Football, groundhopping, Bristol, Non League, Bristol and Suburban League, Avonmouth, St Nicholas
Saturday 11th February 2023 ko 14:00
Gloucestershire Senior Amateur Cup Quarter Final
AVONMOUTH 7 (Groves 13 29 30 89 Aldom 35 Pearce 43 O’Donovan 82)
ST NICHOLAS 1 (Slade 56p)
One of the great advantages of having family in Bristol is the extra centre of gravity it gives my groundhopping. You’d expect me to have done a lot in around my hometown of Oxford, but 7 years of Robyn and I means regular visits west, and very slowly I’m uncovering some real Bristolian gems.
One of such gems is the King George V Recreation Ground, somewhere I expect many people have passed by many many times without realising. Many will have seen Almondsbury FC on the M5 by the interchange with the M4, but head south from there, and just before the Avonmouth Bridge on the right you’ll see a set of floodlights. Yes, that’s right floodlights; Avonmouth may be in the Bristol & Suburban League a feeder to the Gloucestershire Senior League, but they see themselves as a future Western League club, and I can assure you there will never be a ground nearer to a motorway.
They do things the right way here too. Those lights were bought by the club fundraising via their expanded clubhouse, they’ve now put down hard standing and a new driveway, and the next stage is a stand. They’ve got 3 quotes for that, and yes, I did suggest avoiding those horrible squat little things from the back of a lorry….
The competition was curious, a cup that was a merger of separate northern and southern competitions to the surprise of all the quarter-finalists. Avonmouth were at little apprehensive at the Chipping Sodbury-based opposition who play in the Bristol Premier Combination, another feeder to the Gloucestershire Senior League but that seemed to be based on the fact that they knew little or nothing about them.
They had little to worry about, although I did find myself pondering how say Tottenham Hotspur might approach a game with Brentford if they didn’t know either the tactics or the players they’d be facing? Certainly, Avonmouth made light work of a thoroughly competent St Nicolas side that at the end didn’t quite know what had hit them; it was that complete a hammering.
Perhaps the best way to look at it, is that I left I imagined Avonmouth as a Western or Hellenic League side; they haven’t reached the Gloucestershire League yet. It cannot being just a matter of time, but there does seem to be an air of inevitability about it.