Wednesday 29th November 2017 ko 19.45
United Counties League Division One
BUCKINGHAM TOWN 3 (Osei-Addo 26p Wreh 67 79)
POTTON UNITED 2 (Murrell 38 Webb 74)
It’s been over 4 years since Buckingham Town moved into the Irish Centre in Bletchley and over 6 since they were evicted from their spiritual home, Ford Meadow back in Buckingham a rather distant 14 miles away. My reader might remember my surprise when I visited here 2 years ago at just how much the place had been improved since the club had taken on the pitch following the demise of Bletchley Town. Home in Buckingham Town’s case though, isn’t necessarily where the heart is.
The improvements look to be somewhere near complete, albeit with one floodlight pylon now out of use. The far end is now out-of-bounds, and the other areas sport much equipment salvaged from the MK Dons first home at the National Hockey Stadium. I assume that the notices stating that Manor Fields is an all-seater stadium are to be taken with one’s tongue firmly in one’s cheek!
There’s no lack of building materials dotted about the place, and you sense that there’s ambivalence about the place on the part of Buckingham Town. On one hand it is a fine facility, and the club having use of a separate room from the rest of the Irish Centre is another step forward. But this is still a ground in exile, and Ford Meadow back in Buckingham is still in situ, not least because it’s on flood plain.
The University of Buckingham own the facility and their idea is to install a 3G and create a sports centre around it. As it stands the plans don’t involve creating a viable football ground around that pitch, but Buckingham Town live in hope. Let’s face it, adding a stand and a turnstile block wouldn’t be an impossible job, and surely having an anchor tenant would benefit the college as much as it would benefit Buckingham Town?
In the shorter term Town would want to get back to Step 5 at the very least. This win looked to be a morale booster for them with two goals from a forward with an interesting background. Arsenal fans may remember Liberian forward Christopher Wreh’s stint with the club from 1997-2000. He led something of an itinerant existence after leaving Highbury which included a brief stint at Buckingham Town in 2004! His son, also Christopher Wreh played last season at MK Gallacticos in the Spartan South Midlands League Division 2 but has stepped up a level to play here. His goals proved to be the difference in a highly entertaining game.
It was good to see a stable Buckingham Town after so many dreadful, uncertain years. You wonder what the future holds for the club if they’re forced to continue their exile, 14 miles is a long way in non-league terms.
In terms of football continuing at the Irish Centre that seems secure. Unite MK of the Spartan South Midlands League share here, and they of course used to be the revival of Wolverton Town. You wonder whether in time, they’ll rebadge themselves as Bletchley Town, who of course were once based here!
As just to add to a night of coincidences the other Buckingham Town goal was scored by Kelvin Osei-Addo. If you’ve clicked the Wolverton Town link you’d know he scored the goal for MK Dons when I visited there. It is a small world isn’t it?