutton.
The tension was palpable with the trophy present, but artfully hidden in a box in the teabar. Crowmarsh took 10 minutes to equalise as Andy Allum was put clean though and was brought down by Faringdon keeper Ryan Curtis. Curtis was booked, and Allum dusted himself off to beat Curtis from the penalty spot.
But still Faringdon wouldn’t lie down. Gary Sutton picked up a rebound, and 20 yards out hit a real missile of a shot past the other Sutton. It looked like the trophy might have to remain in storage until Tuesday. But then a free kick was played into the Faringdon box and Liam Currell got just enough force on his header to get the ball over the line despite a desperate lunge by a Faringdon defender.
That finished the game as a spectacle and the celebrations at the final whistle were heartfelt. There was a nice touch as the Faringdon captain ordered his players out of the changing room to applaud Crowmarsh as the trophy was awarded. A class act applauding another. I like that.