Saturday 6th July 2019 ko 15.00

Pre-Season Friendly


TUFFLEY ROVERS 2 (James 44 Dowu 90)

Att 22

Free Entry

I know I managed it back in the day but you really shouldn’t visit Nailsea without visiting the Cutler statue outside the Royal Oak pub in the centre of town. If “Drink Up Thy Zider” is the national anthem of the West Country, and since the Wurzels’ founder Adge Cutler wrote the song does that make him the bard of Somerset? My fiancee Robyn would attest to me impersonating her Bristolian accent each and every day of our relationship. Early on she’d comment slightly reproachfully, “I’m not a Wurzel,” but then she took me to watch Bristol City within a month of us meeting and what did they play over the tannoy after the game? Yep, Adge Cutler’s most famous composition!

If the site of the Wurzels’ first gig is what Nailsea is most famous for, then I suspect that rather ignores the rest of the town’s musical contribution. The stand at Nailsea & Tickenham’s Fryth Way ground also doubles as the stage for the town’s Frythival music festival each year. The festival is sufficiently successful for it to be the club’s main source of income for the season.

But if ever a name summed up a club then its Nailsea and Tickenham. The club are merger of two clubs, one with players but no ground, and one with a ground but no players, and you can see Tickenham church from the stand here! Fryth Way is by anyone’s standards an excellent place to watch a game, with the only two things the club lacking are a clubhouse and floodlights. A pub serves a the club’s base and the floodlights are likely to arrive as and when the club moves grounds. The ground may be on the edge of town, and at the end of Fryth Way but that makes the land ripe for development. The key is what the club gets for vacating their home.

I’ve often opined that half the time I don’t pick my games, they pick me. This was a case in point. I’d wanted to visit Nailsea & Tickenham since my abject failure to visit the Cutler statue last time I was in town, and when I spotted Tuffley Rovers were the visitors it gave me the chance to thank them for their excellent hosting during Easter’s Hellenic Hop.

And despite the sweltering heat, and the pollen count being through the roof high the two sides served up a highly entertaining game. I must have looked a right state when my antihistamines wore off, its a wonder I managed to take any half-reasonable photos too!

But despite the 2 division difference between the two sides (Somerset Premier- Step 7 vs Hellenic Premier -Step 5)  N & T will feel slightly aggrieved not to have at least forced a draw, Tuffley’s winner was late, very late! But being a friendly, the result didn’t matter too much, this was about fitness and tactics after all.

I strolled back to the car, as a blackbird flew over the stand. I paused and smiled, I’m not from these parts so there was no gurt big stick. And no need to knock ‘im down or celebrate vict’ry with a girt big blackbird pie!