Square back four

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Monday May 6th 2013, kick off 12pm at ‘Windsors’.
South Midlands League Division Two.
Risborough Rangers (Red/White) 7-0 Hale Leys United (Sky Blue/Black).

Att 82, admission 2 pounds prog inc, bacon roll 2 pounds, tea 1 pound.At last a warm sunny day, the Buckinghamshire countryside looked stunning as we took a slow drive up from Reading. Dropping Ros at Hughenden Manor I was able to leave the car in shirt sleeves at the out-of-town ‘Windsors’ a dual purpose football/cricket set up.

Sometimes a ground makes an immediate good impression, and this was such. Surrounded by green, and with a good lengthy cover running down the clubhouse/T Bar side, Windsors is a very attractive little ground.

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This game had no bearing on specific promotion or relegation, although Risborough were warming up for a League cup final against local rivals Aston Clinton on the wed evening, so would clearly like to be going into that game with some form. Having had a successful league campaign and fourth position assured, the locals seemed quite content with their lot. Visitors HLUtd from Aylesbury had been less successful, and I was told that they plan to groundshare with Aylesbury FC, potentially as of the 2013-14 season, presumably to meet floodlighting requirements should they achieve promotion in the near future.

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Taking up a position opposite the stand, two middle-aged guys were retrieving balls as they sailed over the fence into the shrubbery. Falling into conversation with them, they were curious about the number of photos I was taking, jokingly “We charge for photos here”. I quizzed them about the little shelter, and they told me it had been built for our “ball boys”, which I took to mean themselves. And I could see, in bleak mid winter it would indeed be a lovely little hideaway from the elements.

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As for the game, from the evidence of the first thirty minutes of play it looked like Hale Leys players had never seen each other before, as their back four were clueless and defended as badly as any team I’ve seen on my travels this season. At half time Risborough had eased into a six goal lead, with at least four of these goals being simple through balls, which the defence tried to play offside against failing dismally, allowing RU to run on and score.
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RR seemed to score at will in the first half, and I’m not sure why it took HLU until half time to realise a change was required in their back four. The second half was a much more sedate affair, RR took their foot of the pedal, HLU seemed happy to just try to contain, and only one more goal was added to the scoreline.

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It really was a lovely venue to take in a game on a Spring day, the locals were enthusiastic, the tea bar was fabulous, cooking up a tasty bacon roll for me, supplemented by a piping hot cuppa in a china cup. I was told floodlights should be up for next season, and it’s possible that they may gain promotion, as finishing in the top four with those light may allow them to move up a grade, we shall see, decision pending from the league.
For the record the scorers, were Shrimpton (3), Dean and Clark with 2 each. Shrimpton looked a very promising young striker for this level. Sadly they lost 0-2 to Aston Clinton in the LC Final.
For a club playing at Step seven in the non league pyramid RR have a lot going for them, pay them a visit, I doubt you will regret it!

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