Dan Lees, Forest Green Rovers, gloucestershire county, Gloucestershire County League, Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, Longlevens, Matt Spring, Nailsworth, nympsfield, Nympsfield Road, Ryan Dunn, Shortwood United, Taverners
Wednesday 15th August 2012 ko 6.30pm
Gloucestershire County League
TAVERNERS 3 (Spring 50 58 Lees 70)
LONGLEVENS 1 (Dunn 51)
Att 20 (h/c)
I knew this one was going to be tight, from a 5 o’clock start a few miles north of Banbury, a 6.30 kick off just south of Stroud was a big stretch. I used every short-cut I knew, it does help having worked in Cirencester, and lived in Banbury! I made it to Nympsfield Road was seconds to spare.
The pretty Gloucestershire town of Nailsworth was once a centre for milling and brewing, but nowadays the shells of the mills are used as light industrial units, and the place has a gentrified air amongst the boutiques, and shops catering for the significant number of walkers exploring the Cotswolds. Nailsworth, unlike its larger nearer neighbour Stroud is a real footballing hotbed. On one hill is Southern League outfit Shortwood United, but on the other hill is Nympsfield Road, and that has a heritage all of its own.
As you travel up and away from the centre of town, you pass the site of The Lawn, former home of Forest Green Rovers, and their current home, The New Lawn isn’t much further up. Sandwiched between the two, and adjacent to FGR’s current home in Nympsfield Primary School and the railed off pitch in its grounds, is the home of Taverners FC. Beyond the New Lawn is open ground formerly used by tonight’s hosts. Quite a heritage for one road in a small town!
Taverners were founded in 1972 a pub team from the George Hotel in the town. After years in the Stroud & District League they found their feet, and have risen through the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, into the pinnacle of the County game in 2002. For those who a programme is a prerequisite, it is mandatory for clubs to issue in this league. The only exception is the hastily arranged fixtures that occur at the end of each season.
Having sat through 120 minutes of goalless football the previous evening the last thing I wanted was more of the same. I felt rather deflated at half time, despite the club’s friendly welcome. It livened up no end in the second half, and once Matt Spring’s neat finish gave Taverners the lead, the game opened up and the next 8 minutes saw 2 more goals, one apiece. Dan Lees’ cushioned lob put the game beyond doubt, and there was little question that the better side won in the end.
I said my goodbyes and approached my journey home a good deal more leisurely than my trip in!