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Saurday 22nd September 2012 ko 1.30pm

North Berkshire League Division One

FARINGDON TOWN 1 (Pill 50)

WOOTTON & DRY SANDFORD 0

Att 181

Entry & Programme £4

Badge £3

Food: Ham or Cheese Ploughmans

Beer: Arkells

With the first game at Coleshill there really was only one choice for the second, a trip to Faringdon’s Tucker Park. But have you ever thought about how the ground got its name?

Prior to World War I there was a Thursday Faringdon team, reflecting early closing on that day of the week. After the war the players returned to discover that 6 of of them had lost their lives, and that half day closing was a thing of the past. The £30 left in the club’s kitty was enough to buy and re-badge a racing trophy, as the Faringdon Memorial Thursday Cup, and the Faringdon Town ground was named after one of the fallen 6 players, Michael Tucker. The clubhouse you see today is the result of the fundraising done by the Thursday cup competition, and the cup is still played for today.

In fact, the Memorial Cup was a reason to be nervous as organiser as a combination of a final where there’s always a programme, and the unusual day of the week that its played, meant that many of the more senior hoppers would have done the ground, and therefore would look elsewhere. I knew Faringdon are an ambitious club, with their aim being promotion back to the Hellenic, and are improving the ground accordingly. Fence posts have appeared since my last visit, and the club hope to get permission for floodlights in the future. They’re also at pains to explain they’re going about it the correct way; local players only, and not spending money they haven’t got.

It was a lovely touch that the town mayor Mike Wise was there to welcome each and every person to his town’s game, and I was pleased to see him tucking into a Ploughman’s lunch later on! Those lunches went down a treat, especially with the small, but significant vegetarian contingent. As one of them correctly pointed out, ” A meat eater doesn’t have to eat meat at every meal.” As I chose the cheese version, I’m a good example. The tombola was a good money spinner too, with some bemused hoppers (me included) leaving with teddy bears!

This day was in marked contrast to the famous town Folly clearly visible above the far goal. The visitors were proudly carrying a 100% record coming into this game, and it was clear that what the game lacked in goalmouth action it made up for in tension and quality. It was hard to see this as Step 7 action.

It was Matty Pill who broke the deadlock firing home from 10 yards after good work from Dan Hoskin. Ultimately Wootton were to have to answer to this stike despite a lot of pressure late on. Luke Ingram should have done far better when clean through, and how Sam Paterson’s header hit the crossbar I’ll never know.

The celebrations at the final whistle were a reflection on what the win meant for Faringdon, and their ambitions for progress. I also felt it was a cheer for hard work earning a fair reward, both on and off the field.