Wednesday 6th August 2014 ko 18.30
West Dean Charity League Intermediate Section
BLAKENEY 5 (Lindsay 11 Rowles 24 51 Ellison 28 Hilton 50)
TIDENHAM 1 (Jones 84) Hansen missed penalty 84
So more Forest of Dean action from the North Gloucestershire’s pre-season tournament. The village is easy to find, its on the A48 south from Gloucester, but the Blakeney Playing Field is rather more difficult to reach. In fact you could say its pain in the Butt to find!
I should explain; the ground is at the end of Butts Lane, but many maps, including a famous online one do not recognise the street. Its treated as being part of the A48 High Street even though it runs at right-angles to it, so here’s how to watch Blakeney. As you travel through the village look out for the village shop, just before Bridge Street spurs off High Street to run parallel to it. Look beyond and a right-angles to Bridge Street, and you’ll see a narrow opening; this is Butts Lane.
Bridge Street stands at confluence of the Blackpool and Soudley Brooks, which in 14th century times provided the power for iron smelting, allowing the village to grow. The village became famous when its son Thomas Sternhold became courtier to Henry VIII and was the principle author first English metrical (poetic) version of the of the Psalms, produced as an addendum to the Prayer Book.
For all that history my number one concern when I reached the end of Butts Lane was whether the game would take place! Despite the summery weather the near goalmouth was being swept to remove the water from a deep puddle. I’ve seen less cause a postponement, but they don’t worry about trifles in the North Gloucestershire League, and the wet patch caused no issues to the hosts who brushed aside their visitors easily.
In between the bouts of goalscoring there was the vexed question of how to retrieve errant balls from the Forge Brook bubbling behind the ground. In every form of the game substitutes hate being out of the action, here they have still more reason as they could be sent on retrieval detail!
It wound down as the sun set, the final ball was retrieved, the goalkeeper took off his sodden shirt for the last few minutes, and at the end of it all I grinned. Sometimes you don’t need much else than 2 teams, two goals and a football.