Tuesday 15th April 2014 k0 18.30
Spartan South Midlands League Division Two
ASTON CLINTON 3 (Roberts 2 57 68)
MURSLEY UNITED 1 (Hutchinson 72)
Programme NO (Old copy FREE)
The trick when you visit this Buckinghamshire village is to travel to Wendover, then along to the village via RAF Halton. The road takes you along the edge of the limestone escarpment on the very edge of the Chiltern Hills, and there’s a layby with a spectacular view of the topography to the west out towards Aylesbury, including Aston Clinton Park, the football club’s current home. The car manufacturer Aston Martin takes its first name from the village combining it with that of its co-founder Lionel Martin, Martin raced specials at Aston Hill nearby.
The building at its centre of the village is rather grandly called, “The Hub” but it does at least act as one. The park is used for all kinds of sports, including tennis and cricket, and during the second half here, a running club made me feel positively tired just watching them; the New York marathon seems such a long time ago! For what it’s trying to achieve, Aston Clinton Park does exactly what it sets out to do, providing a sporting life for the village, but it has created an issue for the club.
The club’s needs and The Hub’s often clash, there is no chance of the club building a ground suitable for promotion, and the centre often isn’t open when the club are playing. The club have shown the capability for promotion, they were runners-up in the Hellenic League Division One East for 2002, and won their current division in 2012, so something had to give. And give it has, the club will leave at the end of the season, and will move around half-a-mile to the Green Park Training and Conference Centre. I had a scout around (in rapidly fading light) after the game, and found a huge site, with a hotel, sports centre, and even a camp site too, but no pitches, although there is more than enough room to provide one or two!!
I’d watched Aston Clinton a week earlier at Pitstone & Ivinghoe, report here and they’d come off very second best, and I fully expected them to lose again to high-flying Mursley. Clinton secretary Dave McCardle, himself a hopper, took a phlegmatic view, he admitted the two named substitutes were, “Donald Duck, and Mickey Mouse,” but the eleven men proved to be far too much for the out-of-sorts visitors. Neil Roberts collected a hat-trick by doing little more than mugging both centre-halves and the goalkeeper, and Gary Hutchinson’s powerful header from a left-wing cross was no more than consolation.
It will be interesting to see what the club can do with their new home, certainly if the will is there to do so, a Step 6 ground looks far more possible than at Aston Clinton Park. Definitely one to watch.