Tuesday 22nd September 2020 ko 19.45
United Counties League Division One
SAFFRON DYNAMO 4 (March 28 36 56 Johnson 89)
AYLESTONE PARK 2 (Holdom 79p Ray 90)
Entry & Teamsheet £5
For me at least it had been a long time in coming. I’d arrived In Cosby 8 years ago, and discovered that the then Leicestershire Senior League outfit had called off their game with Desford as neither side fancied playing each other twice in 3 days! I ended up watching Rugby Town, and would never has guessed that both Rugby Town and Saffron Dynamo would end up playing in the same league! Or come to think of it, that poor Woodford United (Rugby’s opponents that day) would end up in the Northants Combination!
Part of it is due to FA restruturing, at least in part to solve the issue of the Leicestershire Senior League at Step 7 having no obvious Step 6 league to feed into save for the Midland League, quite a way to the west. With my GroundhopUK hat on it’s had the unintended consequence of giving us a slew of new clubs to visit far more northerly than we’d ever expected. And, keeping that GroundhopUK hat on I had completely forgotten that the UCL allows Division One clubs to produce a teamsheet instead of a progamme, I’ve only seen it once before- at Olney Town in 2005. That rule is fine for me, and for the league but when the hop reaches here, we will ask for a programme- the hoppers wouldn’t allow otherwise!
Yes, Saffron Dynamo do play in Cosby and I’m sure if this piece had have been written 8 years ago, I’m sure I’d have called it the Cosby Show; retrospect is a wonderful thing! Saffron Dynamo take their name from the Saffron Lane Recreation Field where the clubs first games took place in 1963. They moved to King’s Park, on Cambridge Road in 1976 and have slowly redeveloped the ground. They bought the place eight years later and have slowly redeveloped since.
The club were promoted to the UCL for last season, and the delayed start to this season has allowed the club to complete the final piece of the jigsaw for Step 6 ground grading- the 50 seat “Arena” stand arrived in at the start of September. It means, due to cricket that there are only two sides open to spectators, and the clubhouse is some distance from the pitch.
But it does all it needs to and the club managed to unpick the Gordian Knot of a larger than normal crowd, keeping the queues moving and Covid rules. They did well, and the configuration of the ground didn’t make it easy for them. A tip I’d pass on to anyone visiting is that the car park does get full quickly, but there’s parking on the grass by the new 3G cage 100 yards closer to Cosby along the Cambridge Road.
The game was remarkable, and I’m sure Aylestone Park will wonder how on earth they managed to lose this. That’ll be a rhetorical question though, as the reason Saffron Dynamo won is they have James March up front, and he converted just about everything his team set for him; while the visitors didn’t have that luxury. By the time they discovered their shooting boots it was too little, too late.
At times it didn’t feel like a United Counties League, and that’s no insult to either club here; I’m just not used to watching their games this far north! That said, if the games are going to be this good, I’ll look forward to regular trips up the M69.