Wednesday 11th October 2017 ko 19.45
Southern Counties East Division One
SNODLAND TOWN 0
LYDD TOWN 1 (Lockyer 65)
The Kentish town of Snodland grew based around, like so much in the area around paper making, in principle due to the lime deposits in the area. Today the town is still well-to-do in an unobtrusive way, but it’s the story of the village nearby that needs to be told.
Once upon a time there was a village called Dode, it’s site lies in the hills above Snodland, but the village’s population was wiped out by Bubonic Plague in the 14th Century. Legend has it that just one girl aged 7 survived and she took refuge in the village’s church before succumbing to the disease.
Following the Black Death, the village was abandoned, and the church stood empty for centuries. Today all that’s left of Dode is one wall of the original church, the rest of the now deconsecrated building was rebuilt in the 20th century. Nevertheless the ghost of the Dodechild is reckoned to haunt the churchyard, appearing every 7 years.
In more modern times Snodland lays claim to being the birthplace of the recording artist to have more songs banned from being played by the BBC than anyone else. Reggae artist Judge Dread (aka Alex Hughes) managed to have 11 songs banned (mostly for swearing) by the BBC but nevertheless managed to name-check his home town in ditties such as “The belle of Snodland town.”
Potyn’s Field is exactly the kind of ground you’d expect of a club in it’s second season at Step 6. It all looks new, the result of massive investment in the ground, making it enclosed, then providing toilets, a stand and a pathway. It’s impressive and the Stadium Solutions stand is hopefully part of a trend away from the horrible little “Arena” stands. Better still, there’s more to come, the concrete base is in place to double the stand’s size, and the club are looking to build a clubhouse within the perimeter fence too. That will erase the current bugbear, having to rope off a walkway the 100 metres or so between the current changing rooms and the pitch.
These are exciting times for the club, playing at it’s highest ever level, but they seem to be managing to square the circle of remaining rooted in their community while remaining ambitious. They were a friendly bunch too, and my thanks to the gateman who allowed Robyn and I to shelter in his shed when the rains came towards the end. He provided me with much of the information for this article too!
Sadly the game was as sodden as the conditions. A draw would have been fair, but once again my habit of jinxing friendly clubs continued as Lydd won the game courtesy of a Gary Lockyer strike. I suspect the groundhopping pedants appreciated the goal, but the real story here is of a friendly go-ahead club making strides forward. I wish them well.