Wednesday 23rd March 2016 ko 19.30
Somerset County League Division One West
GLASTONBURY 0 Rahn sent off 85 (2nd booking)
WELLS CITY RESERVES 1 (Pledger 2)
On the face of it, there are one or two who would look at a game at the 12th level of English football and assume that it wouldn’t be worth bothering with. A few more might look at the fact that Glastonbury won the Western League 3 times in 1948/9, 1950/1 and 1969/70 and assume that the ground is a throw-back to past glories. Inevitably, the truth is more interesting than the assumption.
The club does have an illustrious history, based on a long-standing membership of the Western League, but those titles were won well before the club’s move to the Abbey Moor Stadium in 1982, based in no small part on ground grading considerations.
The ground was best known as a greyhound racing venue, that finally stopped in 2005 and a year later the speedway promoter Peter Toogood sold the stadium. Since then the dog track has been covered up, although its outline is obvious. The changing room and clubhouse block has been massively improved, and the result is a venue that would grace the Western League. The problem is that the team has not managed to live up to the stadium’s ambitions.
Glastonbury dropped out of the Western League in 1999 and even dropped as far as the Somerset County League’s third tier, Division Two West, before gaining promotion last year. It’s something of a mystery as to why, the club seem well-supported, perhaps the surfeit of Western League clubs nearby has had something to do with it.
A reasonable example would be Wells City just a few miles up the road. It was a derby, it felt like one from the sidelines, and in the end a few feisty challenges showed the players felt the same way! Adam Rahn saw red for two bad challenges and Wells’ Ben Higgins could easily have followed him for one quite dreadful challenge.
An early goal settled it courtesy of Ryan Pledger, and at the final whistle Wells celebrated as if it was their first win of the season. Such is the emotion of a local derby, but for Glastonbury you just hope this season of consolidation is a step on the road back to the Western League. The Abbey Moor Stadium deserves no less.