Ben Moore, Carl Crabtree, Corsham Town, Danny Baker, Dave Watkins, Elizabeth Hurley, Jamie Moss, Ross Lye, Ryan Tyrrel, Southbank, stone mines, Warminster Town, wessex league, Western League, woollen industry
Wednesday 10th October 2012 ko 19.45
Western League Division One
CORSHAM TOWN 4 (Baker 7 Lye 39 J Moss 71 Moore 73)
WARMINSTER TOWN 0
Whenever I venture south and west from Oxford, within a few miles you notice the accents change. The “Town” part of Oxford speaks with an approximation of the “Estuary” accent, but once you’re past Witney the country burr soon takes over. It’s a hangover from the days when the woollen industry went no further east than the Earley’s blanket factory in Witney, and listening to the people before the game reminded me of the story Oxonians used to tell of their country cousins. It consisted of the country folk thinking they could scrape gold from a pond at midnight, presumably because of the reflected moonlight. Bunkum of course, and I greatly enjoyed my trip to this corner of Wiltshire.
Corsham is notable for wool, but also for the stone mines that provided the materials to build Regency Bath. The mine shafts were eventually used by the MOD for secure accomodation. Model and Actress Elizabeth Hurley attended primary school here.
It was in fact my second visit, as I’d travelled here on the way home when I’d spent the day working in Bristol. On a filthy night I’d mistakenly parked in the rugby club car park next door and not to put a finer point on it, I was bursting! I did what I needed to, then seeing next door was still locked up I phoned the club who told me the game was off due to a waterlogged pitch… surely I didn’t cause that?
No such problems of this evening, and a bumper crowd saw Corsham take on Warminster fresh from a 10 year stint in the Wessex League. There’s a lot to love about Southbank, set as it is on the outskirts of the town. The stand is prefabricated, but the sightlines good. The club have worked out that the PA isn’t brilliant so there’s a holder with team sheets for those interested. The clubhouse is welcoming, and I enjoyed listening to the banter as I copied out the line-ups. The “Heath Robinson” element is to be found at your feet, with the “Danger-Electricity” concrete slabs, there I would imagine to stop rabbits digging up the pitch. This was one of those grounds where you go for a stroll and soak up all it has to offer. I mean, how can you fail to like a club where a column in the programme is called “Points of Stu?”
Yet for all of the above, I felt sorry for Warminster. Corsham deserved their win, but the vistors will point to being forced to use of all of their subsitutions due to injury. They lost both centre halves by half-time, and when goalkeeper Carl Crabtree succumbed to concussion picked up in an accidental collision with Ryan Tyrell just after the break, that precipitated a collapse.
Danny Baker’s finish from an acute angle was a fine opener, and would probably settled the tie, but then Ross Lye finished well before defender Jamie Moss bundled in at a corner, with stand-in keeper Dave Watkins nowhere. Warminster fought on, even after Ben Moore’s fourth, but were a long way from even competing. Warminster, of course is a trip I’ve yet to make, and on this showing that looks to be a trip worth making if their team works as hard as they did here.