Saturday 17th October 2015 ko 16.30
Western League Premier Division
CADBURY HEATH 0
Once again another lean forward to check the coach driver’s sat-nav revealed another mile’s journey between games. And just like between the first two games we spotted someone who was walking between the games, so we offered him a lift to Keynsham after this one but he declined, perhaps he foresaw the score here!
Most of the time as organiser its handy if you’ve already paid the ground a visit, the likes of Rob Hornby and Kim Hedwall make a point of doing so, but here I’m not sure it was an advantage. I’d seen Cadbury Heath’s defeat to Spennymoor in the FA Vase 4th Round in 2011 and remembered the ground’s unusual configuration.
For a start there’s very little parking, so I was pleased to see some land behind a social club utilised for both car and coach parking. It allowed easy access to the clubhouse, a “Terrapin” type building at one end of the land that house the ground proper. The ground itself is completely separated from it, just a metal fence demarcates the ground for everything else, and since facilities within the ground are sparse it meant that full use was being made of the clubhouse.
It was a hive of activity, plenty were watching a rugby match, and others were having a pre-match pint Two things interested me though, the first was a quite magnificent stew on a sale for a bargain £2, and the copy of our (in)famous briefing notes pinned to the noticeboard.
You could easily argue those notes, the product of 13 years organisational experience are what makes us successful, and I’d certainly comment that clubs that do the best on our events are the ones that have followed their advice. It was good to see them so obviously been used and their advice heeded, as once again all Chris Berezai and I had to do was count the crowd. It was a hugely enjoyable experience simply grabbing a seat in the stand and enjoying watching a club make the most of its opportunity. And then the game kicked off!
There are of course two things no amount of organisation skill can influence, the weather and the quality of the game. On that basis I’m glad it didn’t rain! There is nothing wrong with either side, it was just for the vast majority of the time they utterly cancelled each other out. Both sides had brief periods of superiority, but the end result looked likely to be goalless from very early on.
Perhaps it was no bad thing that the pace of life slowed. We deliberately set a fast pace at our events, mainly to maximise opportunities for all, and with the game meandering I used the time to catch up with friends, who like me had plonked themselves in the stand. The great advantage of all these hops we organise is that I get to spend more time with them.
The game finally petered out and we made our way back to the car park. As I left one of my subscribers laughed,
“I bet you can’t cobble together 500 words from this!”
I smiled, it really wasn’t difficult as there is far more to enjoying groundhopping, and organising a hop than just the game itself.