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Friday 27th July 2012 ko 19.00

Pre-Season Friendly

FARINGDON TOWN 1 (Benson 10)

CLANFIELD 85 3 (Oswin 36 Williams 45 Oxendale 88)

Att 35 (h/c)

My appearance here for once had absolutely nothing to do withn the game on offer! I was there for a North Berkshire hop planning meeting, and League Press Officer Phil Annets thought along the same lines as me, why not watch the friendly first? Moreover he even bought his dinner from the same Chinese takeaway I did!

We did as others did and grabbed a table and chairs from the bar, and watched an enjoyable game in the warm eveing sun. It proved, if proof were needed that there isn’t much difference in quality between Faringdon, who will see themselves as North Berkshire League title contenders, and Clanfield, who will probably finish mid-table in Division One West of the Hellenic.

That, last season was a mere one promotion, but things aren’t as clear-cut this time, The FA have removed the NBFL’s step 7 status; based on facilties that’s probably fair enough. However to then find out that the neighbouring Oxfordshire Senior League has retained its status despite similar facilities and vastly inferior administration is to be polite, baffling.

Faringdon opened the scoring with a fine 15 yard strike from Chris Benson, and if Faringdon’s goalkeeping had have been less eccentric, they may well have got something from this fixture. Ollie Oswin fired home from a corner, and a goalkeeping howler gave Ben Williams an easy chance to give Clanfield the lead on the stroke of half-time. It stayed that way until the 88th minute when Royston Oxendale chased down a through ball. He did enough to beat the on-rushing keeper, and steer the ball in the the net, but collided with the glovesman in so doing. The referee took one look at the stricken keeper, and decided to blow full time. There was no lasting damage, and so Phil, I and the representative of the 4 hosting clubs trooped into the bar for our planning meeting.

It proved to be most productive, we’re good to go on the 22nd of September, and the line up will be as follows.

10.30am Coleshill United
1.30pm Faringdon Town
4.30pm Stanford-in-the-Vale
7.30pm Uffington United

There will be programmes for each game produced by the participating clubs, together with the usual metal badges. There also looks to be a decent range of real ales to be bought, and the clubs are liasing to provide a different type of catering for each game.

There will be the facility to buy a pre-bought ticket, guaranteeing a programme on either a match-by-match or whole event basis as well as the usual pay-on-the-day. Obviously there’s a lot of work for both Phil, I and the clubs to do before the League’s big day, but after this meeting I’m confident that the day will be a success.

If you’d like more information, just email groundhopuk@yahoo.com. See you there!