Wednesday 15th May 2019 ko 18.25
East Berkshire League- Premier Division
FC BEACONSFIELD 3 (Peddle 39 76 Howell 76)
OLD WINDSOR 0
A few years ago you could add your own points of interest to SatNav’s. That was handy, as you could add all kinds of things useful to groundhoppers such as football grounds, petrol stations, pubs and so on. I even knew one hopper who had a Little Chefs download! My non-league football grounds download died along with my old SatNav but I remember the little football icon that I spotted every time I passed under the bridge on the M40 approaching Beaconsfield from Loudwater. As my OCD invitably takes me I always fancied visiting, but I had no idea who played there!
If you’re a groundhopper you tend to think of Beaconsfield as Beaconsfield Town, latterly SYCOB as the club whose ground is pretty much adjacent to the M40 by the Services. Now Holloways Park is well worth a visit, but the side in question here is also called Beaconsfield and the ground is even closer to the M40. So close in fact that if you’ve ever driven between junctions 2 and 3, you’ve been no more than 50 yards from one touchline.
The trouble with getting to the Holtspur Playing Fields on Wooburn Green Lane, is the comparison should be with another club close to a motorway- Walsall. For like the with the Saddlers you have to drive past the place before you exit the motorway then pick your way through the town before finding the ground. Here you even get to cross the bridge you passed under a few minutes before! But once there and parked up you’ll find a typical playing fields, albeit one with buttercups growing in the pitch, and the roar of the motorway from beyond the trees.
The East Berkshire League is the off-pyramid feeder to the Thames Valley Premier League in these parts, although if a club popped up with suitable facilities I’ve little doubt they’d find themselves playing Hellenic League football fairly rapidly. But there’s no such pretences here at Holtspur, just the basics of footballing life, and a friendly welcome.
That, and some excellent names on the backs of the home shirts! There wasn’t a massive amount riding on the game, just the possibilty of the hosts overtaking Singh Sabha Slough for the runners-up spot, which didn’t happen due to Beaconsfield failing to fulfil their final game of the season.
As referee Andy Giles put it afterwards it was a darned good game to referee and by deduction to watch. I’ll see more skilful teams and I’ll go to better appointed grounds, but seldom will I enjoy watching two sides who really wanted to be there and have a game of football.
And next time I drove under that bridge near Beaconsfield on the M40 I no longer felt I was passing by; I smiled knowingly.