Wednesday 23rd September 2015 ko 19.30
Anglian Combination Division One
BECCLES TOWN 2 (Joe Clarke 60 62)
BUNGAY TOWN 1 (Whiteman 7)
Entry & Programme £2
If you’re on Twitter and like football then I suspect you follow Shaun Cole and Bungay Town. Yes, even you at the back, the Manchester United fan that’s never actually been to Old Trafford, because Shaun sells his club like no other. They are the team that once offered everyone 5p to attend a game then the next year offered free mushrooms to patrons. Because just because your club exists 12 promotions from the Premier League doesn’t mean you can’t tell the world that you’re alive and kicking, and it does give you the freedom to do it with wit and charm.
It just so happens that Bungay Town are 90 years old this weekend, so for their home game versus Poringland, they’re aiming for 90 former players present, there’ll be 90 free hot dogs, the raffle costs 90p and I’m sure you’ve spotted the theme! Normally, I’d be heading to The Maltings for that, but I’m elsewhere so this was the perfect excuse to see Shaun and give the Black Dogs a cheer. Whatever the trials and tribulations of being a small club on the Suffolk/Norfolk border, to use the modern vernacular Bungay are winning at life.
But even without the Bungay connection this was a fixture well worth the 3 hour drive. Firstly Bungay is only around 6 miles from Beccles, so this was massive local derby, the first since August 2001, and to make life still more interesting this was Beccles Town’s first game under their new lights.
It was the kind of night that made you forget just how far down the footballing pecking order you were. It was the little touches that made you smile and remember; the boys paid in chocolate to collect empty mugs from the tea hut, and the gateman with his box of programmes to who spotted my camera and pointed me in Shaun’s direction. You can attract a huge crowd, but you don’t have to lose your soul.
What I couldn’t bring Shaun and his team was a little luck. They took the lead, and were the better side through the first half, but Beccles roared back after the break and two quick goals sealed the win for the hosts.
But when you’re Bungay, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune seem to be brushed outside that little bit more easily. Perhaps it’s those mushrooms…..