Tuesday 24th April 2018 ko 18.00
Banbury & Lord Jersey League Premier Division
DEDDINGTON TOWN 5 (Cook 11 17 49 Atherton 15 Ametller 71)
CHARLTON & DISTRICT 1 (Ball 24og)
If you’re old enough, and you’ve travelled between Oxford and Coventry before the M40 was extended, there’s a fair chance you’ve passed through Deddington. It’s on the A423 between Kidlington and Banbury and in so many ways acts as stopping point between the two. You really ought to pay the “Pie Face” pub for a pre-match pie and a pint.
It’s been a market town since the 12th century and there’s the remains of a Norman castle here too. It was built after the 1066 conquest, expanded as the town grew in the 12th century but rapidly declined, and was largely demolished by the 14th century, with just enough left of the structure for both sides to use the castle as a base at different points of the English Civil War in the 1640’s.
But antiquity is also applicable to the football club. They were formed in 1888, making them one of the oldest clubs in Oxfordshire, but there is evidence of a side named Deddington playing a year earlier, at the castle grounds. That had the makings of a spectacular setting!
The club moved to the other side of the A423 relatively recently. The Windmill Centre acts as both a community centre and sports hub for the town. Whilst that gives the club a pitch but no clubhouse, it does provide enough to allow the club to thrive, and this game rather proved the point.
The avoidance of doubt, the Charlton on show are not Charlton-on-Otmoor, rather the Charlton, near Farthinghoe just over the border into Northamptonshire. I seems an age since I first visited them, but like then, they’re a vibrant bunch but were soundly beaten here.
Of course it rained, and I got soaked, it’s been that kind of the season, but it was good to chat to referee Steve Sargent. He had an excellent game, unlike the season of his beloved West Bromwich Albion. But like the vast majority of local football buffs, he understood the bigger picture. You do tend to do that when the world at large barely acknowledges your presence!