Wednesday 2nd May 2018 ko 18.30
North Bucks & District League Premier Division
GREAT HORWOOD 7 (Broom 20 Dixon 32 65 85 Tappin 36 Hawkins 60 Cronin 67)
WING VILLAGE 1 (Robinson 1p)
This one definitely was one to salve my slice of OCD that tells me I simply have to watch a game at any ground I drive past more than once. Great Horwood lies on the main A421 between Buckingham and Bletchley, the village to your left and the Castlefields playing fields to your right. There’s been a village here since Saxon times, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records this place as “Horwudu” meaning muddy wood in 792!
This is an area of quiet affluence, a historic market town, downgraded to a commuter village, albeit one with a large conservation area around it. Perhaps that’s why there’s so much space for the football ground, another reason why I felt compelled to visit, it gives the impression of a vibrant club.
To emphasis that point there was a children’s game taking place behind one end of the main pitch, although I noted with some sadness that the second XI pitch hadn’t been used for a while. The game attracted a few few hoppers as there was plenty riding on the result.
We weren’t expecting a close game. Great Horwood were chasing down the title in a race with Stewkley and Potterspury whilst visitors Wing were chasing down any registered players to fulfil the fixture. They looked shorn of players in key positions and their manager glumly commented they’d be happy to see the season out before working out whether they’d carry on at all.
It is, I’m afraid a common enough occurrence in grass roots football at the moment. Wing, like so many others had 50-plus players signed, but when push came to shove could barely raise a team. I know the FA both nationally and at county level are looking closely at this but it seems a tough nut to crack.
Under the circumstances no one expected Wing to take the lead, even if the penalty came and was converted through Great Horwood being caught cold. But once the equaliser came the goals punctuated the game as the hosts dispatched their visitors with ruthless efficiency.
It was as happens on occasion a chance to meet to teams meeting at the metaphorical crossroads. Here Great Horwood did what they needed to, as oddly so did Wing. The difference was that one had a stated aim, the other was grimly hanging on to their existance by a hair’s breadth. It was fascinating to watch, and best wishes to both clubs for the future.