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Saturday 31st July 2016 ko 13.30

Peterborough & District League- Division 3

EYE UNITED 3 (Law 31 Joyce 81 90)


Att 196

Entry £4

Programme £1

Chicken/ Veggie curry £3

We knew we’d lose a few hoppers after the Crowland game, Wisbech St Mary’s first ever game in the Eastern Counties League was always going to be an attraction. In fact I was slightly relieved when I spotted that the opposition there was to be AFC Sudbury’s reserves. Many hoppers won’t watch a game involving a reserve side, so that league’s decision to schedule the match that way was, I’m sure unwittingly, doing us a favour! But whatever the whys and wherefores due east, I felt we had a good pair of games to offer, and Eye was intriguing.

Lindesfarne Road isn’t the typical basic ground you’d expect to find in the 4th tier of a Step 7 league. That’s due to this ground being the former home of the original Eye United, who played United Counties League football here from 2003 to 2005 before upping sticks to Chestnut Avenue in Peterborough and becoming Peterborough Northern Star.

There’s not a massive amount left from those days. The clubhouse is new, the old one was situated on what’s now the car park, so the main relics from the club’s previous selves are the pitchside barrier and the brick dugouts, now sadly vandalised.

I’ve seen comments criticizing why we opted to feature a game this far down the footballing pecking order and the admission charged so let’s answer them. The admission charged is, and will be common across all PDFL clubs hosting on the hop. We made the decision to do this as the clubs in this league will for the most part encounter the same issues in hosting. And fundamentally why should a division 3 club receive less than a top flight one?

As for the amount, that’s a judgement call and I’ll be a little bit cheeky by noting that the odd one that complained did actually pay! I’d observe also that if hoppers wish to save on the cost of entry, then buy an advance ticket. It does amuse me that there are still people who grumble about paying a club who really needs the money £4, after putting £60 of petrol in the car when there’s a coach laid on for £15!

As for the level, I completely understand that some people don’t wish to watch football below a certain level. That’s fine, but I remain disappointed at the odd comment criticizing those of us who do. GroundhopUK’s agreement is with the entire United Counties and Peterborough & District Leagues for us to visit all first XI’s in their own grounds who are both willing and able to host. So, if you don’t fancy that, that’s absolutely okay, but I fear you’ll be missing out on some real gems-  just like here.

For this was an exceptionally well presented hop game. I’m not sure whether the curry was a nod to the visitors’ Asian heritage but I do know that is was both well-priced and delicious! It was good to see FC Peterborough feature, they were due to be the away side last year at Rutland Dead Rabbits, but with DR being unable to host they were left disappointed.  I wonder what catering they could do!?

On the pitch the game took time to come to life, but I’ll remember is for FC Peterborough moving the ball well, but lacking any end product. They were made to pay for their profligacy by firstly Nathan Law, then as they tired  by a quick Jacob Joyce brace. It was hard to begrudge Eye their win, they were the better side, and their staging was excellent, but I do hold FC Peterborough in some regard. I hope they enjoyed their day despite the result.