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Wednesday 23rd April 2014 ko 19.45

Western League Premier Division

ODD DOWN (BATH) 3 (Hunt 41 Jones 50 Hiroli 55)

BITTON 1 (Corrick 81)

Att c60

Entry & Programme £6

Badge-  Comp’

 

I’d had no intention of watching anything more under lights in the UK this season, but when my mate Andreas was over from Germany and decided he was going to Odd Down, it was an easy decision to join him. Apart from anything else I’d had a postponement a few weeks earlier report here so the place owed me a game, and it turned out to be an inspired choice, as I had an answer provided to a question I’d been pondering for a week or two.

Odd Down sits at the southern edge of Bath, and you do need to travel through the city centre to reach the Lew Hill Memorial Ground, so its worth factoring the inevitable traffic delays. Now regular readers will know I like to include a little local history, and Odd Down is at on the Wansdyke, a Dark Ages earth defensive earthbank, imagine Offa’s Dyke, but try as I can I cannot find out why its called “Odd Down!” Whatever the derivation, the club did have to change their name to include the Bath suffix on the instructions of the FA, although I’m bound to say that Sutton Coldfield-based Romulus have so far escaped the FA’s revisionists!

Regular readers of these articles may remember a trip to VfR Mannheim, report here where I was fortunate to be invited into the boardroom. I never take such occasions for granted, and I left the German club, both grateful and wondered whether an English club would do similar if a foreign visitor arrived at an English club. When Andreas was invited into the boardroom at half time for tea and sandwiches and a presented with a club pin badge, I was both grateful and pleased that the spirit of welcoming visitors extends to my country. Well done Odd Down, and thank you.

The game was far closer than the score would suggest. It all boiled to two poorly defended corners, both times allowing firstly Ben Hunt, then Adnan Hiroli to power home headers. That allowed them to far more easily protect assistant manager Ray Johnston deputising for the injured Ed Baldy, who aggravated a thigh injury during the first half. Johnston made just the one save, and was blameless for Bitton’s consolation as The Down eased down.

Ultimately the game meant little, neither side will move divisions for next season, it was just a good end-of-season workout. But for one German visitor, and his English friends it meant much much more.