Saturday 3rd May 2021 ko 15:00
Somerset County League Junior Supplementary Cup Group Stage
HUTTON FC 5 (Dearnley-Bright 44 47 63 Popperwell 78p N Blake 88)
NAILSEA UNITED 0
Att c25 at Springwood Gardens, Hutton, Weston-super-Mare
With Robyn visiting family in Bristol I’d long since made a mental note to simply head south in search of a game. The route out of the south of Bristol, heading towards Weston-super-Mare will always hold great significance for me. We got married in Blagdon, drank no end of Butcombe beer and Thatchers cider and Lee Hatherall our photographer is based in Weston! Perhaps it was inevitable I’d visit Hutton.
These days Hutton is virtually contiguous with the south-western edge of Weston-super-Mare and the Springwood Playing Fields is neatly tucked away on the edge of the village. It really isn’t the kind of place you’d stumble across, but following my current rule of checking first I was expected there. What you’ll find is the perfect county standard football ground, and as I was rapidly to discover there is everything here you could possibly want from a local football club. Hutton may be small, but they are perfectly formed.
I’ve long opined that once in a while its good to strip away the bits of the game you really don’t need and just enjoy the bits that you do. You don’t need a programme, that’s a want, and you don’t need the game to be at a particular level, I’ve seen lousy top-flight games and wonderful base-of-the-pyramid matches. What you need is a pitch, two goals and two willing sides, and in Hutton and Nailsea United’s second string I certainly got that in spades. Mind you I did visit my first railed-off pitch this year!
And all credit to Nailsea United for being there too, with several players unavailable they promoted members of their Colts squad so as to get the game played. I watched another groundhopper have a Twitter meltdown when a game he’d travelled to failed to take place due to the opposition failing to raise a side, and he did himself and our hobby no favours by his intemperate reaction. Games do not take place for groundhoppers’ benefit but that fact was clearly lost on him. Player availability is a massive issue at local level currently, but do you think he thought about that? Or did he care beyond his own needs?
But I was greatly enjoying Hutton’s company. It was just plain fun to listen to the team talk and watch a side go about their business with smiles on their faces. That extended to referee Ian Smith who unsurprisingly didn’t need to show a card, in fact he barely had to speak to a player; he didn’t need to. This was a game completely removed from the world of VAR or European Super Leagues, although Hutton’s explanation of how the Junior Supplementary Cup was organised was funny if not necessarily accurate!
“So the top 6 sides in the Somerset County League decided for an extra 6 pack of Thatcher’s cider decided to have a group stage then a knock-out section!”
I’m sure we could all pick holes in the explanation, but as a piece of satire it was right on the money!
As a photographer Hutton has plenty to offer too. Whether you want to put Weston in the background or the foothills of the Mendips it was just so easy to pick a small aperture and let the scene do the talking. The game did the same too, with Nailsea managing to hold out until just before half-time, before Hutton’s made their supremacy tell.
In fact there was really only controversy and that was about the first goal. Bailey Dearnley-Wright definitely supplied the header, and it was on target. But some would say it was a goalkeeper’s own goal, he certainly fumbled the ball over the line; so how was it decided? If I tell you that there’s club rule that anyone who scores a hat trick buys a round of drinks would that help? Wouldn’t you prefer that rule to VAR?
Football needs clubs like Hutton, and not just because of the certainty that the whole professional game is built on the foundations of the grassroots game. Moreover though we all need to visit a Hutton once on a while just to ground ourselves in what association rules football is really about.