Cheltenham, Cheltenham Civil Service, Cheltenham League, Civil Service, County League, Frampton United, GCHQ, GCHQ United, Gloucestershire County League, Government Communications HeadQuarters, Tewkesbury Road
Wednesday 15th April 2015 ko 18.30
Gloucestershire County League
CHELTENHAM CIVIL SERVICE 0
FRAMPTON UNITED 0
In an odd way, the roots of the club aren’t in Cheltenham. The Civil Service suffix refers to GCHQ which used to be based near Swakeleys Junction, Hillingdon. The football club was formed there in 1948 and when the Government Communications HeadQuarters moved to Cheltenham in 1953 the club (and half the team) relocated with it. They moved to their current home at Tewkesbury Road, Uckington, at Cheltenham’s western edge in 1954, and the club renamed itself from GCHQ in 1957 as players from other parts of the Civil Service locally were representing the club.
Unless you are a follower of Cheltenham area football I suspect the club would have sailed under many people’s radar. In recent years the club were promoted from the Cheltenham League into the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League finishing as runners-up the league last season. In order to gain promotion the club moved across the sportsfield to allow them to create and barrier a new pitch on the site of the former rugby pitch in front of the clubhouse.
It’s still a fairly basic affair pitch-side, cover is minimal but the pitch is superb and there aren’t mainly grounds I have been too where you can eat scampi-in-the-basket whilst watching the game!
What has been unexpected in the County League is that the two sides promoted into the league would be the only two left with a chance of the championship. At kick-off CCS were top, 10 points ahead of AEK Boco and Chipping Sodbury Town. With Town only having 2 games left,they were out of the picture but with the Bristolian club having 4 games left CCS needed a win from this the guarantee the title.
Except on this warm evening it didn’t happen from them. The nerves were obvious, and although the skills were manifest, the team took a pass too many to force home the advantage to a Frampton side, that defended well, and looked a threat on the break. I’m sure many will look at the lack of goals and think it was a poor game, it was anything but, and when CCS blasted over the bar in the dying seconds in the dying sun the excitement was real.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if goals had been the be-all and end-all, I should have watched their next game. On Saturday they won the title in some style, beating Southmead CS Athletic 13-0, a scoreline than included two hat-trick heroes. Congratulations to them, and now the challenge will be to do it all again next season, there will not be a potentially ruinous attempt at the Hellenic League.
Sometimes timing is everything, it certainly was on my visit.