Tuesday 30th April 2013 ko 18.30
Oxon Senior League Premier Division
STONESFIELD 1 (Hall 51og)
BLETCHINGTON 1 (Foster 22)
Nothing for sale
Perhaps after writing an article about somewhere misspelt I’d rapidly end up watching a team for whose name there is no spelling. Enter the Oxford village from one end and its Bletchington, from the other its Bletchingdon! Even the Bletch manager made life complicated, “It’s Bletchingdon,” he said, “Just like the back of my top.” The trouble was that said “Bletchington””
Stonesfield is one of a few pretty Oxfordshire villages; it lies on a limestone escarpment above and about 4 miles due west of Woodstock, and the trees of the Blenheim estate are clearly visible from the sports field just off Field Close.
The Roman Road, Akeman Street forms part of the parish boundary here, and just east of the village was the site of a Roman villa. It’s pavement was unearthed by a farmer George Handes in 1712. He fell into a dispute with the landowner Richard Fowler as to how each would profit from the discovery, and by 1724 the archaeologist William Stukeley reported that Handes had destroyed the pavement as a result of the dispute, in a classic case of a pyrrhic victory.
I arrived early, an advantage of Banbury being a short drive away. The opening vista was the Bletch management desperately trying to round up a team. 6.30 kick offs are all very well, but even in a league with a relatively small footprint like this one, working players, particularly the visiting ones can have real difficulties making these early kick-offs.
For all of that the visitors will wonder how they managed NOT to win this one. They had the best player on display, Ben Foster who ran Stonesfield’s defence ragged and scored a magnificent thumping drive. Stonesfield’s influence came mainly from the educated feet of former Banbury United midfielder George Redknapp. But despite Redknapp’s efforts the visitors has the majority of the chances and possession.
Stonesfield’s goal came in bizarre circumstances. Baker’s shot was acrobatically saved by Nick Lacey in the Bletch goal. The ball rebounded off the post, hit defender Martin Hall, and dribbled over the line. Undeserved, but if you don’t take your chances that’s the risk you run. Bletch pressed hard, and forced a series of corners as the clock ran down but where unable to force home the advantage.