Saturday 8th October 2016 ko 16.30
Western League Division One
WESTBURY UNITED 0
MALMESBURY VICTORIA 1 (Wilkins 52)
I’m beginning to think the time and place and to organise groundhops is in hospitality on the previous year’s event! Westbury had been the visitors at Keynsham Town last year, and I remember seeing their committee at half-time during a quite wonderful time, and their enthusiasm was both infectious and magnetic. It was an easy decision to include them this time round.
Now coming from Oxford, if you mention the White Horse, you tend to think of the 1923 FA Cup Final or the Chalk Horse in the hills above Uffington, but the Westbury one is far easier to spot, particularly from the respective football grounds! Mind you it didn’t stop one hopper failing to spot it- he wasn’t having a particularly observant hop! The horse has been cut into the edge of Bratton Down since the 9th century although this version is a restoration dating from 1792.
The club were, as expected, excellent hosts and as ever it was the little touches that endeared. There was the whiteboard loaned by the local primary school, with a club official commenting “Why didn’t we think of this before? We’ll start posting the line-ups for every home game”
Then there was the the quite amazing array of food on sale, and the local real ales too. I felt both sorry and grateful to the tea hut ladies who somehow kept the queue moving. I’ll always be grateful to Westbury, the third game of the day is often where tiredness sets in but the staging was so good I could simply enjoy the occasion for what it was.
We were all pleased to see Malmesbury back in Pyramid football, and was it really 2002 on GroundhopUK’s very first hop when we first paid the Flying Monk Ground a visit? (25/8/2002 Malmesbury Victoria 3-3 Cirencester United – Hellenic League Division 1 West, Attendance 259)
There were no such goalscoring heroics this time, perhaps the occasion got to the two sides. Still the OCD wing of the hobby were satisfied with Ed Wilkins’ second half strike, although I’m bound to say either side could have won this game. I carefully stowed my bottle of beer in the boot, and changed camera batteries and made tracks, or should that hooves?